Discussion:
More on Bach's "Lute" works
(too old to reply)
Robert Crim
2005-12-06 15:47:49 UTC
Permalink
I came across this set of liner notes for a CD of Kim Heindel's
performances on the lute-harpsichord. The notes are by Nigel North,
one of the best at playing Bach transcriptions on the baroque lute.

Interesting reading.

Robert
==========================================================

"Aufs Lautenwerck"
Kim Heindel, lautenwerk
Dorian Discovery DIS-80126

Notes by lutenist Nigel North
London, June 1994

Bach, the lute and the lautenwerk (lute-harpsichord) have fascinated
me for
years. Upon investigating Bach's connection with the two instruments,
one is
immediately faced with the striking absence of one vital piece of
evidence:
though we know that many lautenwerks existed, none, to our knowledge,
have
survived into our time. The lautenwerk, the name by which its is
usually
known in German and English, was a harpsichord-like keyboard
instrument of
one or two manuals with the same range as the lute, but somewhat lower
than
the harpsichord. It was strung with gut rather than brass. Its history
has
been well documented in the last few years, so I will repeat only as
much as
is needed to introduce the listener to the mystery and uncertainty
surrounding the wonderful Bach works recorded here. I should note
that, as a
lutenist, I lose out in an unbiased investigation of this subject, for
I
believe that much of this music is best not played on the lute. The
listener, however, benefits by making the acquaintance of the
lautenwerk's
unique sound.

Bach wrote works for many different instruments but through his
knowledge
and skill as composer and performer on the harpsichord and organ was
most
successful with the keyboard. What of Bach and the lute? It's quite
clear to
me that he never played the instrument although he did know many
lutenists.
He certainly would have heard what the lute was capable of,
technically and
expressively, from the greatest lutenist of his time, Silvius Leopold
Weiss.
In fact, recent research has shown that the Suite in A Major, BWV
1025, for
violin and obbligato harpsichord (previously thought to be a
'spurious' Bach
composition) is in fact a lute sonata by Weiss, which Bach faithfully
transcribed for harpsichord and then augmented with his own, extra,
violin
part. From this alone we know that Bach knew the lute and must have
derived
a certain understanding for it from his contact with Weiss's music.

In our detective work we must consider these things: What was
idiomatic and
possible on the lute? What was idiomatic and possible on the
harpsichord?
And where between these two worlds does the lute-harpsichord fit?

On the lute a good player has literally at his fingertips a wide range
of
tone, dynamics, and articulation, each note able to be produced just
as the
player wishes. Typically, the audible texture of the lute comprises
not only
two- and three-voice writing, but also numerous arpeggios and melodic
lines
derived from idiomatically formed chord shapes. A crucial limitation
of the
instrument is that the bass is always slower than the treble. While a
good
lutenist can play at any speed, slow or fast, in the upper voices,
comparable agility in the bass is not possible. Low notes are plucked
by the
right thumb alone, whereas in the treble one can play fast passages by
alternating two fingers, using slurs or playing across the strings as
on a
harp. Of course, virtuoso lutenist-composers such as Weiss wrote so
idiomatically for the instrument that listeners are not aware of these
limitations.

In comparison, equal speed and facility can imbue voices in all
registers on
the harpsichord. Up to six voices are possible, while the lute is
essentially limited to three. The harpsichord keyboard extends at
least half
an octave higher than the lute in the treble range and offers greater
chromatic versatility in the bass. A harpsichordist achieves
articulation
and variety of tone differently than a lutenist does, but the lutenist
controls dynamics, texture, and color in ways a harpsichordist cannot.

The lautenwerk falls somewhere between these two far more familiar
instruments. Being gut strung, it can have sound, range, and texture
like a
lute's, but it also permits the realization of compositions endowed
with
greater complexity, a richer texture than a single lute can encompass.
Certainly the bass easily matches all the other voices in speed and
independence.

We have inherited a handful of beautiful pieces by Bach which have
persisted
in the catalogue, BWV number and all, as "lute works." The
compositions in
question are BWV 995, 996, 997, 998, 999, 1000 and 1006a. This
recording
presents all but two of these, omitting BWV 995 and 999.

A close look at them in toto reveals that simply listing them as "lute
pieces" neither reflects all the information internal to the works nor
conveys the complexity of the attribution to a specific instrument.
For many
decades now, classical guitarists have blithely made them their own,
including "Bach lute works" in recitals and countless recordings. More
recently, the lutenists themselves have also "discovered" this
repertoire,
giving us yet more recorded versions. There have always been puzzling
questions in the minds of players of both instruments, myriad passages
in
the music that have had to be changed, adapted ... or faked. An
alternative
solution to some of these practical problems of performance has been
wholesale transcription of some entire works into other keys.

So the fascination with this music continues, as indeed does the
detective
work. As a lutenist, I am happy to say that listening to Kim Heindel's
lautenwerk recording banished many questions and doubts and I hear the
music
in a way I have often imagined. The one large work not recorded here
is the
Suite in G Minor, BWV 995. It was originally the Cello Suite in C
Minor, BWV
1011, but Bach made a very successful version of it for lute and it
remains,
in my opinion, the one real Bach lute work!

