Started by Mandryka, August 28, 2009, 04:42:11 AM
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Quote from: DavidA on February 20, 2013, 01:28:35 PMI've a great performance by Geza Anda on Brilliant Classics. It was hailed by the Guardian as one of the best Schumann performances on disc. Wonderful!
Quote from: Mandryka on August 28, 2009, 04:42:11 AMI enjoy Gieseking's recording a lot. In fact, it's probably my favourite Giekeking performance. He never bangs even in the more bouncy pasages, and the lyricism in some of the dances towards the end -- 14 especially -- is beautiful.
Quote from: Octave on February 22, 2013, 02:53:27 AMI have not consulted a discog, but what is the year and/or release of the Gieseking you mention? I ask because I have just run across two: 1942 (Piano Library) and 1951 (Classico in Compact).
Quote from: Octave on February 22, 2013, 02:53:27 AMDoes anyone know if the Anda/Aura mentioned above has been reissued since the edition pictured (~1999)?
Quote from: mjwal on February 22, 2013, 08:16:23 AMThe Anda DBT on Brilliant is from DG, like all the others in that set;
QuoteI think there's only one Gieseking DBT too -
Quote from: mjwal on February 22, 2013, 08:16:23 AMThe Anda DBT on Brilliant is from DG, like all the others in that set; the live version is only on Aura, it seems to have disappeared from the market. As I said here some time ago (2009), it has that special quality of inspiration.
Quote from: mjwal on February 23, 2013, 08:23:25 AMTo get back to DBT - does anyone know Berezovsky's recording? I have this - elsewhere - and have no aural memory apart from it being strikingly clear and fast, almost abrasive. When I return to France soon I shall return to it. The reviewer on Amazon.de hates it, Americans on .com seem to love it. It's the original version, also played by Rosen on a late recording, and by Schiff, which latter I do not know. Any comments?
Quote from: boom on his blog at http://boomboomsky.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Brown%20MichaelWhy is it that, when it comes to Schumann's music, musicians are expected to act as Schumann's self-appointed psychiatrists, and to treat performances of his music as exercises in post-mortem psychiatric profiling? Schumann's mental life wasn't pretty, true. But then neither were those of good many other important composers: rabid antisemites (Wagner), pedophiles (Saint-Saens), anguished closeted homosexuals (Tchaikovsky), Nazi sympathizers (Webern), Communist sympathizers (Shostakovich), or just plain mean and vindictive bastards (Britten). Why is it, then, that Marin Alsop does not hear Saint-Saens' "Egyptian" concerto "pulsing" with lust for pre-pubescent boys? Why doesn't David Dubal insist that interpreters must possess "a special empathy" for Tchaikovsky "the man and troubled creator"? (And troubled Tchaikovsky was, if anyone can be meaningfully called 'troubled'!) Why does it seem informative for Dubal to refer to Schumann's "highly personal and psychological formal shapes", as if the formal shapes in the music of Bach or Mahler are impersonal and carry no psychological imprint of the minds that created them? (Surely Bach and Mahler were not composing with their kneecaps or livers.) And, most importantly, why is it that those who insist on placing Schumann's music on the psychiatrist's couch never bother to ask themselves such basic questions as: What exactly is the perceptual difference between a sforzando marked by composers with bipolar disorder, and one marked by composers with 'healthy' minds? (Since the answer is clearly "None", such questions would be rather uncomfortable for those who indulge in the above kind of psycho-blabbering.)I hold this wide-spread pseudo-musicological idiocy responsible for frequent maiming of Schumann's music on record and in the concert hall. Fortunately, the young generation of pianists does not seem to see anything important (musically or otherwise) in Schumann's psychological condition. Or so I think based on what I hear in their playing, which focuses my attention on the natural beauty of Schumann's harmonic and melodic imagination, while avoiding the hysterical dynamical and rhythmic excesses of Schumann performances from decades past. (It also occurred to me that for young people, who grew up in the world where Prozac and Ritalin supplement Gerber Baby Food, a psychological case like Schumann's may be utterly ordinary.)
