Author Topic: Bach Goldberg Variations  (Read 46324 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #300 on: August 11, 2018, 05:36:26 AM »
Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.

Yes some repeats. Reflective and melancholic I’d say.

As regards individuality/idiosyncrasy, I was impressed by how organic all the expressive inflections sound. It is astonishingly individual.

Interesting to compare the opening and closing arias.

I’m not sure that there’s any consolation in his vision of the emotional meaning of the music. The ending, the last note, brings no consolation, no resolution of the tension.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 05:52:30 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline milk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2695
  • Location: usa
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #301 on: August 14, 2018, 07:28:33 PM »
Listening to Rubsam’s GBV on headphones totally changed my view of it. It’s actually very natural and musical sounding. Very emotional too. Part of the genius is wringing a different emotional tone from the work.

Offline Gordo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3891
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #302 on: August 19, 2018, 03:20:20 AM »
Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.

On the contrary, I found it idiosyncratic to the point of the exasperation, from the Aria itself, where the left hand plays as if it were playing a mechanical piano. Full of voluntarism, IMO this disk brings the old Rübsam again (that of Naxos on the organ).  :(
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #303 on: August 19, 2018, 12:07:56 PM »
voluntarism,

Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7161
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #304 on: August 19, 2018, 12:27:36 PM »
Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.


I think he means arbitrary mannerisms. But then he has not been aware of the improvisatory character of the playing.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #305 on: August 19, 2018, 08:41:00 PM »
From the booklet essay by the organist Christian von Blohn

Quote
The pieces Gould sometimes played prestissimo seem diametrically opposed to Bach’s conception of ‘cantabile playing’, as does the fact that digesting this complex and extremely dense music requires a correspondingly gen- erous amount of time, as prominent musicians from Albert Schweitzer to Sergiu Celibidache repeatedly cautioned when discussing performances reflecting the spirit of the age in seemingly attempting to break the speed record.

Wolfgang Rübsam’s account should not, therefore, be regarded as just one more among many. Rather, in many respects, it does something fundamentally new. His is an almost pioneering attempt to make this complex music more transparent and easy to understand, while constantly surprising the listener with arpeggiated, ‘lute-like’ playing. Rübsam varies the repeats in accordance with contempo- rary practice. His use of the lute-harpsichord built to period specifications by Keith Hill is a special highlight. Its gut strings produce a soft but resonant tone which greatly assists the cantabile delivery mentioned earlier. The fact that Bach himself is documented as having owned at least two of these instruments (which unfortunately have not survived) gives the whole enterprise added legitimacy




Is the way he plays it - tempo, voicing, ornamentation (but especially voicing) - necessary, an option or a deformation?


« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 10:52:14 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Gordo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3891
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #306 on: August 20, 2018, 12:28:49 AM »
Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.

Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #307 on: August 20, 2018, 01:42:21 AM »
Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.

I understand. In fact I don't feel confident enough to comment on the "musical material"

As far as organisation goes, it helped me to imagine a duet between two independent minded but responsive creative lutenists. Or a keyboard analogue of a Gombert or de Rore motet, but more rhythmically free. Each variation is a motet for keyboard ...

Another thing Rubsam’s style makes me think of is Grete Sultan, playing Cage Etudes. So paradoxically he makes the music sound more modern too.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7161
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #308 on: August 20, 2018, 02:00:32 AM »
Quote from: Mandryka
Is the way he plays it - tempo, voicing, ornamentation (but especially voicing) - necessary, an option or a deformation?

Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.


An option I think, because he keeps within the border of informed style. But, yes, there is a lot of Rübsam, and in the end it is a matter of taste, how much freedom one is willing to accept. But I on my part much prefer Rübsam's expressivity to Gwendolyn Toth's mechanical and inexpressive GVs also on lute-harpsichord.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #309 on: August 20, 2018, 03:43:17 AM »

An option I think, because he keeps within the border of informed style.