We know that Johann Sebastian Bach purchased a lautenwerk from "Herr
Zacharias Hildebrand," a noted organ and harpsichord builder of
east-central
Germany, and that his cousin Johann Nicolaus Bach also made some of
these
instruments. A list prepared at the time of his death shows that Bach
had
two such instruments among his possessions. Writers contemporary with
Bach
have commented on the characteristic and highly atmospheric sound of
the
lautenwerk, opining that "The resonance is admirably beautiful and
sounds as
strong as three lutes together." or "The lute-harpsichord is the most
beautiful among claviers after the organ."

The Suite in E Minor, BWV 996, survives in two sources, neither one
autograph. The manuscript relevant to this recording (in the
Staatsbibliothek, Berlin) is thought to be in the hand of Bach's organ
and
composition student, Johann Ludwig Krebs, who also played the lute. It
bears
the title Praeludio con la Suite da Gio. Bast. Bach written in one
hand,
another hand having added aufs Lautenwerck. It is a splendid example
of the
mixture of styles so often found in Bach and begins with a Prelude.
The
consists of a fantasia-like introduction (Passagio) leading into a
fast
contrapuntal section (Presto) which is not really a fugue. There
follows a
set of dances that includes an Allemande, a very French Courante, an
Italianate, elaborately ornamented Sarabande, a Bourree, and a closing
Gigue. When one weighs the equality of the counterpoint and voices,
particularly in the outer movements,this is clearly keyboard writing
and not
lute music! Yes, it lies within the lute's range and clearly is
written in a
tessitura lower than that of Bach's authentic harpsichord music. But
it is
lucky for us that the title all but spells out that this is keyboard
music
meant to sound like lute music ... no mean help in coming to grips
with the
question of the place of the lautenwerk among its related instruments.
(The
other manuscript source for this piece is, in fact, for harpsichord.
The
music has been transposed up a fourth into A minor and thus lies in a
more
normal tessitura for that instrument.)

The other works recorded here offer a fascinating diversity of
compositions
inspired by the lute but conceived for the keyboard.

The three-movement Italianate partita known as the Prelue, Fugue and
Allegro
in E-flat Major, BWV 998, survives in an autograph manuscript, now in
a
collection in Japan, and has the fascinating title of Prelude pour la
Luth.
o Cembalo par J.S. Bach. Like all the pieces on this recording, it
inhabits
that ambiguous ground between the lute and harpsichord. As a lutenist,
I can
confirm that the Prelude is certainly feasible, even successful, but
the
other two movements, particularly the Allegro, contain too much that
is
impossible on the lute. The lautenwerk seems to me to be the intended
and
ideal instrument. Incidentally, Bach ran out of space toward the end
of the
Allegro, so he notated the last few bars in keyboard tablature, not
lute
tablature ... another clue that this is keyboard music.

The original of the Suite in C Minor, BWV 997, is lost, and some doubt
that
it is even from the hand of J.S. Bach. I believe it to be by Bach,
and, in
any event, it remains a very beautiful and unusual composition. There
are
five manuscript versions for keyboard, each with the same five
movements:
Prelude, Fugue, Sarabande, Gigue, and Double. There is also a lute
version
in tablature made by an amateur lutenist friend of Bach's, Johann
Weyrauch.
He included only three of the movements, however, excluding (very
sensibly!)
the Fugue and Double.

The Fugue in G Minor, BWV 1000, is the odd one out here. In 1720 Bach
wrote
his Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (without accompaniment),
known as
BWV 1001-1006. BWV 1000 is, as a matter of fact, a lute arrangement of
the
Fugue from the Sonata in G Minor, BWV 1001. The lute version is
thought to
have been done by Weyrauch and survives in tablature only. It is
unlikely if
we will ever know if Bach knew of this arrangement, of if he even
approved!
Weyrauch is certainly free in his adaptation, yet the spirit and basic
text
of the violin original remain. In including this fugue in his
recording, Kim
Heindel has acted in the spirit of Bach's time by successfully
adapting this
wonderful piece from one instrumental idiom to another. Bach also
wrote it
as an early organ Fugue in D Minor with a somewhat different opening
but
still in four voices. Nowadays it is associated with an organ prelude
in the
same key, BWV 539, and is sometimes called "The Fiddle."

Interestingly, the Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a, derives from the same
solo
violin collection and was originally the Partita No. 3, last of the
set.
This is clearly not writing for the lute and cannot be played on it in
E
Major, nor does the very low tessitura fit the harpsichord. The
manuscript,
now also in Japan, is thought to be an autograph. There is neither a
title
nor any indication of the intended instrument. The six familiar
movements -
Prelude, Loure (a rare title for Bach), Gavotte, Menuets 1 & 2,
Bourree, and
Gigue - acquire a new character on the lautenwerk. To my ear, this
version
works very well on the instrument and it is an ideal way to begin the
recording. What a wonderful way to introduce us to this special
instrument
and a relatively unknown, rather private part of Bach's musical life!
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-06 16:26:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
I came across this set of liner notes for a CD of Kim Heindel's
performances on the lute-harpsichord. The notes are by Nigel North,
one of the best at playing Bach transcriptions on the baroque lute.
Interesting reading.
Robert,
Thanks for posting this. Sehr interestnayah!

