Author Topic: Bach Goldberg Variations  (Read 74254 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #400 on: September 05, 2020, 03:30:28 AM »
It’s the stable pulse which marks it out as dated IMO. It’s one thing to set a basic pulse for each variation, it’s quite another to never deviate from it.

Not only the stable pulse only with end of section rubato, but also the absurd fidelity to the score (e.g. no double-dotting, stiff and litteral execution of ornamentation, no variations in repeats) and not the least his uniform touch with no attempt to inflection of individual notes. As someone said, he plays as if he played upon a mechanical tracker organ with a very heavy action.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #401 on: September 05, 2020, 03:37:54 AM »
Yes there is a bit of rubato at the end of sections, I didn’t recall that, it shows one thing though: he didn’t quite think the music is the score, his view must have been a little more nuanced than that to admit any rubato.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #402 on: September 05, 2020, 04:52:43 AM »
Yes there is a bit of rubato at the end of sections, I didn’t recall that, it shows one thing though: he didn’t quite think the music is the score, his view must have been a little more nuanced than that to admit any rubato.

I see his end-of-section rubato as a leftover from the former romantic ways of interpretation, which was what he in other respects reacted against. Interesting enough many other harpsichordists of his generation used end-of-section rubato (Ahlgrimm, Pischner), and even the HIP musicians of to day tend in this direction-  usually in a more subtle way though.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #403 on: September 05, 2020, 06:13:01 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this. If Pinnock is "old style" and won't be my main album, what's a "new style" recording that could be one's "main album"?

edit: Listening to a bit of Walcha. Surprisingly good! Surely an old fashioned take w/r/t things like tempo, ornamentation. His harpsichord would be what I've heard referred to as a "revival harpsichord", no? All I know is it's an Ammer. It sounds pretty good to my ears, though I'm sure some would say that it's as "wrong" as a piano.

Other members on the thread are better qualified to answer your question. I am not a fan of the GV, and I occasionally listen to Hantai 1 & 2, Asperen, and few others. I didn’t mean to  downplay the Pinnock set. The disc, as well as Leon 2-3 (3-4?), are great recordings.

Post ed. Btw, a harp rendition by Sylvain Blassel is popular.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 07:17:41 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #404 on: September 05, 2020, 02:41:27 PM »
If Pinnock is "old style" and won't be my main album, what's a "new style" recording that could be one's "main album"?

A difficult qustion to answer. I prefer to consider Pinnock's GV middle of the road style, a style common to many of the HIP harpsichord recordings I have heard (about 40).  It's not quite clear to me, what you mean with new style.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #405 on: September 05, 2020, 06:20:03 PM »
How good is Rubsam’s Lute-Harpsichord set?

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #406 on: September 05, 2020, 10:29:29 PM »
How good is Rubsam’s Lute-Harpsichord set?
it’s an interesting experience, though some people might lose patience with it. Still, it’s unique and sounds great. He just has a really odd style. I’m sure he thinks it’s perfectly natural but lots of people, or maybe most people, would find it odd or experimental.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #407 on: September 06, 2020, 01:03:52 AM »
it’s an interesting experience, though some people might lose patience with it. Still, it’s unique and sounds great. He just has a really odd style. I’m sure he thinks it’s perfectly natural but lots of people, or maybe most people, would find it odd or experimental.

Odd style? Not really. It''s just a question of habituation.

Prevailing styles may be just as odd e.g. Gould's style. The difference is, that more people are imprinted with Gould's style.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #408 on: September 06, 2020, 01:34:32 AM »
Odd style? Not really. It''s just a question of habituation.

Prevailing styles may be just as odd e.g. Gould's style. The difference is, that more people are imprinted with Gould's style.
Maybe so. I find Gould annoying but it seems like he must have fit some general idea? Maybe I’m wrong but I thought a good point of Rubsam was the uniqueness and novelty of it. But may he also fits something. Scholarship or a tradition?

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #409 on: September 06, 2020, 02:52:41 AM »
Maybe so. I find Gould annoying but it seems like he must have fit some general idea? Maybe I’m wrong but I thought a good point of Rubsam was the uniqueness and novelty of it. But may he also fits something. Scholarship or a tradition?

I find Gould annoying too. His style may be an attempt at a piano adaption of the sewing machine revival harpsichord style of the 1950es and 60es.

Rübsam's style I consider an extension of the rhetoric, expressive style, which Leonhardt started. In a way I see his interpretatiion as the result of the wisdom of old age.  No surprise, that young people haven't got the patience for that.  :)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 03:06:55 AM by (: premont :) »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #410 on: September 06, 2020, 03:49:48 AM »
How good is Rubsam’s Lute-Harpsichord set?

Rubsam's Goldbergs is without the slightest doubt the greatest recording of the Goldberg variations made on any instrument.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #411 on: September 06, 2020, 03:53:50 AM »
The only recording I have where all repeats are taken is Rübsam, which bores me to tears.


