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Correctness - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Johan van Veen wrote (April 23, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< In this case morality is the same as personal preference. If it weren't every one would agree with you. >
Why? Can you think of any moral standard everyone agrees with? That would make the world a better place for sure.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 23, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< What about transcriptions? Bach transcribed Vivaldi concerti for organ, which isn't anything like what Vivaldi had in mind. I don't agree that it needs to be played according to rules-why shouldn't an organ fugue be transcribed for an orchestra? I think he would like that. >
I wasn't talking about transcriptions but about interpreting the real thing. I don't know if Bach ever played these arrangements in public, but I am certain he didn't pretend to play Vivaldi.

I have nothing against arrangements or transcriptions or whatever you want to call them, as long as the player/arranger/transcriber/whatever doesn't pretent to play the real thing.

And I have nothing against an arrangement of Bach's organ music for orchestra - as long as I don't have to listen to it - but a performance should be presented as 'Bach'. Of course, there are good and bad arrangements - I happen to think that arrangements for (symphony) orchestra belong to the latter category. Arranging them for a baroque orchestra would make things considerably better, although I don't see the need to do so.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 23, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< No composer simply writes music and intends it to played a certain way expecting that a strong musical personality won't interpret in an unexpected way. Isn't that why they call it an interpretation? >
But composers don't necessarily want their music "interpreted" - they want it played! The whole concept of "interpretation" is a very recent one.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Robert Sherman] Indeed, Bob, we do agree on the facts but not necessarily on the interpretation of them! :)

Two cautions I offer:

(1) Watch out for the seductive yet improper (illogical) syllogism it appears you're using:
- I am good at A but unable to do the similar task B [granted]
- I could recognize B adequately and reliably [granted]
- I have never heard anyone do B [granted, if you say so]
- Therefore(??), B is categorically impossible (??) [which does not follow logically; it only shows a limit of personal experience]

(2) As you know, the just intonation major scale 1:1, 9:8, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 5:3, 15:8, 2:1 is very uneven melodically. In cents values, that scale from each note to the next is 204, 182, 102, 204, 182, 204, 112. Meanwhile, our modern ears accustomed to equal temperament expect all whole steps to be 200 and all half steps to be 100. The variance there is huge, having two different sizes of whole steps (204 and 182) and two different sizes of half steps (102 and 112). Therefore, this just intonation scale sounds bumpy and unfamiliar in melodic practice, which some would take automatically as "wrong" and "unpleasant" and "inferior". Maybe so far as "unmusical".

John Pike wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Steven Guy] Thank you. Very helpful. I have always found the use of Oboe da Caccia and Oboe d'Amore as indicated to be vitally important. Their sound is so different from one another and from the modern Oboe that I feel so much is lost by not using the appropriate instrument.

Robert Sherman wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] Brad, I don't say it's impossible. Maybe neither is time travel, anti-gravity, or intercontinental thought control. I just say I'm waiting for the demonstration.

On choice of scale it's a matter of taste, of course, but brass and string players, as well as singers, do true scales and maybe the melodies sound strange to some (they don't to us non-tempered guys) but the harmonies sound great to everyone. Have you ever heard complaints about the King’s Singers' pure triads? All I hear about them is gasps of admiration.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 23, 2004):
[To Stephen Benson] See the section: "Ugliness in performances of Bach": http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Perform-Gen8.htm

And look for BWV 77 near the bottom of: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Trumpets-4.htm

Eric Chafe is simply regurgitating an opinion that is already documented as a mistaken, traditional reading/interpretation of Bach’s intentions in book on Bach’s brass music by the Csibas [Merseburger, 1994.)

Cara wrote (April 24, 2004):
Steven Guy wrote:
< So should we use clarinets in performances of Bach? I would say - not in authoritative recordings.
I have two things (question and comment):
1) How would one work a clarinet into a Bach score? Have you ever heard Bach's authentic music played with a clarinet? I agree that clarinets should NEVER be used in authentic music.
2) There is one case I can think of that Bach's music has clarinets- however, it is due to Felix Mendelsohn's (or however you spell his name) revision of the St. Matthew Passion, which is a recording I have. Clarinets were added to the big pieces, such as the chorus pieces (but not the chorals too much) and many of the arias. They sound rather pleasent, mostly because they are not featured. >
Can you give me an example of Handel using clarinets? I've never heard that...

