Monday, January 27, 2014

Baroque Flute Boot Camp Under New Management

Hello Everyone,

Just another venue to announce the change in the Baroque Flute Boot Camp. After fifteen years I have turned over the workshop to my good friend and colleague, Janet See. The workshop is no longer under the umbrella of Baroque Northwest. Janet worked with me for 12 of those 15 years. Janet will be assisted again by another one of my good friends and colleagues, Kathie Stewart.

Information about the 2014 version of the workshop may be found here, on Janet's website.

As far as the Baroque Performance Clinic blog goes, I will still be posting things here about historical performance practices and other things related to Baroque flutes (and even some Renaissance flute posts from time to time).

Below is my official message to many people on my email list:

The Baroque Flute Boot Camp is now under the direction of my good friend and highly-esteemed and fabulous colleague Janet See.

I've been directing the workshop for 15 years. As many of you know I'll be completing my PhD in musicology this year and will be focusing on my academic career, which means sometimes teaching summer school and traveling for research projects. I am not retiring from performing or teaching, but now is a good time to make a change.

I will still see many of you at the NFA conventions and perhaps at musicology conferences, and other places around the planet. I will also keep posting the Practice Pieces of the Week on the Facebook group, but I will leave the BFBC information dissemination to Janet.

Please visit Janet's website for information about the 2014 Baroque Flute Boot Camp.

This link gives the workshop dates and a means to contact Janet about it:

The dates for next summer are July 27-August 2, 2014, in Seattle, at Seattle Pacific University.

I am sad to leave because it has been incredibly fun as well as musically and intellectually stimulating,and I'll miss the camaraderie and various types of hazing and throwing down of gauntlets, etc. But I am happy to know that the new director will bring new energy, new and different challenges (the boot camp is not  spa . . . ), and continue with the roaring good times everyone has at the workshop.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BFBC 2013 Video

It's here!

After a few glitches the low resolution video of the last days participant program is up on YouTube. It is unlisted in case there are people who would rather not be thrust onto the whole world wide web stage playing a piece they are just learning. It is available to anyone with a link, however. As I said on Facebook, if you want a high resolution HD DVD of the whole thing complete with menus, contact me by email, Facebook, here, wherever and I will make and mail one to you. If you just want your performance I should be able to make it available to download from the cloud (I think).

The low resolution link is:

Steve Goldman

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rhetoric and BWV 1034

First, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Kim Pineda for giving me the thrill of waiting until the very last minute to complete a homework assignment. I have not had an opportunity like this since I was an undergraduate.
This assignment presents some interesting problems. Evaluating the performances from a rhetorical standpoint first requires an understanding of rhetoric and how it applies to music, or at least how it was assumed to apply to music in the eighteenth century.  The ancient practice of rhetoric refers to techniques used for the composition and delivery of speeches in a way that entertained but, more importantly, persuaded the audience to agree with the viewpoint of the orator. The ability to influence people through speech was extremely important in ancient Greece and the Roman Republic, where the leaders of society were politicians and lawyers and often both. Creating and playing on the emotions of one’s audience in order to make them more receptive to your arguments was part of the technique. There were many techniques and “figures of speech” that were taught to future orators, named and categorized by the ancients.
The rediscovery by musicologists that during the Renaissance and Baroque eras the composition and performance of music was closely associated with the rhetorical techniques of the orator was a huge help in gaining insight into how composers and performers of the time thought about and performed the pieces. However, the more one delves into the specifics of how rhetoric was applied to music at the time, the less secure one becomes. Part of the problem is that music is not language (another topic in itself), and the rules and figures that were used in the speech may or may not have analogous practices in music. Music theorists many times kept the names of figures but they relate only slightly if at all with the classic figures those names describe. To make things more confusing, the definition of the figures were not always the same from theorist to theorist. Also, as time went on, theorists kept changing and expanding the constructs. One has to take into account at what point during the Baroque period the piece you are dealing with was written. It is incorrect to assume that ideas about which Johann Mattheson wrote about were in the minds of seventeenth-century composers. And finally, there is controversy as to how much effect the theoretical discussions from which we get our information were understood and actually used by the composers and performers of the time.
Thus, the situation is somewhat confused. It does not help that the study of rhetoric is no longer taught and its precepts no longer second-nature to us. This often results in misunderstanding especially when the, English translations of technical terminology are cognates. The terms have modern definitions which are related to - but different than - the technical definitions that were used by rhetoricians. This causes terminology to be used incorrectly and mistakes to be made in evaluating and representing a piece based on rhetoric. This is evidenced in other papers from this homework assignment, and I am sure that I will make my own mistakes.
Other common mistakes regard the rhetorical techniques in the so-called “doctrine of the affections.” Many still incorrectly think of it in mid-twentieth century terms a as a type of encyclopedia of figures that represented fixed affects to be used by composers as needed. “Cookbook methods” were actually frowned upon in the eighteenth century, and it was never as easy as that in any event. Also in regards to the importance of affect, it is still common to hear people describe music from the period in the same way one would describe a tone poem from the nineteenth century. The fact is, we have been so influenced by the thought patterns of nineteenth-century Romantics that is difficult to realize that, except for specific program music, the goal of instrumental music was to represent pure emotion. There was no “movie in your head” matching action, storyline and music. If anything, the eighteenth-century listener may have visualized dancers or dance steps since much of the instrumental music was based on dance forms; If a more specific story was required to complement the affects evoked in the music, texts were needed. This of course was vocal music, where the rhetorical methods used in the accompaniment were expected to complement the rhetoric of the text.
Despite the holes in our knowledge, and the futility of trying to eliminate three centuries of influence in how we hear the music, it is still possible to at least approach the music of the 18th century in a manner that is respectful to the aesthetics of the men and woman who wrote, performed and listened to it.  I will now compare the two performances of Bach’s Sonata BWV 1034 specificly addressing how they differ in their use of rhetoric.
I think that inventio, disposition and elocution, while important, are peripheral to the task at hand. Inventio is not the interpretation by a performer of the composer’s intentions for the piece butthe actual creation of the ideas that will become the piece. It is the domain of the composer, not the performer. Old Bach completed that job long ago. For the s performer, only three of the divisions of rhetoric directly apply: pronunciatio, memoria and actio. Of these, only pronunciatio can be specifically critiqued by someone listening to an audio recording -  memoria can only be addressed in the broadest way as it is unknown if the piece was performed totally from memory or with music in either performance so it is difficult to evaluate the performer’s abilities in memorization. And actio would require one to be at a live performance or at least a video to evaluate.
At the beginning of this essay, I noted that the assignment brings up some interesting problems. The first problem is that, from a rhetorical point of view, the two performances are simply not comparable. Part of pronunciatio is knowing your audience and playing to them, in this case quite literally. The problem is that the audience for these performances is different. The live performance is directed at people listening in real time. This requires, or should, a different approach than that of a studio recording meant to be  repeatedly enjoyed by a listener in very different acoustics.. Another issue is that due to the differences in the recordings, necessitated in part by their surroundings as well as by the choices made by the recording engineer, the relative volume and timbre of the instruments is different between the recordings and may influence the way a listener hears the music.
I assume the studio recording is the one with cello and harpsichord continuo. The way the instruments were recorded, the keyboard is a bit more forward-sounding than the flute and cello. This has an effect on the rhetoric of the performance, increasing the perceived importance of the continuo line, particularly the improvised right hand of the keyboard. This could have been a problem if the keyboard player was playing block chords or, as was so often the case in the early days of the revival of continuo technique, muddied the realization with an overdone improvisation that competed with the soloist for attention. However, this realization tastefully adds figurations while not forgetting the main job of filling in the harmony, so the minor over prominence is not a problem. The live recording  baroque guitar replaces the keyboard in the continuo and has the opposite problem. The guitar, which is very soft anyway, is somewhat lost in the ensemble. While it sounds like the there was some interesting realizations of the bass line, it is difficult to hear. The result is that the interaction between the cello and the flute is made more prominent. This changes how one hears the interactions.
It surprised me that, due to the musicians’ manner of playing, the selection of continuo instruments and also (I believe)the recording methods and acoustics of the two spaces, even though the live recording was at A=415 and the other at A=392, the latter sounds brighter and more lively. This is the opposite of what I would expect.
Finally, the live recording has more ornamentation than the studio recording. While some of these work better than others, in a live performance there should much more leeway to perform ornaments and emphasize rhetorical gestures than in a performance intended purely for an audience listening via recording. Taking chances with ornaments and (sometimes) tasteful exaggeration which would be out of place and annoying in a recorded performance can be quite effective to emphasis the rhetorical character of the music.  The live recording clearly does this, but perhaps it could have been done even more.
Movement 1
The affect of this movement seems to be a mixture of sorrow, longing, and desire. It is a serious movement that avoids some of the more theatrical interpretations of said affects. If texted, it would be more appropriate for a sacred cantata than the opera house. The indication Adagio ma non tanto suggests that the performer should avoid too slow and depressing an interpretation. Both performances are relatively similar in tempi although the studio recording is a bit faster. The live performance has more ornamentation, which, according to my beliefs expressed above, it should. One can question if in a movement like this the more subdued style of the studio recording is more appropriate for the affect, but that is a matter of taste. The third beat in mm 5-7 is emphasized slightly more in the live performance, giving it a more speech-like aspect. Breath placement is generally the same at first, but as the movement progresses the live performance tends to have more breaths of necessity and fewer that are musical. Taken as a whole, the studio recording conveyed the affects a bit more consistently although the rhetorical gestures were slightly stronger in the live recording.
Movement 2
The affect of the movement suggests resolution and perhaps courage. Bach’s tendency to use repeated half-measure phrases, such as in mm 16-18,  can be used by the performer to highlight the affect. Repeating a phrase was always a planned event in speeches of the Ancients. If the phrase was repeated twice, it was usually to be recited louder and with more emphasis the second time, thus impressing the importance of this idea on the listener. In this case, the repeated phrase can indicate growing resolution or courage; other options could be used to bring out other affects. In both performances, the longer line is the emphasis and the phrases are not varied. This is effective valid choice, and brings out the virtuosic character of the movement, but perhaps misses a chance for a rhetorical flourish. Again, the live performance used more ornamentation. Sometimes, such as in m 32, the ornaments seem contrary to the prevailing affect where the resolute feeling is broken by a type of galant ornament. This is not necessarily a bad thing and works to bring another type of affect to the work. The studio recording is slightly crisper and seems faster although the two performances are essentially the same tempo.
Movement 3
The affect of this movement suggests the sublime, peace and love yet with some of the longing from the first movement still present. Here the studio recording has the more leisurely pace, highlighting these affects. The introduction by the continuo group is played extremely well in both examples, but the realization in the studio recording is particularly lovely. The ornamentation remains simple in both performances, but the use of a few more flourishes, such as flattement, add a slightly more seductive quality to the live recording. Both performances are rhetorically convincing.
Movement 4
The affect is lively and in turn angry and gay (using the old fashioned definition, that is). Again repeated phrases and notes are used, if anything being more important than in the second movement. The bass line also takes on greater importance, often in dialogue with the flute. Because of this, the movement is in some ways the strongest of the four live-performance examples. The cello and flute are able to have a clear dialogue even though it is still difficult to hear the guitar. In both performances, the repeated notes and phrases are differentiated to a greater extent than they were in the second movement which complements the affects and increases the feeling of anger and/or excitement.
There is so much more that can be said about the piece and performances, but it is late and I have a plane to catch. See everyone soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BWV 1034--comparison of rhetorical content of 2 performances

