Ein abolutes "do not"

Dieses impertinente journaillische

„Ist AB der / die neue XY?“

– nimmt dem neuen Werk jede Eigenständigkeit. Und läßt mich rätseln, warum ich das Neue nehmen soll, wenn es doch nicht anders ist als das Alte.

2 Replies to “Ein abolutes "do not"”

  1. Hi Mischa. I tried posting a response on Seesmic, but it kept freezing on me 🙁
    Perhaps I am not the best person to ask this question to, because I do not believe in extremes. I consider myself more of a moderate performer. But as far as a „right“ and „wrong“ way to play, the situation in piano performance is very similar to the situation in composition. There are two extreme camps, and we all fall somewhere along the continuum between the extremes, but I don’t think there really is a „right“ way anymore.
    On the one side you have those who believe in re-creating the past. These people want to play baroque music as it was played during the baroque period, classical music the way that it was played in the classical period, and romantic music the way that it was played during the romantic period. For this reason, many of these performers flock to historical instruments to further authenticate their recreations.
    On the other side you have those who believe in following current trends. What these trends are today, I am really not sure. (I think it is vaguely about making everything sound very „beautiful“ and very „romantic“, usually involving liberal use of pedal… oh, and often it is about playing as fast as you can… but I really don’t know.) But these people do no believe in recreation. To them, performance is like fashion: Nobody wears powdered wigs anymore, nobody dresses like that anymore, so why would we want to play the way that they used to play back then? To these people, historical performance practice is absurd.
    The colleagues who were unhappy with Fazil Say’s playing, were unhappy because Say was not following historical performance practice strictly enough. His Bach was deemed „too romantic“, his Beethoven „too distorted“ etc. Was their opinion the „right“ one? They certainly seemed to think so, but there were also a few musicians like myself who enjoyed the performance. Don’t get me wrong: I do enjoy a good historical performance. But above all, I appreciate good music making, and good music making does not necessarily mean it must be historically accurate. We will never REALLY know how things sounded back then, so why worry if we get it a little „wrong“?
    I think after John Cage, it is impossible to say what is right and what is wrong. So, perhaps I am not the best person to ask 🙂 But if you were to talk about Glen Gould to musicians, check to see if they are pianists first. In my experience, non-pianist musicians really love Glen Gould. But I have yet to meet a pianist who really loves Glen Gould.
    I’d be curious to learn what the 60s/70s fashion of playing piano was like. I really have no idea what the current fashion is.

  2. People like Andre Rieu fall into a distinctly separate category. They’re called „cross-over“ artists… or people who are trying to make it in mainstream culture. They are usually looked down upon by traditional classical musicians as cheesy, you are right, although I have had friends who have admitted to admiring Sarah Brightman’s singing technique. They are trying to appeal to a broader audience, but I think that most traditional classical musicians would agree that they are not doing it in the „right“ 🙂 way. We would all like to make it in the mainstream, but „dumbing down“ is too much of a compromise. It’s also insulting to the general public.
    Then again, many of the popular artists of past centuries have failed to make it into the classical canon, so… popular cheesy music is not a new thing 🙂