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Old 03-10-2006, 02:34 AM
suetuba suetuba is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 88

I think the problem of 'accuracy' in historical performance is unsolvable in any final sense. I certainly prefer hearing Bach performed on harpsichords, and Beethoven on fortepianos, but the reality is that most musicians don't have access to those instruments. If it comes down to Bach on the piano or no Bach....

At a professional level, I think it more fraught with danger to perform on the 'wrong' instrument; however, issues of balance then come into play. A Beethoven piano concerto on an authentic instrument accompanied by a modern symphony orchestra is going to get drowned out, as it lacks the power of, say, a Bechstein or Steinway.

I play ophicleide, cimbasso and serpent in the orchestra whenever possible and historically correct. The problem is whoever is conducting has heard it for years on the historically incorrect, but evolutionally correct tuba, and s/he is often expecting the larger, fatter sound of the tuba, instead of the completely different sounds of the ophicleide, cimbasso or serpent. So although I am playing the 'correct' instrument I have a conductor trying to make me make it sound like a modern instrument!

People's ears are so used to the sound of Bach on a piano, that I doubt you will change them.

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