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HT

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Jul 17, 2021, 1:00:59 PMJul 17
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It was only after reading Dorottya Fabian's "A musicology of performance" that I became aware of the fact that performers function in what Ornoy calls a "multicolored ideological spectrum" (quoted by Fabian). Musicology has become normative. Should these norms apply to performers?
Fabian analyzes recordings of Bach's solos for violin, among others:

Barton Pine, Rachel 1
Barton Pine, Rachel 2
Barton Pine, Rachel 3
Beznosiuk, Pavlo HIP
Brooks, Brian HIP
Buswell, James
Edinger, Christiane
Ehnes, James
Faust, Isabelle
Fischer, Julia
Gähler, Rudolf
Gringolts, Ilya
Hahn, Hillary
Holloway, John HIP
Huggett, Monica HIP
Ibragimova, Alina
Khachatryan, Sergey
Kremer, Gidon 1
Kremer, Gidon 2
Kuijken, Sigiswald HIP 1
Kuijken, Sigiswald HIP 2
Lev, Lara
Luca, Sergiu HIP
Matthews, Ingrid HIP
Mintz, Shlomo
Mullova, Victoria 1
Mullova, Victoria 2
Mullova, Victoria 3
Perlman, Itzhak
Podger, Rachel HIP
Dolls, Christoph
Poulet, Gerard
Ricci, Ruggiero
Schmid, Benjamin
Schroeder, Jaap HIP
Shumsky, Oscar
Saint John, Lara
Szenthelyi, Miklós
Tetzlaff, Christian 1
Tetzlaff, Christian 2
Tognetti, Richard
Van Dael, Lucy HIP
Wallfisch, Elizabeth HIP
Zehetmair, Thomas

She concludes that many performers are "behind the times," i.e., "keeping away from larger cultural-ideological currents and continuing to do what they are used to." That sounds like a reproach. It not only sounded that way, but was a reproach when Jan Wijn made a similar remark about the performance of Beethoven sonatas by Russian pianists.

Is this justified? Should performers be loyal to musicology and keep up with the modern musicological insights? Or should they be free to perform a score, as he/she sees fit?
And then let Frank's markets decide ...

Henk

number_six

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Jul 17, 2021, 7:20:35 PMJul 17
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On Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 10:00:59 AM UTC-7, hvt...@xs4all.nl wrote:
> It was only after reading Dorottya Fabian's "A musicology of performance" that I became aware of the fact that performers function in what Ornoy calls a "multicolored ideological spectrum" (quoted by Fabian). Musicology has become normative. Should these norms apply to performers?
> snip <
>
> She concludes that many performers are "behind the times," i.e., "keeping away from larger cultural-ideological currents and continuing to do what they are used to." That sounds like a reproach. It not only sounded that way, but was a reproach when Jan Wijn made a similar remark about the performance of Beethoven sonatas by Russian pianists.
>
> Is this justified? Should performers be loyal to musicology and keep up with the modern musicological insights? Or should they be free to perform a score, as he/she sees fit?
> And then let Frank's markets decide ...
>
> Henk

Interesting post. No, IMO the reproach is not justified. Academics in many disciplines overuse the word normative -- especially when they seek to be the arbiters of its meaning in a given context.

Performers can be informed by musicologists, and vice versa, without one camp trying to dictate to the other.

And yes, there is part for audience preference to play, The markets are not "Frank's markets" alone -- they are the province and the prerogative of us all.

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 17, 2021, 7:47:37 PMJul 17
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In article <5d558853-8a6a-41a1...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Should performers be loyal to musicology and keep up with the
>modern musicological insights?

Personally, there are some repertories where I am very interested
in the latest research, particularly repertories where we haven't
really got the notes quite sorted.... And then I am very interested
in new performances incorporating new insights.

In those contexts, i.e. when understanding the music still seems
preliminary, I tend to find that "doing something else" is a
distraction. Although if people want to do it, I guess they can...
mostly they don't. Otherwise, people should play music how they
want. I might not be interested, but that's not really even notable.

HT

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Jul 19, 2021, 3:17:28 PMJul 19
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Op zondag 18 juli 2021 om 01:20:35 UTC+2 schreef number_six:
<g> According to Frank, markets are of us all. I have some doubts.

What is the gain or loss if musicians scrupulously follow the latest guidelines of musicology, as applied scientists?
Does it make a difference to an Isabelle Faust whether she is an artist, or a craftsman who "converts scores into sound"?
Does it make a difference to the audience? For me it does, I think.