I will have to pick on Heindel's recording.
Robert Crim
2005-12-06 17:39:31 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 10:26:37 -0600, "Greg M. Silverman"
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Robert Crim
I came across this set of liner notes for a CD of Kim Heindel's
performances on the lute-harpsichord. The notes are by Nigel North,
one of the best at playing Bach transcriptions on the baroque lute.
Interesting reading.
Robert,
Thanks for posting this. Sehr interestnayah!
I will have to pick on Heindel's recording.
Best hurry. Amazon only has one left. I got the other one.

Robert
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-06 19:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 10:26:37 -0600, "Greg M. Silverman"
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Robert Crim
I came across this set of liner notes for a CD of Kim Heindel's
performances on the lute-harpsichord. The notes are by Nigel North,
one of the best at playing Bach transcriptions on the baroque lute.
Interesting reading.
Robert,
Thanks for posting this. Sehr interestnayah!
I will have to pick on Heindel's recording.
Best hurry. Amazon only has one left. I got the other one.
is a done deal!
saraband
2005-12-07 03:53:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
For many
decades now, classical guitarists have blithely made them their own,
including "Bach lute works" in recitals and countless recordings.
Thanks for this. Nigel North is great. Please post your
impressions of the cd - I am interested.

This comment about us is a bit unfair though. I don't claim them as my
own. I am well aware that I am playing borrowed music when I play music
from the lute suites. But I still play them because Bach wrote them.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 17:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by saraband
Post by Robert Crim
For many
decades now, classical guitarists have blithely made them their own,
including "Bach lute works" in recitals and countless recordings.
Thanks for this. Nigel North is great. Please post your
impressions of the cd - I am interested.
I've heard snippets of it on Angela Mariani's radio program on NPR,
Harmonia. The recording is, to not speak too emphatically of it,
fantastic and was quite a revelation to my ears.
Post by saraband
This comment about us is a bit unfair though. I don't claim them as my
own. I am well aware that I am playing borrowed music when I play music
from the lute suites. But I still play them because Bach wrote them.
Seem to be a bit all too ubiquitous though for the concertizing
guitarist of today, doncha think? Seems to be played by many who really
put no thought into the performance practices utilized by Bach and his
contemporaries, which is quite a shame.

To be fair though, guitarists are not the only guilty parties when it
comes to butchering the glorious work of Bach.
Matanya Ophee
2005-12-07 18:36:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I've heard snippets of it on Angela Mariani's radio program on NPR,
Harmonia. The recording is, to not speak too emphatically of it,
fantastic and was quite a revelation to my ears.
So would the recordings on the lautenwerke made by Gergely Sarkozy,
(and I have someplace another recording made on the lautenwerke by
whatshername. I'll have to dig this out) and recordings of the same
pieces on the harpsichord by many.

Matanya Ophee
Editions Orphe'e, Inc.,
1240 Clubview Blvd. N.
Columbus, OH 43235-1226
614-846-9517
fax: 614-846-9794
http://www.orphee.com
http://www.livejournal.com/users/matanya/
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 20:04:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matanya Ophee
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I've heard snippets of it on Angela Mariani's radio program on NPR,
Harmonia. The recording is, to not speak too emphatically of it,
fantastic and was quite a revelation to my ears.
So would the recordings on the lautenwerke made by Gergely Sarkozy,
(and I have someplace another recording made on the lautenwerke by
whatshername. I'll have to dig this out) and recordings of the same
pieces on the harpsichord by many.
Don't get me wrong, there are a very small handful of guitarists that
play these quite well (just heard Eduardo Fernandez playing the infamous
BWV 1006a suite the other day and it did blow me away), it's just that
there is a lot that gets lost in translation. I think North hit the nail
right on the head in his assessment.

(and lest someone take me for a complete pursist: I DO like Glenn
Gould's "interpretations" of Bach ;-)
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-07 22:10:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Matanya Ophee
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I've heard snippets of it on Angela Mariani's radio program on NPR,
Harmonia. The recording is, to not speak too emphatically of it,
fantastic and was quite a revelation to my ears.
So would the recordings on the lautenwerke made by Gergely Sarkozy,
(and I have someplace another recording made on the lautenwerke by
whatshername. I'll have to dig this out) and recordings of the same
pieces on the harpsichord by many.
Don't get me wrong, there are a very small handful of guitarists that
play these quite well (just heard Eduardo Fernandez playing the infamous
BWV 1006a suite the other day and it did blow me away), it's just that
there is a lot that gets lost in translation. I think North hit the nail
right on the head in his assessment.
(and lest someone take me for a complete pursist: I DO like Glenn
Gould's "interpretations" of Bach ;-)
Just as a heads up--EF posted to the Yahoo mailing list the other day
for (I believe) the first time in quite a while.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
tollimees
2005-12-07 18:55:22 UTC
Permalink
This is evergreen discussion about whether the luteworks were written
to keyboard or not.
If someone finds undoubtable approvement, that Bach wrote those pieces
for keyboard, what conclusions one must make while playing
transcriptions of those pieces? It will be obvius, that any similarity
to lute-music in guitar-transcriptions would be then ridiculous for
purists.