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Cara] I think there are clarinet (Chalumeau) parts in "Solomon", Vivaldi wrote a wonderful concerto for two oboes and two clarinets. I used the middle movement to depict the figures on the clocktower in St. Mark's Square in my script for "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery" for Classical Kids.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< Why? Can you think of any moral standard everyone agrees with? That would make the world a better place for sure. >
Would you say that Virgil Fox is immoral because he played Bach on an Aeolian Skinner? It's not like prostitution or murder.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< I wasn't talking about transcriptions but about interpreting the real thing. I don't know if Bach ever played these arrangements in public, but I am certain he didn't pretend to play Vivaldi. I have nothing against arrangements or transcriptions or whatever you want to call them, as long as the player/arranger/transcriber/whatever doesn't pretent to play the real thing.
And I have nothing against an arrangement of Bach's organ music for orchestra - as long as I don't have to listen to it - but a performance should be presented as 'Bach'. Of course, there are good and bad arrangements - I happen to think that arrangements for (symphony) orchestra belong to the latter category. Arranging them for a baroque orchestra would make things considerably better, although I don't see the need to do so. >
As far as I'm concerned, there is no need to say things are and aren't proper unless someone comes to you for guidance. It is an opinion, not a universal truth.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
<< No composer simply writes music and intends it to played a certain way expecting that a strong musical personality won't interpret in an unexpected way. Isn't that why they call it an interpretation? >>
< But composers don't necessarily want their music "interpreted" - they want it played! The whole concept of "interpretation" is a very recent one. >
Are you saying everyone should behave as if they're in a cultural context 250+ years ago? That's impossible!

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< If Johann Sebastian Bach's music had been unearthed only fifteen years ago, I would be willing to bet that there wouldn't be much energy in the 'HIP versus Modern Instruments' debate. >
I am not debbating HIP v. modern as two distinct things. That would be an extremist view. I am arguing against HIP as the only way to do it. Both are there and I like people that do both. I just think it's silly to say that if its not HIP it is bad or immoral.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
How mof you HIP (organ) people have alot of non-HIP recordings? My personal view is that it is important to listen to as many recordings as possible, regardless of whether they are on period-type instruments or not so that I have lots of thingss to compare. For instance, almost all the organists mentioned in this discussion (besides the names I've contributed) are on period instruments, and no one has commented on a specific non-HIP Bach organ performance. To what degree has everyone listened to recordings of instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries?

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< would you say that Virgil Fox is immoral because he played Bach on an Aeolian Skinner? It's not like prostitution or murder. >
morality is not always something everryone agrees with, but it has a broader collective connotation. I think a more appropriate term would be principle because even if there are alot of people that agree with you it is something that you have a strong conviction about but is not something you learned from your parents.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< Are you saying everyone should behave as if they're in a cultural context 250+ years ago? >
No.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< I just think it's silly to say that if its not HIP it is bad or immoral. >
Did anyone say that?

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< How many of you HIP (organ) people have alot of non-HIP recordings? My personal view is that it is important to listen to as many recordings as possible, regardless of whether they are on period-type instruments or not so that I have lots of thingss to compare. For instance, almost all the organists mentioned in this discussion (besides the names I've contributed) are on period instruments, and no one has commented on a specific non-HIP Bach organ performance. To what degree has everyone listened to recordings of instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries? Well, Peter Hurford used exclusively modern (albeit neo-Baroque) instruments, as does Kevin Bowyer (a Marcussen in Denmark) and they have been mentioned by several people. Although his playing can be a bit matter-of-fact, I like Bowyer's recordings very much - his registrations are imaginative and apt and the organ itself is very beautiful (like most Marcussens).

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
Gabriel Jackson wrote:
< Did anyone say that? >
That's the impression I got from several posts.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< Well, Peter Hurford used exclusively modern (albeit neo-Baroque) instruments, as does Kevin Bowyer (a Marcussen in Denmark) and they have been mentioned by several people. Although his playing can be a bit matter-of-fact, I like Bowyer's recordings very much - his registrations are imaginative and apt and the organ itself is very beautiful (like most Marcussens). >
I do not consider neo-Baroque organs to be modern. I do not no the specific organs used by Bowyer, but some of that firm's organs are neo-baroque. Do you think Marie-Claire Alain does not play Bach on her own CAvaille-Coll at her church?