Henk

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 19, 2021, 3:40:08 PMJul 19
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In article <d4dcecdd-2d56-4dea...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>What is the gain or loss if musicians scrupulously follow the
>latest guidelines of musicology, as applied scientists?
>Does it make a difference to an Isabelle Faust whether she is an
>artist, or a craftsman who "converts scores into sound"?
>Does it make a difference to the audience? For me it does, I think.

I agree that these are different approaches. (And for the "artist"
pole of this continuum, one could move further along & not play
someone else's music....) But I don't see them as mutually exclusive
-- although they may be for individual musicians. I'm often
interested in the latest musical research, and that means hearing
it in sound too, but I don't see how that could even possibly be
the extent of music-making. How often is there a new insight on
composer <X>? I mean, are all non-new (i.e. per some new research)
performances then supposed to cease? Or to sound exactly the same
as the previous (i.e. like a recording)? It becomes nonsense.

And of course there is "lag" in these things. It's called artistic
influence -- because ultimately that's what those musicological
insights need to be to be worthwhile, artistic.

HT

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Jul 19, 2021, 5:31:21 PMJul 19
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Op maandag 19 juli 2021 om 21:40:08 UTC+2 schreef Todd Michel McComb:
<g> I agree with you, but reluctantly. Nostalgia, I suspect. Science even claims music these days. Is the disenchantment of the world finally complete?

Henk

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 19, 2021, 5:33:42 PMJul 19
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In article <46cd3456-3f21-4f09...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Science even claims music these days. Is the disenchantment of
>the world finally complete?

Not so fast. This is talking about historical music, but what of
e.g. my parenthesis? Join me in the world of contemporary free
improvisation....

HT

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Jul 20, 2021, 6:07:06 AMJul 20
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Op maandag 19 juli 2021 om 23:33:42 UTC+2 schreef Todd Michel McComb:
Contemporary free improvisation is freedom during and music making for one evening. In that span of time, the term great art has no chance. At the very least, it takes decades for music to earn that title. In short, there is a heavy price to pay for musicians who choose to be free. Joining you would be like adopting a cenobitic lifestyle - always a sign of a loss of world.

Henk


Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 20, 2021, 12:37:38 PMJul 20
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In article <a21052a6-e9f3-4889...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Joining you would be like adopting a cenobitic lifestyle - always
>a sign of a loss of world.

An interesting response. This thread has reminded me of Walter
Benjamin's image of the Angel of History....

In any case, maybe you'll avoid a migratory lifestyle in the future.
Many won't. (To continue your remark from where I'm feeling it....)

HT

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Jul 20, 2021, 1:43:52 PMJul 20
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Op dinsdag 20 juli 2021 om 18:37:38 UTC+2 schreef Todd Michel McComb:
Benjamin projected much of himself into Klee's aquarelle. I can't see what he or Sholem saw. My problem with the angel is that it is an angel.
I don't know what you mean by a migratory lifestyle. I certainly won't be going anywhere - and not only because at my age 'going' is easier said than done.

Henk







Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 20, 2021, 2:32:16 PMJul 20
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In article <caa9dc11-8431-4356...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Benjamin projected much of himself into Klee's aquarelle.

Well my reference was not to Klee....

>I don't know what you mean by a migratory lifestyle. I certainly
>won't be going anywhere - and not only because at my age 'going'
>is easier said than done.

I mean exactly what's being discussed in the global warming thread.
A lot of people will be on the move. Maybe not you, but it might
not be a choice either.

HT

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Jul 20, 2021, 2:52:47 PMJul 20
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Op dinsdag 20 juli 2021 om 20:32:16 UTC+2 schreef Todd Michel McComb:
No, you didn't refer to Klee ...

Global warming? As you said, that is another thread. I kept out of that discussion.

Henk


Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 20, 2021, 5:54:55 PMJul 20
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In article <6953206b-4d64-4527...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>No, you didn't refer to Klee ...

But this is also kind of this thread, right? To what extent does
an artist (Benjamin, if you will...) referring to an artist "need"
or invoke fidelity? What sort of fidelity? Or is "This thing
inspired me to..." enough? For whom?

bogdan

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Jul 20, 2021, 6:52:03 PMJul 20
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This looks to me like academics complaining that some performers dare not follow the path laid out for them by said academics. I mean, the nerve some artists have to ignore the literature on which countless careers have been made?

HT

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Jul 21, 2021, 6:18:46 AMJul 21
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Op woensdag 21 juli 2021 om 00:52:03 UTC+2 schreef bogdan:
> This looks to me like academics complaining that some performers dare not follow the path laid out for them by said academics. I mean, the nerve some artists have to ignore the literature on which countless careers have been made?

