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HIP (Historically Informed Performance)

Part 7

 

 

Continue from Part 6

HIP vs. non HIP

Peter Wennersten wrote: (January 9, 2003)
< Usually the difference between Richter and Gardiner is the difference between Historically Informed Performance (Gardiner, Herreweghe, Koopman, Suzuki, Leonhardt and Harnoncourt etc) and Non HIP (Richter, Rilling and others). >
Does 'HIP' refer to playing on authentic instruments or are there other considerations hidden in the expression as well? (e.g. temperament, choir composition etc.?)

Neil Halliday wrote (January 9, 2003):
[To Peter Wennersten] "Does 'HIP' refer to playing on authentic instruments or are there other considerations hidden in the expression as well? (e.g. temperament, choir composition etc"

Yes, there are other considerations. Along with those you mention can be added articulation and intonation, to suit the timbre of the instruments. (Some stylistic devices eg, < > on single notes, in HIP, and vibrato, in non-HIP, are overdone at times, IMO.)

Hence we have the very different sounds of ,say, the overtures of the Bach Orchestral Suites - almost unrecognizable as the same music when played non-HIP.

Francine Renee Hall wrote (January 9, 2003):
[To Peter Wennersten] Besides playing on 'authentic' (or copies or close approximations) instruments, the overall size of both instruments and vocalists and choirs tend to be smaller. So HIP tends to be faster overall. Large forces tend to slow tempo down quite a bit. However, HIP, to me, doesn't always mean it is actually historically accurate. For example, Joshua Rifkin likes to use OVPP (one voice per part) which I feel is highly unlikely (whether it be cantatas or masses). And sometimes HIP can fall prey to bland, unemotional or even insincere playing. However, it is interesting to note that one of the founders of period performance or HIP, Harnoncourt, now uses adults instead of boy sopranos, so it is possible that we are seeing a blend of HIP and non-HIP as a new trend. We can thank, in large part, Paul HIndemith, who was a strong advocate of PP or HIP way back in 1950 to get, for example, Steinways out of baroque music, and harpsichords back in. Interestingly, though, you will find many pianists today who use HIP technique, i.e., no pedaling, no rubato, or other romantic trends. These include, in my view, Gould and Hewitt, who are very sensitive to Bach's wishes.

Robert Sherman wrote (January 9, 2003):
[To Francine Renee Hall] As always, Francine makes good points. But for you Gould buffs out there, I have a question: Did he ever discuss his reasons for playing the way he did? That is, was he trying to divine Bach's intent, or was he just doing it because he thought it worked best?

Thomas Gebhardt wrote (January 9, 2003):
[To Francine Renee Hall] I don't want to bother anyone, but to say "Rifkin likes to use OVPP (one voice per part) which I feel is highly unlikely" as an valuable argument seems to me unsuitable. It doesn't depend on our feelings, expectations and prejudices which are mostly derived from 19th century practice to judge what is HIP and what is likely to have been Bach's own everyday experience, but for that we need scholarly reseach and factual evidence. This is very convincingly presented by Rifkin and Andrew Parrott - and it seems quite sure that Bach would expect to perform his cantatas mostly with one singer to a part - whether we today would like this performance or not seems not to have been a point in his decision to do so!

So, I would say, be aware of mixing up evidence and personal taste to decide what is "authentic" or not!

Thomas Braatz wrote (January 9, 2002):
[To Thomas Gebhardt] The "evidence" presented by Rifkin and Parrott is open to interpretation, which essentially means that OVPP is a theory. Ton Koopman and others (Christoph Wolff is probably among these) have pointed out the 'flaws' in the OVPP theory and their reasoning is not based upon 'expectations and prejudices mostly derived from the 19th century.' Then there is also 'common sense' feeling about this matter, certainly not based on scholarly research and factual evidence, but nevertheless something that should confront anyone who wishes to perform a Bach cantata. There are some choral cantatas (definitely in the minority, such as some from the pre-Leipzig period) where OVPP, almost without a doubt, is accepted as being highly probable by a number of significant Bach scholars such as Alfred Dürr, but these same scholars remain reticent about stating the same about the larger number of cantatas with choral mvts. that still remain. Theories based upon facts and evidence based on statistical analysis are based on scholarly research and statistical evidence which these scholars interpret. This procedure leading to theories has led to the wide acceptance of 'ideas' such as 'margarine is better than butter for your health,' and 'drinking alcohol daily is better for one's heart than not drinking any alcohol at all.' These are theories that are open to be challenged as others begin to investigate these theories from a different perspective and give their interpretations of the 'evidence.' A lay person, under these circumstances and confronted with these 'facts' is required to apply intuition, 'common sense' and feeling to decide what to believe (and perhaps to do) in the future. Likewise, the complete 'jury is still out' on OVPP. There is no consensus on OVPP among performers and scholars of Bach's music. It is simply a prevailing, novel theory that is being pushed. This is not to say that Arnold Schering (Rifkin simply took Schering's theory to an extreme), Rifkin and Parrott have not had a profound effect upon HIP mvt. and have caused even the non-HIP performers such a Rilling to reduce the overly large size of the choirs used in many non-HIP performances. Thus some good has come out of all of this in any case.


To say, ""Rifkin likes to use OVPP (one voice per part)", could admittedly easily be misconstrued. Has Rifkin ever recorded any Bach choral work in a more traditional manner (not OVPP)? If not, then he has perhaps 'boxed himself in" by his own theory which forces him to perform Bach's works only in this fashion. Then it may no longer be a question of Rifkin's 'liking' but rather of being 'forced to' follow the prescription that he has given himself.

Ivan Lalis wrote (January 9, 2002):
< Thomas Braatz wrote: procedure leading to theories has led to the wide acceptance of 'ideas' such as 'margarine is better than butter for your health,' and 'drinking >
And what is butter and what is margarine in our case? :-))))

The main problem with OVPP story is that we do not have enough information to say it was so, but we also do not have enough information to say it wasn't so. Parrott in his book Essential Bach Choir tries to interprete available facts the OVPP way and I must say some of his interpretations are quite unusual to me, e.g., the word choir, reduction of OVPP to cantatas only, showing pictures of small groups of singers, etc. But I well may be influenced by a romantic tradition in my intuition. And I do not mean it ironically - Bach works were forgotten and it was Mendelsohn, who brought him back, performed the way they had considered appropriate. And this is the tradition we have. It thus well may be wrong.

