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 Performing Bach "Romantically"
Author: wjk 
Date:   2004-06-06 02:55

How do others feel about performances of Bach that are "romantic?" For example, Casals was often criticized for his "romantic" interpretations of the cello suites. Is the alternative a "cold" unemotional/flat interpretation?

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 Re: Performing Bach "Romantically"
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2004-06-06 06:30

Is the alternative a "cold" unemotional/flat interpretation?

No. The alternative is an emotional, exciting, historically informed interpretation. Just because something isn't "romantic" doesn't mean that it's unemotional. "Baroque" originally meant "grotesque" and it's first use was for the lavish architectural style of the period. A good starting point is to try to understand as much as possible what the composer intended the music to sound like, which isn't all written down on the page! This would involved a study of the performance practice of the time.

One thing to look at would be the dance styles of the period. What exactly is a Menuet, Allemande, etc.? Look into the dance steps that were used for these kinds of dances. You wouldn't be able imagine playing a Viennese Waltz if you hadn't tried, or a least seen, the dance steps. Understanding that can really make these movements dance and come to life!

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 Re: Performing Bach "Romantically"
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2004-06-06 18:32

No...I think Casals is one of the more reasonable performances in terms of steering a middle road between romantic and classical elements..I find the Yo Yo Ma version to be less to my liking. Remember most of this music originated with a dance or a form...therefore the music should certainly reflect these elements...I always like Casals in this music....very interesting.

David Dow

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