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The Recorded Sounds of Music L. K. Kam main reference: Peter Johnson, “The Legacy of Recordings,” in Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, ed.

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Presentation on theme: "The Recorded Sounds of Music L. K. Kam main reference: Peter Johnson, “The Legacy of Recordings,” in Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Recorded Sounds of Music L. K. Kam main reference: Peter Johnson, “The Legacy of Recordings,” in Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, ed. John Rink (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 197–212.

2 The Legacy of Recordings His Master’s Voice presence or absence? Advantages of Recordings perfection but inauthentic? permanence but lifeless?

3 Voice and Persona Whose Voice? performer (foreground) composer (middleground) producer/engineer (background) Performer’s Persona same voice, different personae different voices, same persona musician vs. person

4 Recordings as Evidence Problems quantity of recordings condition of recordings complexity of the art of performance Methodology depth instead of breadth one music example with many recordings one aspect at a time

5 Recordings as Evidence Methodology what you want to see and where to look for historical trends geographical and genealogical styles personal style hermeneutics the better the musician, the better research!

6 Recording Methods 1877 Thomas Edison: Tinfoil Phonograph (Cylinder)

7 Recording Methods 1887 Emil(e) Berliner: Grammophon (Disc) "Grammy" awards of the US Recording Academy

8 Recording Methods: History 1888 Acoustic (with recording horn) 1888 tinfoil cylinder 1894 shellac disc 1904 Mechanical: piano-roll, ex. Welte-Mignon 1925 Electrical (with microphone and amplifier) upper frequency from 3 kHz to 5 kHz realistic balance for larger ensemble 1936 Magnetic tape for masters (length unlimited) 1948 mono vinyl LP (long-playing disc) 1955 stereo vinyl LP 1963 compact cassette 1981 digital CD

9 Recording Methods: Problems early recordings: more distortion but less manipulation no monitoring and editing for early ’78’ records live vs. studio production spontaneity vs. idealization ex. Culshaw/Solti/VPO’s Ring miss-/unnamed performers, ex.: Schwarzkopf for Flagstad in Furtwängler’s Tristan Casadesus for Ravel in Miroirs

10 Instruments and Technique Instruments “authetic”/period instruments ex. wooden flute, narrow-bore trombone, gut- stringed violin ex. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A, K622, II. Adagio modern (Karl Leister ) basset clarinet (Antony Pay )

11 Instruments and Technique Instruments locality/regionality ex. the Stokowski/Philadelphia Sound the Wiener KlangWiener Klang Technique ornament cadenza

12 Case Study 1: Tempo and Timing early recordings and tempo: shorter recording time, faster tempo? e.g. operatic arias abridged score rather than hurried performance Francesco Tamagno’s Otello, 1903 e.g. Beethoven, String Quartet in F, op. 135, iii (Lento assai, cantabile e tranquillo) Busch Quartet (1934):  = 32, 3 sides Flonzaley Quartet (1927):  = 58, 1.5 sides [rather half side empty than slowing down]

13 Case Study 1: Tempo and Timing tempo changes in ca. 70 years Flonzaley 1927 Busch 1934

14 Case Study 1: Tempo and Timing

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16 Flonzaleys (1927) vs. Lindsays (1987) both hold before subito piano in bars 7, 8

17 Case Study 1: Tempo and Timing “change of gear” in bar 7–9: Flonzaleys (1927) more explicitly than Lindsays (1987)

18 Case Study 1: Example Beethoven’s 5 th, transition from III–IV score recordings Furtwängler1943 Leibowitz1961 tempo maps

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21 Case Study 1: Example Wilhelm Furtwängler (b. Berlin 1886; d. Baden-Baden 1954) Influenced by Schenker René Leibowitz (b. Warsaw 1913; d. Paris 1972) Influenced by Schoenberg, Webern…

22 Case Study 2: Vibrato unaffected by recording technology fast, continuous vibrato in early Italian singing (vs. today’s wide and slower one) strings and winds followed in the 1920s, but resistance until 1950s

23 Case Study 2: Example 1 Enrico Caruso ( )

24 Case Study 2: Example 2 Guttman 1928 Domingo 1980

25 Interpretation of Recordings to reveal the diversity of interpretations to specify and support criticism to discover changing aesthetics Elgar’s two “authetic” recordings of his own Violin Concerto (soloists: 1916 Marie Hall, 1932 Yehudi Menuhin)

26 Software TIMING.EXE Sound analysis software by Dr. Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Department of Music, King's College, London


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