Brookshire criticizes HIP Bach?

Started by milk, May 26, 2011, 04:54:38 PM

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Gurn Blanston

Quote from: Florestan on May 27, 2011, 03:58:49 AM
Re: the whole HIP / anti-HIP debate

Itzhak comes to the Rabbi, complaining:

- Rabbi, Shmuel is a thief and a crook. I lent him ten ducats last year and now he refuses to repay me. He should be brought to justice for that.

The Rabbi thinks deeply and replies: My son, you're right.

Itzhak leaves happy.

A few hours later, Shmuel comes to the Rabbi, complaining:

- Rabbi, Itzhak is a thief and a crook. He lent me ten ducats last year and I promised him I will repay whenever I can. But now my wife is sick and my son has just got married --- I really can't repay him, even if I would very much like to. He should be ashamed for that.

The Rabbi thinks deeply and replies: My son, you're right.

Shmuel leaves happy.

A disciple who had overheard both conversations protests:

- But, Rabbi, they can't be both right!

The Rabbi thinks deeply and replies: My son, you're right too.


Saul! Nice to see you back, things have been very quiet and peaceful; that sucks! But hey, we already had a poster named Florestan. What happened, did you take over his identity?   ???

8)
Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)

Florestan

Quote from: Gurnatron5500 on May 27, 2011, 04:20:53 AM
Saul! Nice to see you back, things have been very quiet and peaceful; that sucks! But hey, we already had a poster named Florestan. What happened, did you take over his identity?   ???

My son, I think you're right too.  ;D
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Mandryka

Quote from: bigshot on May 26, 2011, 10:41:52 PM
I miss the era of the charismatic conductor. You could tell a Stokowski performance from a Toscanini performance within the first three bars. They were totally different and equally wonderful. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. That made it interesting. Today, most conductors have the same goal: "appropriateness". Without experimentation and the opportunity to fail and learn, things become predictable and boring.


Do you think that's true of Harnoncourt or even Rattle?
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Mirror Image

Quote from: milk on May 26, 2011, 11:30:10 PM
I see my thread has invited ridicule. Perhaps
I'm sensitive but being musically uneducated I'd like to avoid being an object of derision
in the future. Could you explain why my thread is so stupid? If i understand, I'll avoid posting
the like.

I'm not ridiculing anyone. It's just a joke. Relax.

bigshot

Quote from: Mandryka on May 27, 2011, 08:54:26 AM
Do you think that's true of Harnoncourt or even Rattle?

Nowhere near the degree of Stokowski and Toscanini. A conductor had a great deal more latitude in the first half of the 20th century.

I think that relegating Stokowski's transcriptions and synthesises to the category of "light classical for the unwashed masses" is elitist and totally misses Stokowski's importance as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. Stokowski wasn't bringing music down to the common man, he was bringing the common man up to the music by appealing to emotion. His interpretations were lush and sensuous in a way that no one, before or since has been able to match. Throughout his career he was dogged by criticisms of being "inappropriate"... of "Lilly gilding"... of daring to make alterations to the score. But what he did was make music that was infused with his own personality. That's what music making *should* be about.

There are those who think a conductor should keep out of the way of the composer and beat time and make sure everything is neat and tidy to the letter of the score, and I agree that there is a definite place for that approach. But music is a living beast and when great artists like Stokowski come along and want to make their own interpretive mark, they should be encouraged to do that.

The age of the charismatic conductor is definitely behind us. The advances in research into historical performance are great and add to the possibilities, but they aren't a substitute for all of the other options.

Scarpia

Quote from: bigshot on May 27, 2011, 11:37:48 AM
Nowhere near the degree of Stokowski and Toscanini. A conductor had a great deal more latitude in the first half of the 20th century.

I think that relegating Stokowski's transcriptions and synthesises to the category of "light classical for the unwashed masses" is elitist and totally misses Stokowski's importance as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. Stokowski wasn't bringing music down to the common man, he was bringing the common man up to the music by appealing to emotion. His interpretations were lush and sensuous in a way that no one, before or since has been able to match. Throughout his career he was dogged by criticisms of being "inappropriate"... of "Lilly gilding"... of daring to make alterations to the score. But what he did was make music that was infused with his own personality. That's what music making *should* be about.