I do not know a lot about anti-OVPP arguments, so I can only speculate they are of similar nature as OVPP ones (otherwise there would be no OVPP anymore :) It's again about interpreting facts the appropriate way. There is one thing I like about Parrott. He does not claim his theory is the One and everything else is rubbish. I've got such an impression from Rifkin, but then I did not read a lot from him. Parrott's presents OVPP (at least I understood it that way) as a viable way of performing Bach (cantatas) and about which he's convinced it was the way Bach performed (and wrote) them.

I'm not so sure (intuition again) it was so, but I know I like both OVPP and non-OVPP performances. With OVPP one gets counterpoint right in the face (as somebody wrote), can be an advantage when one wants to follow particular voices. This clarity was the thing that hooked me on OVPP. Maybe it was not intended to be heard that way, but I don't care, I like to hear it that way, whether idiomatic/HIP/correct or not.

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 10, 2002):
[To Thomas Braatz] If I may, this is a story that Tom wrote a while ago concerning the matter. I love this story, and like most stories, presents a likely response to the circumstances involved Although being a Star Trek fan, I don't have to bend my imagination as much as others on one small issue, but I changed Germany to Saxony, because Germany didn't exist yet, and I cannot bend my imagination far enough to believe that it did.

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 10, 2002):
With OVPP one gets counterpoint right in the face
< (as somebody wrote), which can be an advantage when one wants to follow particular voices. This clarity was the thing that hooked me on OVPP. >
I have to say that yes, ovpp makes things much clearer, which is a huge bonus when dealing with the undisputed master of counterpoint, and in the German style at that, but it's always clarity with the price of power (i.e. the louder, "festive" Italian and British styles-I've posted about this before). What is one to do with something like the Gloria of BWV 232, or the final chorus of BWV 21, where distinction between soloists and choir is even more crucial? Thus, in my subjective view, ovpp is really limited to a specific style, hence limited in repertoire. non-ovpp isn't limited at all.

Robert Sherman wrote (January 10, 2001):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] Could you explain your reference to the final chorus of BWV 21? I've always regarded Rilling's performance of this as about the most thrilling thing around, where he starts with soloists and then the choir joins in and for a while you continue to hear occasional glimpses of the soloists soaring above the choir. Since I haven't heard it done this way anywhere else, I've assumed it was just Rilling's inspiration as to how to make it sound best. But are you saying there is a historical basis for it? Do you know of other conductors who do it this way?

Francine Renee Hall (January 10, 2001):
Please excuse my wording regarding Rifkin and OVPP. I was thinking particularly of Rifkin's OVPP Bach Mass in B-moll. I own this and several of his cantatas, so I hold no prejudice against him. Yes, the clarity is much better, and my ears like that. However, it was my 'common sense' that said: "Bach's B-moll Mass with OVPP is straining the throats of these fine but pushed singers who must be overheard while the loud instruments are playing away as well as try to create a legato line." The 'roughness' of the singing would easily be smoothed over with a few more singers to spare.

Thanks for the feedback!


‘Operatic’ Bach / Debate / ‘Instrumnental’ Bach / Debate over Old and New Instruments

Philippe Bareille wrote (January 25, 2003):
< Robert Sherman wrote: As I read Bach's brass writing in particular, and listen to it being attempted on original-type instruments by very skilled players, I become convinced that he wrote music as he could only hear it in his fantasies, and did not expect to hear it actually played in tune, with even scales, clean attacks, and so forth. I can't escape the thought that he wrote in the hope that at some future time, improved instruments would enable his fantasies to be realized in real sound that real audiences could hear. Of course that, like the contrary opinion, is only speculation. But if true, it would shed an ironic light on the retro-instrument movement. >
I thought this kind of debate was over!
In my opinion these speculations are no longer valid. It is absurd to pretend that Bach didn't like the instruments he had at his disposal and was thinking that so-called further improvement would enable audiences to really enjoy his music in the future! Harnoncourt and other (despite strong resistance at the time) have convincingly demonstrated that original instruments are certainly most adequate for baroque music. It is very subjective actually. When you have been reared listening to Bach played on authentic instruments, you find very weird to hear the same music with modern instruments and vice versa. If Bach had had our instruments he would have composed completely different music.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (January 25, 2003):
< Philippe Bareille wrote: I thought this kind of debate was over! >
It is never over. People like Andrew Parrott who claim to have settled matters conclusively misplace the burden of proof. They should heed the dictum: "Judge not, that ye not be judged."

< It is absurd to pretend that Bach didn't like the instruments he had at his disposal and was thinking that so-called further improvement would enable audiences to really enjoy his music in the future! >
It is not so absurd: read Bach's comments in the Entwurff on why old(er) music no longer sounded good.

< Harnoncourt and other (despite strong resistance at the time) have convincingly demonstrated that original instruments are certainly most adequate for baroque music. >
Neither performers, scholars, nor critics should make such sweeping judgments. The passage of time has not made the enervated and out-of-tune Teldec recordings more appealing to me.

< If Bach had had our instruments he would have composed completely different music. >
This kind of statement, necessarily in the subjunctive, cannot be logically supported. It says nothing about Bach.

Hugo Saldias wrote (January 25, 2003):
[To Alex Riedlmayer] The music of Bach inspires all kinds of performers.

As far as there is a desire to "make music" what the germans called musizieren ALL instruments are Ok for me.I do prefer modern but his music goes over those details.His music moves us all it does not matter what type of instruments is played on.

And I think Bach will agree on this:
As far as you play it with your heart, IS MUSIC.

Robert Sherman wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Philippe Bareille] Sorry, I didn't realize a member of this group is possessed of telepathy as well as time travel, and knows for sure what Bach thought.

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Robert Sherman] All right-before this turns into a spitting match, I'll add my two cents

< If Bach had had our instruments he would have composed completely different >
While the music may not be completely different, the idea that it would quite (as opposes to completely) different seems very likely to me-in fact, I can guarantee that since Bach was for sure the Avant-Garde of his times (even though he incorporated many traditions-he expanded them), he would be the Avant-Garde of whenever else he would've been.

I made the same argument when dealing with the question of if Bach had the modern instrument capabilities, he would have definitely used them-to put it in perspective, 300 years from now people will see the instruments we have today in a similar light as we see a natural trumpet. What I mean is that for Bach, the natural trumpet, the cat-gut violin, etc. (emph) were the modern instruments to Bach, just as the intruments we have now are the modern instruments to us.