Jan Wijn, a teacher, complained - as all teachers complain. The scientist Fabian does not complain. She is a clinical observer who observes that most of her objects are "behind the times".
That may sound normative rather than objective, but musicology is not the only science interested in creating benchmarks and measuring deviations. Hence, the ongoing (and now completed?) disenchantment of the world.

Fabian's research reduces more than fifty brilliant individual performances of Bach's work for violin solo to a simple: does our sample meet our standards? There is no escape for Barton-Pine cum suis: they are outmoded. They may pretend to hint at a harmony that embraces us all, but scientifically they are just not MSP or HIP enough.

Henk

bogdan

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Jul 21, 2021, 1:52:41 PMJul 21
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I actually went and read through the book, and found it quite interesting, definitely worth the time of anyone interested in violin performance in general and in the Bach solo works in particular. One thing it is not is science, and while there are graphs and tables of data, the whole approach is not scientific. Did not find an argument reflecting the statement on which this discussion was started. In fact, here's a quote from the Conclusions chapter, with which I couldn't agree more:

"My analytical discussions conveyed my credo that is in agreement with what Cook writes in the final chapter of Beyond the Score:

'It is not obvious that there is a limit on the number, or nature, or viable performance options, whether these are informed by historical precedent, structural interpretation, rhetorical effect, or personal taste. In every instance there will be some reasons for doing it one way, and some for doing it another. Each will have its own consequences, which can be explored and evaluated. There are lots of ways of making sense of music as performance, and lots of sense there for the making. It really is as simple, and as complicated, as that.' "

HT

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Jul 21, 2021, 3:02:25 PMJul 21
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Op woensdag 21 juli 2021 om 19:52:41 UTC+2 schreef bogdan:
Hmm. Page 280:
"The conspicuous discrepancy between the wide, multicolored ideological spectrum found in various writings and the somewhat uniform values of the performers’ actual practice might also indicate the lack of interaction between the two domains: many early music performers have been found to be “behind the times” with current ideologies, since they perform according to attitudes formed many generations ago. [...] practical considerations took priority over ideological aspirations, and contradiction between the two domains might easily evolve."

I disagree with your view that "A Musicology of Performance; Theory and Method Based on Bach’s Solos for Violin" isn't science. The title suggests it is. Whether it is scientific enough, is another matter.

Henk

bogdan

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Jul 21, 2021, 3:42:01 PMJul 21
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On Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 3:02:25 PM UTC-4, hvt...@xs4all.nl wrote:

> Hmm. Page 280:
> "The conspicuous discrepancy between the wide, multicolored ideological spectrum found in various writings and the somewhat uniform values of the performers’ actual practice might also indicate the lack of interaction between the two domains: many early music performers have been found to be “behind the times” with current ideologies, since they perform according to attitudes formed many generations ago. [...] practical considerations took priority over ideological aspirations, and contradiction between the two domains might easily evolve."
>
> I disagree with your view that "A Musicology of Performance; Theory and Method Based on Bach’s Solos for Violin" isn't science. The title suggests it is. Whether it is scientific enough, is another matter.
>
> Henk

It would be worth noting that your quote is not by the book author, but in turn is a quote from a paper by Eitan Ornoy describing a study conducted in the 1990's about performing practice among HIP performers. The idea was that the performance practice of HIP artists is more influenced by practical considerations and does not reflect what is written in HIP theoretical writings. Sounds like a case of " do as I say, not as I do..." :)

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 21, 2021, 3:46:39 PMJul 21
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In article <e04dd7e3-8137-4549...@googlegroups.com>,
bogdan <btudo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>It would be worth noting that your quote is not by the book author,
>but in turn is a quote from a paper by Eitan Ornoy describing a
>study conducted in the 1990's about performing practice among HIP
>performers.

It's also worth noting that the quote specifically laments the
relatively narrow views of performers (allegedly), suggesting that
the literature offers more variety of approach. That's very much
in line with the concluding quote that you'd offered already.

It certainly didn't sound like one-true-way-ism.

HT

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Jul 21, 2021, 5:28:24 PMJul 21
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Op woensdag 21 juli 2021 om 21:42:01 UTC+2 schreef bogdan:
It was noted (but not clearly enough) in my original post. In her comment, Fabian seems to agree: "This duality is also seen in contemporary discussions of western classical music and its performance."

Thanks to you, my firm belief has become a question: Is "behind the times" normative or objective? The answer is not irrelevant. If objective, then science does not yet control the whole world and the old mind/life controversy has not yet been definitively settled.

Thanks for taking the trouble (even reading the book!).

