Historically informed Performance.

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by fatgoogle, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. fatgoogle


    Jun 15, 2008
    Sorry if this has been asked before but it's something im getting quite interested in.

    Simply, I don't want to play Mozart like Mahler or Bach like Brahms. If you get me.

    I've been struggling to find info online about how to approach playing different composers works from different era's in there correct styles and with the correct techniques, amount of vibrato, fingerings that would have been used at the time etc etc.

    At the moment i can't afford to get Gut strings(crazy expensive) or a baroque bows to find the limitations and advantages that they would be put it to play so im stuck with my Belcanto's and French Bow and was wondering how do i make historically informed choices on how to play certain pieces.

    If it helps, in my folder of orchestral pieces that im going through i have Mozart 35,39,40. Mahler 1 and 2. Beethoven 5 and 9. Brahms 1 and 2. Some of the Bradenburg concerto's. Im sure there's a few others which i cant remember.

    Any tips of historically informed playing or links to books/sites/articles.

    Sorry if this it a bit of a ramble, i can't think of the right way to ask this question but hopefully you get the gist of it.

    Sam Homfray
  2. You don't need the gut strings and baroque bow to play baroque stuff. The tools are just tools, though a baroque bow will, by it's nature make everything sound baroque. With a normal bow, you just have to work some to get the same/similar effect.

    The irony with HIP is that it also changes over time. A HIP performance from the 80's is different than a contemporary.

    That's because you shouldn't, in the same way as you wouldn't play Mahler like Brahms, or Mozart like Bach.

    My tip is listen to the music. After a while you'll develop an idea of how different composers, different music sounds. That's what's called the performance practise, and it's equally valid if you're playing Palestrina or Shönberg.
  3. fatgoogle


    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for the advice Martin. I think i may have asked my question in slightly the wrong way or im not gleaming enough from your answer.

    Im wondering how players played, let's say Mozart, at the time of mozart and how this would have made it sound or the approach's they would have had to playing it. Now there's no recordings of that exactly i can listen to. But is there any reading? Or any recordings that are widely accepted as very accurate to the time? And then i can try to apply this to my own playing of these pieces.
  4. Maybe I've read too much Tarouskin* essays, but there is reading. I think Leopold Mozarts violinschule (Violin school) is rather common, much for it's description of how other instruments are played. There are other treatises around on libraries. Keep in mind though that the practises varied enormously back then, as the world was not as homogenized and globalised as today.

    *Tarouskin is a writher who has written many essays on performance practise, where he pretty much states that while we have a better understanding now of historical performance practise (HIP), we're still not authentic.
  5. fatgoogle


    Jun 15, 2008
    Brilliant ill check those out. I understand that it will never be completely authentic but that's not what im after. Just a way to help shape the music im playing into something that works and is suits the context i suppose. Any of Taruskin essays that you'd really recommend? And any other authors.

    Sorry im really awful at figuring out the questions I really want to ask.

    Also your point on the world not being homogenized and globalized has sparked my interest. Any reading you'd recommend?

    Any one else have any thing to add? Video's, links, reading that would help me understand a bit better.
  6. I just read some out of a compilation book by Tarouskin, "Text and Act, essays on performance practise" or something similar.