To get back to the question, in the same way that film music and other styles we have today are considered modern to us, the styles that were around in Bach's time were modern to him.

My conclusion: modernity by definition moves forward every second that humanity does through time.

Ludwig wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] Not intending to lNFLAME things and my usual viewpoint is from the historically accurate performance school BUT yes it is true that Bach would have composed differently had he had the same instruments that we have today and why not? However, given his writings for trumpet; instead of the what we consider difficult to play his writings for trumpet might be considered impossible given the same proficiency of trumpet players just as Tschaikovski's Piano Concerto #1 was considered until it receIved it's premiere in Boston of all backwoods place. (no offense meant here but Boston was not the cultural place then as it is today.

As a composer, myself, I am influenced in what I write by the instruments and tone colors they possess and this is because some passages sound better on certain instruments than say on the Piano or Harpsichord (an instrument for which I write for). For example: Harp glissandi,(sp? glizzandi?) do not sound as well on other instruments in a passage from the impressionists age and even on a Harpsichord with an Orchestral Harp stop (i.e. sounds like a real harp--which the Canadian firm Sabathil often includes on their Harpsichords) the same passage does not come off as well because the technique for playing these passages can not be applied to the Harpsichord.

While Bach never is known to have written Opera per se; his operatic materials are found in the Passions which could have been acted out if he had so desired just as the people of Oberammergau perform their passion play and still do. After all an Oratorio is an opera that is no action and no scenary usually based on a religious text.

Marcus wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] I think we may be over-estimating the influence of instruments - or the performing medium - on Bach's compositions.

In my experience with Bach's music I've noticed that he doesn't compose in any specific instrumental idioms. Notice how many transcriptions exists in his just chamber/instrumental oeuvre, from the violin concertos ported-over to the harpsichord conc...or vice-versa, the Flute Trio Sonata/Viola-da-Gamba Sonata #1.

Or how about the well known secular->sacred parody in his cantatas like the opening of the Violin Partita #3 played on the organ to open Cantata BWV 29, and the arrangement of the Orchestral Suite #4 Ouverture with voices to Cantata BWV 110. All this is evidence of Bach's lack of creativity and laziness right?

In our "modern" time, Andres Segovia plays the Solo Violin Partitas on the as if Bach specifically wrote them for guitar, and recordings of other works transcribed to instruments of all sorts can be found.

There is a quote, whose source I have since forgotten, that neatly summarizes: "Bach composed not on the premise that music is made for instruments; but that instruments are made for music."

If that is the case, then the question of how Bach would write given today's instruments is inconsequential.

The difficulty of the brass parts or the vocal lines in his cantatas were not the result of a hope that future more "improved" players and instruments could execute them, it is just more evidence that he seldom restricted his compositions to any particular instrumental idiom. Why can't florid running-sixteenths scalar woodwind passages be played on a trumpet instead or sung by a choir? We certainly shouldn't assume Bach's musicians were incapable of executing his music to the same quality as their modern counterparts.

Counter-examples or flames welcomed! :)

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 26, 2003):
< All this is evidence of Bach's lack of creativity and laziness right? >
I'm hoping this is a rhetorical question, but in this case it requires the speaker to answer it. However, without putting any judgement on Marcus, I'll answer it: the answer is the exact opposite-it's a pure example of his creativity. We must also remember that 150 yrs before his time, instruments were rarely specified-if at all-save for the disctinction that the part was in fact for instruments and not for voice (although voice parts were often doubled or replaced by instruments).

Back to Bach:

In the booklet accompanying the sampler to the Bach 2000 cpte works, there is a line that sums it up (unfortunately, the author is not identified): "Bach was a genius, not in a Romantic sense, but as a genius of industriousness."

As well, we know that back then parodying was as common as wearing wigs, and Bach really made the practice an art form in itself.

Thomas Braatz wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Marcus] There is a seeming contradiction in all of this. It has long been noted that Bach expected his vocalists to sing music which appears to be more 'instrumental' in nature than 'vocal.' My thought on this is that it facilitated writing music with a higher unity particularly where instruments and voices are 'competing' against each other as in many of the cantatas. By making the voices sing these more instrumental parts, Bach achieved a greater uniformity, a greater coherence than could exist if the vocal parts were forced to sing only in the old, archaic style that existed in the pre-Bach period. This similarity achieved between instrumental and vocal writing facilitated, in particular, the use of more complicated fugal compositions involving awkward jumps and long melismatic passages where finding a place to breathe, to be sure, becomes a serious problem, particularly in the case of an aria. But now Bach could conceive a grand fugue unfettered by the conventions of vocal (choral as well) writing. This is the advantage that he gained by asking more of his vocalists.

On the other hand, Bach did write characteristically for instruments. This was one of the main characteristics of the Baroque as opposed to the Renaissance style of writing for groups of instruments, and Bach truly excelled in this category. Consider some of the instrumental sinfonia in the cantatas where a solo oboe holds sway! Or consider also Bach's use of recorders! Could these parts be played by a violin, flute, or comparable instruments and still sound like they did in their original conception? I personally hear quite a difference. This does not mean that Bach would reject the notion of replacing one instrument type with another. On the contrary, there is sufficient evidence in the instrumentation of the cantatas, that Bach would make such a change 'on the drop of a hat' if he did not have a good instrumentalist in the original category of instrument available. Perhaps Bach did both: 1) he composed specifically and characteristically for an instrument (and perhaps even with the individual instrumentalist in mind); but 2) he also acknowledged practical decisions which made substitutions mandatory when the circumstances dictated such a change. (Whether this pained him to do this in some instances, we will never really know.) It does seem, however, from the examples that you cited, that Bach recognized, or even built into his compositions a universality that would allow for this music to be appreciated in many different ways. His own transcriptions of music (his own and that of others) bear witness to this fact.