There are those who think a conductor should keep out of the way of the composer and beat time and make sure everything is neat and tidy to the letter of the score, and I agree that there is a definite place for that approach. But music is a living beast and when great artists like Stokowski come along and want to make their own interpretive mark, they should be encouraged to do that.

The age of the charismatic conductor is definitely behind us. The advances in research into historical performance are great and add to the possibilities, but they aren't a substitute for all of the other options.

I could not possibly disagree more.  Looking back to the middle of the 20th century, there were self-indulgent conductors like Stokowski and more self-disciplined conductors like Reiner and Szell.  I don't see any difference today.   There are "standard-practice" conductors like Rattle, Gilbert, Haitink, Slatkin, etc.   And there are firebrands like Thomas Fey, Dausgaard, Harnoncourt who create performances that are unmistakable, and which evoke either love or hatred in listeners.  Your stereotypical "it was better in the old days" attitude requires you to fail to recognize the astonishing music-making that is happening today.


DavidW

Quote from: bigshot on May 27, 2011, 11:37:48 AM
Nowhere near the degree of Stokowski and Toscanini. A conductor had a great deal more latitude in the first half of the 20th century.

Try listening to Norrington's Mahler with no vibrato and then say that again! :D  What you see as latitude I see as simply a different style of performance.  Stokowski has made some brilliant performances, but for most part he was simply the conductor to first have his chance to perform the classical repertoire for a large audience through radio and recordings.  The rest is hero building on your part.

Quote from: bigshot on May 27, 2011, 11:37:48 AM
The age of the charismatic conductor is definitely behind us. The advances in research into historical performance are great and add to the possibilities, but they aren't a substitute for all of the other options.

The second half of the past century gave us conductors like Bernstein and Karajan and you think that the days of charismatic conductors were done and over in the first half of the 20th century?  Today we have Gergiev giving us heart on sleeve performances with a smile and a wink, Michael Tilson Thomas taking up Bernstein's legacy of making documentaries to explain the music, and the nation collectively sighs and hopes for Levine to get better.

Mandryka

Quote from: Il Barone Scarpia on May 27, 2011, 11:47:49 AM
I could not possibly disagree more.  Looking back to the middle of the 20th century, there were self-indulgent conductors like Stokowski and more self-disciplined conductors like Reiner and Szell.  I don't see any difference today.   There are "standard-practice" conductors like Rattle, Gilbert, Haitink, Slatkin, etc.   And there are firebrands like Thomas Fey, Dausgaard, Harnoncourt who create performances that are unmistakable, and which evoke either love or hatred in listeners.  Your stereotypical "it was better in the old days" attitude requires you to fail to recognize the astonishing music-making that is happening today.

Totally off topic -- but can you say a bit more about which Dausgaard recordings you have liked. I loved the Beethoven concertos and I wouldn't mind exploring some more.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Scarpia

Quote from: Mandryka on May 27, 2011, 01:18:18 PM
Totally off topic -- but can you say a bit more about which Dausgaard recordings you have liked. I loved the Beethoven concertos and I wouldn't mind exploring some more.

I only know the Schumann Symphony Series, which I think is terrific.

milk

Quote from: Mirror Image on May 27, 2011, 09:13:52 AM
I'm not ridiculing anyone. It's just a joke. Relax.

I can't relax upon command. You'll have to say something relaxing.

Mirror Image

Quote from: milk on May 27, 2011, 03:23:35 PM
I can't relax upon command. You'll have to say something relaxing.

Okay: beach, lawn chair, massage from Swedish woman....

milk

Quote from: Mirror Image on May 27, 2011, 03:31:55 PM
Okay: beach, lawn chair, massage from Swedish woman....