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote: < I do not consider neo-Baroque organs to be modern. >
Well they are!

"Do you think Marie-Claire Alain does not play Bach on her own CAvaille-Coll at her church?"

I'm sure she does....

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< How many of you HIP (organ) people have alot of non-HIP recordings? My personal view is that it is important to listen to as many recordings as possible, regardless of whether they are on period-type instruments or not so that I have lots of thingss to compare. >
If you are not interested in performances on modern instruments (as many are not) or are not interested in performances on period instruments (as many are not) why listen to them?

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< If you are not interested in performances on modern instruments (as many are not) or are not interested in performances on period instruments (as many are not) why listen to them? >
You don't have to, but if you are going to argue an opinion you should know what you're talking about. I am interested in both and even if I weren't I would still make a point of hearing both because I am interested in Bach.

BTW just becuase something was built recently does not mean it is modern. Historic reproductions are not what I would consider modern. If I made my own costume to go to a renaissance fair it does not mean I made a modern piece of clothing.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Then what is modern?

If a contemporary composer composes music in baroque style, it is still 'contemporary music'. There is nobody around to judge whether music is rightly or wrongly called 'contemporary' (or 'modern' if you like).

The point is: 'baroque' is a style which can be defined, 'contemporary' is just a point in time, not a style.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Assuming I understand what you mean - which is difficult - I could agree with your preference for the term 'principle', but I don't see what difference it makes.

For me the choice for HIP has a lot to do with my moral standards or principles - whatever you like -, but I am aware that not everyone agrees with these moral standards or principles. I don't see what your problem is.

And in contrast to what you think: principles can be - and often are - learned from our parents. That is part of their 'job': teaching their children moral standards or principles they hold dear.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< BTW just becuase something was built recently does not mean it is modern. Historic reproductions are not what I would consider modern. >
It does actually - modern means recent, new etc. But in any case a neo-Baroque organ is in many ways very different from an 18th century instrument. Many have modern playing aids - pistons, sequencers etc. - for a start, but they are arguably quite different in most other respects too.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Dan Long wrote:
< You don't have to, but if you are going to argue an opinion you should know what you're talking about. I am interested in both and even if I weren't I would still make a point of hearing both because I am interested in Bach. >
I'm not surewhat you're getting at here. Are you suggesting that those who don't like modern instrument performances have never heard any, or that those who don'tlie period instruments have never heard any? I'm all in favour of people knowing what they're talking about!

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (April 24, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< The point is: 'baroque' is a style which can be defined, 'contemporary' is just a point in time, not a style. >
This is far from being that simple and truthful. Your point of view can be debated. There exist criteria which can define what is usually called "contemporary" music as a style, even if these criteria are indeed wider than for "baroque" or "romantic" music. Otherwise how could you define works of composers such as Varèse, Nono, Kagel, Henze, Stockhausen, etc. ? But I'm afraid this is going OT.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] The poimt is that 'contemporary music' is an amalgam of styles. I know nothing about contemporary music, but I know enough to doubt whether anybody will see much similarity between, for instance, Pärt and Stockhausen.

So what is the 'contemporary' style, and who does define it?

The feature of western 'classical' music since the end of the 19th century is that different styles co-exist, which was not the case until about the middle of the 19th century.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] That is true up to a point but literally speaking, Varèse and Nono are not contemporary, as they are dead! I don't think one can reasonassume the term "contemporary music" as describing a style - the examples you mention are all very different, and if you bring in figures like Louis Andriessen, Steve Reich, Brian Ferneyhough, John Tavener, (all contemporary, as they are all alive) the idea of "contemporary music" as a style falls apart completely.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< Then what is modern? If a contemporary composer composes music in baroque style, it is still 'contemporary music'. >
So by that logic, do you consider any instrument built or modified since, say, 1750, to not be appropriate for playing Bach?

Johan van Veen wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Dan Long] That would be a little too simplistic.

Not every instrument buillt after 1750 is inappropriate, nor is any instrument built before 1750 appropriate. It al depends on the specific characteristics of a particular instrument.

Many organs of the late 18th and even some of the first part of the 19th century are built in a rather conservative style. Whether they are suitable to play Bach depends on the character of its sound, the stops, the tuning and pitch etc.

Italian or Spanish organs built during Bach's lifetime are hardly suitable to play Bach. Some fortepianos were built before 1750, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are appropriate to play Bach's keyboard parts.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] So let's focus on German instruments built or modified after 1750. Is the list of appropriate instruments in this category a long one?