What technical vehicles can be used in harpsicord-imitation-style or
lute-imitation-style?
Is there glissando ever used on lute for example? I think, that if
glissando was possible, It was used. Those baroque-players weren't
dull.
In harpsicord-style one must avoid any voice produced solely by left
hand. There must be strong, clicking nail-sound present in every single
sound for being similar to harpsicord, trills must be played on two
separate strings w/o legatos.. Tirando would be obviously closer to
harpsicord then apoyando. On harpsiscord there is no such thing as
vibrato for example.

It would be pity, if there will be rules, that will forbid vibrato or
glissando for Bach. I can't take seriously one, who wants to take such
rules seriously.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 19:50:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by tollimees
It would be pity, if there will be rules, that will forbid vibrato or
glissando for Bach. I can't take seriously one, who wants to take such
rules seriously.
Fodder for discussion:

http://music.cwru.edu/duffin/EMPP/ppqmvt/p3.html

(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's attitudes quite
disturbing)
Larry Deack
2005-12-07 20:08:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really? Why?
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 21:12:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really?
Yes.
Post by Larry Deack
Why?
Well, first beyond the lack of proper professionalism by saying
something like the following as a public statement "It is a complete and
absolute farce, it is FUCKING AWFUL.…It is DISGUSTING," strikes me as a
bit of sour grapes.

Does Pinchy have to like it just because I do? Of course not. But to
publicly condemn something as "FUCKING AWFUL" and "DISGUSTING" strikes
me that Mr. Zukerman may feel a bit threatened (but, this is of course
my own interpretation of this statement).

This aside, his and Perlman's attacks against lack of use of constant
vibrato has the implication that the performer is above the composer in
deciding what to do (which again, is purely a metter of taste). As the
author of the article points out, this has been an issue since way back
to the time of Leopold Mozart. Again, not a biggy: if you are into the
constant vibrato sound, then all the more power to you. Just don't tell
me that what I do is fucking awful.

So, in answer to your question, yes, it is disturbing to think that
musicians of such prominence assert that their taste is the gold
standard and everything else is fucking awful.
Larry Deack
2005-12-07 21:43:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
So, in answer to your question, yes, it is disturbing to think that
musicians of such prominence assert that their taste is the gold
standard and everything else is fucking awful.
Is it the language that bothers you? Don't we all assume our taste
is the gold standard? Aren't you asserting that your taste in the
language they use to express their opinion is the gold standard?
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 22:08:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
So, in answer to your question, yes, it is disturbing to think that
musicians of such prominence assert that their taste is the gold
standard and everything else is fucking awful.
Is it the language that bothers you? Don't we all assume our taste is
the gold standard? Aren't you asserting that your taste in the language
they use to express their opinion is the gold standard?
It's not the language, it's the attitude.
Larry Deack
2005-12-07 22:35:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
It's not the language, it's the attitude.
I guess I just don'get why it upsets you so much.

I also think you and the author cannot make any assumptions about what
their internal motivation like when you say "strikes me as a bit of sour
grapes" and the author says "They can't bear the thought that all those
people buying historically informed performances on CD understand more
than they do about the way the music sounds best. In short, they seem to
be afraid."

The sour grapes may be on the other foot.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 23:17:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
It's not the language, it's the attitude.
I guess I just don'get why it upsets you so much.
Upset is not the same thing as disturb and vice versa.
Post by Larry Deack
I also think you and the author cannot make any assumptions about what
their internal motivation like when you say "strikes me as a bit of sour
grapes" and the author says "They can't bear the thought that all those
people buying historically informed performances on CD understand more
than they do about the way the music sounds best. In short, they seem to
be afraid."
So? The author may be right. Audiences attendance at early music
concerts is a LOT better than it is with most major ensembles, so yes
they may be a bit afraid. How can you explain this? Is this sour grapes
on the author's part (my part?)?
Post by Larry Deack
The sour grapes may be on the other foot.
Really? You think so? An interesting observation.

I personally find their attitude to be disturbing, especially because it
promotes a lack of critical thinking and a form of anti intellectualism.
Case in point the debate over constant vibrato (which they think they
invented, but had, as the author points out, has historically been known
about for quite some time as per the reference to Leopold Mozart).

