Jump to content

What are you listening to Part the Third


Voltron
 Share

Recommended Posts

Justin/MPI: I retract part of my previous post in the comparison of Hahn to Fischer.

Did a formal listening comparison of specific movements on the two CDs and I actually found that Hahn played faster than Fischer, not the other way around. Clearly shouldn't have relied on memory for that, my bad. Hahn's speed on the Bach Double is insanely fast as you mentioned; Fischer is only moderately fast and keeps a sane tempo. Hahn's spontaneously varying tempo in general is a noticeable contrast against Fischer's slightly-slower, constant tempo.

As far as the bow-stroke style, Hahn's is what I'd call wild. :P She really presses into the strings more too for more volume and clearly has no subtlety when it comes to dynamics, it's mostly just loud and louder with her. Fischer has more of that détaché sound and her volume range is more quiet to moderate which mixes her sound in with the orchestra better (Hahn really sticks out against the orchestra).

Not really up on my terminology anymore, forgot about détaché earlier. It's been like 11 years since I last had violin lessons. :o

Edited by Asr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bach wrote out every note including trills. So, adding ornamentation to one of the greatest composer's pieces might come off as arrogant to some.

I actually meant to put a question mark at the end. Not going to try and defend my boneheaded statement. I was trying to take a guess at why Hahn is controversial. ASR said that she seemed to "inject extra notes for flair". Knowing that there is a thin line between ornamentation and exess and that Bach broke with convention by writing out ornamentations allowing less room for the musician to elaborate (at least without criticism) than compared to vivaldi or handel for example, I drew the assumption (probably false) that the purists might take issue if Hahn used essesive ornamentation and expression.

I guess I'm just not understanding why her interpretations are controversial?

Edited by robm321
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I'm just not understanding why her interpretations are controversial?

I think you had the right idea, and yeah the question mark would have helped a bit :)

Many people are unwilling to accept anything that isn't right out of a certain canon, including things like cadenza choice... Those people are annoying, so just ignore them and listen to the sweet, sweet music. It's not what's on the piece of paper or a simulation that's important it's what the artist chooses to do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's also a matter of personal preference. I personally think that Schubert's music "plays itself" and actually kind of hate the way Beaux Art Trio play, for example, Schubert's 2nd Piano Trio in E flat -- not so much in ornamentation, I'm not a studious enough listener to be able to tell you what they're doing in terms of notes, but they're way to romantic with the rhythm and cadence or whatever you want to call it. Someone of a more romantic bent might think just the opposite, and prefer their interpretation over any others'.

Those people are annoying, so just ignore them and listen to the sweet, sweet music.
But goddamn, that is some good advice. ;)

Oh, and me: Melotron, Folge mir ins Licht single (which does not seem to have anything to do with instant coffee).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gorguts - Obscura

Man, what the hell is going on... This has got to be one of the most relentlessly strange albums I've ever heard. It's simply suffering put to music. Tortured riffs from the slimy pits of the ninth layer of hell claw their way out through the ground and emerge to shriek their deranged cacophony into the air. Bizzare, meandering basslines not so much spill but vomit forth from a wall of twisted distortion. Drums that play out the internal malevolent rhythms of a buried and forgotten alien machine. It's discordant, thoroughly deconstructed, malevolent and cacophonous, it's the sonic equivalent of being dissolved, it's the sort of music you find you've recorded when you come down off a 3 day 3,000 mic trip where it all went very very wrong... and yet it all makes sense somehow. It's coherent and some insect way logical, and it very much has its own sound.

Fucking brilliant if you ask me. Recommended if you ever listened to Nile and thought "man... this music makes too much sense!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you had the right idea, and yeah the question mark would have helped a bit :)

Those people are annoying, so just ignore them and listen to the sweet, sweet music

B) Thanks for helping resolve that one for me. Now to heed that good advice:

Mozart - Mass in C minor

51Q%2BG99idRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Edited by robm321
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's also a matter of personal preference. I personally think that Schubert's music "plays itself" and actually kind of hate the way Beaux Art Trio play, for example, Schubert's 2nd Piano Trio in E flat -- not so much in ornamentation, I'm not a studious enough listener to be able to tell you what they're doing in terms of notes, but they're way to romantic with the rhythm and cadence or whatever you want to call it. Someone of a more romantic bent might think just the opposite, and prefer their interpretation over any others'.But goddamn, that is some good advice. ;)

Schubert is considered one of the first romantics, kind of like Beethoven, so it really could go either way.

IMO if someone is playing a piece faster than 95% of people have ever played it, then one could say that it is controversial. Especially when it starts sounding like a frigging country jig. I enjoyed Fischer's Bach concertos more than Hahn's, but they are more similar to each other than the way the "greats" played (Szeryng, Menuhin, Milstein, Heifetz, et al). Listening to Heifetz playing the Bach double with himself is major lulz.

Check the tempo (and everything else) here and compare to those two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPQ2492hbuc&feature=fvsr

IMO the slower tempo would be closer to how it was performed in Bach's day, I doubt everyone went blisteringly fast through everything since technique just wasn't as developed and due to the instruments and the way they were played.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not defending Hahn (nor Fischer), as I have yet to go back and listen to them comparatively, but I will say this about your more generalized statements -- speed isn't always an issue. Sometimes if a piece is played too slowly, ornamentation sounds like it's part of the melody when it shouldn't, and it needs to be played fast enough to "disappear" as it should. (I'm not sure this applies specifically to the pieces at hand, I'm actually thinking of my own piece, where certain aspects of melody don't come through unless it's played fast enough.) Now, that's not to say that it always needs to be played faster, not by any means. Correctly evoking the intention of the composer should be paramount, I will definitely agree with you there.

Here, I'll throw you a curve ball -- when I criticized the Beaux Arts Trio, I wasn't talking about speed, I was talking about style and flow. I believe that Schubert should be played "stately", whereas their version just sounds too..I don't know...like they're trying to invoke their own personalities on top of the piece.

A good comparison is comparing Keith Emerson's version of the Maple Leaf Rag:

with Scott Joplin's:

The speed is the same, but Keith Emerson's is much rockier and aggressive, whereas Scott Joplin's is lighter and more playful (presumably as it should be, since he composed it). He gives it a swing that most other renditions I've heard don't have, even at the same speed.

I actually used to prefer Keith Emerson's version, since that's the way I played it. Similarly, others might prefer Beaux Arts Trio's rendition of Schubert, contrary to my beliefs of how I think it should be played (and the way most other renditions I've heard it played).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't referring to speed when I was talking about the Trio.:) I was still referring to Hahn. The first movement of the double literally sounds like a country jig. Notice how the orchestra inadvertently adds a little bit of swing to the intro which is literally lol inducing (at least for me). And yeah I agree speed is only one aspect of the interpretation of a piece of music, there are many others. I don't even know what I'm listening to with the Keith Emerson thing, the electric fake piano sound is really off-putting. Btw Keith does play it faster than Joplin, thus not allowing it to swing as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.