Monday, April 16, 2012

Miscellaneous notes: Historically informed performance practice

composer and record producer Michael Sartorius

- BAROQUE MUSIC PERFORMANCE: "Authentic" or "Traditional"

There is a spirit to every age, every composer, and every piece of music. In baroque times secular and sacred life were very much inter-related, and music was to be enjoyed, but also respected as a spiritual gift. Bach spoke often of a piece, its performance, and the instrumentation or style with which it was performed as requiring gravitas. More importantly, the spirit of the baroque is characterized above all by clarity, for the music is very contrapuntal (fugal/canonic) and every note, every line has its place. Love and respect for the music, enjoyment in performance, and above all, clarity in the articulation, ensemble and recording balance. These are the true essentials of baroque music. If performance practices billed as “authentic” on "period" instruments can reveal these qualities and this spirit then that is true authenticity. If modern instruments can do the same, then that too is authenticity. It’s the spirit that counts.

story in web magazine by composer and biographer (Brahms and Charles Ives) Jan Stafford

In Search of Lost Sounds
Why you've never really heard the "Moonlight" Sonata.
By Jan Swafford|Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at 7:06 AM ET

The Wolf at Our Heels
The centuries-old struggle to play in tune.
By Jan Swafford|Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at 10:08 AM ET

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