What about American instruments? Are there any that you feel are appropriate?

Stephen Benson wrote (April 24, 2004):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Eric Chafe is simply regurgitating an opinion that is already documented as a mistaken, traditional reading/interpretation of Bach’s intentions in book on Bach’s brass music by the Csibas [Merseburger, 1994.) >
The use of the phrase "documented as a mistaken, traditional reading/interpretation" suggests that Eric Chafe's understanding has been proven unequivocally and factually false when, once again, you have done nothing more than express your own opinion, a preference for which you have found someone who agrees with you.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] I didn't talk about contemporary composers, but contemporary music, which has then a different meaning, and has nothing to do with the composer still being alive or not. I just wanted to point that beyond all the differences existing between composers such as Reich and Nono, for instance, or Pärt and Stockhausen, if you switch on your radio and hear any of them, your first thought will be : "This is "contemporary" music", just the same way you think : "This is baroque music" while hearing Bach. And if you use this word, I think it means it IS a style, how broad and hard to define it might be, for numerous historical, political and artistic reasons...

Gabriel Jackson wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] My contention was, and is, that 'contemporary music' has no meaning in stylistic terms but can only mean 'music that is being written now, or has been written recently' which is how most people use the term. You might say of Reich or Nono or Pärt or Stockhausen "this is contemporary music" but that response must because you (the listener) already know enough about the music of the past to know that it cannot be that, and probably enough about recent musical developments to recognise the various aesthetic/ideological camps that those composers (broadly) respectively come from. If you are asked to define "Baroque music" there are various attributes that all Baroques music shares that you can cite. What definition can you offer of "contemporary music" as a 'style' that encompasses the work of Reich, Nono, Pärt, Stockhausen and, let's say, Schnittke, H. Dutilleux, Bryars, Sculthorpe, Tom Johnson, John Corigliano, Judith Weir etc. etc.?

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 24, 2004):
Steve Benson stated:
>>you have done nothing more than express your own opinion, a preference for which you have found someone who agrees with you.<<
No, in this case Eric Chafe has simply reiterated an opinion that is borne out in past HIP recordings of this Bach cantata mvt. The Csibas have vastly more experience and understanding about the brass instruments used by Bach than most conductors and brass instrumentalists. If this is not the case, please supply the names of those who do and hopefully make them answer the question whether they happen to agree with a theory that gives HIP trumpeters an excuse to play a Bach tromba part poorly.

Donald Satz wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Dan seems to think that we HIP folks haven't accomplished an extensive comparison with modern instrument recordings in arriving at our preferences - we have.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< Assuming I understand what you mean - which is difficult - I could agree with your preference for the term 'principle', but I don't see what difference it makes. For me the choice for HIP has a lot to do with my moral standards or principles - whatever you like -, but I am aware that not everyone agrees with these moral standards or principles. I don't see what your problem is.
And in contrast to what you think: principles can be - and often are - learned from our parents. That is part of their 'job': teaching their children moral standards or principles they hold dear. >
The difference is that if you disagree with something in principle, you don't make the same judgement of someone else as if you say "morally disagree". If you disagree morally, it would imply that the other is "immoral". That is why I disagree with the use of "morality".

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< I'm not surewhat you're getting at here. Are you suggesting that those who don't like modern instrument performances have never heard any, or that those who don'tlie period instruments have never heard any? I'm all ifn favour of people knowing what they're talking about! >
I'm strictly speaking about organ, as people have talked about other things. I mean that if Christopher Herrick and Wolfgang Rübsam perform on Metzler organs, while the were built in the 20th century (I think) they are based mostly on emulating characteristics of an organ that was around in Bach's day. They are not ramontic or post-romantic if that exists, so I would say that they are not modern in the sense that St. John the Divine is not a work of modern architecture as it is modelled after a gothic-romanesque cathedral. In the 19th century there was also a neo-gothic style, which followed a neo-classic style. In this sense it is not really a fundamental reassessment of something in a new context, but somebody wanted to have a church that looked like that built in New York City. that is what a mean by "modern".