Quote from: mjwal on February 24, 2013, 06:23:10 AMAnent Boom's critical question ("Why is it that, when it comes to Schumann's music, musicians are expected to act as Schumann's self-appointed psychiatrists, and to treat performances of his music as exercises in post-mortem psychiatric profiling?") - here is a passage by Schumann himself on the subject of a work being given two-fold consideration elsewhere on GMG (I wonder if you can guess which):Was überhaupt die schwierige Frage, wie weit die Instrumentalmusik in Darstellung von Gedanken und Begebenheiten gehen dürfe, anlangt, so sehen hier Viele zu ängstlich. Man irrt sich gewiß, wenn man glaubt, die Componisten legten sich Feder und Papier in der elenden Absicht zurecht, dies oder jenes auszudrücken, zu schildern, zu malen. Doch schlage man zufällige Einflüsse und Eindrücke von Außen nicht zu gering an. Unbewußt neben der musikalischen Phantasie wirkt oft eine Idee fort, neben dem Ohre das Auge und dieses, das immer thätige Organ, hält dann mitten unter den Klängen und Tönen gewisse Umrisse fest, die sich mit der vorrückenden Musik zu deutlichen Gestalten verdichten und ausbilden können."Concerning the difficult question of how far instrumental music should go in representing thoughts and events, many are too fearful on this point. It is certainly an error to believe that composers take to pen and paper with the miserable intention of expressing, portraying or painting this or that. Yet one should not underestimate chance influences and impressions from the outside world. Unconsciously an idea is often continuing to produce its effects parallel to the musical phantasy, beside the ear the eye, which latter ever-active organ then fixes upon certain contours among the sounds and tones, contours which as the music proceeds can condense themselves and develop into distinct shapes." (My translation)We see that Schumann was here open to the idea of unconscious activity, though he thought of it (in this case) as being stimulated by the outside world in particular. His argument does allow us, I believe, to assume that unconscious feelings and tendencies might be channelled in and through the musical work, but not in a simplistic model of cause and effect (of course he was acquainted with the older conception of Affekt found in Baroque music). But I think it is clear that he would have no truck with the idea that executants should be explicitly concerned with this in their interpretations or even assume that they might draw conclusions about the psychosomatic state of the composer. The whole piece is fascinating, and those in the threads I have alluded to might profitably peruse it.
Quote from: Mandryka on February 24, 2013, 09:50:10 PMThanks for making that translation. Where's it from, a letter? Tell me, is it certain that Schumann knew about Affekt?I'm convinced that that live Kempff DBT from Besançon is one of the very greatest.
Quote from: Mattheson's Neu-Eröffnete Orchester, 1713 There the composer has the grand opportunity to give free rein to his invention. With many surprises and with as much grace he there can, most naturally and diversely, portray love, jealousy, hatred, gentleness, impatience, lust, indifference, fear, vengeance, fortitude, timidity, magnanimity, horror, dignity, baseness, splendour, indigence, pride, humility, joy, laughter, weeping, mirth, pain, happiness, despair, storm, tranquillity, even heaven and earth, sea and hell, together with all the actions in which men participate.....Through the skill of composer and singer each and every Affectus can be expressed beautifully and naturally better than in an Oratorio, better than in painting or sculpture, for not only are Operas expressed in words, but they are helped along by appropriate actions and above all interpreted by heart-moving music.
Quote from: Mandryka on February 27, 2013, 09:39:56 AMI don't know whether romantic composers' ideas about emotional expression were drawn from baroque aesthetics. Would Schumann have changed or added to this idea?
Quote from: Mandryka on February 22, 2013, 01:47:30 AMI don't know the one on Brilliant, But I know Anda on DG and the live one on Aura, from a concert with Chopin op 25 and a Schubert sonata. The live is one of the greats, -- the difference between it and the dead one is all to do with the intangible things that Bulldog keeps banging on about -- the sense of one dance responding to another, the sense of each dance finding its own distinctive face and emotional meaning, the sweep.
Quote from: mjwal on March 02, 2013, 02:29:15 AMI don't know either, but I would in general doubt it: Schubert, Berlioz or Chopin do not seem to have followed that path. But the case of Schumann, as I indicated, seems to be rather different. "Drawn" seems too overt, but some form of transmission in Schumann's case is clear IMO. It didn't stop him composing pieces with more than one affective node, but works such as the D-minor violin concerto have an openly baroque gestus and unitary mood, and songs like "Ich hab im Traum geweinet" seem to me to resemble some baroque arioso recitative. Of course he added to the idea- what he created was more a kind of synthesis of the past and present. It's what we're all doing, right? Freud uses the term "Affekt" for feelings that characterise our behaviour - the term (with its historical baggage) is not something split off from us by a historical category like "Baroque".
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