Klarinet Archive - Posting 000358.txt from 2004/08

From: Tony Pay <tony.p@-----.org>
Subj: Re: [kl] K622 Etheridge book
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 18:36:44 -0400

On 12 Aug, "John Gibson" <jblinear2@-----.net> wrote:

> > Do you really think that my saying that I don't respect or agree with the
> > stance of Etheridge's book -- and I don't -- constitutes 'grouchiness'
> > and 'unkindness'?
> Tony: Why, yes, I did mean that! However, it was based on my reading
> of your initial post that seemed to indicate you made your mind up
> without really looking at the book more than superficially. Since that
> was not the case, you are welcome to your stated opinion just as I am
> mine. So, I take back the "unkind" part, but at this time would like
> to hang on to the "grouchy" part.

Why, thank you, John. I suppose that constitutes an advance.

I would like you to know that I take very seriously things that influence
young and impressionable players. I deplore the fact that it's easy for them
to be seduced by recordings by 'famous' players who make free with the text,
and use their ephemeral commercial success to establish a precedent for
ignoring what's written.

I hate, for example, that I have to use the argument that Benny Goodman
played 'straight' in his recording the passage in the Copland concerto that
many players nowadays 'swing' -- possibly in order to give themselves
spurious 'jazz' credentials.

For me, it should be enough that what Copland writes has its own sense: a
sense that you can discover for yourself -- if you can be bothered, that is.
That Goodman played it 'straight' says nothing more than that he was more
musically intelligent than those players, and took the score seriously. If
you want more details, I refer you to:




The Mozart concerto is a more important case, and one in which
misrepresentation deserves to be dealt with more harshly. What we have,
unfortunately, is an incomplete text, requiring intelligent interpretation.
Students need to understand that.

What Etheridge's book does, to the contrary, is to exacerbate the problem I
outlined above, by giving spurious authenticity to superficial aspects of the
recordings he discusses. By themselves, those recordings are 'just'
recordings. But supported by his book, and recommendations of his book such
as yours, the way is open for students unthinkingly to accept idiotic,
anecdotal, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow, self-promoting and plain wrong
approaches to the music.

I hate that. Students deserve better from us.

So, you say I'm grouchy.

But I say you're irresponsible -- and stupid.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd tony.p@-----.org
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE http://classicalplus.gmn.com/artists
tel/fax 01865 553339

... Here I am! Now what are your other two wishes?

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