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
-- a : of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past:
CONTEMPORARY b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant remote past to the present time
2 : involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas : UP-TO-DATE
3 capitalized : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the present or most recent period of development of a language

< It does actually - modern means recent, new etc. But in any case a neo-Baroque organ is in many ways very different from an 18th century instrument. Many have modern playing aids - pistons, sequencers etc. - for a start, but they are arguably quite different in most other respects too. >
I am aware that a neo-baroque instrument is never completely without the use of modern technologies, but I am arguing that modernism is defined as something which embodies characteristics of a relatively short past.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< This is far from being that simple and truthful. Your point of view can be debated. There exist criteria which can define what is usually called "contemporary" musas a style, even if these criteria are indeed wider than for "baroque" or "romantic" music. Otherwise how could you define works of composers such as Varèse, Nono, Kagel, Henze, Stockhausen, etc. ? But I'm afraid this is going OT. >
Generally I do not think it does any music justice to be put in these categories, but in this case it is important to clarify this difference. Whatever the present time is, it is contemporary to us. You cannot give it a quality just by this word. Although I think it is a very general definition, the baroque period (which is not the same as saying something is baroque) was something invented by art-historians in the late nineteenth century as a negative term for decadence and perverse ornamentation in the visual arts. It was only later that it was applied to other disciplines and became a definable art historical period between mannerism and neo-classicism, then romanitc etc. The point is that the word baroque has a specific quality attached to its meaning. Contemporary composers have only in common that they are contemporaries of each other.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< The poimt is that 'contemporary music' is an amalgam of styles. I know nothing about contemporary music, but I know enough to doubt whether anybody will see much similarity between, for instance, Pärt and Stockhausen. So what is the 'contemporary' style, and who does define it?
The feature of western 'classical' music since the end of the 19th century is that different styles co-exist, which was not the case until about the middle of the 19th century. >

Their is no such thing as contemporary style. You might call trends contemporary styles but I think they change because they are mostly superficial things and they have more to do with making money than artistic integrity. I think whatis continuing to happen in several different disciplines is that styles are less coherent and personal languages are developed independant of eachother. It is also due to the fact that instead of royalty and the church as the chief patrons of the church, the government (through grants etc.) and increasingly large groups of individuals support music. It is less of a background as it used to be (to support other things) people go to hear recitals. When it is consumed like this people want to hear different things, so
composers do not follow specific schools.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
<< I didn't talk about contemporary composers, but contemporary music, which has then a different meaning, and has nothing to do with the composer still being alive or not. I just wanted to point that beyond all the differences existing between composers such as Reich and Nono, for instance, or Pärt and Stockhausen, if you switch on your radio and hear any of them, your first thought will be : "This is "contemporary" music", just the same way you think : "This is baroque music" while hearing Bach. And if you use this word, I think it means it IS a style, how broad and hard to define it might be, for numerous historical, political and artistic reasons... >>
Personally, when I hear Bach my first thought is not that it's "baroque music". The same is true for contemporary music, because it is all so different. But the use of the word contemporary is all relative to what you want it to mean.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
< Dan seems to think that we HIP folks haven't accomplished an extensive comparison with modern instrument recordings in arriving at our preferences - we have. >
I don't know how you've arrived at your opinions, but would be interested in knowing specific recordings as examples. Not all people who use more modern organs play the same-they are as different as night and day. Dupre, for example, only used Baroque stops when playing music appropriate to that time. Yet he played it on modern (Cavaille-Coll & after) organs. Virgil Fox played it on an electronic instrument and an Aeolian-Skinner using sounds that could never have been made from a Silbermann. My point is that there is too much generalization about HIP v. not . There are degrees of "authenticity" because it is impossible to be completely authentic or inauthentic. I want to know at exactly what degree do you think it is inappropriate and why.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Organs by Metzler - and also a number of organs by Marcussen - are built in the so-called 'neo-baroque' style. They may have something in common with 'real baroque' organs, but not very much. The sound they produce, and the disposition is fundamentally different. There has been a complete recording of Bach's organ works by Marie-Claire Alain on Marcussen organs (from the 70's, I think) of which my parents had a couple on vinyl, but I find them lifeless, superficial and mechanical. That is partly due to Ms Alain's playing, but to a large extent also to the organs. They just don't have the depth and colours of real baroque organs.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] But would you say that they have more in common with Baroque or Romantic instruments?

