The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri May 17, 2019 12:33 am

Once a work of art or a composition leaves the composers or artists studio it goes into the world. Central to the interpretation of music is the consideration of the composers intent, but as it passes to the world it changes.

In the case of Bach it’s really interesting because there’s a popular or musically populist attitude that ‘Bach is universal’ right? This supports people in their arguments for why transcription is valid or that later orchestrators can re-orchestrate or take an organ work and orchestrate it. However when the interpretation or re-invention ( pun) of work by Bach goes against someone’s grain the attitude changes and the listener who protests becomes a kind of musical taliban.

The interpretation of Bach remains open to include modes that not everyone will agree on. I am old enough to remember the Switched on Bach record when it was still fairly fresh. I was an elementary school student. The music was new and under headphones it was a revelation. I had not yet heard Casals Bach or Anner Bilsma’s Bach which were worlds apart. I had heard Stokowski orchestral renditions of Bach, and some recorder duets.

But it was Bach on synth that grabbed me, and I still like it. That got me interested, but it also was instructive later when I began to be more opinionated after I had heard Bilsma’s seminal recording of the Bach suites from 1973- I heard it in 1978. That was when I took to the idea that Bach is Bach, he is from a time period, but interpretations are not limited to the context of his life.

Even within the narrow channel of ‘historical’ interpretation there is wide latitude and often disagreement. We don’t even have a standard for what constitutes a baroque cello or violin because during Bach’s time the cello and violin will still regionally specific and in a state of flux prior to being standardized early in the 20th century. The cello didn’t fully mature into its final completeness until the late 19th century.

All these factors contribute to how Bach is seen by people in each successive era/ a lot of it boils down to equipment. But Bach is available as a strict music that a performer can research and choose to interpret as they feel or intuit Bach would have realized it, or it can be separate from Bach and stand on its own as music that can be taken in a personal direction.

There isn’t Bach that’s correct or incorrect, there’s only Bach that you personally agree or do not agree with.

Go listen to Switched On Bach and get your brain a gender reassignment app and refrain from being taliban.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri May 17, 2019 2:31 am

While I’m on the subject, the Glenn Gould recordings are instructive. He recorded them early in life and late in life. And his look at tempi changed almost drastically.

I’m not personally a big GG fan, but I of course listened to both sessions from each time period and owned both albums at the same time after the second recording was released, in many ways I prefer the later recording, they are very different. Gould’s sound changed, his touch changed. It’s as if once a person learns the body of work in Bach that pertains to their instrument, they’re gonna wrestle with that all their life. In the wrestling with that music there’s going to be a lot of self referential re programming and lot of or a modicum of change.

It’s not always about specificities in Bach’s own life that dictates how an artist reads Bach over a lifetime, it’s in many ways becomes separate from Bach with many people. Gould is one who developed a relationship with Bach that was personal, and many people didn’t like it. Dinu Lipati for example is polar opposite to Gould, as are many people who play harpsichord today. But does that diminish GG’s accomplishments, even when he was young and changed the game on listeners?


I’m saying I just don’t think we get to have it both ways. Bach’s music exists in the context of examining his life closely and it also has a life as a body of music that players take on in a personally idiosyncratic way. We could argue that we don’t like it, but as far as calling it a crime to veer from Bach’s own intentions (which we cannot ever fully know anyway - it’s highly subjective) we’re stuck with a history of artists leaving that behind.

Personal evaluation of Bach isn’t a crime, one has the option of following modern history of how Bach is orchestrated or realized on non traditional instruments or going baroque and researching Bach and the music conventions in his region at the cellular level. And everything in between is valid, almost. In high school I had a recording of Bach keyboard works by a Jamaican steel drum ensemble. Ok that coexists with Anner Bilsma in my reading of how Bach works.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

ddray
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by ddray » Fri May 17, 2019 4:47 am

SteveL123 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:15 pm
lagartija wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:31 pm
(..................)
People respond to grief in various ways. Who is to say that Bach was not angry in his grief as many are when someone they love and treasure has been taken from them? (...............)
No one will know how Bach felt, if the story is true. Have you seen anger at funerals? I have not. Only someone deranged will, IMO.
Although it's compelling in a way, I don't buy the theory. Except in terms of expression of religious conviction Baroque composers didn't wear their hearts on their sleeves a la the ultra-Romantics. Although I do sometimes feel that the Goldberg Variations is a love-letter to Anna Magdalena. The sarabande on which they are based (and ultimately I suppose the bass line on which all of it was based) was apparently a favorite of hers. Proof? I have none.

