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HPSCHD-L  January 2016

HPSCHD-L January 2016

Subject:

Re: Authenticity, le bon gout

From:

Andrew Appel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 10 Jan 2016 12:53:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

Dear all. 
If at any moment the utilization of information gathered in my own study and my colleagues studied made my relationship to the music and performance LESS personal I would dump it all. In an instant. This HIP stuff is all color on the palate. It doesn't restrict.  It opens possibilities for spontaneous and personal utterance through the genius score.  Why should a 19 c trill be more personal than a St Lambert one?  
My personhood is made of choices. And these choices area way to an event of communication on a higher level than any issue of historical exactitude.  
I choose the inegale or whatever only because it strikes me as limpid and rhetorical and beautiful.  Very personal choices. 


Sent from my iPhone, forgive typos!

> On Jan 10, 2016, at 11:37 AM, Daniel Jencka <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> All,
> 
> It is usually better to invite others to share in your experience than it is to deny the value they see in theirs. On the other hand, it is also fair to bring some reasoning to bear on what may otherwise be an emotionally laden impasse. 
> 
> I have many times become passionate about things I came to care about. Maybe six years ago I became obsessed with the Bach WTC squiggles as a possible tuning script, and got way too zealous and argumentative. More recently I immersed myself in early fingering, and undoubtedly annoyed some members on this list with my probings and point makings. A few weeks ago, quill plectra began tickling my curiosity. But over 30 years ago I absolutely fell in love with the harpsichord and early music in general, and joined the tribe of HIPsters because what pulled me in was the amazing beauty of the music when played on the instruments for which it was written.
> 
> It has been a long journey, and as time went by everyone's playing got better and better, primarily because every scrap of information on performance practices and instrument building from those far-off days was brought to light. A lot of practicing and experimenting too. Along the way I have gone through many phases as a player and listener, some of them very HIP, some more personal, some just passing and fuzzy. In retrospect, what has always kept me going forward technically and musically was the degree to which my preparations followed what I knew about original practices. The original advice and observations of masters like Rameau, Quantz  C.P.E. Bach and others have made playing the music of their time more expressive and interesting. It was, after all, their music, so not too surprising that their directions would lead us well.
> 
> So while I understand that Michael enjoys the emotion and individual expression of the inamed harpsichordist playing French pieces sans inegales, I more than appreciate Claudio's commitment to ferreting out what those ancient experts had to say. In treatises, diaries, prefaces, letters and manuscripts, they invited their own contemporaries to see and hear how certain techniques and knowledge could take one beyond what is on the page. How learning could lead to the most natural, tasteful and satisfying outcomes for those who could hear. No one said to put on a straight jacket and obey orders, but they did say that getting to the character or affect or intent of the music at hand required specific knowledge of the style and form involved, as well as how to best control your particular instrument. You couldn't just do whatever you liked and still get to their arrival points back then, and it is even more difficult today because we have much more to guess and search for answers. But of course your own unfettered destinations you can get to as readily as you like.
> 
> I don't think any useful bridges are built or interesting progress made by losing faith in or deconstructing HIP. The fact that HIP changes over time doesn't take away from the fact that it continues to take us places. I do like Davitt's subtle differentiation of practice and performance as a way to more personalize the whole endeavor; to avoid the idea that one is blessing the audience with musical truth. We are always just musicians doing everything we can to give a moving and interesting performance. 
> 
> So some of us think and feel that the historically guided approach (HGA:) over time yields the richest practice and performance. Some of us feel that many approaches are satisfying, with no general and clear "winner." Some of us are in strong psychological agreement with thoughts from the time; some of us are more at home with modern departures; some can apparently go back and forth. If you think of your own particular musical subculture as a tribe, then by all means you should feel free to discuss and critique your common beliefs, with the occasional heated contests and community counsels amongst the members.  For people in different tribes, better to just invite everyone to your various festivals and let one and all enjoy the diversity to be had at those times. In this way there can be intensity where heat is productive, and peace where it is needed.
> 
> End of this Sunday's sermon!
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Jan 9, 2016, at 2:14 PM, Davitt MORONEY <[log in to unmask]
>> So here is a question (and a proposal), which I hope can move our
>> discussion beyond any *ad hominem* questions. Are we ready to move on from
>> the artifical concept of HIP meaning Historically Informed Performance?
>> 
>> HIP was an idea that in the 1990s helped us to progress from the slippery
>> debates about "authenticity" that had so vexed people in the 1970s and
>> 1980s. As such, it had real value in that continuing debate. But just as
>> "authenticity" was shown to be a problematic mirage, so I believe that
>> "HIP" is too simple a concept, since it refers only to the last part of the
>> musical process, the performance. I find that to be an unhelpful emphasis.
>> 
>> Speaking personally, I have never adopted "Historically Informed
>> Performance" as either a professional aim or a personal desire. What I do
>> work hard at, and what I take very seriously indeed, is Historically
>> Informed Preparation (or Historically Informed Practice). I find that to be
>> an important distinction. What happens when I walk out on stage is always
>> another matter. It's primarily concerned with connecting with a particular
>> audience, on a particular instrument, in a particular room, on  a
>> particular day. For me, that's largely a question of finding out what the
>> music can become under those particular circumstances:
> 
> ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
> Note:  opinions  expressed on HPSCHD-L are those of the  individual con-
> tributors and not necessarily  those of the list owners  nor of the Uni-
> versity of Iowa.  For a brief  summary of list  commands, send mail to
> [log in to unmask]  saying  HELP .
> ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Note:  opinions  expressed on HPSCHD-L are those of the  individual con-
tributors and not necessarily  those of the list owners  nor of the Uni-
versity of Iowa.  For a brief  summary of list  commands, send mail to
[log in to unmask]  saying  HELP .
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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