Interesting how Yo Yo Ma has the opposite attitude towards performance
practice, especially since he spent so much time with those two clowns.
Kudos to him for wanting to delve into this subject when he plays the
music.
Larry Deack
2005-12-07 23:31:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Upset is not the same thing as disturb and vice versa.
You sure seemed upset to me but then this is RMCG. It still seems to
upset you enough to make a big deal out of it.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
So? The author may be right.
Audiences attendance at early music
concerts is a LOT better than it is with most major ensembles, so yes
they may be a bit afraid. How can you explain this? Is this sour grapes
on the author's part (my part?)?
Could be. We don't know. Why invent motive for what people do when
you don't know?
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Larry Deack
The sour grapes may be on the other foot.
Really? You think so? An interesting observation.
No, I don't think so. I think there is more that one possibility and
we can't tell if the cat is dead or not until we open that box.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I personally find their attitude to be disturbing, especially because it
promotes a lack of critical thinking and a form of anti intellectualism.
Really? I just thought it was their opinion of the market hype behind
it. I assume they think the same thing about most of the people but not
all since they seem to say that some are among the best musicians.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Case in point the debate over constant vibrato (which they think they
invented, but had, as the author points out, has historically been known
about for quite some time as per the reference to Leopold Mozart).
It would be nice to hear more on this than what the author supplies us
since it's obvious where his bias is.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Interesting how Yo Yo Ma has the opposite attitude towards performance
practice, especially since he spent so much time with those two clowns.
Kudos to him for wanting to delve into this subject when he plays the
music.
Calling them clowns is not exactly giving your view credibility. Some
people think Yo Yo will do anything for a buck including endorsing
computers so using him a an example may not be your strongest argument here.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-08 02:25:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Upset is not the same thing as disturb and vice versa.
You sure seemed upset to me but then this is RMCG. It still seems to
upset you enough to make a big deal out of it.
Okay, I guess it does really piss me off.
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
So? The author may be right. Audiences attendance at early music
concerts is a LOT better than it is with most major ensembles, so yes
they may be a bit afraid. How can you explain this? Is this sour grapes
on the author's part (my part?)?
Could be. We don't know. Why invent motive for what people do when you
don't know?
I don't know the author's motives, but I can guess that he is pissed off
too.
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Larry Deack
The sour grapes may be on the other foot.
Really? You think so? An interesting observation.
No, I don't think so. I think there is more that one possibility and
we can't tell if the cat is dead or not until we open that box.
No cats were hurt in the process.
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I personally find their attitude to be disturbing, especially because it
promotes a lack of critical thinking and a form of anti intellectualism.
Really? I just thought it was their opinion of the market hype behind
it. I assume they think the same thing about most of the people but not
all since they seem to say that some are among the best musicians.
There is market hype the music business?

As a public statement (and Zukerman has made several against the
whole early music movement, culminating in the battle of the bands held
on NPR's Performance Today several years back), it strikes me as saying,
"I don't understand it and frankly don't want to try to understand
therefore it's all crap and I will continue to do things as always."

In a nutshell, unlike what Pinky believes, there is no magically formula
that you can apply across the board:

A Vivaldi violin concerto should be approached differently than one by
Bach who should be approached in a different manner as one by Mozart
whose definitely should not be approached the same way as Brahms',
Sibelius' or Stravinsky's. If you want to do that, fine, your problem,
and if your audience wants to hear that, their problem. But it is
performing a disservice to the music. That is Zukerman and Perlaman's
schtick, agree with me or not.


Convince me otherwise.
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Case in point the debate over constant vibrato (which they think they
invented, but had, as the author points out, has historically been known
about for quite some time as per the reference to Leopold Mozart).
It would be nice to hear more on this than what the author supplies us
since it's obvious where his bias is.
His bias is against use of constant vibrato due to primary historic
sources. Any musicologist who would argue against this would be crazy.
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Interesting how Yo Yo Ma has the opposite attitude towards performance
practice, especially since he spent so much time with those two clowns.
Kudos to him for wanting to delve into this subject when he plays the
music.
Calling them clowns is not exactly giving your view credibility. Some
people think Yo Yo will do anything for a buck including endorsing
computers so using him a an example may not be your strongest argument here.
But at least Yo Yo is closer to home in the classical and baroque
repertoire, as oppossed to his other excursions. No?

By the way, I suggest you read http://tinyurl.com/create.php ... very
enlightening and shows the early music movement is more than just the
hype you label it with.
Harry Kiesel
2005-12-08 00:52:03 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 15:12:31 -0600, "Greg M. Silverman"
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really?
Yes.
Post by Larry Deack
Why?
Well, first beyond the lack of proper professionalism by saying
something like the following as a public statement "It is a complete and
absolute farce, it is FUCKING AWFUL.…It is DISGUSTING," strikes me as a
bit of sour grapes.
Does Pinchy have to like it just because I do? Of course not. But to
publicly condemn something as "FUCKING AWFUL" and "DISGUSTING" strikes
me that Mr. Zukerman may feel a bit threatened (but, this is of course
my own interpretation of this statement).
This aside, his and Perlman's attacks against lack of use of constant
vibrato has the implication that the performer is above the composer in
deciding what to do (which again, is purely a metter of taste). As the
author of the article points out, this has been an issue since way back
to the time of Leopold Mozart. Again, not a biggy: if you are into the
constant vibrato sound, then all the more power to you. Just don't tell
me that what I do is fucking awful.
So, in answer to your question, yes, it is disturbing to think that
musicians of such prominence assert that their taste is the gold
standard and everything else is fucking awful.
To what degree is all this discussion similar to whcih religion is
best for whom?

