Author Topic: Unpopular Opinions  (Read 294088 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2640 on: October 07, 2020, 03:56:53 AM »
This unpopular opinion was in fact already a subject of discussion on this thread some years ago, but what the heck:

The Grosse Fugue should be kept out of Beethoven's op.130 quartet.

Yes, I'm with you on this one.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2641 on: October 07, 2020, 04:40:33 AM »
Funny and interesting how different people can hear the same music so differently. To my ears, Vogel als Prophet is one of the most songlike and cantabile piano works ever penned, and of all the performances out there you chose one of the most songlike and cantabile to illustrate the point that it's actually not singable.  :)

For me, this is not singable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMM6h9Yf348

I didn't say that it wasn't songlike or cantabile. I said it wasn't singable. You're talking about character of the music. I'm talking about what is actually physically possible.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2642 on: October 07, 2020, 04:52:56 AM »
I didn't say that it wasn't songlike or cantabile. I said it wasn't singable. You're talking about character of the music. I'm talking about what is actually physically possible.

Do you think that it's physically impossible to vocalise Vogel als Prophet?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 05:14:51 AM by Florestan »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2643 on: October 07, 2020, 05:10:10 AM »
I am pretty neutral wrt op.133 vs. Rondo as Finale. But nowadays the Rondo-finale really seems to have become an endangered exemplar that is far less performed than the fugue (despite writers of notes still seeming to believe that even more than half a century of fugue-domination the fugue as finale still needs an apology). And obviously the Rondo does not really have a reasonable place as a separate piece whereas the fugue does.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2644 on: October 07, 2020, 02:12:45 PM »
Do you think that it's physically impossible to vocalise Vogel als Prophet?

Well, it's always possible to try but the results will be clumsy at best.
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Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2645 on: October 07, 2020, 05:03:42 PM »
Well, it's always possible to try but the results will be clumsy at best.
You would need at least a three octave range. Most professional singers don’t have that much.

It’s a melody conceived entirely for the capacities of the piano and how it’s played. Potentially a violin or flute could also do it. And some species of bird (including, presumably, prophetic ones). Not the human voice though—which is fine. Schumann’s advice was anyway directed more at musicians in training who were trying to learn to compose; presumably once you have learned and understand the capabilities of whatever instruments or singers you are writing for you don’t have to limit yourself to writing what you can personally vocalise.

This is still a common exercise in composition classes: write something for yourself (or your fellow students) to sing. It’s a fairly useful one, at least more useful to me personally than the exercises that require you to only use certain intervals or pitch classes etc.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2646 on: October 07, 2020, 09:21:15 PM »
Well, it's always possible to try but the results will be clumsy at best.

These guys would do it quite well, methinks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RkF65K6SdY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZiPtsudyoo
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Online ritter

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2647 on: October 07, 2020, 11:43:36 PM »
These guys would do it quite well, methinks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RkF65K6SdY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZiPtsudyoo

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/VKcAYMb5uk4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/VKcAYMb5uk4</a>
 ;D

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2648 on: October 07, 2020, 11:59:22 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/VKcAYMb5uk4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/VKcAYMb5uk4</a>
 ;D

Good day to you, Andrei!

Good day, Rafael! You didn't like the videos, I presume?  :D

I enjoyed them very much, several times in a row each. The Barber of Seville is hilarious even visually, their rapidly swifting facial expressions put a big smile on my face.

“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2649 on: October 22, 2020, 10:22:08 AM »
Performances with old instruments (HIPs) are awful, soulless and insipid most of times.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2650 on: October 22, 2020, 11:35:49 AM »
Performances with old instruments (HIPs) are awful, soulless and insipid most of times.

I have never perceived a Stradivari or Guarnieri (old instruments) as soulless and insipid.  :D
“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2651 on: October 22, 2020, 05:44:43 PM »
Idk that I’d call most HIP performances awful or insipid or unlistenable but the string players.... not sure if it’s just inherent to the difficulty of trying to play in unequal temperament when you’ve grown up and been socialised in an equal tempered society but so many of them just have terrible intonation. Like every album I know about from the Schuppanzigh Quartet, or Jaap Schröder, or the Kuijken Quartet & its eponymous first violinist, or the Festetics Quartet, among the high profile examples I can think of, is full of long stretches of misjudged intervals and out of tune high notes. I still find these recordings listenable but if I’m being honest not as much so as more equal-tempered “HIP style” recordings. (Or groups like the Quatuor Mosaiques that play in something closer to equal temperament but on period instruments.)

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2652 on: October 22, 2020, 06:29:32 PM »
It might also be that the strings themselves are harder to play.

It's one of the slightly curious things about insisting on going back to whatever was around at the time, you're also often giving up technological improvements in the instruments that people worked very, very hard to achieve.

And I think it was Shostakovich that wrote something for an instrument and complained that the instrument wasn't really up to what he wanted, and hoped that one day someone would build a better version that could better cope with the music. Just as well he got that titbit recorded, otherwise in another century there'd be folk insisting on historical Shostakovich performance practice...
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2653 on: October 23, 2020, 01:34:07 AM »
And I think it was Shostakovich that wrote something for an instrument and complained that the instrument wasn't really up to what he wanted, and hoped that one day someone would build a better version that could better cope with the music. Just as well he got that titbit recorded, otherwise in another century there'd be folk insisting on historical Shostakovich performance practice...

 ;D

I recently came across a recording of Brahms' serenades by Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Seems rather incongruous to me.

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Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2654 on: October 23, 2020, 01:47:26 AM »
Idk that I’d call most HIP performances awful or insipid or unlistenable but the string players.... not sure if it’s just inherent to the difficulty of trying to play in unequal temperament when you’ve grown up and been socialised in an equal tempered society but so many of them just have terrible intonation. Like every album I know about from the Schuppanzigh Quartet, or Jaap Schröder, or the Kuijken Quartet & its eponymous first violinist, or the Festetics Quartet, among the high profile examples I can think of, is full of long stretches of misjudged intervals and out of tune high notes. I still find these recordings listenable but if I’m being honest not as much so as more equal-tempered “HIP style” recordings. (Or groups like the Quatuor Mosaiques that play in something closer to equal temperament but on period instruments.)

I'm one of those, who tend to find HIP recordings often disappointing too. Besides intonations or instrumental or ensemble "thinness", it can also be the light-footed, relentless tempi, at times even avoiding any relaxation/meditation on the way. I find that there are quite a lot of examples, say in Mozart, where the music is reduced to harmless, even childish 'toy music'. Or in Bach, it can become just a machinery, even 'typewriter' thing. But there are of course also recordings that can be fascinating to listen to, or that discover new facets of work, that can be interesting and captivating. Pommer's Brandenburgs for example, in the 1st concerto (from the late 80s), where the massive brass, not terribly integrated but festive, was still something I'd never hard before, & quite liked. From what I understand, Pommer does overall tend to apply HIP to performance concepts, rather than the instrumental ressources, though.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 02:10:28 AM by MusicTurner »