One of the major questions is whether anyone can hear the difference between the characteristic writing for oboes, recorders, trombae, etc. and the same parts when played by other instruments such as violins, transverse flutes, or clarinets. The music is still universally good, but is it really what was originally intended? When Bach transcribes a composition from one form with other instruments in mind to one where the harpsichord takes on a solo role, listen to the slow mvts. where the right hand has long notes to play (usually accommodated by playing long trills.) It is quite easy to imagine a number of other instruments that might be able to breathe more life into this singing melody than a harpsichord or piano would, and yet we know that Bach performed it just this way (because the music was great nevertheless.) I find this somewhat similar to playing Beethoven's symphonies in a piano reduction. What great music to actually be playing by oneself! What discoveries are to be made here - even how ingeniously the transcriber was able to reduce an entire orchestra into 2 or 4 hands! But is this really the same as hearing these symphonies with the instruments that Beethoven intended? I don't think so. Despite the sameness (same composition) there is a noticeable difference; and yet, if the piano reduction were the only way to get to know and hear this music (let's assume the original score and parts had been irretrievably lost) I would jump at the chance to hear this great min a somewhat less than optimal form. But there is also good reason to attempt to ascertain what Bach's original intentions were, as far as this is humanly possible, because he did compose characteristically for specific instruments. Hearing, for example, the oboe solos in the Bach cantatas as Bach intended them is just one step, one notch higher in achieving musical bliss for a listener than hearing a transcription of these for other instruments that are used as a replacement.

Continue of this part of the discussion on : Parodies in Bach’s Vocal Works

Paul Farseth wrote (January 26, 2003):
Regarding the virtues and legitimacy of old vs. new instruments and performance details when performing Bach:

1) We all know that Bach usually sounds better on a pipe organ built to Baroque specifications, whether by Arp Schnittger or by a modern builder. The un-nicked pipes sounding at low wind pressure from a relatively open focusing case have a clarity that facilitates following the contrapuntal lines of Bach's music. The "chiff" with which the un-nicked flue pipes begin to speak accentuates this. On the other hand, Marcel Dupre could play Bach on a romantic-style organ and be credible, and many a recording exists even of Bach being played credibly on theatre organs built during the early days of silent moving pictures eighty years ago or more. But the registration and performance are more difficult on these less-fitting organs.

2) Bach can be enormously credible when played on a piano. Consider Glen Gould's first Goldberg Variations recording and his recordings of the other clavier works...or Rudolf Serkin's playing in the c. 1940 recording he did in the U.S. with the Busch Chamber Players of the Brandenburg Concertos. That Bach (apparently) did not like the sound of the fortepianos he heard in the Prussian court does not invalidate the greatness of these performances. Those were early upright pianos with very different tonal qualities, and Bach was old, near death when he played them.

3) Playing music Bach wrote for weak-toned violas da gamba on modern 'cellos creates a different effect. Do we like it? Does it sing the same song?

4) Singing Bach cantatas or passions in English (or Chinese or Japanese?) is a change from what Bach wrote, but is it unfaithful if the same images and words can be fitted reasonably reliably to the same notes...and if the sense of the original text is not corrupted as so often has happened in the past?

5) Meditations on the difficulties of playing upper registers in tune on unvalved horns is a whole other topic. I leave this one to Tom Braatz and the Czibas. (Someone should write an essay or a poem about the Pythagorean Break when the overtone series lunges out of tune with its underpinnings.)

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (January 26, 2003):
< But the registration and performance are more difficult on these less-fitting organs. >
"But if a better balance is easier to achieve in one medium than in another, then those working in the harder medium deserve greater credit for their balances, no? They are the ones who must consider, weigh, adopt strategies, not just open the throttle and zoom."
-- Richard Taruskin, "Backslide or Harbinger?"

< 3) Playing music Bach wrote for weak-toned violas da gamba on modern 'cellos creates a different effect. Do we like it? Does it sing the same song? >
The effect may be different, or it may be so similar that it would be hard to tell them apart. The question of whether it is still the "same song" remains problematic. Of course, the most important question is whether we like it or not.

Boyd Pehrson wrote (January 26, 2003):
[To Paul Farseth] If we began to play orchestral works by Stravinski, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Ravel in old baroque style instruments, I think it would best reveal why Bach can be played sensibly on new instruments or old, and why the reverse is not true for modern composers. Bach's compositions rely on a now forgotten worldview where music is based on logic, math, rhetoric, theology and other objective principles. Romantic and Modern works are louder, brassy or more inclined to internal explorations of feeling. Shall we play Chopin on harpsichord? Not really, Chopin wrote for piano resonance. I think the life force of of everything in Chopin from "Raindrop" to "Military Polonaise" would be in jeopardy if these were played on a harpsichord. The fact that Bach transcends modern instruments has a lot to do with his philosophical and musical worldview. Regarding Bach, I love the warmth of a viola di gamba over the cello's more sturdy tone which is designed to carry more strongly through a more metallic classical-romantic orchestral sound.

While I have read in this debate quite a bit about the instruments, and the players' responsibilities regarding the use of old instruments, I haven't read much about the responsibilities of the listener. Harnoncourt reminded his audience that they should listen responsibly, without expecting French Baroque technique and old tunings to please their modern trained sensibilities. Many of us have grown up listening first to 20th century pop music, and the ear has a long way to go to be re-oriented to classical and baroque styles of music making. Is it that we as listeners are to be final judges of how Bach should please our ears? Any speculation of what Bach would have done today is moot. What is true is that the instruments and compositions have changed with the prevailing zeitgeist. Instruments from the classical period onward are louder and have greater flexibility of range to help them play virtuoso compositions. Such instruments may be overbearing in Baroque delicacies.

Are any of us ready for Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto played on a harpsichord, or transcribed for oboe d'amore? (Personally, I don't like what Rachmaninoff did to Bach's music in transcription- but he was trying to compliment the great old master as best he knew :-)

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 26, 2003):
< Boyd Pehrson wrote: Bach's compositions rely on a now forgotten worldview where music is based on logic, math, rhetoric, theology and other objective principles. Romantic and Modern works are louder, brassy or more inclined to internal explorations of feeling. >
Logic, math, rhetoric is objective: sure. theology? To say that theology, Christianity in general is objective is missing the more important half of the whole thing. In the 17th century, someone wrote a whole treatise on how music affects emotions, and this created the basis for the baroque era, as artists began exploring the realm of emotion and human psychology. Two grand examples of this exist: Handel's operas and Bach's passions and cantatas. In Handel's operas, the composer really develops the character, and really gets inside the character's mind. With the Bach sacred German works, we have the greatest expression of theology's emotional plea to the human soul: "God loves us and has made a way for us to be with Him. Will you love him back?" It is true that Bach used all sorts of, yes objective principles, but only if it didn't get in the way or if it enhanced the great spiritual and emotional message contained in the librettists' words and the composer's music.