I actually did this exercise a while ago but have been too awed and intimidated by Asuncion's erudite TPA-clinching response to post until now.

So I will not even try to come up to that standard--just going to list my comments informally.

1.  Thanks for the assignment, which compelled me to undergo a crash course on the elements of rhetoric as applied to music in baroque period.  (Yes, how DID I get this far in my baroque studies without having done that??)

2. NOT going to analyze in detail the Inventio/Dispositio.  

3. My understanding of the affect of the movements did not necessarily agree with Asuncion's, especially the slow movements--see below.

4. Cello/hps version [c/h] vs. gamba/theorbo/guitar version [g/t/g].  I know we weren't supposed to comment on which we "liked" better per se, but I'll just mention that I expected to like the g/t/g version better going in, and it didn't turn out that way.  The more sustained ring of cello and harpsichord, and also possibly the lower pitch, seemed to contribute more to the affects I perceived, except in the last movement.  

5. 1st movement:  I hear/read this as thoughtful/contemplative with some mystery.  A dark room with shadowy figures and occasional breakthroughs of discovery.  The c/h version expressed this better due to unified quiet flowing intensity of both flute and continuo.  The g/t/g version sounds more disjointed almost plodding, less legato in the continuo, shorter phrases.  

6. Regarding the placement of breaths in meas. 11, 13 and 18-19 (debatable due to Bach's lovely habit of making the end of one phrase=the beginning of the next): I vote for the c/h version (breath after 1st 1/8), which makes more sense with the bass line and reflects the phrasing set at the very beginning of the flute line (starts as pickup to beat 2).  Breaths before and during measure 8 in g/t/g version were jarring, coming between beats rather than after 1st 1/8 and/or 1/2way through the 3rd beat.  (I'm thinking these were unplanned live performance sneaks, as opposed to the elegant sneak in meas. 4 of the c/h version.)

7.  Effective use of ornamentation in the g/t/g version meas. 21-26, elaborating the b minor section ("breakthroughs of discovery").

8. 2nd movement:  Affect is decisive and steady.  Detached precisely articulated style in both versions supports this affect well, perhaps a bit more convincingly in the c/h version since the g/t/g version tends to go somewhat more legato in the arpeggio sections.