Henk

bogdan

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Jul 21, 2021, 6:57:15 PMJul 21
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On Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 5:28:24 PM UTC-4, hvt...@xs4all.nl wrote:

> Thanks to you, my firm belief has become a question: Is "behind the times" normative or objective? The answer is not irrelevant. If objective, then science does not yet control the whole world and the old mind/life controversy has not yet been definitively settled.
>
> Thanks for taking the trouble (even reading the book!).
>
> Henk

It's a really good book, thanks for bringing it up!
Judging by the language in the quote, the "behind the times" comment sounds slightly tongue-in-cheek; "ideologies" is not a very flattering term either...

Cheers,
Bogdan

number_six

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Jul 21, 2021, 8:59:51 PMJul 21
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> On Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 5:28:24 PM UTC-4, hvt wrote:
>
> > Thanks to you [bogdan], my firm belief has become a question: Is "behind the times" normative or objective? The answer is not irrelevant. If objective, then science does not yet control the whole world and the old mind/life controversy has not yet been definitively settled.
> >

Hmm -- at first reading this construct sounds reversed to me.

To declare a given approach -- or range of approaches -- normative is to arrogate to oneself and one's cohort the ability to declare other approaches non-normative.

IMO, consilience between science and musicology is not present in the book's conclusion as quoted by you earlier in the thread. However objective may be the research of what performers ARE doing, assertions about what performers SHOULD be doing are subjective and are based in personal preference.

That said, I haven't read Fabian.

HT

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Jul 22, 2021, 10:15:21 AMJul 22
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Op donderdag 22 juli 2021 om 02:59:51 UTC+2 schreef number_six:
> > On Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 5:28:24 PM UTC-4, hvt wrote:
> >
> > > Thanks to you [bogdan], my firm belief has become a question: Is "behind the times" normative or objective? The answer is not irrelevant. If objective, then science does not yet control the whole world and the old mind/life controversy has not yet been definitively settled.
> > >
>
> Hmm -- at first reading this construct sounds reversed to me.
>
> To declare a given approach -- orle range of approaches -- normative is to arrogate to oneself and one's cohort the ability to declare other approaches non-normative.
>
> IMO, consilience between science and musicology is not present in the book's conclusion as quoted by you earlier in the thread. However objective may be the research of what performers ARE doing, assertions about what performers SHOULD be doing are subjective and are based in personal preference.

<g> "This piece should be played slower" is normative in my opinion if it implies "according to an impersonal instance": MPS or HIP, for example.

Henk

number_six

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Jul 23, 2021, 4:21:01 PMJul 23
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Even if HIP were entirely impersonal, doesn't a statement that performers should observe HIP tempos presuppose that so doing will make for more satisfying recordings than not doing so-- which introduces personal preference into the equation?

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 23, 2021, 4:25:13 PMJul 23
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In article <80f41d24-8731-485a...@googlegroups.com>,
number_six <cybe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Even if HIP were entirely impersonal, doesn't a statement that
>performers should observe HIP tempos presuppose that so doing will
>make for more satisfying recordings than not doing so-- which
>introduces personal preference into the equation?

Yes, in my view, this is all embedded behind a big "If...."

"IF you want to do such & such, then..." and even so, disagreement
is certainly possible.

So what is prompting the performer in the first place? Why are
they performing? It starts from there.

HT

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Jul 23, 2021, 6:29:08 PMJul 23
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Op vrijdag 23 juli 2021 om 22:21:01 UTC+2 schreef number_six:
If you play slower, it makes your performance (more) HIP. If it gives you satisfaction, that's nice. But it doesn't really matter.
Those who adhere to the norms/rules of HIP, do so because they want to play the way a piece was originally played.
If you want to return to the old ways, no one will stop you. However, you can no longer claim to be a dedicated HIP-ster. How severe that is, is subjective. <g>

Henk

number_six

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Jul 24, 2021, 4:04:47 PMJul 24
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That's a good way of posing the underlying question.

number_six

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Jul 24, 2021, 4:18:06 PMJul 24
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Norms and rules of HIP? You're ceding exclusivity in establishing such rules to a very narrow group. I'm not making a similar concession, and therein lies the reason for our differing perspectives.

This is about music making, not statutory construction.



HT

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Jul 25, 2021, 6:44:41 AMJul 25
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Op zaterdag 24 juli 2021 om 22:18:06 UTC+2 schreef number_six:
<g> Everyone is free to be HIP or not, i.e. to subscribe to a set of norms/rules for performance or not.

HIP-ers who take themselves seriously believe they have found THE way to the essence of music, which is to put it in its original context. Musicology and instrument builders (restorers) do make that possible.
If the principle is right - art is essentially connected to its time - then the rest makes sense as well.

