In article <se311l$5r8$1...@hope.eyrie.org
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org
>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
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.)