Harry Kiesel
Roman Turovsky
2005-12-07 22:55:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really? Why?
Because they sound cheesy.
RT

==
http://polyhymnion.org/swv

Feci quod potui. Faciant meliora potentes.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 23:00:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roman Turovsky
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really? Why?
Because they sound cheesy.
Well, there is that too. :-) But, I was trying not to bring in personal
biases.
Larry Deack
2005-12-07 23:19:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Roman Turovsky
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's
attitudes quite disturbing)
Really? Why?
Because they sound cheesy.
Well, there is that too. :-) But, I was trying not to bring in personal
biases.
It's all personal bias and calling it cheesy is just a polite way to
say the same thing about PZ and IP. I don't think your views are
disturbing but they do seem to be bias like the rest of us and I find it
odd that you reacted exactly like those whose views you find disturbing.
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-07 22:09:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by tollimees
It would be pity, if there will be rules, that will forbid vibrato or
glissando for Bach. I can't take seriously one, who wants to take such
rules seriously.
http://music.cwru.edu/duffin/EMPP/ppqmvt/p3.html
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's attitudes quite
disturbing)
This is obviously out of context. It is not clear whether the
objection is to the entire "authentic" performance movement, or
particularly to Norrington/Hogwood.
It is heartening though to think that Pinky would probably feel quite
at home with the level of discourse on rmcg.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-07 22:54:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by tollimees
It would be pity, if there will be rules, that will forbid vibrato or
glissando for Bach. I can't take seriously one, who wants to take such
rules seriously.
http://music.cwru.edu/duffin/EMPP/ppqmvt/p3.html
(I personally happen to find Zukerman and Perlman's attitudes quite
disturbing)
This is obviously out of context. It is not clear whether the
objection is to the entire "authentic" performance movement, or
particularly to Norrington/Hogwood.
Yes you are correct... is quite funny though to read how passionately he
hates it, whatever it may be!

My point in bringing this article up to Allar was his comment regarding
vibrato (and glissando). It's not as clear cut as he may think (nor as
Pink Ass and company think). It's not all or nothing.
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
It is heartening though to think that Pinky would probably feel
quite at home with the level of discourse on rmcg.
Quite true.
tollimees
2005-12-08 14:04:34 UTC
Permalink
Thank you for link, Greg.

It's interesting, but conclusion "let your own taste to decide" isn't
something new. I have read the book "Baroque Musice Performance" by
Donnington and what has sticked to my mind from there is, that the
freedom to performer prior to JS Bach-time was way bigger than after.
Contemporary performers didn't like the JS Bach's way of writing all
things down. They described It as useless.

Question is:: What is musical performance w/o aural tradition? I'm
starting to understand the ones, who are against written tradition in
music or wherever. Written-down culture is very weak. One may think,
that if It's written, It will last forever. This is false. If there
will be players who will keep the aural tradition in their ears, then
the music will live, but written music is just a sheet of meaningless
marks for one, who hasn't never heared music..
j***@yahoo.com
2005-12-08 23:36:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by tollimees
Thank you for link, Greg.
It's interesting, but conclusion "let your own taste to decide" isn't
something new. I have read the book "Baroque Musice Performance" by
Donnington and what has sticked to my mind from there is, that the
freedom to performer prior to JS Bach-time was way bigger than after.
Contemporary performers didn't like the JS Bach's way of writing all
things down. They described It as useless.
Question is:: What is musical performance w/o aural tradition? I'm
starting to understand the ones, who are against written tradition in
music or wherever. Written-down culture is very weak. One may think,
that if It's written, It will last forever. This is false. If there
will be players who will keep the aural tradition in their ears, then
the music will live, but written music is just a sheet of meaningless
marks for one, who hasn't never heared music..
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-07 22:05:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by tollimees
This is evergreen discussion about whether the luteworks were written
to keyboard or not.
If someone finds undoubtable approvement, that Bach wrote those pieces
for keyboard, what conclusions one must make while playing
transcriptions of those pieces? It will be obvius, that any similarity
to lute-music in guitar-transcriptions would be then ridiculous for
purists.
What technical vehicles can be used in harpsicord-imitation-style or
lute-imitation-style?
Is there glissando ever used on lute for example? I think, that if
glissando was possible, It was used. Those baroque-players weren't
dull.
In harpsicord-style one must avoid any voice produced solely by left
hand. There must be strong, clicking nail-sound present in every single
sound for being similar to harpsicord, trills must be played on two
separate strings w/o legatos.. Tirando would be obviously closer to
harpsicord then apoyando. On harpsiscord there is no such thing as
vibrato for example.
It would be pity, if there will be rules, that will forbid vibrato or
glissando for Bach. I can't take seriously one, who wants to take such
rules seriously.
I believe Frederic Zigante has summarized well the attribution of the
music variously thought to have been written by Bach originally for the
lute in his issue of GuitArt a few years back. I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Robert Crim
2005-12-07 23:56:35 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 22:05:10 GMT, Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.
How many were in the "definitely" category and how did he determine
that?

