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Re: No, Gould's so fast

Anne pointed out:

> What many people forget is the fact that the Baroque composers did not
> expect performers to play their music exactly as written.  It was assumed
> that the player would interpret the music to suit his/ her style of
> or the mood he/she was in.

Yup.  About ten years ago I worked out an experimental Dada version of that
Bach c minor fugue (WTC book 1) for a harpsichord concert, and I recorded it
more recently on clavichord.  The experimental point was to see how far a
piece could be bent and crumpled without breaking.  Is it still Bach
anymore?  Is it still music anymore?  How far can taste be taken before it
becomes "bad taste"?

So, I started with this fugue and surgically removed several bars from the
middle of it.  Then I changed the rhythm of the subject, making it dotted.
Then I changed about 40% of the notes and made it atonal, though keeping the
voices running in the same general direction that they were.  Then I slowed
down the tempo and played it unsteadily, with the note attacks considerably
out of alignment and all the voices randomly speeding up or slowing down.
Despite all this I think the piece is still easily recognizable.  Try it at
http://www.ematic.com/bpl/sounds/dadafugue.mp3   -- any comments/reactions
are welcome.

More recently I discovered there is an orchestral piece based on this same
fugue: "Rag Time" (1921) by Paul Hindemith.

So, what's orthodox?  In the prelude to this fugue, GG plays about half as
fast as most people do.  And in the fugue he plays staccato notes where most
people play legato, and vice versa....

Bradley Lehman, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
Dayton VA