Charles Francis wrote (April 24, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< Assuming I understand what you mean - which is difficult - I could agree with your preference for the term 'principle', but I don't see what difference it makes. For me the choice for HIP has a lot to do with my moral standards or principles - whatever you like -, but I am aware that not everyone agrees with these moral standards or principles. I don't see what your problem is. >
There seems to be a certain moral relativism going on above: on the one hand a personally held moral principle, but on the other no problem if some group members hold different views. So is your moral objection to using modern instruments for Bach performance an arbitrary personal stance or absolute in some sense (e.g., endorsed by God). Are you sure you're not just confusing personal musical preferences with morality?

< And in contrast to what you think: principles can be - and often are - learned from our parents. That is part of their 'job': teaching their children moral standards or principles they hold dear. >
How should a concerned parent react, if their kids take a liking to Rilling?

Robert Sherman wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Dan Long] This thread is the silliest damn thing imaginable, and I apologize to everyone for having taken part in it.

Dan Long wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Robert Sherman] Apology accepted.

Donald Satz wrote (April 24, 2004):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< See the section: "Ugliness in performances of Bach"
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Perform-Gen8.htm >
I thought we were already beyond the "ugly" premise in that what you hear as ugly is something very different to many other folks.

Donald Satz wrote (April 24, 2004):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I don't see how contemporary music can be a style, particularly since it involves a greater breadth of conceptions than in any previous era.

Yes, a piece of music can be recognized as "contemporary" only in that it doesn't apply to any previous time period. However, saying it's contemporary doesn't tell us what type of music it is or if it might be appealing to our respective preferences.

Donald Satz wrote (April 25, 2004):
[To Johan van Veen] Johan is exactly right, and I'd like to add a second slant on it. If we are going to use "contemporary", then we need to frame it with "past" and "future". of course, there is no past style.

Donald Satz wrote (April 25, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Why is it necessary to for the neo-baroque organ to have more in common with either modern or historical organs? The three are different, and there's another twist on it. When you say "neo-baroque", are you talking about a newly minted organ built with an historical aesthetic or one built as a copy of a particular historical organ?

Donald Satz wrote (April 25, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Forget the specifics - I have better ways to use my time than providing lists to the skeptical. All I know is that I own every Bach organ recording I can get mhands on, and it includes historical, neo-baroque, modern, and the so-called symphonic. My preferences are in the order I just offered, and they are based on listening experiences. How else could I reasonably reach these conclusions? It is irksome that Dan would think these preferences are based on anything else.

Dan Long wrote (April 25, 2004):
< Why is it necessary to for the neo-baroque organ to have more in common with either modern or historical organs? The three are different, and there's another twist on it. When you say "neo-baroque", are you talking about a newly minted organ built with an historical aesthetic or one built as a copy of a particular historical organ? >
I would like to know what people think is acceptable for playing Bach. If an organ that is not an exact copy of an 18th century organ but is aimed at synthesizing it with modern technologies whose sole purpose is to play pre-Romantic music, then is it appropriate? If an American wanted to play Bach on a Silbermann he could either have one copied exactly or play something like a Marcussen. I should be more clear about the definition of neo-baroque, because I was considering the Metzler and Marcussen organs in that category because while there are some important things that differentiate them from a Silbermann or Schnitger, they are to a great extent inspired by their character. I would say that a "copy" could not be called a modern organ. A Marcussen is something like buying a chair based on 18th century designs but made in a factory and using modern stains and fabrics etc. I was interested mainly in what variation of a "modern" organ is appropriate for Bach playing.

Dan Long wrote (April 25, 2004):
< Forget the specifics - I have better ways to use my time than providing lists to the skeptical. All I know is that I own every Bach organ recording I can get my hands on, and it includes historical, neo-baroque, modern, and the so-called symphonic. My preferences are in the order I just offered, and they are based on listening experiences. How else could I reasonably reach these conclusions? It is irksome that Dan would think these preferences are based on anything else. >
Don't you like any of the other ones?

Donald Satz wrote (April 25, 2004):
[To Dan Long] Please don't throw the word "appropriate" my way. I don't use it and I don't think like that. I feel I've made it clear that I base my preferences on listening, not right-wrong or any ethical consideration. I have complained about those who take Bach solo music and convert it into orchestral music, but I think that's just "being lazy".

Donald Satz wrote (April 25, 2004):
[To Dan Long] What other ones are you referring to? Basically, I can greatly enjoy Bach organ music on any kind of organ, given that the performances are sufficiently worthy.

 

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