Words and Music: one art redeemed by the other!

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

I must say that I was hoping to see some discussion on the actual words and how these combine with the music. Maybe still to come?

In the meantime I would appreciate some link to any of the public resources for a recording with the poems in the original language. I must draw the line with a language that doesn't share an alphabet with mine. I just declare myself incompetent to follow any Russian!

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

Tjh, as for the "sequence" of movements, just wonder whether, by placing the Menuetto as the second movement in Mozart's String Quintet in C (K.515), the work will become a lesser or greater masterpiece. The same applies to Mahler's Sixth.

Concerning the "controversial statements" (of my last post) and your "hairsplitting" questions, I will simply respond to your two points as follows:

A. By reading a poem, you get the literature meaning of it. By listening to an actor reciting this poem, you get the same literature meaning plus an extra one from the performance of the actor. By listening to this poem in singing form by a singer, you get the literature meaning, the performer's extra value and the composer's extra-literary musical value.

B. Is the essence of the meaning of Il Barbiere di Siviglia less obvious by listening only to Rossini's music? Are Wagner's leitmotives less meaningful when they are simply instrumental or sung with various texts throughout the whole work?

Parla

 

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

Camaron, I trust you should be fluent in Spanish (your mother tongue), French, Italian, English, German, Swedish and more European languages that use the Latin alphabet (grosso modo).

However, as Chris said, this Symphony is quite Russian as far as the music idiom and the composer a Russian one par excellence. The notes allocated to each word is in Russian, which makes things extremely awkward trying to bring back the original texts.

As long as you know the subject of the Symphony and of the poems' general thrust (the various aspects of untimely and unjust death), then, you simply have to follow the connection and linkage of the texts (in any translation or in their original form) and this very powerful, forceful at times and utterly descriptive music.

Parla

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

Tjh, I prefer the Mozart's Quintet with the gorgeous slow movement as the second one, after a huge First Movement Allegro rather than another (rather) fast Menuetto. With Mahler, I found the Scherzo perfectly fine as the second movement...accordingly.

I admit that a change of the sequence of movements alienates the narrative substantially, but, still, I don't think my appreciation for the work will change even to the slightest.

Parla

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

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. They'll do it, anyway. The British have done it already (thanks mainly to the late R. Goodall).

What I meant, however, is that the "faith" motive from Parsifal sounds equally convincing and is equally great music either when, during the whole work, is played by the orchestra or is sung by the chorus. Likewise, the "hero" motive from the Ring and so on.

Parla

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

Tjh, the "text has notes" to be sung. These notes cannot give any literary value to the text (the poem or play cannot become a better work of literature). Likewise, the text, sung on the given notes, cannot possibly give any musical value to the score. It might enhance the overall artistic account of the work, though.

Parla

 

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

As I have invited Camaron before, if Music is not only the notes, then, you (and anyone else interested) has to provide a concrete definition proving that Music is something else as well (in any case, I don't believe anyone may contest the role of the notes).

In the meantime, let's say in the case of reciting a text, instead of a singing one (where the singing notes is music), do we have still "musical value" in the reading performance of an actor, like, for example, in the case of Lincoln Portrait by A. Copland (there are quite a few American actors who have read the very uplifting American text, as Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn etc.). Is the reading text Music? (Of course, I don't deny the significance of the text in the overall artistic of the work).

Parla

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

If, tjh, we resort to "music is not concrete", then, by "definition", anything goes. So, I guess we cannot go on, unless you come up with a more concrete definition.

Parla

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

Tjh, since when the "spectral content" has been part of the definition of Music? And based on the "spectral content", Bach's original compositions for Organ or Harpsichord performed on a modern Piano are different compositions or the same compositions of different musical (not sonic) value?

Parla

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

Tjh, so far all the definitions of people (or institutions) in the Classical Music business refer to various elements constituting this Art, such as "notes, sounds, rhythm, harmony, melody, structure, form, texture, organised sound, ordering tones...", but nothing about "text" as such. By all means, singing texts (texts sung upon concrete notes) is absolutely music, but what counts, even in this case, is the (singing) notes, in terms of musical value (as a composition).

As for the two instruments' paradigm, let's confine the discussion on performances of a Beethoven's original score of one of his Piano Sonatas on a Fortepiano by Graf of 1805, a Streinway of 1901 and a modern Grand Fazioli. Do we have "different compositions" because of the various instruments used? Do we have lesser or better compositions owing to the instruments used?

Parla

 

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