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HPSCHD-L  April 2001

HPSCHD-L April 2001

Subject:

Re: Baroque Rite of Spring; triplet gigues and movement order and such

From:

Bradley Lehman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 24 Apr 2001 11:26:06 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (59 lines)

>(...) the Monteux/Paris Conservatoire record, early 1950's.  Checking that
>one against a pile of others this morning, I find that it still has the
>most primitive-sounding and "what instrument IS that?"-sounding opening of
>any that I've heard.  The Stokowski 1929 comes close.  I don't have
>Stravinsky's 1928 recording.
>(...)
>[Fantasia] "The order of the pieces had been shuffled and the most
>difficult of them eliminated--though this didn't help the musical
>performance, which was execrable.  I will say nothing about the visual
>complement (for I do not wish to criticize an unresisting imbecility), but
>the musical point of view of the film involved a dangerous
>misunderstanding." [- Stravinsky]


And of course the one I forgot to compare this morning was the _Fantasia_
soundtrack, Stokowski with Philadelphia.  Despite how much Stravinsky hated
it, it sure does have a weird-sounding bassoon and a couple extra doses of
primitiveness.  He gets some other wind effects elsewhere that really stand
out, too.  I like it.  (I can do without the fake-stereo image panning back
and forth at random, though.  Also without the reprise of the bassoon
opening to end the piece!)

I was reading another Stokowski commentary recently:

"Stokowski's early reviews of his concerts remark on restrained, refined,
'sensible' approach to interpretation; this would scarcely be credited by
those who heard only his later work.  This from Saul Caston, solo trumpet
in the Philadelphia for many years and later a conductor himself: 'I
admired the old Stokowski when his interpretations were 1% Stokowski and
99% the composer.  Later it became 99% Stokowski and 1% the composer.' But
for every detractor there were always admirers such as Neville Marriner and
Robert Shaw; controversy among such eminent musicians is perhaps the truest
index of Stokowski's greatness.

"(...) He was a man touched by genius, an artist who, though he
meticulously prepared for each performance, depended finally on his
intuition to inspire and illuminate.  Egotistical, certainly; on occasion,
mercurial; but, literally adored by millions, he changed the face of music
forever.  His controversial philosophy and methods have permanently
enlarged the musical debate on historical accuracy versus modern
interpretation.  Whether one approves of his liberties, there is no denying
that Stokowski endowed innumerable familiar works with new color and
excitement.  Thanks to brilliant recordings such as these, the legacy of a
truly unique musical mind is available to us all, and we are much the
richer for it.  In a world as diverse as ours, there is surely room for the
divergent viewpoints and unique artistry of both a Gustav Leonhardt and a
Glenn Gould, a Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the inimitable, towering
Stokowski."  - Kay Baumgartner, notes to EMI 65427: music of Shostakovich,
Khachaturian, Respighi, Bloch, Cesti (!), Gabrieli (!), Palestrina (!),
Frescobaldi (!!)


Bradley Lehman, Dayton VA
home: http://i.am/bpl or  http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
clavichord CD's: http://listen.to/bpl or http://www.mp3.com/bpl
trumpet and organ: http://www.mp3.com/hlduo

"Music must cause fire to flare up from the spirit - and not only sparks
from the clavier...." - Alfred Cortot

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