From The Archives: Classical Music Editing (Originally Aired April 12, 2002)

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Last time you bought a classical recording, maybe you wondered where the edits were. Sara Fishko looks at the reality and the illusion of the classical CD, in this edition of the Fishko Files.

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Comments [1]


Actually it isn't about the false notes. The interesting question would be how recordings changed the interpretation of a piece. How it changed the way interprets work. As a musician I can tell you there is a huge effect to our work – the so called "reference-recording", from which every new interpretation is measured, influences the work of a musician; very hard to ignore, since the audience knows the reference CD and measures the performance from it (competition jury judge from it too). Interpretation became for many musicians kind of a reaction: "do I play this faster than Gould?"; this leads to "static" interpretations; "Andreas Staier plays the Sarabande much slower" – well, he did so on the last CD, but maybe he would chose a different tempo in a larger room, other piano, other day, other mood. So the performer is forced to find a static interpretation, because everybody expects a "final" interpretation of the work – it must be "definitive" in a way. And that makes it "cold" and "boring".
We need better critics, who don't need a reference-CD to know what is good and what isn't. We need better education, for the audience to know what is good and what isn't. And then I would love to buy a CD with 10 different versions of one Shostakovitch concerto, all done by the same musician. That would give a much richer picture of the musical ideas and capability of that musician, and give base to a much more lively, interesting discussion. If you like, you can then cut out the false notes, I don't care really.

Jan. 11 2011 06:47 PM

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