However, it is undesirable (in my opinion) for HIP itself to become the (scientific) norm/rule for performances. "Behind the times" could point in that direction, but I'm not sure.

In any case, according to Fabian, great performers don't seem to care. They have a great time being behind the times and missing the way to the essence of music - and so do their audiences.

Henk


Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 25, 2021, 1:03:09 PMJul 25
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In article <bc124348-75de-4433...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Everyone is free to be HIP or not, i.e. to subscribe to a set of
>norms/rules for performance or not.

Do keep in mind that "being HIP" might then involve subscribing to
*different* or competing sets of norms/rules. I.e. there might be
more than one approach.

>HIP-ers who take themselves seriously believe they have found THE
>way to the essence of music, which is to put it in its original
>context.

I said earlier that the quotes offered here don't suggest a SINGULAR
way of doing things. Just the opposite. Yet here is this claim....

So you're implying this, but where are you getting it? Someone can
take seriously whatever exploration they're doing without believing
that it's the only thing that can be done. This seems obvious.

>Musicology and instrument builders (restorers) do make that possible.

They make *some* of it possible. And parts of the original context
cannot be reassembled....

Chris from Lafayette

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Jul 25, 2021, 2:15:30 PMJul 25
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On Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 10:03:09 AM UTC-7, Todd Michel McComb wrote:

> They [instrument builders] make *some* of it [HIP ideals] possible. And parts of the original context
> cannot be reassembled....

Still, I certainly think we all can do better in this regard - for instance, at HIP performances, we can replace our modern bathrooms with authentic chamber pots. After all, it's what the original composers were familiar with and even would have EXPECTED, right?

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 25, 2021, 2:43:06 PMJul 25
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In article <6ca1acc1-b1d7-4568...@googlegroups.com>,
Chris from Lafayette <CSal...@operamail.com> wrote:
>Still, I certainly think we all can do better in this regard - for
>instance, at HIP performances, we can replace our modern bathrooms
>with authentic chamber pots. After all, it's what the original
>composers were familiar with and even would have EXPECTED, right?

Ha, well, the trickiest bit will remain to hear this music as if
it's something new!

HT

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Jul 27, 2021, 7:57:39 AMJul 27
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Op zondag 25 juli 2021 om 20:43:06 UTC+2 schreef Todd Michel McComb:
<g> Since a HIP performance isn't historical and doesn't want to be modern, it can only be 'as if it's historical'. Now you want it also to be 'as if it's something new'.

Henk

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 27, 2021, 12:06:00 PMJul 27
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In article <61bf64c0-5644-407a...@googlegroups.com>,
HT <hvt...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Since a HIP performance isn't historical and doesn't want to be
>modern, it can only be 'as if it's historical'. Now you want it
>also to be 'as if it's something new'.

Yes, well, when people heard this music originally, it was new.
And that changes listening attitudes. I mean, if people now want
to hear it the way people then did....

Mandryka

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Jul 27, 2021, 12:20:19 PMJul 27
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To some extent the problem isn't real. We've all become so habituated to early 20th century performance ideas that when you hear someone who's serious about playing stuff in a historically informed way, it sounds exciting, new and strange. Take Leila Schayegh's Brahms as an example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmLmUY7gKDE&ab_channel=LeilaSchayegh-Topic

Or Ron Erickson's Beethoven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S52WZ3-ZdnQ&ab_channel=RonErickson

Or Rubsam's Bach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPHuky0YOtg&ab_channel=RiqueBorges

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 27, 2021, 12:33:49 PMJul 27
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In article <b3b9b09c-354c-4230...@googlegroups.com>,
Mandryka <howie....@gmail.com> wrote:
>... when you hear someone who's serious about playing stuff in a
>historically informed way, it sounds exciting, new and strange.

Yes, that's the aspect that draws me... e.g. medieval music right
next to new music (as was happening in concert halls at the time).

But at some level, we do know that this is old music. I don't know
about you, but I simply can't hear it as something contemporary.
That's not the same as novelty.

Mandryka

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Jul 27, 2021, 1:00:54 PMJul 27
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The problem with that Todd is that there’s such a diversity of “contemporary”

When I heard this lachrimae from the 17th century I said to myself that it could have been written last week by Walter Zimmermann!

