Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 156417 times)

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Online North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1100 on: August 05, 2017, 01:46:59 PM »
You Westerners / Northerners really do have big difficulties in grasping Eastern / Southern humor...  ;D

... but I still love you all!  :-*
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Offline α |

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1101 on: August 06, 2017, 04:13:24 AM »
There is some about Monteverdi to me, his style is so transfixed in the paradigm between the Renaissance and the Baroque that sometimes very odd things happen  ;D

Offline α |

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1102 on: August 06, 2017, 04:14:55 AM »
Which I love  :-*

Plus his almost Stravinsky-like approach to rhythm in his instrumental works

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1103 on: August 06, 2017, 10:15:31 AM »
Not only not worth the attempt, but utterly useless --- anyone listening today is emphatically not a "medieval listener" but a "contemporary listener" for whom the medieval worldview and soundworld is utterly and completely alien, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.



Sure, what medieval people meant is inevitably opaque to me. But for me, understanding what a non-English speaker means is also full of  indeterminacy and inevitably guided by guesswork.  And maybe the same is true for understanding anyone -- even if you share a language in some sense and you're contemporaries.  It doesn't follow that understanding isn't possible, just that it's always open to revision.

This made me think of Willard Quine's work on the indeterminacy of translation in Word and Object and elsewhere.

Not only not worth the attempt, but utterly useless ---

I suddenly thought of the reconstruction of The Globe in London. I don't know if you know about it, it's basically a reconstruction of Shakespeare's theatre, and the company which works there were committed, at least at the start, to exploring original performance practice -- males taking women's parts, musical intervals etc. At first it gave rise to a huge creative energy, and I'm sure I don't just speak for myself I think when I say that what they did with Richard II  and The Tempest and Twelfth Night was unforgettable, a fabulous original creative event.

Similar things have happened in early music performance. One example is in Machaut. The presentation of the mass with the propers of the  mass chanted  changes the experience, and I think it is very stimulating to hear it like that. Another is using proper harpsichord and organs to play on, with proper ornaments etc -- I'm thinking of Leonhardt really.

So no, I don't agree with Morrow that it's "not worth the attempt" or with you that it's "utterly useless." 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 10:19:47 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1104 on: August 06, 2017, 10:35:52 AM »
I think I formulated it in an obscure way. What is useless is not the attempt at performing it "the way it was performed back then", a legitimate and interesting endeavor, but the hope or belief that this will made it be received the way it was received back then. We might have a "genuinely medieval" performance but we will never have a "genuinely medieval" audience.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.Victor Hugo

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1105 on: August 06, 2017, 10:46:21 AM »
I think I formulated it in an obscure way. What is useless is not the attempt at performing it "the way it was performed back then", a legitimate and interesting endeavor, but the hope or belief that this will made it be received the way it was received back then. We might have a "genuinely medieval" performance but we will never have a "genuinely medieval" audience.

I think it's a really interesting thought, and in a way I wish I had more time and a better context to explore it. I'm sure that you're right, and that the role of the listener is really important to understanding what goes on in interpretation, people don't think about it enough. It's a big big area.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1106 on: August 07, 2017, 12:12:07 AM »
This is Taruskin on Gesualdo in The Oxford History of western Music. He's discussing the idea that the invention of an imaginary, heroic history of visionary prophets (Lasso → Gesualdo → Wagner → Stravinsky, or something of the sort) and has obscured rather than illuminated the actual historical and cultural conditions that
nourished their various activities."

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There is little to be gained in complaining that the disproportionate interest we now take in Gesualdos chromatic madrigals, at the expense of his sacred music or his
instrumental dances or any other less spectacular side of his output, is a mistaken overemphasis, as Bianconi so
challengingly puts it.16 Our modern (mis)understandings of the past are not mistakes but the products of changed
historical conditions. We value in Gesualdo something his contemporaries could not have valued, because we know
what they (and he) did notnamely, their future, which is now our past. That knowledge can hardly be erased from
our consciousness. So what interests us now bespeaks our condition and no one elses. No amount of historical learning can replace new
understanding with old understanding. All one can hope to do is add depth and detail to our misunderstanding. (That
is where the sacred music and the instrumental music can usefully fit into even the most biased modern appreciation of Gesualdo. If that seems a paradoxical thing to say, that has been precisely the intention.)
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1107 on: August 07, 2017, 06:35:32 AM »
This is Taruskin on Gesualdo in The Oxford History of western Music. He's discussing the idea that the invention of an imaginary, heroic history of visionary prophets (Lasso → Gesualdo → Wagner → Stravinsky, or something of the sort) and has obscured rather than illuminated the actual historical and cultural conditions that
nourished their various activities."