Robert
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-08 16:57:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 22:05:10 GMT, Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.
How many were in the "definitely" category and how did he determine
that?
Robert
I wish I'd read this last night. I'll check tonight when I'm home and
try to post the relevant details.
I know Zigante very occasionally posts here, maybe he'll comment too.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-09 03:28:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 22:05:10 GMT, Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.
How many were in the "definitely" category and how did he determine
that?
Robert
Zigante prefaces his remarks by saying
"Unlike the vast majority of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the
pieces in the present edition (BWV 995-1000 and 1006a) have successfully
resisted all attempts to establish their origins and the instrument on
which the composer intended them to be played..."
But he goes on to write,
"Two of the compositions--BWV 995 and 998--were unquestionably intended
to be played on the lute. The manuscript scores carry explicit
indications to this effect..."
He discusses the degree to which Bach was familiar with technical
demands of the lute, and concludes that he had a good general knowledge,
but "was not sufficiently accomplished on the instrument to be able to
write a score for it which would be perfectly playable in every detail.
This is why even performance on period instruments requires a
"transcription", meaning revising and changing many details such as key,
chord voicings or use of the bass register."
He goes on to describe Bach's relationship with Johann Christian
Weyrauch, to whom editions in lute tablature of the Partita BWV 997 and
the Fugue BWV 1000 are attributed. BWV 999 is attributed to the lute
due "to an explicit indication made by the copyist".
His conclusion is that BWV 995, 998 and 999 were certainly for the
lute, that Partita BWV 997, 1006a and Fugue BWV 1000 were "probably" for
the lute, but highly questionable for Suite BWV 996 (intended for the
"Lautenwerk".
Zigante goes on to discuss each work in the edition in greater detail.

Steve
Robert Crim
2005-12-09 15:46:20 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 03:28:15 GMT, Steven Bornfeld
Post by Steven Bornfeld
Post by Robert Crim
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 22:05:10 GMT, Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.
How many were in the "definitely" category and how did he determine
that?
Robert
Zigante prefaces his remarks by saying
"Unlike the vast majority of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the
pieces in the present edition (BWV 995-1000 and 1006a) have successfully
resisted all attempts to establish their origins and the instrument on
which the composer intended them to be played..."
But he goes on to write,
"Two of the compositions--BWV 995 and 998--were unquestionably intended
to be played on the lute. The manuscript scores carry explicit
indications to this effect..."
He discusses the degree to which Bach was familiar with technical
demands of the lute, and concludes that he had a good general knowledge,
but "was not sufficiently accomplished on the instrument to be able to
write a score for it which would be perfectly playable in every detail.
This is why even performance on period instruments requires a
"transcription", meaning revising and changing many details such as key,
chord voicings or use of the bass register."
He goes on to describe Bach's relationship with Johann Christian
Weyrauch, to whom editions in lute tablature of the Partita BWV 997 and
the Fugue BWV 1000 are attributed. BWV 999 is attributed to the lute
due "to an explicit indication made by the copyist".
His conclusion is that BWV 995, 998 and 999 were certainly for the
lute, that Partita BWV 997, 1006a and Fugue BWV 1000 were "probably" for
the lute, but highly questionable for Suite BWV 996 (intended for the
"Lautenwerk".
Zigante goes on to discuss each work in the edition in greater detail.
Steve
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.

Robert
Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-09 17:17:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.
Robert
None of them? What lute players?

Steve
Robert Crim
2005-12-09 17:40:44 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 17:17:01 GMT, Steven Bornfeld
Post by Steven Bornfeld
Post by Robert Crim
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.
Robert
None of them? What lute players?
Steve
I was referring to Nigel North, the author of the notes I posted to
begin this thread. (player's=singular, players'=multiple).

Robert
Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-10 02:48:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
I was referring to Nigel North, the author of the notes I posted to
begin this thread. (player's=singular, players'=multiple).
Robert
Sorry I hadn't read this before.
North and Zigante appear to agree about both BWV 995 and 996. They
disagree about 1006a and 1000, which North believes was not written for
lute but Zigante lists as "probable" as written for lute.
Zigante's opinion about BWV 998 is curious--though he believes it is
"certain" that it was written for lute, he also states,
"Its original title--'Prelude pour la luth o Cembal. par J. S. Bach'--is
further evidence that the composer was not overconcerned with ensuring
that what he wrote could actually be played on the lute."
Both Zigante and North conclude that Bach was not a lutenist.

Steve
jw
2005-12-10 06:10:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 03:28:15 GMT, Steven Bornfeld
Post by Steven Bornfeld
Post by Robert Crim
On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 22:05:10 GMT, Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
I don't have it in front
of me, but he divides the works into works definitely, or probably, or
doubtfully written for lute.
How many were in the "definitely" category and how did he determine
that?
Robert
Zigante prefaces his remarks by saying
"Unlike the vast majority of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the
pieces in the present edition (BWV 995-1000 and 1006a) have successfully
resisted all attempts to establish their origins and the instrument on
which the composer intended them to be played..."
But he goes on to write,
"Two of the compositions--BWV 995 and 998--were unquestionably intended
to be played on the lute. The manuscript scores carry explicit
indications to this effect..."
He discusses the degree to which Bach was familiar with technical
demands of the lute, and concludes that he had a good general knowledge,
but "was not sufficiently accomplished on the instrument to be able to
write a score for it which would be perfectly playable in every detail.
This is why even performance on period instruments requires a
"transcription", meaning revising and changing many details such as key,
chord voicings or use of the bass register."
He goes on to describe Bach's relationship with Johann Christian
Weyrauch, to whom editions in lute tablature of the Partita BWV 997 and
the Fugue BWV 1000 are attributed. BWV 999 is attributed to the lute
due "to an explicit indication made by the copyist".
His conclusion is that BWV 995, 998 and 999 were certainly for the
lute, that Partita BWV 997, 1006a and Fugue BWV 1000 were "probably" for
the lute, but highly questionable for Suite BWV 996 (intended for the
"Lautenwerk".
Zigante goes on to discuss each work in the edition in greater detail.
Steve
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.
Robert
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?