Philippe Bareille wrote (January 26, 2003):
< Matthew Neugebauer wrote: What I mean is that for Bach, the natural trumpet, the cat-gut violin, etc. (emph) were the modern instruments to Bach, just as the intruments we have now are the modern instruments to us.
To get back to the question, in the same way that film music and other styles we have today are considered modern to us, the styles that were around in Bach's time were modern to him.
My conclusion: modernity by definition moves forward every second that humanity does through time. >
You hit the nail on the head Matthew. Whether Bach liked his instruments or not is not even the point. he composed for those instruments, however imperfect they might sound a few centuries later. It is a FACT that has nothing to do with telepathy or time travel! For example in two centuries people may find our pianos rather unsatisfactory. All the rest (e.g: what Bach thought) is merely speculation of course. I don't pretend to know what Bach thought but I am just trying to advance some arguments that many more learned musicians have developed over the past 30 years.

In the 1960's it was considered outlandish to play Bach on period instruments. In 2003 there is no denying that HIP attract large audiences and musicians. Hence, those original instruments (with better trained performers) are becoming more and more appealing to our ears and that suggests that they may be utterly right for this kind of music. But in the ends it boils down to personal taste.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (January 27, 2003):
< Philippe Bareille wrote: Whether Bach liked his instruments or not is not even the point. he composed for those instruments, however imperfect they might sound a few centuries later. >
You seem to be saying that Bach's work was written with certain instruments in mind, and these were selected from the ones at his disposal so that they would sound the best. This assumes a bit too much about Bach. Some have argued that since BWV 565 sounds better on the violin than the organ, either the piece is not by Bach or it is a transcription not made by Bach. If you allow for human error and inexperience (not divine attributes) in Bach's music, neither of those conclusions necessarily follow.

< those original instruments (with better trained performers) are becoming more and more appealing to our ears and that suggests that they may be utterly right for this kind of music. But in the ends it boils down to personal taste. >
Concessions to personal preference aside, you are quite wrong to speak of replica instruments as being "utterly right" (what?) to "our ears" (whose?). The technique of playing Bach on modern instruments (to use that awful word) has also increased considerably; I find the soloists in Rilling's most recent recordings more appealing than many of the stars promoted here and elsewhere.

Ludwig wrote (Januasry 27, 2003):
[To Alex Riedlmayer] I do not know why Pahreille thinks that the instruments that Bach wrote were "imperfect and sounded less competent than modern instruments.

First of all we are trying to compare apples and oranges and that just can not be done. Bach wrote for the instruments that were available to him and were no less perfect for his day than modern instruments are for ours. Instrumentalists of the time played them
with the highest skills then available as modern instrumentalists do today with the instruments now available.

I am beginning to think that the entire issue boils down to personal preferences and snobery.

To my ears; the instruments of Bach's time sound just as good for their purposes as modern instruments sound for Wagner, Mahler, Pendericki, Xenakis or Beethoven.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (January 27, 2003):
< Ludwig wrote: I do not know why Pahreille thinks that the instruments that Bach wrote were "imperfect and sounded less competent than modern instruments.
First of all we are trying to compare apples and oranges and that just can not be done. >
This expression is so common that it is not clear to many that it is false. I prefer apples slightly, notwithstanding the virtuosity of some period instrument bands and the clumsy attempts of some famous orchestras.

Ludwig wrote (January 27, 2003):
[To Philippe Bareille] I take issue with the following statement but this should not be taken as a personal attack but simply fact:

"it was considered 'outlandish' to play Bach on period instruments" and I particularly take issue with this as someone who lived through the 1960s was part of scene then and knew, became acquainted with or met many of the people of the period who would become famous and today considered great masters in arts, music and sciences including Elaine de Kooning.

It seems clear that Phillipe did not live in the center of the Western ART and Music world which THEN was New York with sub centers in Los Angeles followed by London, which today is the center for Music. I do not know where Phillip was during the 1960s or if he was even borned then but his statement is simply not true.

Playing on original instruments dates back to the 1880s with Walter Dolmetsch and other musicologists began a Renaissance of Ancient Music but the real father of the movement was Felix Mendlessohnn and the Bach Revival. People in the 1880s might have considered playing Bach on original instruments as 'outlandish' garnered by the writings of the anti-harpsichordists who had never even heard a Harpsichord let alone knew how to play one. This was because they were accustomed to the brutalities and ecstasies of romantic music.

Dolmetsch, Wanda Landowska, Romain ROLLAND (sp?) and many others visited museums and had luthiers of which Dolmetsch was one, to make copies of the instruments in museums. The Harpsichord had all but disappeared by then and no one really knew how to make them, how to play them or what they really were suppose to sound like and the same was true of other. It all had to be re-invented based on surviving historical models. Most people today have heard of Walter Dolmetsch as manufacturer of Blockflotes (misnamed 'recorder' as the word in period English means to record or practice which the blockflote does not do) found in almost every grammar school and higher levels of education. Walter built other instuments besides blockflotes and his output included viola d'amoures, gambas, hurdy gurdys, oboe d'amoures, violins in the baroque style, and assorted other instruments as krumhorns etc.

The 1960s was a period of great artistic exploration, revolution and new horizons which pushed the limits of cultural tolerances in music and in the arts. WHAT WAS OUTLANDISH, OUTRAGEOUS IN THE 1960S WAS DISSONANCE IN MUSIC, JOHN CAGE, VIOLATIONS OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC RULES OF THE 16TH-19TH CENTURY. Happenings and the Opera "Hair" are just some of the things that came out of the 1960s that were considered 'outlandish' as well as JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Hipppies and the Opera HAIR was so controversial that in many parts of the world HAIR still has not been seen as a performance in the original FORMAT which called for male performers to grope their exposed genitals, and frontal nudity.

Movies as I AM CURIOUS YELLOW, WHEN CRANES COME FLYING, GAY THEMED MOVIES AS THE ONE WHICH RICHARD BURTON AND HARRISON PLAYED A GAY COUPLE, WHO IS AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF,Dr.ZHIVAGO, COMING THROUGH THE RYE, FARENHEIGHT 451 (may not have title precisely correct), LOLITA, PEYTON PLACE, The Black CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, THE STONEWALL RIOTS, AND ON AND ON. It was the age of the Broadway musical that gave it's name to the first half of the 1960s--Camelot.

