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04-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 4201
Reply to: 4201
Instrumental music vs. orchestrated counterpart

 mats wrote:
I was once again forced to ask myself if this kind of musical intensity and expression is even possible if there is an entire ensemble at work.  Perhaps instrumental music will always have a potential for greater artistic expression than its orchestrated counterpart.
I disagree. Instrumental music has no intrinsic advantages over "orchestrated" music in term of expressiveness. However, “simpler” instrumental music has more chance to be delivered in successful shape.  The large music is made by the efforts of many people, various causalities and numerous variables. Those all variables have less luck to come together during a single  given performance. Do not forget that larger “orchestrated” music has way more complex demand for recording and reproducing techniques that should not be taken out of accounts. How many times might-be-OK performances did not work for me because I was sitting at the wrong place in a concert hall or was distracted by any other circumstances. With “bigger” orchestrated music the amount of those circumstances is higher and it is not a surprise that it is simpler to get “greater” impressionism by minimalist conditions. Still, when everything withn “large” music works fine then "orchestrated performance"  has own expressive means that has own added value.

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-11-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mats
Chicago
Posts 76
Joined on 09-18-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 4203
Reply to: 4201
On complexities
Casals writes in his memoir how he came to appreciate the orchestra as the ultimate instrument.
Having said that, it is hard for me to imagine, that the command of the Muse to the conductor could ever be communicated thru all those professional musicians with the immediacy of a soloist with ten fingers on the keyboard.  The enormous complexities of performing orchestral music that you point out, is quite moving.  This kind of artistic pursuit seems pretty much guaranteed to fail, and yet musicians every night leap for that summit.  When it works, I am sure the heavens open.

Mats
04-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 4204
Reply to: 4203
The orchestrated musicality (sound)

Well, I do not think that that’ musicality in its eccentric form might be more or less “orchestrated”, after all, what we get from music into its “ultimacy” has no projection (at least to me) to it’s sonic rendering. However, I have to admit, that large “orchestrated wonks” have own interest.

I tend to see the orchestrated successes of today’s orchestras as more or less accident. Sure, it greatly depending from the qualification of the musicians but in the nowadays music making ceremony the “unanimity” of orchestral expression is greatly reduced and this level of unanimity greatly varies, almost varies randomly and accidental. In the past, 50 years back, there were periods when orchestras had own sonic unity: Philadelphia, Boston, Berlin, Leningrad, Vienna (that has it partiality even now). Nowadays, however, (because multiple reasons) orchestras sound with no expressive, tonal or harmonic consistency and therefore what I appreciate in collective or the orchestrated efforts might be found only “out of the blue” in orchestrated music.

So, what I’m looking for in the orchestrated music, or to say more correctly: what I’m looking in the orchestrated Sound? I am usually looking for what I “lost” 8 years ago.  8 years ago I found in Boston MFA an amassing sculpture that hunts for years. Unfortunately the MFA took it down and after then I was not able to find any trace of it. It was a large installation in the Oceanic Art Section. It was a long, perhaps 8-9 feet long, wood or clay made canoe-like boat with 2 dozen or so figures in the boat, frozen in their forcefully move to row the boat. The most amazing thing was that the figures were not just naked Polynesians seamen but men, women, children, Gods, and different type of fish. Everyone held the puddles in the way they could but all of them were engaged in the same “unanimized” rowing endeavor…

So, in orchestrated Sound I pretty much looking for exactly the same: the uniqueness of individuality and ability to composite the best of the individuality into united results. Rare happens, great benefits when it does…

Rgs, The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Michaelz
Posts 38
Joined on 03-01-2007

Post #: 4
Post ID: 4205
Reply to: 4204
Please expand
(because multiple reasons)

Could you please expand on this?  I am very much interested.  Thanks!
04-16-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 4219
Reply to: 4205
The orchestra’s and conductors’ “in-house sound”.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Nowadays, however, (because multiple reasons) orchestras sound with no expressive, tonal or harmonic consistency …

 Michaelz wrote:
Could you please expand on this?  I am very much interested.

Well, in the past orchestras had own identifiable sound that was more or less a result of the musicians skills and the musicals directors’ visions. A long staying conductor shaped sound in a certain way and the orchestras had it. Interesting that the orchestra maintained that own unique sound (and I am not taking just about tone) even with many quest conductors and even when the orchestra traveled and performed in alien concert halls.

It was some kind of “in-house sound” that was more or less consistent. Mengleberg  and Van Beinum had it with Concertgebouw, Furtwangler had it with Berlin (not with Vienna), Mravinsky with Leningrad, Toscanini had it with New York Philharmonic and partially with NBC, Golovanov with Bolshoy, Ormady with Philadelphia, Talich  and Karel Ancerl  with Czech, Koussevitsky had it with Boston, Szell with Cleveland Orchestra (not with Concertgebouw or Vienna) and many others….

Interesting that the orchestras that do not use any principal conductors (like Vienna for instance) still has own identity that they pass to each guest conductor (for illustration: Weingartner, Scherchen, Krauss, Giulini, Rattle, Carlos Kleiber, Schuricht, Böhm and others…) On other hand, some conductors, wherever they went they made own “in-house sound”  with virtually any orchestras: Stokowski  or Barbirolli would be a good illustrations.

I mean the orchestras or conductors had some expected consistency of characteristic sonic identity that was more or less…. CONSISTANT.

Nowadays the delta between orchestras and conductors is kind of faded away. Sure all orchestras sound differently and all conductors attempt to do different things but their results more vary-day-per day and have not as much of long-lasting identity and long-lasting consistency as it use to be.

There are very-very few orchestras nowadays that from my point of view demonstrate a VERY consistent and VERY good quality of “in-house sound”: the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment would be the best illustration…

It would be a separate subject why it is happening but it defiantly is happening.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
04-16-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Michaelz
Posts 38
Joined on 03-01-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 4220
Reply to: 4219
Thanks

Hi, Romy:

Thanks a lot for describing this interesting phenomenon!  As to why it happened, I am not sure.  Maybe it had to do with the requirement of being strictly faithful to the music score, lack of imagination as a result of being faithful, and general culture that is uniformity-orientated (like fast food restaurant, etc.).

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