The American Classical Orchestra

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pianist Vladimir Feltsman and Tom Crawford, the founder and Music Director of the American Classical Orchestra, a period instrument ensemble, explain the difference between playing period instruments and modern instruments. The American Classical Orchestra is kicking off their 25th Anniversary season at Tully Hall on September 17th. More information about performances and tickets here.


Tom Crawford and Vladimir Feltsman

Comments [7]

Brett Gross from Japan

I was disappointed with this interview. I know many people don't know about the harpsichord, fortepiano or period recordings. However, there are many quite famous period musicians out there. It just seemed like the guests and Leonard were unaware of what's going on in the mainstream of this movement. The pianist even said he's waiting to buy a harpsichord as if we all had to wait for some kind of momentous occasion when this mysterious curiosity would be unveiled. It seemed like they were really unaware. I don't want to put down the efforts of the guests. They seemed sincere and competent. But the harpsichord is not obscure by any means. They even suggested that there are not many Bach recordings on harpsichord when there are many many fine recordings (Leonhardt, Hantai, Cates, Moroney, Gilbert, Rannou, Jaccottet, Brookshire, Suzuki, etc). The most famous fortepianists, such as Levin, Bilson, Tilney, Brautigam, Van Immerseel, Beghin, Hadjimarkos, and Ogg, went unmentioned. How sad. These guests, while I'm sure they are fine musicians, didn't mention the performers who are leading the charge and who are much more famous and accomplished in their field. They made it seem like they are doing something new. For us fans of this genre and practice, this whole thing was really myopic and disappointing.

Oct. 02 2009 12:22 PM
Jo Bond from Brooklyn, NY

One may or may not like period instruments; the music does not speak to everyone, especially those who are used to very loud music. But pompous? I heard not a drop of pomposity. I thought the two of them were great.

I think one has to hear the orchestra to understand it and when you listen to a piece that you know well on modern instruments, you really hear the difference. It is never as loud on period instruments, but usually very moving.

Sep. 17 2009 09:38 AM
erika Hall from Connecticut

It was a wonderful,informative interview.There is so much to learn.
We can enjoy music in a "time warp" and hear it with new perception.

Sep. 17 2009 07:58 AM
Alexandra from New York, NY

Interesting. Very interesting. Both Crawford and Feltsman sound knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. I never understood that there was such a difference in the sound! I found the discussion fascinating and I plan to go to tomorrow's performance, pre-concert lecture and all. Looking forward to it.

Sep. 16 2009 11:02 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Vladimir Feltsman and Tom Crawford, are too pompous for words.

Sep. 16 2009 01:28 PM
blogenfreude from Manhattan

Period pianos are, in my humble opinion, firewood. They sound like the old Wurlitzer I played in grade school. Modern pianos were created for a reason.

Gabrielle - Bach B Minor Mass and Brandenburg Concertos; Beethoven Symphonies 3, 5, 9, and 5th piano concerto; Brahms Symmphonies (any); Mahler Symphonies (any); Mozart violin concertos and string quartets, Beethoven string quartets - that should be enough to get you started. And Bernstein - lots of Bernstein and Gershwin.

Sep. 16 2009 01:22 PM
Gabrielle from Brooklyn

Does Mr. Feltsman or Mr. Crawford have any classical music suggestions for those unfamiliar with the genre? maybe a top 5 of all time? thanks!

Sep. 16 2009 11:17 AM

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