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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    You were doing really well up to that point, lol.

    It sounds like you're thinking of compositions that don't include a lot of solo performance (like Symphonies for example. And it s not about subjugation by the way, it's unity, like you said).

    You may counter by saying that even with solo sections classical compositions still don't allow much individual expression. So, is that true? Relative to folk music do they "keep it within the lines?" Sure, but one can still hear the individual.

    Excellence in precision, tone, articulation, and period-correct expression are all part of the entry criteria. But even with all of that firmly in place, the individual still comes through. It's impossible for it to be otherwise. Humans aren't clones.


    A case in point - if one loves the Concierto De Aranjuez, they can probably think of 1-3 performances/recordings that they prefer to all others, all things being relatively equal (like recording technology/period).
    No. I studied classical singing. Performed with both choirs (a few ties with Haitink, John Elliot Gardiner etc) and solo, both Lieder and Opera. There may be some freedom in it, but it is very specific. You basically do as you are told. Stand there. Do this. Sing it like this. Do this ornament here. And so on.

    Another way of putting it, is that there are certain things you can and can't do stylistically and technically. The repertoire is specific, the interpretation is something you get coached in. That's not to say there's no expression in it, it's just that individuality is not expressed in the way it is in jazz. The freedom in performance comes at the end of a long road of having completely internalised the music with all its nuances. And you go deep into it... suits some people. Not me.

    I don't think it was always that way.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    No. I studied classical singing. Performed with both choirs (a few ties with Haitink, John Elliot Gardiner etc) and solo, both Lieder and Opera. There may be some freedom in it, but it is very specific. You basically do as you are told. Stand there. Do this. Sing it like this. Do this ornament here. And so on.

    Another way of putting it, is that there are certain things you can and can't do stylistically and technically. The repertoire is specific, the interpretation is something you get coached in. That's not to say there's no expression in it, it's just that individuality is not expressed in the way it is in jazz. The freedom in performance comes at the end of a long road of having completely internalised the music with all its nuances. And you go deep into it... suits some people. Not me.

    I don't think it was always that way.
    Understand and agree. I have a modest classical background as well, guitar and voice.

    I was speaking more about the soloist than the accompanying players. And while the soloists are likewise required to play it as written, they still sound like themselves (thinking of pianists, guitarists, violinists/cellists, and especially vocalists).


    Here's a novel idea that will probably never be implemented due to the slippery slope - "Cadenza Night". When a visiting big shot soloist comes to town to play with the Symphony over a couple of days, set aside one evening to allow cadenzas from the hot shot virtuoso. I'll bet the audiences would eat it up, if done well. Might help drive newer generations to the Symphony Halls, which are struggling in that area. The slippery slope of course is that demand would increase to the point where audiences would expect it as the norm vs. the exception - and that would be "sacrilegious".
    Last edited by GTRMan; 08-19-2020 at 01:58 PM.

  4. #53

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    That's a fun idea. I'd go see that! A space for display and individual expression (and a bit of showbiz.)

    More and more classical musicians are coming back to improvisation; there is a bit of tendency to view it through the super-tasteful classical lens (i.e. make it subservient to the musical text, respectful to the scholarship yada yada.) In fact, I don't get the impression from accounts of the time that Mozart was terribly tasteful and reserved haha.

    That sort of skillset has been the preserve of the very few - Robert Levin springs to mind. But I have a feeling in a few years it might be a lot more common

  5. #54

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    I'd be a fan - for sure!