This is more like it. There's nothing so stressful as being told to relax (except being told one is a dotty old lady).
Someday maybe I'll be able to follow the discussion of conductors. I'm also interested in Brookshire's specific contention about the harpsichord and rubato. I originally found this article after a conversation elsewhere in this forum. Someone suggested Mr. Brookshire's AOF was fussy. My initial impression was that it was fun, but after listening again I have to admit I think it is a bit fussy and tacky - unlike his French Suites which is a really great recording. I wonder if this is all to do with the lack of attention on harpsichordists and IP in NY? Seems like most of the action is in Europe. Or perhaps it's because, although he received good reviews on his interesting version of the French Suites, his partitas have never been released. Seems like he's never found a record label for them. I'm still not sure who he's a accusing of dryness and what he means by "revisionists." Maybe he means someone like Davitt Moroney? I'm a big fan of Moroney. Again, I don't see the lifeblood being drained from Bach. But I'm just going on my record collection - not any actual musical knowledge. I'm a big fan of most of the "leading" harpsichordists: Moroney, Gilbert, Leonhardt, Wilson, Suzuki, Hantai, Van Asperen, Hill, Dantone, Rousset, Staier, etc. So I don't really know what Brookshire is talking about. Perhaps I'm walking into his trap: a little controversy brings attention. Although Mirror Images will say it's only a controversy to senile old grandmothers like me.     

Mirror Image

Quote from: milk on May 27, 2011, 04:26:19 PMAlthough Mirror Images will say it's only a controversy to senile old grandmothers like me.

??? Umm...okay.

milk


DavidW

Milk: MI meant that he found the thread so strange that his Mother must have messed with his computer.  He was not personally insulting you.

MI: Milk thought that picture was supposed to be portraying him finding his way to figure out enough to post some nonsense on the internet.  I know you didn't intend to insult him but it would be so easy to misinterpret your brief post.

milk

Quote from: mozartfan on May 27, 2011, 05:03:10 PM
Milk: MI meant that he found the thread so strange that his Mother must have messed with his computer.  He was not personally insulting you.

MI: Milk thought that picture was supposed to be portraying him finding his way to figure out enough to post some nonsense on the internet.  I know you didn't intend to insult him but it would be so easy to misinterpret your brief post.

Well jokes aside, I still don't get what's so strange about the post. But I'm not so proud. If it's stupid it's stupid (or strange)! It's very rare on any forum for anyone to ever admit being wrong. So I'll say upfront: It's possible I'm wrong. I just don't get why. I still find it interesting when someone makes what I take as a pretty broad claim, i.e. that a group (revisionists) have influenced the current of music in a detrimental way. It doesn't, as someone already pointed out, change my love for the music or the recordings. But it is an interesting claim (to me, not MI). I'll put my cards on the table: I think Brookshire is BS-ing. It sounds like BS to me. But that's why I posted. I don't know anything about music. And I could be wrong. As for MI, I enjoy his/her zingers! But I'm not sure I buy your interpretation of MI's little "joke."   

DavidW

There is nothing wrong or strange with your post, and who knows why MI posted that.  Your article was interesting to everyone else.  And I think that most of us agree with you that Brookshire is BSing for fame or infamy :D MI doesn't even really care for Bach, and he was probably just out of sorts, so eh who cares?

milk

Quote from: mozartfan on May 27, 2011, 05:22:48 PM
There is nothing wrong or strange with your post, and who knows why MI posted that.  Your article was interesting to everyone else.  And I think that most of us agree with you that Brookshire is BSing for fame or infamy :D MI doesn't even really care for Bach, and he was probably just out of sorts, so eh who cares?

You're right. I'm over-sensitive. All in good fun. I hope my post is interesting. I really am intimidated because I know people posting on this site have much more musical knowledge than I do.

Mirror Image

Quote from: milk on May 27, 2011, 05:26:40 PM
You're right. I'm over-sensitive. All in good fun. I hope my post is interesting. I really am intimidated because I know people posting on this site have much more musical knowledge than I do.

I certainly don't. I don't know anything.

Mirror Image

#39
Quote from: milk on May 27, 2011, 05:26:40 PM
You're right. I'm over-sensitive. All in good fun. I hope my post is interesting. I really am intimidated because I know people posting on this site have much more musical knowledge than I do.

Now, I don't even know why I posted that joke. ??? I do, however, remember laughing when I posted it.