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Auldbrass Plantation 2017 tours
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5810
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broad Margin is virtually impossible to see. I've driven past it 3 times - all different times of the year - and, unless something has changed in the past few years, it's very well hidden.

Shavin, on the other hand, can be seen from two sides. The driveway view on Crest Terrace Drive is the easiest and widest view. But, it's also possible to see from the other side - along the winding, narrow and historic North Crest Rd.


David
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7483

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After listening to Aretha singing a note-perfect "Nessun Dorma," whether you like it or not, look to the margin and find the Kennedy performance of "Natural Woman." The lady can do no wrong. She can take anything "out of her territory" and rein it in.

Actually, Luciano was, in his rotund late years, less of a presence than he once was in his salad days. Give me Jussi Bjorling's "Nessun Dorma" any day.

I fully agree with the Stokowski comment. Jim Svejda called Leo's orchestral version of "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" Bach in drag. Nor am I entirely along for the ride on Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Nor even, dare I say it, turning Chopin's "Fantaisie-Impromptu" into "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows." But performance pieces always survive in their original condition as well as any rude re-imagining, like "Rent" for "La boheme," or "Forbidden Planet" for "The Tempest."
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7483

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR, what is your take on the least-known of Johann's sons, P. D. Q. Bach?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to make decisions for myself based not on some pre-selected principle but on a case-by-case basis. Being no fan of either opera or of Aretha's later repertoire, I figured I could have a sincere and unaffected response to the video in question.

I know enough, however, to be able to say that "Natural Woman" is infinitely closer to Aretha's home territory than is any operatic material. As for originalism, isn't there a world of difference between the interpretation of a document governing every American from birth to death -- literally -- and a work of art whose form was determined once and for all within the composer's lifetime ? Yes, I am an originalist when it comes to Bach, and Wright, and Copeland. Play it like it was written, and leave the extemporizing (other than intended cadenzas, of course) to the jazz musician, et al ?



Of course, all discussions of this type must begin and end with "De gustibus non est disputandum" . . .

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5582
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before the twentieth century, it was expected that cadenzas played in concertos would be improvised. It was an important skill to develop as a soloist. This tradition disappeared as cadenzas began to be notated. One could pick the cadenza composed, not by the composer, but written by the trendiest soloist of the period. These solos written in the 19th and early 20th century exist to this day in various printed editions. Ornamentation to written melodies was improvised in Early, Renaissance and Baroque music. This has disappeared with the thinking that there is only one correct interpretation of a piece, that of the "original intent" of the composer.

So it isn't only a question of taste, but also cultural norms and expectations. It's always fine to not like something, but looking closer often exposes something interesting. It's possible that Aretha's intuitive Puccini is more traditional on multiple levels than what it appears at first glance.

Did you listen to Ray's America? https://youtu.be/TRUjr8EVgBg I'm confident the composer did not have this in mind!
He breaks every single rule, musically and grammatically, completely alters the melody and harmonic structure, not only making it his own as an individual artist, but also representing the musical history, suffering and yearnings of an entire formerly enslaved race. But most importantly, its emotive quality just slays!
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my imagination, those who like the idea -- and even the sound -- of, say, Bach played on a synthesizer, have never heard the original -- or if they have, they didn't care for it (curious that music which sometimes takes two or more hearings to sink in and grab the soul, was written when no recording equipment existed ?) and so hope that an "updating" will make it more palatable. This extends to those who think the harpsichord is an abomination and will only listen to Richter the elder or the long-armed Canadian play the music, on a piano. (A masterful younger Bach specialist, a harpsichord player, dismisses Landowska, saying that she "wouldn't know what a harpsichord sounds like." Hah. I guess there is disagreement over whether her grand Pleyel was tinkly enough ? Perhaps that makes your argument.) The discussions of these points, on YouTube comments at least, make interesting reading !

In any event, there's absolutely no reason for anyone to improvise on the "Inventions" or the "Well-tempered Clavier"; the composer placed every note, even some very strange ones, where they go for a reason, and I invariably wince at the very occasional slip. No gilding the lily for me. And, less anyone underestimate the content, that music is drenched in emotion.

Again, I'm sure we're talking past each other at this point; I'm aware of the irony of an amateur taking on a professional in his own territory. Again, different strokes for different folks . . . ?

