Author Topic: The Period in Romantic Performances  (Read 940 times)

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Offline j winter

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2019, 12:55:53 PM »
I really can't stand the harpsichord in solo keyboard music.  Give me piano or even fortepiano any day.



I definitely find the piano more comfortable to listen to, and that's what I usually grab first; but the harpsichord has grown on me over the years, particularly on music that heavily features counterpoint such as much of Bach.   I'm also much more picky sonicswise on harpsichord recordings -- for piano I'm fine with pretty much anything as far as recording quality, old 1930's stuff is no problem, but the tone of a harpsichord can be very jarring for me if recorded too brightly or played back too loud.  But when it's the right instrument recorded in the right venue, I do enjoy it. 

If you can't tell already, I'm definitely of the camp that has HIP and romanticized recordings sitting next to each other on the shelf.  I very much enjoy both, and see no reason why the two styles can't continue to happily co-exist.  I liked both Christian Thielemann's and Roger Norrington's last Beethoven cycles, go figure... :)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Florestan

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2019, 01:05:23 PM »
I'm definitely of the camp that has HIP and romanticized recordings sitting next to each other on the shelf.  I very much enjoy both, and see no reason why the two styles can't continue to happily co-exist. 

That's my approach as well. Unfortunately, the HIP camp is rarely, if ever, reciprocating.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline DaveF

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2019, 01:34:23 PM »
... the tone of a harpsichord can be very jarring for me if recorded too brightly or played back too loud.  But when it's the right instrument recorded in the right venue, I do enjoy it.

Who was it - Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker? - who described the harpsichord as sounding like two skeletons making love on a tin roof?

Anyway, one that always comes near the top of Messiah recordings:



wonderful BBC accents and all ("Worthy is the lem").
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Florestan

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2019, 02:08:49 PM »
Who was it - Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker? - who described the harpsichord as sounding like two skeletons making love on a tin roof?

I believe it was actually John Barbirolli.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2019, 02:14:46 PM »
I believe it was actually John Barbirolli.

Ascribed to Beecham - you may know better.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline Florestan

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2019, 02:20:17 PM »
Ascribed to Beecham - you may know better.

Beecham it is, yes indeed, I stand corrected. I confused them.

A very apt description, anyway.  :P


"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2019, 02:27:02 PM »
I confess it -- I often enjoy it when someone applies a lush, Romantic technique to the Baroque and Classical repertoire, as was usually the case 50+ years ago.  Call it anachronistic or wrong-headed if you like, but the results can be beautiful to the ear, and IMO music as strong as that of Bach or Vivaldi can shine through, and often be illuminated by, many different styles of interpretation.

What are some of your favorites?

Absolutely. The Bach recordings of Karl Münchinger (Art of Fugue, Musicalisches Opfer, SMP and SJP), who is one of my preauthentic favorites, may illustrate this.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline DaveF

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2019, 03:14:17 PM »
Beecham it is, yes indeed, I stand corrected. I confused them.

A very apt description, anyway.  :P

Ah, yes - couldn't really be anyone else, could it?  A perfect description of those clattery old instruments in early recordings of Poulenc, for example.

And I was off-thread when I suggested the Davis Messiah, which is completely devoid of Romantic mannerism and is generally as fleet of foot as any HIP.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Jo498

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2019, 11:20:54 AM »
I also like the Davis' Messiah. But like many other 1950s-70s recordings I would not call it romanticized but "pre-" or "proto-historically informed". Of course, there are some "romanticized" interpretations and many more not so clearly to characterize. But of the Bach through Mozart recordings I mostly "grew up with" in the 80s, most, e.g. Marriner, are not very romantic at all.
I think that Scherchen's Haydn is rather hit and miss, partly due to mediocre sound and orchestral playing in some recordings. Overall, I think he is more on an expressionist than a romantic. If Toscanini conducted everything like Rossini ouvertures and Furtwängler everything like Wagner (as has been said, of course, it is not true in either case, Furtwängler's recording of Haydn's #88 is almost classicist compared with Scherchen's) Scherchen conducted everything like Schoenberg.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline j winter

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2020, 01:19:34 PM »
Apologies for quoting from the New Releases thread, but this just made me smile...  ;D

...Another bloody piano player doing Bach....


I'm now imagining that famous picture of Johnny Cash raising his middle finger to the camera, with Richter's head photo-shopped in... or perhaps Glenn Gould hanging with the Sex Pistols... buncha bloody hooligans... :laugh:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline mjmosca

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2020, 10:35:13 AM »
It is hard to imagine that anyone would want to be without Beecham's famous recording of Handel's Messiah- such sumptuous and glorious sounds! May I also suggest Hans Rosbaud's recording of Gluck's Orphee et Euridice- with Simoneau and Danco, from 1953- just seems perfect in every way! thank you.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: The Period in Romantic Performances
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2020, 01:48:58 PM »
Humph

+17  ('cause 1 is never enough!)

8)
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