The second greatest recording of The Goldberg Variations ever made is Colin Booth's, and he has something interesting to say about how long this music should take

Quote
If the arrangement of the pieces was a very self-conscious one, what does this tell us about the way in which they were originally performed or listened to? The sequence, with its calculated contrasts from piece to piece, is undoubtedly satisfying in itself. Many recorded performances aim to convey the nature of a "through" performance, with little pause for breath between pieces.

Today, for the non-player, recordings offer the possibility of "dipping-in", in a way that until our own time only performers or those in command of them could do. A continuous performance of this work as a concert-piece is unlikely to have been how Bach and his contemporaries would usually have approached it, even though their understanding of, and ear for the counterpoint upon which so much of the music is based, was infinitely greater than our own. This is very complicated music, and if one variation follows quickly upon another, it is hard for the brain to fully take in what has just been heard. The result may be dramatic and impressive, but also bewildering. So this is one recording where the listener is positively encouraged to dwell on particular variations on their own, and even make use of the "repeat play" button.

In other words, there's really no reason to listen to all the music at once.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #412 on: September 06, 2020, 04:05:07 AM »
it’s an interesting experience, though some people might lose patience with it. Still, it’s unique and sounds great. He just has a really odd style. I’m sure he thinks it’s perfectly natural but lots of people, or maybe most people, would find it odd or experimental.

It’s not odd if you are used to listening to madrigals. On the contrary, it’s what you expect. My suggestion is that you listen to some to get yourself in the right frame of mind and clear your head, and then go to his Bach. It will appear totally the way polyphonic music should sound.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #413 on: September 06, 2020, 04:39:59 AM »
How good is Rubsam’s Lute-Harpsichord set?

I strongly dislike it, but I seem to be the dissenting voice. I will admit that his instrument sounds beautiful however.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #414 on: September 06, 2020, 04:45:16 AM »
It’s not odd if you are used to listening to madrigals. On the contrary, it’s what you expect. My suggestion is that you listen to some to get yourself in the right frame of mind and clear your head, and then go to his Bach. It will appear totally the way polyphonic music should sound.
Any recommendation of where to start? I’ve no idea about madrigals.
Are you equally enthusiastic about his WTC recording?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 04:49:44 AM by milk »

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #415 on: September 06, 2020, 05:25:00 AM »
Any recommendation of where to start? I’ve no idea about madrigals.
Are you equally enthusiastic about his WTC recording?

This idea of inspiration from madrigals is Rübsams own, but I do not see it as a useful knowledge when listening to his recording. In the same way that his idea of the reason for not playing the voices in the WTC simultaneously is based upon the imperfect alignement of the voices in the authographs. I think the idea of indepence of the voices is convincing, but it should be governed by intuition while playing and not by something preexisting.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #416 on: September 06, 2020, 05:28:42 AM »
The second greatest recording of The Goldberg Variations ever made is Colin Booth's, and he has something interesting to say about how long this music should take

Yes, a great interpretation, which also can be found on his home page:

https://www.colinbooth.co.uk/cd-clavier-one.html

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #417 on: September 06, 2020, 06:34:15 AM »
This idea of inspiration from madrigals is Rübsams own, but I do not see it as a useful knowledge when listening to his recording. In the same way that his idea of the reason for not playing the voices in the WTC simultaneously is based upon the imperfect alignement of the voices in the authographs. I think the idea of indepence of the voices is convincing, but it should be governed by intuition while playing and not by something preexisting.

It's just that in the madrigal tradition each voice is independent, and I guess the art of performing madrigals is about making the whole come together despite this. My thought is that if you approach Rubsam (Lute Harpsichord) with that sort of music in mind, you'll be prepared mentally for the way he presents the polyphony. You may be less prepared for it if you come to it with a mindset which is conditioned by traditional conservatory performances of Mozart or Beethoven or Scarlatti.

I came to this conclusion after a long discussion here about Rubsam with San Antonio, where he basically said that Rubsam sounds to him like someone drunk trying to work their way through a score they have not mastered. This is not what it sounds like to me! And I can only assume that this difference in perception is due to our coming to the music with different sets of expectations about how counterpoint can be made to siund interesting, stimulating, expressive, poetic.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #418 on: September 06, 2020, 06:38:30 AM »
Any recommendation of where to start? I’ve no idea about madrigals.
Are you equally enthusiastic about his WTC recording?

Well, after making that post I thought I'd better check that I wasn't writing rubbish and so played some songs from this, some de Rore  -- I wasn't writing rubbish!



« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 06:40:34 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #419 on: September 06, 2020, 06:55:38 AM »
Well, after making that post I thought I'd better check that I wasn't writing rubbish and so played some songs from this, some de Rore  -- I wasn't writing rubbish!



I'm going to find this. Looks like a killer disc and I didn't know it existed. We'll see if it changes my view of Rübsam's Goldberg. Thanks.