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


Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 27, 2021, 1:06:59 PMJul 27
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In article <74ccbce1-5991-49b5...@googlegroups.com>,
Mandryka <howie....@gmail.com> wrote:
>The problem with that Todd is that there's such a diversity of
>"contemporary"

Heh, I often lament openly (at least in private) that there's so
little!

number_six

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Jul 28, 2021, 4:00:14 PMJul 28
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On Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 9:33:49 AM UTC-7, Todd Michel McComb wrote:
> Mandryka wrote:
> >... when you hear someone who's serious about playing stuff in a
> >historically informed way, it sounds exciting, new and strange.
> Yes, that's the aspect that draws me... e.g. medieval music right
> next to new music (as was happening in concert halls at the time).
>
> But at some level, we do know that this is old music. I don't know
> about you, but I simply can't hear it as something contemporary.
> That's not the same as novelty.

We really cannot un-hear what has already been heard -- or believed to have been heard.

Here's a non-musical example. I was watching an episode of a British mystery show.

A character not yet on screen was mentioned by name as Joe Stalin.

In disbelief, I backtracked, turned subtitles on, and voila, it was Jo Starling.

But for the rest of the show, when the name came up I couldn't avoid thinking of how it initially sounded.

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 28, 2021, 4:03:12 PMJul 28
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In article <00ca1b09-a208-4f0c...@googlegroups.com>,
number_six <cybe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>We really cannot un-hear what has already been heard --

Right.

Another sort of scenario: Hearing various musicians who were
influenced by a previous musician one hasn't heard. Then hearing
this (perhaps more famous) older musician, but they sound (relatively)
boring -- one having heard their groundbreaking ideas already mined
& elaborated by others.

number_six

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Jul 30, 2021, 3:31:47 PMJul 30
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On Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 1:03:12 PM UTC-7, Todd Michel McComb wrote:
> number_six wrote:
> >We really cannot un-hear what has already been heard --
> Right.
>
> Another sort of scenario: Hearing various musicians who were
> influenced by a previous musician one hasn't heard. Then hearing
> this (perhaps more famous) older musician, but they sound (relatively)
> boring -- one having heard their groundbreaking ideas already mined
> & elaborated by others.

That may've happened to me with some older jazz /big band guys like Armstrong, Lionel Hampton

I didn't initially appreciate them and their generation as much as I later did.

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 30, 2021, 3:58:59 PMJul 30
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In article <9d900e48-32b6-4670...@googlegroups.com>,
number_six <cybe...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>That may've happened to me with some older jazz /big band guys
>like Armstrong, Lionel Hampton

Seems almost inevitable....

cheregi

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Jul 30, 2021, 4:31:25 PMJul 30
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"It’s important to understand that historical “Authenticity” or correctness was never fundamental to the movement: it comes mostly from promoters and critics and musicologists, leading to some confusion. Famously, the early HIP (the Dutch school) did not believe in authenticity at all, and addressed these concerns early in the movement’s history, rejecting any notion of historical correctness.

...

The question motivating young Harnoncourt when he set out on his project was not “what would Bach approve of?” but rather “why is the music so dull?”…And the answer is of course it mustn’t be so, but a new expressive style could not be born out of thin air. So they cultivated an experimental working atmosphere, using history as a window-not a boundary!-on creativity. This to me is the spirit of HIP, and I think it is still alive today, evidenced by the diversity of styles, ideas & perspectives within it.

Take f.i. the Rifkin hypothesis, the idea that Bach’s vocal music would have been performed one voice to a part. Could Kuijken have been unaware that this idea is highly contested at best, when he recorded his SMP? No he couldn’t, but even so he allowed the idea to expand his musical imagination, and that is HIP ..."

From a conversation on another part of the internet - setting me straight.

Now the way I can explain my interest in HIP is like this: when people say 'classical music is boring!', and they are of course talking about 20th-c-canonical performances of 20th-c-canonical works, I absolutely agree with them, there is a mainstream approach of 'classical music as public ritual', trending in the same direction as for example traditional Chinese or Korean ritual court music, everything getting slower, louder, less expressive, doing things 'because this is how they must be done', sustained by public funding and public cultural investment in the mythology... despite all this I, and I don't know why, perhaps this is foolish, still believe there is something worthwhile in the marks put down on the page by 'the greats', for example maybe I believe nobody can write polyphony quite like Josquin now because everybody's ears are too attuned to tonality over modality... so I am interested to hear performances which, in whatever way (aside from public-ritual), have something to do with, exist in connection or response to, what Josquin wrote. And because there is such a crisis of legitimacy or of authority for broadly-defined 'classical music' today, much of experimental performance of canonical works needs to be justified via HIP in order to get grants/funding/promotion/etc. - yes it is true, per quote above, that historical research can open many interesting doors we would not have accessed otherwise, but I think this reasoning is secondary to previous reasoning and there is much untapped potential for 'weird' non-HIP performance practice. In other words, yes, I wholeheartedly and without intellectualizing derive more enjoyment from Mandryka's three links, even (especially!) the scratchy Beethoven, than from 'normal' performance of those works, because I like music with nuance, I like music un-smoothed-over.