jw
Roman Turovsky
2005-12-10 13:45:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by jw
Post by Robert Crim
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.
Robert
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Spending some time with a lute gives one some right for persicacity.
RT
--
==
http://polyhymnion.org

Feci quod potui. Faciant meliora potentes.
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2005-12-10 18:39:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roman Turovsky
Post by jw
Post by Robert Crim
I think I prefer the lute player's determination that they were not
written for the lute over the guitar player's determination that they
were.
Robert
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Spending some time with a lute gives one some right for persicacity.
RT
I don't have the standing to dispute North or Zigante (or Crim, for
that matter). But I wouldn't describe Zigante as merely a "guitar
player"--he is apparently quite accomplished as an academic as well.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-10 15:43:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!

Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
jw
2005-12-10 16:31:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Greetings and Salutations, Senor Silverman!

"What's up?".....well, how 'bout Snow...that's right!...up to my ankles, or,
(depending on where my step lands)
up to my tibia.

(or is it fibula?....I can never remember...hmmm...sounds like it's time to
call in Dr. Kildare...
...he'd know...I'm sure of it!)


"Dr. Kildare...calling Dr. Kildare...you're needed in the Emergency
Information Center."



jw
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-10 17:20:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by jw
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Greetings and Salutations, Senor Silverman!
Good to see you back here 'bouts. Was thinking about you the other day
when on the radio I heard some Japanese ensemble performing part of the
Bach Xmas oratorio. Needless to say, your assesment was right on... it
smoked!
Post by jw
"What's up?".....well, how 'bout Snow...that's right!...up to my ankles, or,
(depending on where my step lands)
up to my tibia.
(or is it fibula?....I can never remember...hmmm...sounds like it's time to
call in Dr. Kildare...
...he'd know...I'm sure of it!)
Snow, snow everywhere, and not a drop to eat (not here anyway, is
looking rather grungy)...
Post by jw
"Dr. Kildare...calling Dr. Kildare...you're needed in the Emergency
Information Center."
Or Dr. North. I think his objections based on bass line speed
limitations may have some merit, along with the limit of number of
voices having an upper bound for the poor plucker.

Perhaps JSB could pay us another visit from beyond and settle this issue
once and for all.
jw
2005-12-10 17:51:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Greetings and Salutations, Senor Silverman!
Good to see you back here 'bouts. Was thinking about you the other day
when on the radio I heard some Japanese ensemble performing part of the
Bach Xmas oratorio. Needless to say, your assesment was right on... it
smoked!
Wow, surprised to hear you would have remembered something like that!
However you're too kind in assesing my assesment, since it was determined
long ago by the many lights that guide this newsgroup that I don't know
nuttin'.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
"What's up?".....well, how 'bout Snow...that's right!...up to my ankles, or,
(depending on where my step lands)
up to my tibia.
(or is it fibula?....I can never remember...hmmm...sounds like it's time to
call in Dr. Kildare...
...he'd know...I'm sure of it!)
Snow, snow everywhere, and not a drop to eat (not here anyway, is
looking rather grungy)...
Careful! Don't forget the Zappa injunction on ingesting a certain shade of
the stuff.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
"Dr. Kildare...calling Dr. Kildare...you're needed in the Emergency
Information Center."
Or Dr. North. I think his objections based on bass line speed
limitations may have some merit, along with the limit of number of
voices having an upper bound for the poor plucker.
Perhaps JSB could pay us another visit from beyond and settle this issue
once and for all.
If only.


jw
Larry Deack
2005-12-10 16:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Lots of old time folks posting lately.
Greg M. Silverman
2005-12-10 17:12:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Lots of old time folks posting lately.
Don't rub it in... my birthday is coming up. One step closer to senior
hood each day.
jw
2005-12-10 17:31:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Post by jw
What's the difference? Neither one knows for 100% sure, do they?
jw
Hey, jw!
Wassup Monsieur Wasak!
Lots of old time folks posting lately.
Don't rub it in... my birthday is coming up. One step closer to senior
hood each day.
Hey!...are you sayin' that Larry was callin' me old?... Why I
oughtta.....well, I oughtta....er, I oughtta...uh...oh yeah, I oughtta
pummel the ageism right out of him is what I oughtta do!...yesiree!

Oh and yeah, hey gms, cheer up!... after all, one day older is one day
closer to death.


Cheery thoughts to all!


jw
edbridge@earthlink.net
2005-12-07 17:50:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
I came across this set of liner notes for a CD of Kim Heindel's
performances on the lute-harpsichord. The notes are by Nigel North,
one of the best at playing Bach transcriptions on the baroque lute.
Interesting reading.
Robert
==========================================================
"Aufs Lautenwerck"
Kim Heindel, lautenwerk
Dorian Discovery DIS-80126
Notes by lutenist Nigel North
London, June 1994
does anyone disgree with anything that Mr. North wrote?

I plan to try to get this info in my thick skull tonight.

TIA
Ed
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