Yes well this is the key question. I shall have to check to see whether Colin Booth can cast any light on this.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #310 on: August 21, 2018, 02:04:07 AM »
IMO this disk brings the old Rübsam again

Well, I don’t see what you’re getting at there, unless it’s just that you don’t like or don’t follow Rübsam (Naxos) and this Goldberg Variations.

the Aria itself,

Great independence of LH and RH there, there’s hardly a chord in the whole thing, and if I were drunk I could convince myself that it’s two people playing lute - possibly in different rooms. Interesting to compare the two arias too,
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 02:16:41 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7161
Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
« Reply #311 on: August 21, 2018, 03:00:02 AM »
Yes well this is the key question. I shall have to check to see whether Colin Booth can cast any light on this.

He does not discuss de-synchronized part playing in the book, probably because the book was finished, before Rübsam began to use this technique consequently. But Rübsam does not use techniques which Bach would have been unable to use, and the lute-harpsichord apparently invites a bit to that kind of playing, because of a close association to French luthenists and Style brisé. In a way the desynchonized part playing can be understood as a special variant of Style brisé practice.


Colin Booth drew my attention to some more articles on his home page. Now I have read the book, i shall read these articles. And he will probably be willing to discuss the topic online afterwards.

Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #312 on: August 21, 2018, 03:24:30 AM »
Yes, sure. I copy for information a discussion of style brisé which I found particularly helpful. It occurred to me to write to Colin Booth to see what he thinks.


Quote from: Manfred F Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era
The quickly fading sound of the lute did not lend itself to polyphonic voice leading and called for specific techniques that compensated for the limitations of the instrument. The "broken style" of lute music, a most ingenious and consistent application of such a technique, may be called a glorification of the simplest lute figure: the arpeggio, That broken style is characterised by rapidly alternating notes in different registers that supply, in turn, melody and harmony. Seemingly distributed in arbitrary fashion in different registers, the notes produced, in their composite rhythm, a continuous strand of sound. The lute composer was able to articulate the even flow by means of double and triple stops which suggested the rhythmic patterns, essential to the dance. The texture of lute music was necessarily free voiced since no voice could be carried through and since notes that hinted at one voice at the beginning of the measure dropped out as soon as they had appeared.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Gordo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3891
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #313 on: August 22, 2018, 08:11:15 AM »
Well, I don’t see what you’re getting at there, unless it’s just that you don’t like or don’t follow Rübsam (Naxos) and this Goldberg Variations.

As you can see, I was talking about Rübsam as organist. I consider his Bach interpretations on Naxos (his integral on Philips is different), as totally distorted in matter of tempo.  I don't have anything against slowness itself, excepting when it distorts the music, as Rübsam does there.

Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11215
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #314 on: August 22, 2018, 08:38:39 AM »
You may be right, I’m not confident enough myself to comment on whether the music’s distorted. I listened to Rubsam’s Naxos Trio Sonatas last week or maybe a fortnight ago. What he does seemed not uninteresting to me.

In the booklet essay Christian Von Blohm says something about tempo, my guess is that his essay has Rubsam’s approval

Quote
The pieces Gould sometimes played prestissimo seem diametrically opposed to Bach’s conception of ‘cantabile playing’, as does the fact that digesting this complex and extremely dense music requires a correspondingly generous amount of time . . . .
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 08:45:46 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline milk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2695
  • Location: usa
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #315 on: September 29, 2018, 04:01:22 PM »
Rubsam’s Goldbergs has got to be the most momentous release of the last few years. Who else and how else can someone create a work of art so at once novel and natural? It’s almost shockingly unique and inventive for Bach recordings. At the same time, it really speaks without being forced. It’s such a beautiful version I think everyone should give it a try.

bwv 1080

  • Guest
Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #316 on: September 29, 2018, 04:15:47 PM »
I really like Dmitri Sitkovetsky‘s string arrangement, probably listen to it as much as I do keyboard recording