Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations.

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IcedNote
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Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations.

Post by IcedNote » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:26 pm

In my Theory for Non-Majors class today, I finally exposed them to a real score. I chose the Goldberg Variations. The recording I used was the Gould. And at the end I played them just the Aria from both of his famous recordings (1955/1981). It never fails to amaze me how different they are....and I'm absolutely fascinated by it.

So...what are some other examples of this phenomenon? I make it no secret on here that I don't know squat about performers and performances. Did Schnabel give wildly different interpretations of Beethoven? How about Cziffra with Liszt? We don't have to stick to the piano rep--those are just examples that came to mind.

Curious,

-G
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by RebLem » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:23 am

Best example I can think of showing a conductor with radically different interpretations of the same work at two different times are the Leonard Bernstein recordings for Columbia/Sony and DGG of the Mahler 6th Symphony. The Sony is lyrical, the DGG almost brutally rhythmic.
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by John F » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:50 am



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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by maestrob » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:22 am

Bernstein's later (1980's) interpretations almost always are broader than earlier incarnations of the same repertoire. I can't find them on youtube, but Mravinsky recorded Shostakovich V several times: his earlier mono reading from 1954 takes the tempo of the last movement from the score, while his later live recording from the 1960's is definitely influenced by Bernstein's faster tempo (both choices approved by the composer).

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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:12 pm

Marie-Claire Alain has recorded the complete works of Bach several times. Early in her career, she followed the (particularly but not exclusively French) 19th-century performance tradition which invariably involved non-idiomatic changes in dynamics, typically a crescendo by registration in a fugue. Later, she adopted the (correct) method of terrace dynamics--without over-correcting as some performers do--and is in fact my favorite exemplar of HIP style over the spectrum of that body of work and considering the wonderful organs she plays in her recordings. I don't know this for a fact, but it must have been a huge act of courage to make that kind of change, which is, let's face it, a form of admitting that one and all one's teachers and all one's erstwhile colleagues were in a sense wrong.

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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:20 pm

Nobody comes close to Gould for rethinking a piece of Music, Bernstein and Mravinsky changed their Tempo's but Gould re-imagined the entire work, so well in fact that both versions are equally valid, it's a shame he did not re-think his Beethoven and Mozart as well...
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jbuck919
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:44 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Nobody comes close to Gould for rethinking a piece of Music, Bernstein and Mravinsky changed their Tempo's but Gould re-imagined the entire work, so well in fact that both versions are equally valid, it's a shame he did not re-think his Beethoven and Mozart as well...
Yes, but whether you intended to or not, you're implying that he did not think enough about them in the first place, which I think is true (more consequential for Beethoven than for Mozart).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Werner
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by Werner » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:46 pm

Nice to see your back here, Chalkie! As to Gould, while there is no denying his genius and extraordinary pianism, which have left us many memorable performances, his Mozart sonatas seem to show that he did rethink them. I remember reading a comment by one of his colleagues that hidden in Mr Gould was a composer manqué. Problem is, Mozat was a bettter composer.
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Nobody comes close to Gould for rethinking a piece of Music, Bernstein and Mravinsky changed their Tempo's but Gould re-imagined the entire work, so well in fact that both versions are equally valid, it's a shame he did not re-think his Beethoven and Mozart as well...
Yes, but whether you intended to or not, you're implying that he did not think enough about them in the first place, which I think is true (more consequential for Beethoven than for Mozart).
Yes, he Gouldified Mozart, trying to bring out bad things in them, I was hoping he would re-think them bit more respectfully...his Beethoven is just not very good IMHO...but, I love his way with Haydn...
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IcedNote
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by IcedNote » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:26 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Nobody comes close to Gould for rethinking a piece of Music, Bernstein and Mravinsky changed their Tempo's but Gould re-imagined the entire work...
Well said. That's exactly what draws me to them. I'm hoping to find that experience in other performances/performers.

-G
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Re: Same piece. Same performer(s). Different interpretations

Post by slofstra » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:42 am

Chalkperson wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Nobody comes close to Gould for rethinking a piece of Music, Bernstein and Mravinsky changed their Tempo's but Gould re-imagined the entire work, so well in fact that both versions are equally valid, it's a shame he did not re-think his Beethoven and Mozart as well...
Yes, but whether you intended to or not, you're implying that he did not think enough about them in the first place, which I think is true (more consequential for Beethoven than for Mozart).
Yes, he Gouldified Mozart, trying to bring out bad things in them, I was hoping he would re-think them bit more respectfully...his Beethoven is just not very good IMHO...but, I love his way with Haydn...
His sonatas aren't very good, and he'd probably admit that. But his concerto work is all right. I like his Emperor with Stokowski.
The Haydn set is truly sublime.

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