Andy Warhol began the pop art movement famous for it's Campbell soup cans and posters, paintings of Marilyn Monroe. Andy was nearly murdered by one of his actresses who appeared in "Trash". ULTRA VIOLET, another Warhol star made the rounds on television shows before disappearing into the woodwork and not heard of for more than 30 years. Phillip Glass composed his famous chords and passages that seem to go no where but seem to give the illusion of doing so.

It was not considered 'outlandish' to play on original instruments and these ideas began to take place in the 1950s the likes of E. Power Biggs, a former teacher of mine, who in case Phillipe has never heard of was one of the great Organists of the 20th century who had a radio show and made numerous recordings many of which have been transfered to cd format and others . It was the age of the great love affair between Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears which then was considered so outlandish that gay couples existed that it was kept private for more than 50 years as well as Sam Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti--which Sam was so closeted that he would be horrified that anyone even would talk about being gay. It was the age of when Stravinsky in his old age became very classically orientated which was considered 'radical' and Honeggers AND GOD CREATED WHALES and the age when Ligetti finally became internationally know through the movie 2001. Aaron Copland was not only recording his works but doingsome of his finest work before Alzheimers destroyed his brain and killed him Leonard Bernstein was becoming seriously taken by the Music World and wrote his famous Mass as well as the Symposium in which he musically depicted a scene in which a beautiful youth comes to a dinner attended by Plato. It was the age when Ian Fleming became well know for the movies adapted from his books he wrote in the 1950s about a secret agent James Bond. It was the age when one of the world's greatest playrights in the English Language, Tennessee Williams finally admitted publically what friends had long know especially in Key West and elsewhere that he was gay. It was the age when Ernest Hemingway, a notoriously macho man, wrote a his last novel about the love of two men for each
other---Islands in the Stream after which plagued by depression he shot himself as Van Gogh had nearly a hundred years before in a corn field.

It was the time when ROBIN LEE GRAHAM a 15 year old kid sailed around the world solo in his boat DOVE becoming the youngest person to ever do so.

Philippe Bareille wrote (January 30, 2003):
< Ludwig wrote: "it was considered 'outlandish' to play Bach on period instruments" and I particularly take issue with this as someone who lived through the 1960s was part of scene then and knew, became acquainted with or met many of the people of the period who would become famous and today considered great masters in arts, music and sciences including Elaine de Kooning.

It seems clear that Phillipe did not live in the center of the Western ART and Music world which THEN was New York with sub centers in Los Angeles followed by London, which today is the center for Music. I do not know where Phillip was during the 1960s or if he was even borned then but his statement is simply not true. >
You are right. I was born in the mid-sixties but my statement is based on reading reviews and articles of the 60's. It is well documented that musicians like Harnoncourt were outcasts (or at least outsiders) decried by the "musical establishment" at least outside New-York or Amsterdam. Otherwise I agree with you.

To respond to your previous email: I didn't say that period instruments are imperfect but that they might be perceived as imperfect [to modern ears]. My personal opinion is that they are ideal for baroque music not least because 17th century composers like JS Bach wrote for them. The sound of an original oboe for example is inimitable. But what is exciting is that not everybody agrees so we have a fascinating diversity of approaches.


The language used to describe HIP techniques...

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 13, 2003):
[To Thomas Braatz] Tom, these are your words:

"a certain HIP imperfection exists in at least 180 of the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt series"

"overcome the many negative traits that I have distinguished in the available HIP recordings"

"the insufficiencies inherent in the pioneering work"

"improve upon them by removing certain 'dead-ends' of performance practice that do not serve to uplift the listener spiritually as well as acoustically"

"Some of the 'innovations' of the HIP mvt. have become needless baggage which continue to drag the current performances down as many, if not most, conductors seek to emulate the unsuccessful aspects that were presented early on."

"I have discovered moments, even mvts., but rarely entire cantatas where the HIP style satisfies all that I seek from an ideal Bach performance (if such a thing even exists.)"

"correcting these excesses and insufficiencies"

"replace many of the fossilized aspects of the early HIP tradition"

And some of the objectionable phrases from your posting yesterday, which I pointed out but which you haven't really addressed: "HIP extremists" and "ride roughshod" and "undermine Bach's intentions" and "disrespects Bach's notational intentions" and "demi-voices" and "careless reproduction".

Those are a lot of generalizations there!

Tom, let me try a translation here, showing what you appear to be saying here. (My interpretation of your words could be wrong, but we won't know until we spell it out, will we?)

Both from your postings here recently, and from the things I've seen in the web archives, it appears that you hate the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt series of Bach cantatas with an almost violent passion. (At least, you hate the Harnoncourt performances there more clearly than you hate Leonhardt's.) In your evident opinion, you believe that Harnoncourt made some very bad musical choices, resulting in performances that are ugly and offensive. And, according to you, any of us subsequently who come to any of the same musical conclusions that Harnoncourt did are victims of Harnoncourt's "unsuccessful" musicianship there...as if we have been seduced by some insidious evil, or something. It seems you have never been able to recover from the awful shock of hearing how badly Harnoncourt has ruined the music (for you).

Furthermore, you seem to believe that your own method of reading the scores gives you an ideal interpretation by which all others may be judged, and rejected. You diligently look up all the errata in the NBA's critical report, and supplement the historical facts around each cantata by consulting MGG and the Oxford Composer Companion and perhaps a few other sources: that is all well and good. BUT: you appear to come to these scores with 20th-century habits and expectations about what the composer wrote down, and what he didn't write down. And (please correct me if I'm wrong) you haven't actually been trained in 17th-18th century notational practices and performance practices, but rather are coming from a more general familiarity with later music. And this perspective of looking backward from the 20th century (which is understandable) deeply colors the ideal interpretation you find there in your head while reading the scores. It's a valid perspective; but, unfortunately, it causes you to condemn anything that you don't fancy, as if you have a clearer picture of "Bach's intentions" than anybody else does.

Is that an accurate assessment of your position? That's how it comes across (at least to this reader).