S
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 891
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
He had a sore throat, according to what I read. Sorry, it doesn't work for me. A tenor aria ? An aging voice, a singer (way) out of her territory ? What could one expect ? The rubes, bless them, went for it anyway. I love her -- but not for this . . . SDR


Pavoratti Met recital without the sore throat ... but with J.L. at the piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMsqjXv9aJk
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry -- J.L. ? I don't recognize the man, though he looks a bit like Itchy Perlmont, or maybe James Levine. Oh -- he is James Levine ! Why didn't you say so . . . Yes, Pavarotti is great; probably my favorite tenor working in recent years. It's not my music, so I don't hear him much. If you don't care for the material, it's a little hard to get excited about the messenger.

My tenors are Ernst Haefliger, Kurt Equiluz, Peter Schreier . . . Again, I see specialization as bringing the best that can be had, to a performance. Singers and other musicians will want to stretch -- only the truly dedicated would stick with the same six or eight operas for a whole career ? But I have no interest in hearing a favorite voice exploring inappropriate material, nor to have a pop singer attempting a beloved cantata -- for instance. Why waste time on less-than-first-rate performance, when you know that better is right around the corner, on the next shelf or in the next town ?

As I understand it, the performance of pre-modern orchestral or choral music, of the classical period at least and I would suggest of Bach and most contemporaries as well, is not in any way meant to be a jam session. The notes are on the page; play them, and all will be well. Variety will inevitably be introduced via different readings of the work, and by different tonal qualities provided by an wide range of instruments, and by endless combinations and numbers of singers. No two performances, or recordings, will be alike -- but virtually the same music will be played each time.

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5582
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful performance by Pavarotti, thanks!

On a rather bizarre personal note... When still living in SF in the 80s, I got this strange gig playing mandolin in a couple of scenes for a terribly cheesy film starring Luciano P., entitled "Yes, Giorgio". Starting around 59:30, you can barely see me wearing glasses, mandolin in hand, on the veranda in the dance scene and then accompanying Mr. Pavarotti singing Santa Lucia.

Warning! Full kitsch! https://youtu.be/--d60g4fWLM
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, PDQ Bach, the invention of Peter Schickele: a thorough delight. I recently heard (and watched) half a dozen pieces I hadn't encountered before. Straight-laced scholar-performers of any discipline should be encouraged to let their hair down and their experiences and knowledge be given free rein, from time to time, to invent and to inform and entertain through satire of their own specialties. Let Schickele do for (or to) the Baroque what (the other, the original) Spike Jones did for classical and pop, sit up close to the speaker or the stage, and enjoy . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7483

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. As I recall my Latin LXII years ago, the 'est' should be at the end. Therefore, "De gustibus non disputandum est."

2. Not only instrumental pieces were reliant on the inventiveness of the musician to "fill in the blanks," but vocals as well. To have heard Handel's "Messiah" as originally written, one might not recognize it at all. Starting with no less than the non-originalist Mozart, the oratorio was revamped repeatedly, though I think the "Solo For Aretha" was rarely performed.

3. Ray Charles' version of "America," with its Baptist accompaniment, is brilliant. Further afield was Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner," which might have caused Francis Scott Key a few turns in the grave.

4. That tradition of cadenzas proves that the composers of old were not confined by originalism; there was no "once and for all." The jazz musicians have just revived the extemporizing that was commonplace in ages past.

5. The recording of ND by Pavarotti and James Levine is a variation, as well. Out of context of "Turandot," scaled back for a concert solo, it has eliminated the chorus entirely. From the start, Puccini's music has been altered by practically every tenor who has ever sung it.

6. It's OK to dislike fiddling with the classics. A recording of one of Beethoven's violin pieces (I can't recall which; this was in the 70s) was mangled by a horrendous cadenza that sounded like a Stradivarius smashed against a credenza. Jim Svejda, again, couldn't resist lambasting the horrid mess, which I never heard again.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One might note that the cadenza is the opportunity for the soloist to improvise and, presumably, to exhibit both skill and and an understanding of the music. Note also that this is in distinction to the rest of the score, which is to be played as written.

That some of Bach's cadenzas were written out by the composer is a surprise to some; the well-known one in the third movement of the Concerto Number 1 in D minor is normally played note for note as memorialized in at least one autograph score.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/de_gustibus_non_est_disputandum

I looked it up once again, before posting; either version is apparently correct, though one seems to be preferred over the other, in Wiki-land at least. I never had Latin, so I'm at the mercy of others.

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 700
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I like that Peter & Pavarotti combo !!!
And nobody doesn't like a good, soothing Santa Lucia.
Puts one in the mood to Relax ay voo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP8Ax0JTkfw
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14291
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What -- no visuals ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-yIIgjErXY
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 700
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Action starts at the 1:00 mark:
http://youtu.be/U_Hz6-rcqQE
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