In parallel there is also political utility to puncturing the public mythmaking of consistency of 'Western civilization', to highlight the gap between what Beethoven heard / wanted to hear and the Beethoven as we typically hear, the idea that he wouldn't like what we are doing and we wouldn't like what he was doing - yes this has value, but this is totally separate from why I like listening to HIP!

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 30, 2021, 4:47:46 PMJul 30
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In article <5f65e0f4-d872-4554...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>So they cultivated an experimental working atmosphere, using history
>as a window-not a boundary!-on creativity. This to me is the spirit
>of HIP, ....

I like this summary. Maybe it is more aspirational than always the
practical reality (because, as you mention, funding etc....), but
there is a lot of truth to it. HIP is mostly a search for "new"
ideas.

Good further comments also....

Of course, this part about "how things have always been done" becomes
even more charged in the current political environment....

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 31, 2021, 4:19:05 AMJul 31
to
>I wholeheartedly and without intellectualizing derive more enjoyment
>from Mandryka's three links, even (especially!) the scratchy
>Beethoven, than from 'normal' performance of those works, because
>I like music with nuance, I like music un-smoothed-over.

I tend to enjoy new approaches too.

More specifically, especially given my increased participation here
lately (together with more time at home...), I've been listening
to more versions of some of my favorites from the canon... cliche
favorites of Schubert & Brahms. Anyway, listening to the classic
mid-20th century recordings that so many people seem to love -- and
that's another factor, much easier access than when I was surveying
much of this in the first place... -- they simply aren't to my
taste. Too much Schenkerian Urlinie, I'd say... & too much an
ensemble trying to sound like one person. Waay too sweet. I mean,
I can hear the appeal of e.g. Busch Schubert late Quartets, but
it's as if they're relegating some of the best parts to be accents....

cheregi

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Jul 31, 2021, 6:06:01 PMJul 31
to
On Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2:19:05 AM UTC-6, Todd Michel McComb wrote:
> In article <5f65e0f4-d872-4554...@googlegroups.com>,
>
> More specifically, especially given my increased participation here
> lately (together with more time at home...), I've been listening
> to more versions of some of my favorites from the canon... cliche
> favorites of Schubert & Brahms. Anyway, listening to the classic
> mid-20th century recordings that so many people seem to love -- and
> that's another factor, much easier access than when I was surveying
> much of this in the first place... -- they simply aren't to my
> taste. Too much Schenkerian Urlinie, I'd say... & too much an
> ensemble trying to sound like one person. Waay too sweet. I mean,
> I can hear the appeal of e.g. Busch Schubert late Quartets, but
> it's as if they're relegating some of the best parts to be accents....

Interesting - I get here from an opposite direction, having not had any relationship to 'classical music' until relatively recently, and then 'discovering' simultaneously early music and contemporary, and my field of interest slowly circling in towards 'the canon' via HIP, and next, I'm sure, to reach something like Busch Quartet. Perhaps interesting to note such a trajectory as really only possible within 21st century, and what this might indicate for future directions.

As for Schenkerian Urlinie, I am reminded of a book I read recently (published online: https://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/studies/chapters/intro.html) synthesizing research into early-20th-c classical recordings, drawing, for example, timeline of 19th-c developments in performance technique by comparing recordings made by performers educated at different times - there is some discussion of parallel (attempted) Schenkerianization/Freudianization of performance practice as crystallizing especially after WWII...

cheregi

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Jul 31, 2021, 6:06:49 PMJul 31
to
On Friday, July 30, 2021 at 2:47:46 PM UTC-6, Todd Michel McComb wrote:
> In article <5f65e0f4-d872-4554...@googlegroups.com>,
>
> Of course, this part about "how things have always been done" becomes
> even more charged in the current political environment....

Do you mean in terms of ecological collapse as a result of 'how things have always been done'?

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 31, 2021, 6:09:44 PMJul 31
to
In article <05c31df3-346c-41a7...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>Interesting - I get here from an opposite direction, having not had any
>relationship to 'classical music' until relatively recently, and then
>'discovering' simultaneously early music and contemporary, and my field
>of interest slowly circling in towards 'the canon' via HIP, and next,
>I'm sure, to reach something like Busch Quartet. Perhaps interesting to
>note such a trajectory as really only possible within 21st century, and
>what this might indicate for future directions.

Yes, and I think generally each generation will have different
approaches... different ways of traversing musical styles... what
I call aesthetic narrative.

