Maria Callas, Bel Canto & Wagner

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What is right anyway?

I do not think it is a matter of "misunderstanding" of either of us but mainly on where we focus in a performance of a Wagner work.

As I said, the almost two measures of trills in the Walkure's call, while they are in the score and they have to be observed accordingly, they are not the key or the only factor of the entire piece, let alone the considerably big part of Brunnhilde. For example, it is quite significant how the singer can control the only one beat of rest she has after five beats of holding the syllable "ho" and before embarking to the next relentless journey of a strangely challenging score.

The trills are there but not to dominate the score or to judge the singer. The most significant thing in Wagner's music is this inexorable flow of a vast and often complex and profound score. If a singer like Frida Leider could sing the trills perfectly without challeging the rest of the score, that's very fine. She was a fine Wagnerian singer anyway and that counts more than her trills. Sutherland could easily observe the trills too but what kind of Brunnhilde would be? This does not mean every single singer has to sing this particular (tiny) part of the score in the same way. Besides, it does not mean that the composer is always right. Quite often, instrumentalists I happened to know complain about the odd parts of a score as for their own instruments (e.g. the violin part in the very fast third movement of Mendelssohn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano, where he asks the violinist to perform repeated double notes relentlessly fast in a way that they cannot be practically played -at least continuously- or even...heard...in the pandemonium of the equally but more idiomatically written fast brilliant piano and orchestral parts).

Parla

 

Any way
parla wrote:

it does not mean that the composer is always right.

parla wrote:

Well, you may print another new edition of a great deal of Classic masterworks with some "better potential" notes

Any...how?

Performers do their own "interventions/interpretations", rather often, in their own live performances without resorting to printing "new editions".

Parla

Sometimes, the composer is always right
botari wrote:

Brahms: Tragic Overture. Herbert von Karajan conducts Berlin PO

parla wrote:

The Tragic Overture "can't be better" as long as we talk and deal with the composition by Brahms, who is the only one having authority on his own compositions.

"What is this"?.."This is how the composer wanted it".

Sometimes, the performers might be right, although they do not have the authority as for the work of a composer.

Parla

And only, not

parla,

If the only person who has authority can be "not always right", then I believe, in such cases, challenging the authority should be tolerated.

I see you haven't changed one

Parla, I see you haven't changed one iota in my absence. You still twist and turn through hopes in order to make yourself right. 

Authority and the use of it.

The composer has the authority anyway. To challenge it means that you challenge his right to compose what he/she wishes to write the way he/she wants to do so. What a performer or a scholar etc. can do is to challenge his...judgement, his specific choices on particular issues they know as experts (soloists on their own isntruments, singers on specific vocal parts etc.).

The title I used in my previous post was my reaction, years ago, when listening  to a modern composition, where the composer used extensively repeated notes with no apparent resolution or development. So, when I dared to ask: "What is that", a friend scholar replied "this is how the composer wanted it".

On the other hand, when my friend violinst complained about the not so idiomatic and rather odd writing in some parts of the third movement of Mendelssohn's Double Concerto did not contest the authority of the composer but rather his judgement on how to deal with the violin part. In this way, she did not have to rewrite the score or even the violin part but, simply, to consider how to perform the work in her best possible way in her frustration.

Often some smart composers had to consult or accept some suggestions from famous soloists, when they decided to compose a Sonata or a Concerto for a specific instrument (Franck's Violin Sonata, Dvorak's Cello Concerto, Britten's Nocturnal etc.) to exercise their authority as composers in  a more effective and meaningful way.

Going a bit to politics, one cannot challenge the authority of an elected official, but he/she can challenge his/her judgement, choices, decisions. In other words, the one who has the authority can be challenged only in how well he/she acts in managing/using it.

Parla

The authority edition

To what extent can a composer's judgment be challenged before the score is considered to be a new edition?

Challenging the judgement.

In each performance or listening by professionals or studying the score by musicians, the composer's judgement is under srutiny without, however, prejudice to the authority of the composer on his/her own work and without resorting necessarily to a new edition.

Parla

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