Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Conductors of Vocal Works: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Singers & Instrumentalists

Reinhard Goebel & Musica Antiqua Köln
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions

Goebel’s style

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 4, 2001):
<< In fact, I blew my dentist money on more CDs instead!: (...) Savall for (yet another!) Brandenburg set but which pales next to MAK; (...) Ah, the age-old question of "grace vs muscle." >>
< Do you have MAK in mind when you say "muscle"? I've just finished listening to their AoF and, yes, they are very brawny (and even spasmodic a bit) in all strings contrapunctus. More variety would be welcome, but Goebel must understand music this way so nothing can be done about it :) >
True, his style is not everyone's cup of tea. It causes strong reactions of one type or another. It's definitely not dull.

About ten years ago a friend borrowed the Goebel/Hill set of Bach violin sonatas from me: she was working on the harpsichord parts of some of those pieces and wanted to hear what Hill did with them. When she gave it back a few weeks later, she handed it to me with the few simple words: "I think Reinhard Goebel is masturbating."

Charles Francis wrote (November 4, 2001):
[To Bradley Lehman] For a more tactful insight regarding Goebel's treatment of the F-minor adagio, see: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&selm=9k0sfa%2420ee8%241%40ID-75949.news.dfncis.de

(NB as ever, don't forget to cut and paste the end of the link!)

Jim Morrison wrote (November 4, 2001):
[To Bradley Lehman] I recently picked up this masturbation set and enjoy it. I'm listening to it right now.

If Hill is Goebel's partner, then what does that make Hill, an accessory to masturbation?

But less jokingly, I've seen comments about performers masturbating before, but I've only seen it applied to men, and I never quite understand what it means except that the person who made the comment doesn't like the performence.

Anyone (brad?) care to fill me in on what it means, esp in this context. That he's taking liberties with the score? That he's having a good time? Having a bad time?

Jim (who likes just about everything he's heard from Manze, Savall, Parrott Goebel and thinks Goebel's and Savall's Brandenburgs are exceptional recordings.)

Peter Bright wrote (December 4, 2001):
[To Jim Morrison] Yes, I have heard it with respect to talentless rock bands (usually 22nd rate Hendrix clones with triangular Fenders and sequinned trousers) but never with respect to classical performers. I have always interpreted it as pointless technical "virtuosity", with no recourse to what the rest of the band is doing, for the sake of showing off.

Personally I rather like Goebel's approach once I have got used to the brisk tempos (although I have few of his recordings), for example, his Brandenburgs.

Matthew Westphal wrote (November 4, 2001):
Jim Morrison wrote:
<If Hill is Goebel's partner, then what does that make Hill, an accessory to masturbation? >
A masturbatory aide!!

< But less jokingly, I've seen comments about performers masturbating before, but I've only seen it applied to men, and I never quite understand what it means except that the person who made the comment doesn't like the performence. Anyone (brad?) care to fill me in on what it means, esp in this context. That he's taking liberties with the score? That he's having a good time? Having a bad time? >
The idea behind the metaphor is the difference between masturbating -- giving pleasure to oneself solely for one's own enjoyment -- and making love -- giving pleasure to another (one's partner, the audience) and communicating something (tenderness and passion, the music) at the same time that one is experiencing pleasure oneself.

So the criticism of Goebel's performance (which I have not heard) is that he's doing whatever he's doing with (or to) the music only because he can and because he gets off on doing it, with no regard for how he's affecting the music or what he's communicating to his listeners.

Jim Morrison wrote (November 4, 2001):
I should have also added that Robert Hill is very much sonically an equal partner to Goebel in this set. This disc places the harpsichord more forward in the mix than just about any I can recall.

I'd say that Goebel sounds like he's having fun, very much is communicating passion of a sort (there are different kinds), and wants to listener to join in with the fun that he and Hill are having.

Don't we want performers of music to have a good time while making it, instead of being disinterested? Isn't that one reason we go to concerts? Too see live people have fun making music? Doesn't Goebel sound like he's having fun?

If Goebel does give pleasure to some of us, then does that invalidate the masturbation metaphor?

I bet people would think not, and would instead call us folks who enjoy watching masturbation, in which case does that mean we're not involved with each other and Goebel is now no longer going solo?

From what I can tell, and I've listened to a fair amount of Bach, Goebel is a committed artist who makes excellent recordings in a style that I find unusual and refreshing.

Jim (who wonders if we haven't all enjoyed watching someone even though the people weren't concerned with who was watching them. Isn't there a lot to be said about artists/musicians delving deeply into the work and at the same time allowing us to witness the performance? Perhaps the best versions of the Art of Fugue capture just such an event? When people became all to concerned about the audience, don't we often complain that such performances lack depth? Isn't playing to the crowd sometimes frowned upon? Can Goebel be said to be masturbating if he's trying to impress us with his performance? Isn't he then trying to connect with us in a way that isn't fitting of the masturbation metaphor? Shoudln't we be talking about showing off then, and not masturbation? They seem like different things to me.)

Can you tell I'm don't like this metaphor?

Juozas Rimas wrote (November 5, 2001):
I think Bradley didn't mean anything literal about Goebel :)

I have also listened to Goebel's AOF lately. The energetic, lively, accented, controlled sounds, pulsating volume (louder - quieiter - louder... as if they were getting closer to the microphones then go farther away from them, then back again): these are all very refreshing, creative features. But they are in ALL the strings contrapuncti.

Maybe it was only my impression but it looked so to me. It's about the same as Ruebsam's three part sinfonias. Wonderful approach but, please, not for ALL the 15 sinfonias - he could play at least one of them using a different approach...

I like variety withing the boundaries of the same array of pieces (eg AoF or keyboard Partita), within the same piece or even withing the fragments of a piece (eg one of the main reasons I like Gould is that he often alternates staccatos and legatos - in the WTCI 1st prelude, the very ending of the Chromatic fantasia etc).

It's of course very subjective but I would adore Goebel to choose a couple of contrapuncti and play them with more softness, mellowness (if he could physically do this because his violin sounds sharp to me and a bit meowing as I've mentioned before).

 

End of Musica Antiqua Köln

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 16, 2001):
The Challenge Records website reports that Musica Antiqua Köln will disband at the end of 2006. At least they leave us with many fine recordings, and the other groups influenced by their style of performance.

John Wall
New York
NewOlde.com - http://www.newolde.com

 

Reinhard Goebel: Short Biography | Musica Antiqua Köln | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works | General Discussions
Individual Recordings:
Wedding Cantatas - R. Goebel | Bachiana - R. Goebel | Bachiana Volume 3 - Lamento - by M. Kožená w/ Musica Antiqua Köln & R. Goebel

Conductors of Vocal Works: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Singers & Instrumentalists

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýJanuary 21, 2013 ý12:39:29