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Christopher Hogwood & The Academy of Ancient Music
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The secret Bach by Hogwood

Riccardo Nughes wrote (April 23, 2004):
< "Off Topic": Anybody encounter an inspiring recording of Bach's music lately? >
I am very curious about this new release: Amazon.co.uk
(track listing here http://www.hogwood.org/rec2.htm#story0 )

Any comments?

John Pike wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] It is played on the Clavichord and was given a rave review in BBC Music Magazine this month, scoring 5/5 for both performance and recording. it is on my "wanted" list!

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Anybody have a link to online samples?

Charles Francis wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman]
Try here: Amazon.de

Leila Batarseh wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] I heard a couple of selections from this disc last month on Radio 3's CD Review. I found Hogwood's playing rather wooden, and I didn't much care for the way they had recorded the clavichord, though I suppose I shouldn't complain about that - I know they're hard to record, and we're lucky to get any clavichord recordings at all. On the other hand, they also played some selections from Egarr's new disc, "Per cembalo solo", which were a pleasant surprise. I don't usually think much of his playing, but what I've heard of this sounds pretty good. There are sound samples here: http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=2946603

John Pike wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Leila Batarseh] Egarr's recording has also been very well received. (He aften pairs with the outstanding baroque violinist, Andrew Manze.)

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To John Pike] I've only listened to this recording a couple of times, but enjoyed it
greatly. Full of flair and imagination.

Drew Pierce wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To John Pike] "Secret Bach" is included as one of the (ten) "Editor's Choice" recordings for Gramophone, May 2004. <http://www.gramophone.co.uk/edschoice.asp>

The Veldhoven "Death and Devotion" disc looks interesting, as well.

Uri Golomb wrote (April 23, 2004):
Leila Batarseh wrote:
< I heard a couple of selections from this disc last month on Radio 3's CD Review. I found Hogwood's playing rather wooden, >
I am forced to agree with this. I recently had to review this disc for Goldberg (it will be a few months before the review is published). While there were several beautiful moments in it, I found it on the whole too four-squared. One of the clavichord's primary virtues is that it enables considerable flexibility; it seemed to me that Hogwood did not really exploit this potential. Plus, when so many of Bach's original keyboard works have yet to be recorded on the clavichord (*), I was disappointed that Hogwood's disc contained so many arrangements. And personally, I was not convinced by Lars-Ulrik Mortensen's arrangement of the D-minor violin partita.

(*) actually, I understand that Richard Troeger has recorded most of them on the clavichord -- but most of his recordings still await release (see: http://homepages.kdsi.net/~sherman/Bachonclavichord.htm).

Johan van Veen wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To John Pike] If I remember correctly the review mentioned Hogwood quoting some early 19th century writer that Bach should be played exactly as notated and quoted Hogwood as saying that this comment is "a lesson for today" or something like that. I can't help this making me rather suspicious about Hogwood's interpretation.

Uri Golomb wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To John Pike] Yes, this sounds like Hogwood. He has often spoken in favour of strict literalism and subservience to the evidence. I thought he mellowed in recent years -- he has, after all, collaborated with Robert Levin, who preaches -- and, more importantly, practices -- a strongly improvisatory and gestural approach. But it seems that at least some of his older strictness has remained. The new edition of Goldberg includes a lengthy interview with Hogwood, which I have yet to read (it's not posted yet on their website, but it probably will be in a couple of months). If there is anything there about his current attitude to these issues, I'll let you know...

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Uri Golomb] And that Hogwood approach is cited in comments in Keith Jarrett's biography, too, as a direct role model of Jarrett's own approach to playing Bach. Jarrett's memorable quip is: "Bach does not require my assistance."

IMO that's just a shirking of interpretive responsibility, i.e. an assumption that more is written down than really is so. But of course this is all a continuum. That said, I really dislike Jarrett's literalism in Mozart concertos 467/488/595: I feel he's totally missed the point in the way he refuses to phrase across the barline or outside beamings. It sounds (to me) wooden and amateurish. On the other hand, I like Jarrett's Goldbergs fairly well for the most part, as that performance is less dry.

And recall Taruskin's remarks about the way Hogwood's approach aligns more with Stravinsky's aesthetics than anything.

< I thought he mellowed in recent years -- he has, after all, collaborated with Robert Levin, who preaches -- and, more importantly, practices -- a strongly improvisatory and gestural approach. >
But their collaboration is only in Mozart concertos, though, right? Not in Bach?

I'm a big fan of Levin's Mozart and Beethoven.

Uri Golomb wrote (April 23, 2004):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< And recall Taruskin's remarks about the way Hogwood's approach aligns more with Stravinsky's aesthetics than anything. >
Well, I sometimes felt that Taruskin over-stated his case against Hogwood (including, in one case, actually mis-quoting him). But on the whole, I agree with him (Taruskin, that is) on this point.

<< I thought he mellowed in recent years -- he has, after all, collaborated with Robert Levin, who preaches -- and, more importantly, practices -- a strongly improvisatory and gestural approach. >>
< But their collaboration is only in Mozart concertos, though, right? Not in Bach? >
As far as I know, that's right: they do Mozart piano concerti together, and that's it... But maybe they do more together in concerts. Levin recorded the Bach keyboard concerti with Helmut Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, though I have yet to hear that recording.

< I'm a big fan of Levin's Mozart and Beethoven. >
What about his Bach? I quite like some parts of his WTC. I love his Mozart, and
what little I've heard of his Beethoven.

Donald Satz wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Uri Golomb] If I remember right, one of the relatively unique featues of Levin's WTC was his use of different keyboard instruments for particular groups of pieces.

John Pike wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] I don't know, but I have Daniel Chorzempa playing the WTC (on LP) on a mixture of Clavichord, Organ and Harpsichord. I bought it many years ago and haven't listened to it for years. Any one else know it?

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 27, 2004):
Drew Pierce wrote:
< "Secret Bach" is included as one of the (ten) > "Editor's Choice" recordings for Gramophone, May 2004: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/edschoice.asp
The Veldhoven "Death and Devotion" disc looks interesting, as well. >
Indeed. Jonathan Freeman-Attwood was very enthusiastic about this recording - although I can never work out where he's coming from in his reviews. His review of the Hengelbrock B minor Mass referred to the playing as being "incandescent...but not fervent" - I find it very hard to get my head around how this might be possible, given what the two words mean!

Johan van Veen wrote (April 27, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Over the weekend I have just been listening to this particular recording, and I was rather disappointed. I haven't heard everything, and only once, so maybe after a second session my impression will be more favourable, but I hardly expect that.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 27, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] I think Hogwood's true metier may well be 20th century (neo-classical) music, particularly Stravinsky. But then the kind of literalism he seems to be advocating is exactly what Stravinsky claimed he wanted from performers. John Eliot Gardiner is another fantastic Stravinsky conductor whereas his performances of earlier music (at least of music from before the 19th century) are less persuasive to my ears.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 27, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] But I wasn't talking about Hogwood...
I referred to the recording by the Cappella Figuralis of the Netherlands Bach Society.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 27, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] Sorry! It's just that your comments were similar to those others have made about the Hogwood recording....

 

Hogwood’s Secret Bach

Jan Hanford wrote (June 26, 2004):
I just got Christopher Hogwood's "Secret Bach" CD and would like to add my voice to those praising this recording.

It's an exceptionally beautiful clavichord recording and performance. One of the best I've ever heard, even my husband loved it.

 

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Last update: ýJuly 26, 2010 ý09:47:01