Taruskin is always saying things like that in the Oxford History.  He slaughters sacred cows with glee, as long as they don't fit his favored narrative (he is fond of Tchaikovsky and Britten, apparently).  I don't think that Stravinsky, for example, loved Gesualdo's madrigals when he discovered them through Craft because they reminded him of himself, much less of Wagner.

Offline α |

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1108 on: August 08, 2017, 03:45:39 AM »
I'm struggling to stay interested when I hear a modernist piece that isn't Webern or Stravinsky now  ???


WTF is going on? 

Offline α |

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1109 on: August 10, 2017, 12:33:48 AM »
Reconnaissance music music is the best  8)

Offline sanantonio

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1110 on: August 10, 2017, 02:30:59 AM »
Re: Authenticity in Early Music Performance

It is an enjoyable but impossible quest since there is simply too much missing information.  Taruskin's point is valid, imo, i.e. the performance practices, especially the HIP kind, reflect not the authentic early period sound but our own modern taste.  Sure we can use replicas of old instruments and learn all we can about the period and what was done, but in the final analysis there is no guarantee that what we produce sounds anything like what was heard in the 16th century.  But it doesn't matter - we still make wonderful music with what we have available.

The analogy made to cleaning a Rembrandt painting is false, since we have the actual work under the dirt and merely need to clean it to restore it back to what Rembrandt made.  This is not the case with early music since all we have are indeterminate scores with little knowledge about how they were interpreted.

Offline α |

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1111 on: August 10, 2017, 02:43:53 AM »
Yes, it's a balancing act:


On one end the HIP thing is a quite historically ignorant to how little knowledge we realistically actually have of history, particularly in the music sector. Notation has existed since however long and actual theory/practice books have existed even less. Then when you get to instrument making and even stuff like tuning, you have to make huge assumptions and leaps to attempt it.

The thing is, there are things about early music that often doesn't feel right with our acquired musical practices since the baroque era (too many to list). Something like singing (as Mandryka pointed out) has no direct basis or connection with the way these things where actually performed back then, as audio recording didn't exist back then  ::) so again, assumptions and guessing.

But then, you want and NEED interpretations that really bring these works to life (in a truly engaging way).

Another aspect though to convoluted things more is that our perceptions and intentions between interpretation/performance and the composition itself is still relatively new, originating more or less with Beethoven's "this is MY music, here's how you NEED to play it" kind of attitude.




So then you are left trying to decide HIP or no HIP  :(


Offline Florestan

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1112 on: August 10, 2017, 05:06:28 AM »
"this is MY music, here's how you NEED to play it"

Nothing could be more α | to the medieval mentality than this individualism.  ;D

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So then you are left trying to decide HIP or no HIP  :(

I have decided long ago: I couldn't care less if it's HIP or non HIP; if I like it, it's good.  :laugh:
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.Victor Hugo

Online North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1113 on: August 10, 2017, 05:18:02 AM »
I have decided long ago: I couldn't care less if it's HIP or non HIP; if I like it, it's good.  :laugh:
My mentality is the complete opposite of this: if it's good, I like it.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline Florestan

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1114 on: August 10, 2017, 05:30:57 AM »
My mentality is the complete opposite of this: if it's good, I like it.

How do you know it's good?  :)
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.Victor Hugo

Online North Star

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1115 on: August 10, 2017, 06:51:44 AM »
How do you know it's good?  :)
I can't be sure..
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline Florestan

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1116 on: August 10, 2017, 07:00:21 AM »
I can't be sure..

Then you can't be sure you ike it, which is to say you really don't truly like anything.  ;D
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.Victor Hugo

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1117 on: August 15, 2017, 09:29:25 AM »


Jantina Noorman sounds like a fish wife.

What I don't know is whether this approach is as valid today as it was in the 1960s. What do we know about troubador singing?
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Offline millionrainbows

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1118 on: August 16, 2017, 01:28:04 PM »
They didn't have toilet paper back then. I bet the actual experience of "understanding" Gesualdo would be horrible, even if he didn't spit on you.

Offline maxbeesley

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1119 on: September 09, 2017, 01:39:33 AM »
I like almost all the music track mention above. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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