Meanwhile, those of us who do specialize in Historically Informed Performance are attempting to come to this music with 17th and 18th century eyes and ears, coming to it looking forward from Bach's own past, trying to discern what the notations may have meant to Bach and to the players/singers in his employ. That is much more crucial knowledge than simply reading it with generic 20th century expectations and generic musicianship. That approach is quite a different perspective, and naturally leads to very different results from what you might expect. Is it not possible that those of us active in the field really do know what we're dealing with in this music, with a window into "Bach's intentions" that is at least as valid as your own? We look up the same sources you do, along with the broader picture of where Bach himself came from musically, and we come to different conclusions than you do. That does not mean we are wrong. Nor does it mean you are wrong. It simply means we take the music as seriously as you do, and have come to different conclusions about it. Can you please grant us that? We're not ignorant Harnoncourt clones, or Harnoncourt victims, or what-have-you, in any way stuck at a pioneering (or amateurish-sounding) level of accomplishment in this repertoire; we are intelligent and experienced musicians who, through consideration of the evidence (both broad and specific), have developed a style which we feel is appropriate for presenting Bach's music today.

And then, informed in that manner, we simply try to play and sing as musically and spiritually and convincingly as possible. We are not restricted by scholarship; rather, we are freed by it to use expressive possibilities that might not even occur seriously to 20th-century score readers.

=====

Tom, we who are trying to figure out your own critical postings about the music (along with your often-incendiary use of the language) need to know: is there some handy checklist showing which specific choices Harnoncourtmade that you find so offensive? (Unless we know where you're coming from on this, there is no good way to imagine what these recordings actually sound like from reading your comments, other than knowing that they offend you in some violent manner; and therefore your criticism of them isn't very helpful.)

From your comments, it seems that you have about a dozen of Harnoncourt's offenses on your checklist, at least that I've seen. Could you actually spell these out for us, or verify this list, please, so we know where you're coming from on this? Is my guess
here accurate?:

- the employment of boys instead of women
- the employment of singers whom you derogatorily dismiss as
"half-voices"
- a tendency to exaggerate contrasts beyond what the acoustics of the hall used for his recordings can bear
- the employment of some players who can't hit all the notes as accurately as you might expect
- the treatment of secco recitative using the commonplace 18th-century notational conventions, which unfortunately don't agree with what you see on the page reading it with 20th century expectations
- the treatment of fermatas in chorales
- intonation other than Equal Temperament
- rhythmic treatments that are not as strictly metrical as the notation appears on the page
- a willingness to hierarchize the notes and phrases into strong and weak ("good" and "bad", in 18th century parlance)
- a declamatory style of singing, focused on the sung words as a type of heightened speech, rather than a later ideal of sheerly beautiful tone above all
- a declamatory style of playing, focused on the rhetorical construction of the phrases and musical "paragraphs" rather than on making every note individually beautiful

More?

Are the items in this list indeed the "insufficiencies" and "imperfections" and "innovations" and "baggage" and "fossilized aspects" and "careless[ness]" and "dead-ends" to which you object?

As I said yesterday, I have less of a problem with your conclusions themselves, than with the incendiary language you use to dismiss the practices or sounds that you don't fancy. It's hard to understand your opinions without knowing where they come from, specifically. And I don't want to think of you as mean-spirited or cruel, but that's the way your language sometimes comes across here (your choices of words, and perhaps also the thought behind them?)...that's what I suggest it would be nice to see toned down a bit.


Dreyfus on "reading the manual"

Uri Golomb wrote (March 18, 2003):
Given that the recent discussion on HIP contained several references to Laurence Dreyfus's Bach's Continuo Group, I thought it would be interesting to quote some things he said about the way evidence on performance practice -- such as that included in his book -- should be used.

(I shoudl add that I am not that familiar with Bach's Continuo Group. I do know his other Bach book -- Bach and the Patterns of Invention -- quite well, and it is definitely one of the most important, illuminating and thought-provoking books on Bach's music in recent years. It is not, however, a book on performance practice at all: it deals with Bach's compositional process, his aesthetics -- as compared to the style and aesthetics of his contemporaries -- and the analysis of his music. There's an interesting review of this book, by Bernard Sherman, on http://homepages.kdsi.net/~sherman/patternsofinvention.htm).

In a lecture he gave at the international symposium "Authenticity in Interpretation" (Jerusalem, May 28, 1995), entitled "Patterns of Authority in Musical Interpretation: Historical Performance at the Cross-road", Dreyfus was quite critical of the objectivism and over-reliance of evidence he diagnosed in parts of the Early Music Movement. He mentioned that performers had approached him for advise on continuo in Bach's music -- and that he didn't quite like this, especially when it seemed that they were seeking his "permission" to do certain things. He claims his aim was historical -- to examine what happenned in Bach's lifetime -- but not prescriptive for today's performers. As a scholar, it was important for him to get things right historically -- but he doesn't feel that performers and scholars should be judged by the same yardstick. (I don't think that, as a scholar, Dreyfus has ever argued that the Art of Fugue was written with a consort of viols in mind -- which didn't stop him, as a performer, from using viols in his performance of that work).

More generally, here are some quotes from my transcript of a recording of his lecture: Some phrases in square brackets refer to attempts at logical completion of bits which were unclear on the tape.

"Historians can't have too many documents or too much detail or evidence; relevant information and new sources will always be welcome, as they should be in a scholarly discipline. But what effect does that have on the world of performance, in which trivial musical details are elevated to the level of historical significance? Very fine performers have lost the security and self-assurance to decide for themselves whether a particular bit of historical reconstruction is aesthetically interesting and relevant to their interpretations. [He then discusses examples of exaggerated emphasis on relatively unimportant issues of performance practice, such as seating plans for ensembles] All too often, this kind of historical logic substitutes for other kinds of aesthetic judgments, and it is simply too easy a self-fulfilling prophecy to claim, as some do, that these kinds of judgements offer vast improvements to musical practice and serve the interest of the composer [...]" I term this kind of methodology "Objectivism", since it confuses significant aesthetic sense and meaning, which is derived in so many contrasting ways, with empirically reconstructable circumstances. Objectivism places performers in the odd position of arguing from their historical evidence, which at the very least attract attention away from the substance of their musical interpretations. It also creates an inordinate amount of guilt in some performers (one can never have enough information to back up his work), and guilt leads not only to insecurities in performance but also to a puritanical attitude which inhibits experimentation and free play.

"The notion of period style and period instruments is a very strange one when performing the music of great composers, since they were the ones who broke with conformist notions of style that can be said to have afflicted their contemporaries. One can argue that their canonization was due to their not composing in period style. [BTW, Bach's non-conformist position vis-a-vis his contemporaries is one of the main topics of _Bach and the Patterns of Invention_ -- U.G.] [....]