Tonit
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Tonit » Fri May 17, 2019 9:36 am

ddray wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:47 am
Proof? I have none.
Beautiful. That renders you an artist with your own imaginary and epic stories to tell through your own means to engage your audience.

Tonit
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Tonit » Sat May 18, 2019 7:13 am

Hi,
For those who have never seen these, I would like to share one resource that I think is very helpful and of top quality.
While I firmly believe interpretation is up to each of us and is the part what allows us to unleash our imagination, and further to be artist, it is of great opportunity to have a little look at how the reputable artists interpret some famous classical pieces.



Like many of us here might have already known and found it resourceful, for me the entire series and each second counts for the furtherance of my own musicianship, like those of Segovia master classes or otherwise.

Cheers,

soltirefa
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by soltirefa » Sat May 18, 2019 1:51 pm

Note to self - Don't change my strings the night before playing in front of an audience and cameras and being critiqued by Benjamin Zander.

It makes me wonder, what would the rule of thumb be? Never change the strings sooner than _______ before a performance.

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sat May 18, 2019 2:21 pm

Zander.

A great music name Robin Zander, Benny Zander.

Christ on a cracker Tonit, your penultimate post was the perfect end to this dumpster fire, but you had to keep it going....... :bravo:
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

SteveL123
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by SteveL123 » Sat May 18, 2019 3:05 pm

Tonit wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:13 am
Hi,
For those who have never seen these, I would like to share one resource that I think is very helpful and of top quality.
While I firmly believe interpretation is up to each of us and is the part what allows us to unleash our imagination, and further to be artist, it is of great opportunity to have a little look at how the reputable artists interpret some famous classical pieces.



Like many of us here might have already known and found it resourceful, for me the entire series and each second counts for the furtherance of my own musicianship, like those of Segovia master classes or otherwise.

Cheers,
Great MC video! I'd like to see EF in that chair playing the Chaconne and see what Zander has to say about his interpretation!

I think some of the words will be: "slow down!" "softer, softer!" "breathe!"

madrilla
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by madrilla » Sat May 18, 2019 3:52 pm

^ Was thinking the same thing but realistically it won't happen, getting him the chair that is. Perhaps he would comment on the original video though. Two set violin (on YT) might be worth a try, they like to review other performances, in a comical but candid way.

The thing with Glenn Gould is, when you listen to his versions of the Goldberg Variations you get the sense that this is a masterpiece and also that the performer has a great mind, as if there are little brains in each of his fingertips. He has been dead for almost 40 years but people will continue to listen and talk about it. No offence, but I can't see the connection with Fisk and his live chaconne.

Tonit
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Tonit » Sun May 19, 2019 12:23 am

madrilla wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:52 pm
^ Was thinking the same thing but realistically it won't happen, getting him the chair that is. Perhaps he would comment on the original video though.

He has been dead for almost 40 years but people will continue to listen and talk about it. No offence, but I can't see the connection with Fisk and his live chaconne.
Right. Given it can be evaluated in any way you like, my point is more of how the interpretation breathes different lives into music when it has been sufficiently convinced, even if you are not the player of the particular performance, as the first and sufficient student performance in the YT video is transformed with a different life inspired by BZ interpretation into the student's initial performance which is like a blank material piece of wood after all.

Similar approaches to Fisk can be traditionally found like Busoni which has been equally controversial and I believe has often been referened upon transcriptions/arrangements for the guitar versions as I did a little research to clarify my long standing and incorrect misunderstanding, and also by Gould as you mentioned, or Landowska arguably acclaimed to be the key contributor to Cembalo revival back in time and some other reputable performers.

