Words and Music: one art redeemed by the other!

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RE: Words and Music: one art redeemed by the other!

So, Tjh, we are some good pages away to reach any sort of agreement. However, the ride seems to be quite interesting, at least to me.

So, originality has "beauty implications", but not exclusively. Otherwise, Diabelli and Goldberg Variations would be also "adversely affected" due to the triviality or simplicity of the original themes. However, the themes are only the motivation or the inspiration for some of the most monumental works in Variations form.

Likewise, I have never read or come across any review or statement for any sort of negative ramifications for the Andante of the Second Trio by Schubert, because of the folk Swedish song used as initial material for this movement. Actually, all the great composers got a good deal of their inspiration or motivation from trivial songs and tunes from the "street music" and what was  in fashion (e.g. all these dances of Bach suites, Handel's themes from his Organ Concertos, plenty of themes from Haydn's music and so on).

It is not "impossible that a transcriber purposely intended his transcription to be a correction", provided a) he feels he is a greater composer than the one of the "original work" and b) his "transcription" deals with the "correction" of the main elements of the composition, namely form, structure, harmony, counterpoint, modulations, or the rearranging of the original orchestration. However, even in those few cases of the latter, neither Mahler nor the critics claimed he corrected the original orchestration of Schumann's Symphonies. His reorchestration is taken as another orchestration vis a vis the original.

The "analogy" with "Herz" and "Heart" is not and cannot be considered as a transcription. The word "Herz" has a definite extra-musical value for the original composition (in German), while the word "Heart" can have its definite (extra-musical) value for the version in English. In any case, we do not have a transcription case here. We do not have any intervention whatsoever in the score.

Ravel used a very large orchestration where certain percussion instruments were not either in common use (particularly in Russia) or invented in the time of the composition of the Pictures (1874). Besides, Ravel's orchestration betrays his French nature and predilection of instruments in key parts of the work. The alto Sax was first heard, in some noticeable ways, in Bizet's L' Arlesienne (in 1872), in Delibes' Sylvia or in some Operas by Massenet (Werther and Herodiade, around 1886-7). Ravel gives the alto sax the whole melodic line in the Old Castle movement.

Likewise, the xylophone was used first in 1874 (by Saint-Saens), the celesta was used first in 1886, while the whip and the rattle were used much later and rarely in Classical Music works.

However, the key issue is that Ravel uses certain technique and inventiveness, integrating various styles from the past and present, as a true master of colour, when using certain instruments or groups of them. In two movements (Gnomes and Limoges), there is a great use of a wide variety of percussions, quite unusual for the Romantic times of 1874. In Bydlo, Ravel asked from the Tuba not only to carry the melody almost throughout (!), but in a much higher range than the instrument can usually play. In the Catacombes, Ravel gives the whole movement almost entirely to the Brass!

The common feature of Ravel's success and the original composition is that both constitute great examples of the sheer virtuosity par excellence in their genres. In other words, the original composition is a brilliant virtuoso masterwork for the literature of Piano, while Ravel's orchestration of the work is a splendid example of the Symphony Orchestra's virtuosity in its full capacity.

Parla

Change

Sometimes, musical changes are initiated even at the expense of the composer's authority, for reasons such as better musical value for the initiator, instrument obsolescence, etc.

May be, they are not considered as making a brand new work; e.g. changing a single note, a word of the libretto, the programmatic associations, the opera house specified, or (minor?) re-orchestration.
However, they are changes to the musical value - (in sound, in affect, and/or in worth).


There are sources in addition to the score that should guide us to the composer's intentions.  A composer's own recording, if available (perhaps not SACD), may be of value.

Change(s)...and the search for the truth.

As long as you start your post with "sometimes", Tjh, I do not think anyone can disagree with the entirety of it. The development of Piano is a "proud" example of how the evolution of making an instrument managed to go against the original composition's nature, giving, however, the impression that the work is served in a better way!

The equal temperament likewise...

As for composer's own recordings, yes, in some cases (and they are available), they may be of (great) value (Britten's recordings primarily are a definite guideline not only of the composer's intentions but also of his overall view of his works. Most of them can be transferred to SACD as well).

Parla

False music

parla wrote:

I don't "authorize" anything, Tjh, but, if the Chinese audiences are so eager to have Wagner's works in their own language (standard mandarin, cantonese etc.), so be it.

 

If Isolde questions hearing the horns in Act 2 in Mandarin, along with dreadful sets, the falseness may be more true.

tjh v. Parla. The

tjh v. Parla. The incomprehensible v. the indigestible. How Gramophone the mighty has fallen!

Audience participation

Hi guillaume,

 

If you do not understand, then how the mighty has fallen?

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