"Reconstruction as a method is the best [that] historians can do, but is unsatisfactory that performers should be content with this method, appeal to it as an authority and so rarely question it. This is a place, surely, where musicianly intentions about pieces of music ought to be able to override considerations of historical period style, so that interpretations of great music of the last several centuries are not whittled down and reduced to basic common denominators. In all the great and moving performances produced by the historical performance movement that I know, this kind of flouting of musicological authority is exactly what has happenned. That is, for any really significant artistic and interpretative work work within the field, musicology has made certain definite contributions that have been considered by performers, who then returned to traditional ideas of musical interpretation and ignore historical values as any significant authority. [....] Most 'Early' musicians are not card-carrying historians: [there are, in the Early Music Movement], copious examples of shoddy historical thinking, logical leaps and vague suppositions; leaps of faith and logic; constructions of style based on slim evidence; denial and deception of compromises [and other] skeletons in the closet -- which would neverstand up to rigorous historical debate. [....]

"Should we rid ourselves of these impediments? No -- we've created a new style, or styles, which are developing very nicely, thank you very much; and they all, call them what you will, stem both from our undeniable historical position, at the end of the 20th century, as well as from our engagement with historical materials -- highly selective and self-deceptive as this engagement must remain. At best, the romantic sense of intuition, which encourages us to enter into the spirit of the compositions, is still with our best performers, and whatever guilt some of us may experience because of the disparity between theory and practice, is insufficient to dampen a creative enterprise which exploits and pilfers history in the service of fresh interpretations. "If it seems as if I'm having it both ways -- damning the ideological posturing of historical performance and its limiting Puritanism while celebrating its highest achievements -- you've got my drift." [...]

"We musician are therefore not only biblical scholars in a library, poring over dead manuscripts so as to extract the divine spark; we are also players, children, lovers, hedonists in search of pleasure for whom unfettered play is our objective."

For all his criticism of HIP ideology, it should of course be remembered that Dreyfus is himself a fine historical performer (though, as the Art of Fugue example reveals, he doesn't work in a strictly objectivist manner), and his statements here make it clear that he admires many fellow-exponents of HIP. But, it seems to me, the ones who he admires, while they might be historically informed, are not necessarily historically correct -- he actually praises them for "flouting musicological authority", for having the courage to go their own way. Given Brad Lehman's endorsement of similar statements from Richard Taruskin, I suppose he will have little argument with this.

Charles Francis wrote (March 18, 2003):
[To Uri Golomb] Many thanks for posting this!

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 18, 2003):
[To Uri Golomb] Thanks, Uri, for posting this! And, as you surmise at the end, I agree with Dreyfus' comments: it's as I said yesterday, the strongest musicians are those who are not restricted to "the rules."

(And it of course irks me [not here, but in postings by HIP-bashers] to see all of us in the "HIP movement" damned by generalizations, as if it's assumed all of us play in this puritanical objectivist style, when in fact, we don't. Just because we prefer to play period instruments doesn't make us the enemy. The music is not the hardware employed, but rather, what is done with it.)

Hugo Saldias wrote (March 18, 2003):
I believe that music should not come form our books

but from our HEARTS...


Half voices, secco recitatives

Continue of discussion from: Half-Voices

Santu De Silva wrote (March 18, 2003):
< Charles Francis wrote: It is interesting that those in the HIP-camp typically react to criticism with one of several fallacies. Favourites include the ad Hominem (attack on the person) and Appeal to Authority (Leonhardt's awesome name is invoked, for example). Rarely, are they willing to examine the grains of sand on which their house of cards is built. >
Hmm.

I was just about to say how offended I am about being described as being in a HIP "camp." It's sort of like being called a groupie.

I don't like either "camp," the HIP or the anti-HIP. I'd prefer to be associated with the HIP "camp" than the other one, which seems to be inhabited by sour-grapes types who simply tumbled a little late onto the very fact that HIP types arrived at independently, namely that perhaps some of the experiments of the sixties and seventies were a trifle excessive. (Rilling, at one time, identified himself with the HIP movement, rejecting only the use of original instruments. That's not as crazy as some seem to believe. Yes, this detracts from 'authenticity,' but it's a reasonable halfway-house that has created a lot of perfectly good music performance. i doubt if Rilling himself would be pleased with all this gratuitous Harnoncourt bashing.)

But, to a different subject.

Fretwork is one of my favorite groups. I like them playing Elizabethan music (I believe The English Viol was one of their early efforts). And so I hurried to buy the Art of Fugue as performed by them, but ...

it was a disappointment. I am beginning to believe that the art of fugue sounds best played on violins, possibly even modern violins. I think a chamber ensemble is best for contrapunctus 1, and most of the others, while a small orchestra does seem to work with certain pieces, especially the ones with dotted rhythms that have the character of a French overture. (Hooray for the French!)

Why is this? it is fascinating that Bach could anticipate so well the style of modern writing for string quartets. (Or perhaps the writing for modern string quartets borrows a lot from Bach's amazing technical genius? Mendelssohn, I imagine, learned a lot from Bach.)

I think my favorite recording --at present-- is by the Academy of St Martin in-the-fields. (I don't like the versions that have been transposed up a fourth to g minor. It definitely detracts from the mood of the work. it shouldn't, but it does. The same goes for the Lukas Foss--it is just too high for my ears. What is the pitch there? I haven't had the energy to check it out.)

Donald Satz wrote (March 18, 2003):
[To Santu De Silva] I have a particular distaste for modern violins in baroque music. There's no principle involved; I just dislike the sounds made. So, the Academy's version is one that I stay away from.

I agree with Santu about the HIP debates and wonder when the folks in both camps will accept that the future of baroque music will include both approaches - just grin and bear it.

Francine Renee Hall wrote (March 18, 2003):
[To Donald Satz] I absolutely agree with you. If one decides that HIP is the only way to go, we might as well put ourselves into a prison cage in solitary confinement. The reason that the Bach Recordings and Cantatas Mailing List have large membership and proves so successful is that our territory is large, i.e., the musical choices are vast and variable. Expressing apposing opinions gives us creative mental strength. If one has a restrictive site with too many rules, I guarantee that a yahoo group will be empty, slow and counter productive.



Continue on Part 8


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