Todd Michel McComb

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Jul 31, 2021, 6:11:47 PMJul 31
to
In article <7056d792-4d08-4f50...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>Do you mean in terms of ecological collapse as a result of 'how
>things have always been done'?

Well, maybe not quite as specifically as that, but yes, the "how
things have always been done" political position doesn't necessarily
correspond particularly well to the ways things have always been
done. The proponents don't tend to be scholars, let's put it that
way.

gggg gggg

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Jul 31, 2021, 6:13:16 PMJul 31
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Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 15, 2021, 2:33:35 PMAug 15
to
In article <se311l$5r8$1...@hope.eyrie.org>,
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org> wrote:
>Anyway, listening to the classic mid-20th century recordings that
>so many people seem to love ... they simply aren't to my taste.
>Too much Schenkerian Urlinie, I'd say... & too much an ensemble
>trying to sound like one person.

I have a few more thoughts following this remark, although I'm
definitely not a specialist in mid-20th century performance....

In particular, I want to recall the (prior) dominance of the Urlinie
approach when considering "critical" phrases like "brings out the
counterpoint" & "lets the music speak for itself." I've come to
believe that, although the meaning of these (often vague) remarks
can be contested, they largely refer to dissatisfaction with a
Schenkerian approach.

In particular, the emphasis on developing a single "main" line puts
counterpoint more into the background (i.e. as ornament). This is
an aspect of the mid-20th century style that was frustrating for
me. Similarly, one might characterize these Schenkerian approaches
as a sort of "analytical reduction" of the music, i.e. so as to
emphasize Urlinie & its development (against "secondary" factors).
And although "let the music speak for itself" doesn't make literal
sense, I'm now thinking of it as resistance to this sort of analytical
reduction, i.e. as a desire to hear everything on the page (equally?).

(And this is not to say that the Schenkerian approach is a "bad
way" to perform music. Only that I -- and apparently others --
wanted more approaches. So it's at least partly a matter of variety,
again. Actually I think that Schenker was quite insightful regarding
the common practice repertory.)

cheregi

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Aug 17, 2021, 3:25:31 PMAug 17
to
As also far from an expert, this seems to me quite plausible... In terms of keyboard music specifically, Wolfgang Rubsam in Bach and Edoardo Torbianelli in Romantic repertoire come to very similar conclusions about unsyncing hands / multiple-simultaneous-tempi such that different voices are truly distinct. These seem like two seeds of an approach which could profitably be applied to everything in between.

Also, though, Rubsam has got me listening to Bach more than I ever have in the past, and aware again of all that is maddening in Bach, something about maybe the insane laboriousness of the counterpoint, or maybe - this may be something everyone knows - that Bach is underneath the clever counterpoint actually thinking in terms of chords, and the contrapuntalism is indeed 'secretly' only textural rather than structural as in earlier musics, such that indeed there is a kind of Urlinie called for or implied?

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 17, 2021, 3:36:43 PMAug 17
to
In article <253612d2-eed3-402d...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>... aware again of all that is maddening in Bach, something about
>maybe the insane laboriousness of the counterpoint, or maybe -

I'm not so sure about the path to Schenker that you go on to
construct, but "laborious" does describe Bach rather well for me....

Mandryka

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Aug 17, 2021, 4:42:25 PMAug 17
to


Would the sort of analysis you guys are talking about be applicable to Italian madrigals? That's the sort of music which is inspiring Rubsam. Polyphonic, each musician has different ideas to express, cantabile. This sort of thing ( selected without much thought!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QVbmCTgtXc&ab_channel=LaVenexiana-Topic

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 17, 2021, 4:46:14 PMAug 17
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In article <2d26386e-04d5-4775...@googlegroups.com>,
Mandryka <howie....@gmail.com> wrote:
>Would the sort of analysis you guys are talking about be applicable
>to Italian madrigals?

As repertory particularly resistant to a Schenkerian analysis?
Makes sense....

cheregi

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Aug 18, 2021, 9:19:41 PMAug 18
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On Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 4:42:25 PM UTC-4, Mandryka wrote:
> Would the sort of analysis you guys are talking about be applicable to Italian madrigals? That's the sort of music which is inspiring Rubsam. Polyphonic, each musician has different ideas to express, cantabile. This sort of thing ( selected without much thought!)
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QVbmCTgtXc&ab_channel=LaVenexiana-Topic

I know you said 'without much thought' but you happen to have picked one of my favorite madrigals. Unfortunately I have yet to hear a recording I really like. Regardless I dramatically prefer this version over the La Venexiana, which I have a very low opinion of : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=triefn8_vBQ
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