Some might not like any of those mentioned, which might as well have been the point of their interpretations, as all of their performances are at least very much convinced by their respective selves enough to be publicly performed by themselves.

We all know hopefully that playing tunes we can sufficiently handle allows us options: to exactly trace the existent wake, or to make a fresh wake, just like we have as listening musicians: to appreciate the former or latter.

And by the former we could possibly claim our legitimate heir status as the keyword "classical" implies oftentimes, whereas we otherwise might be able to claim our rebel artist status by the latter. And with his acclaimed finesse that I don't question, I don't believe Fisk did not have both options.

It's more likely a matter of his choice than any such shortcoming of Fisk as have been discussed here.

And if there is anything we as guitarists in general could learn out of the particular EF performance(s) whether we like it or not could be, how he is approacing to be a rebel artist rather than any legitimate heir as has been historically attempted.

Cheers,

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun May 19, 2019 5:20 am

I know these master class videos that Zander has made. Look at the one where he coaches the cellist playing the prelude from the cello suite in Gmaj.

Get Zander’s drift about line and you might be surprised how EF is doing a version of what Zander illuminates with His piano example of pulling notes into lines.


You may not like EFs execution, but he and Zander are not distant in conceptual approach.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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stratlanta
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by stratlanta » Sun May 19, 2019 1:04 pm

Apologies if this has been posted but I haven’t read all 19 pages of this thread. :shock:

I’m not all the way through the interview but I did find many of the things Fisk says here relate to the style he brings to pieces and therefore to this debate. He even plays snippets of Chaconne when discussing studying with Segovia. I’m not wading into this debate but after watching most of this interview I feel that I have a better understanding of why Fisk plays pieces the way he does.

I’m not endorsing him nor am I discounting him - merely posting this as background.


https://youtu.be/IQCjT6CxUhg
Bastien Burlot "Alkemia" SP/IN, Dominique Delarue CD/MB, Stephan Connor SP/MP, Kenneth Brogger SP/AR, Sergio Perez "Segovia" CD/AR, Kris Barnett "phi" CD/EB, Lorenzo Frignani SP/IR, Dieter Müller Double Top CD/MR

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Mon May 20, 2019 1:59 am

stratlanta wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:04 pm
Apologies if this has been posted but I haven’t read all 19 pages of this thread. :shock:

I’m not all the way through the interview but I did find many of the things Fisk says here relate to the style he brings to pieces and therefore to this debate. He even plays snippets of Chaconne when discussing studying with Segovia. I’m not wading into this debate but after watching most of this interview I feel that I have a better understanding of why Fisk plays pieces the way he does.

I’m not endorsing him nor am I discounting him - merely posting this as background.


https://youtu.be/IQCjT6CxUhg
That was interesting, he reminds me of my late friend Phil Roshegar who was also an Alirio Diaz student. After hearing him speak about the guitar in Spanish and talk about how he teaches, plus his semi curmudgeon take on virtuosity and soul I like him a lot.
He said it like Miles Davis, there’s a lot of kids blowing technically, but romantic feeling is ebbing back in style.

His observations on academia and technical prowess were good. It’s like a lot of the things I said in the beginning of this thread. Although I’d Ike to see him teach, he seems like a good teacher.

There’s a lot of flamenco, or Spain aire in his right hand touch, and I like that too, he’s probably not for everyone and to some a dinosaur, but he’s a guitarist to the hilt.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Mon May 20, 2019 3:12 pm

I have to come clean, I'm beginning to see the light when it comes to Fisk's playing. He's fearless and full of life, and perhaps most important of all, identifiable, he has a musical identity that is audible. He certainly does some things I consider crass and unmusical (usually with Bach) but I actually enjoy listening to him on the whole.
There, i feel better now.

Stephen Faulk
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Re: The most disastrous "Chaconne" ever seen

Post by Stephen Faulk » Mon May 20, 2019 3:31 pm

Bless you child, say the rosary of St Andres thrice and go home to your wife.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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