9. 3rd movement:  Affect of calm beauty, evoking simple devotional life--mystery of mvmt 1 resolved (into the relative major).  Both versions relatively restrained in use of ornamentation, rubato--befits the affect.  I prefer the straight (no flattement, no swell) expression of the dotted half's in the c/h version--beauty and simplicity, rather than mournfulness.

10. 4th movement:  A kind of dialog or argument in which both sides (treble and BC) are insistent, but insisting on the same thing!  Both versions present this well, with crisp repeated notes eg m. 13, 15, 17 in treble, 14, 16, 18 in bass.  In this movement the balance between treble and BC seems to work better in the g/t/g version--parts being more equal.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

BWV 1034: Not Just Another Pretty Flute Sonata

We were given a mission, and I chose to accept it.  First of all, I’d like to offer my understanding of what this is all about.  Inventio is at the heart of this exercise, so I set out to explore what is in the music itself and decipher, but only infer at best, what it is that the composer had wanted to express.  The performer’s phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and ornamentation are tools of expressive invention.  An analysis of the piece’s structure reveals elocutio, or how rhetorical figures are represented in the music itself.  The performer’s interpretation pronounces, declaims, projects, enhances, or even alters what is on the page.  Memoria plays an important role, as theorists have written about widely accepted conventions on how moods and emotions are portrayed musically.  We could spend hours poring through writings by Mersenne, Descartes, Mattheson, etc., to get a better handle on the Doctrine of Affections; and writings by Quintillian, Tarling, Lanham, Bartel, etc., to understand rhetoric in music.  Some day, I hope to devote some time to doing just that, but for now, I am grateful for musicologists, such as Kim Pineda and John Walter Hill, who generously spell it out for us.  For us twenty-first century musicians, it might be difficult to sift out action-hero film music emotions from our memoria.  But is that such a bad thing?  The arias from baroque cantatas, oratorios, and opera, are another valuable resource for us as their texts provide us a window through which we can get a glimpse of the musical vocabulary employed by composers to express Affekt.  With that said, the paragraphs that follow assert what I think is going on.

J.S. Bach, Sonata in e, BWV 1034

“.m4a” = recording with harpsichord and cello
“.wav” = recording with theorbo, guitar, and viola da gamba.

Mvt I - Adagio ma non tanto

To me, the Affekt of this movement is that of a sorrowful procession.  The abundance of sighing figures suggests grief, and the constant eighth note pulse depicts forward motion.  The opening thesis takes up the first five measures, and a simple statement of this thesis would have resolved to the tonic in the middle of m. 4, but instead it continues to a half cadence in m. 5.  This could be construed as an invitation to discourse.  The rising thirds that follow (m. 5 in bass, m. 6 in flute) resemble a reaction to the thesis, or perhaps a statement of purpose.  We hear an elaboration or development of the opening thesis in m. 9-13.  The music in m. 13 (bass) and 14 (flute) is an inversion of the material from m. 5 and 6.  I interpret this alteration as an argument (confutatio).  The argument builds up and continues through m. 15 and 16, and on to a cadence in v (b minor), thus ending this portion of the discourse.  A restatement of the first motif, in the new key of b minor, is expected, but instead we get more arguments.  Confutatio from a different angle continues in m. 17, with a development of the opening motif in m. 19-20.  In m. 21, we hear an exclamatio, the most vociferous, vehement restatement of the argument from m. 15.  Relentless discourse continues to the end of this movement.

The .m4a recording has a tone of despair, with the constant forward momentum that implies urgency, perhaps a longing for something better.  The overall delivery seems held back by restraint, but I detect a little bit of poutiness in the deliberate placement of the eighth notes at the beginning of m.3.  The build up in dynamics at the sequences, e.g., from m. 14, project the gradatio (intensifying groups of words in parallel construction).

By making the most of the sighing figures, the .wav performance presents this as a sorrowful movement.  The ornaments in m. 4 serve as an amplifying device (the heightened activity alerts the listener to a continuation of the phrase instead of a resolution) and in m. 23 (adds intensity, making up for the low register).  The deliberate placement of the resolution, followed by pause, in the cadences at m. 9 and 17, gives weight to what the listener just heard.

Mvt II – Allegro

The constant quarter note pulse gives this movement a march-like feeling.  The rhythm in the opening motif resembles flight (beats 1 and 2) deterred by a grave situation (beats 3, 4, and 1 of the following measure).  From the middle of m. 5, where the opening theme is restated in b minor and the bass and treble voices switch parts, instead of the flute simply taking the original bass line, those notes become ornamental.  Some new material is added in the flute part, and this elaboration offers a more explanatory restatement of the opening theme.  From m. 10 to 15 and m. 33 to 39, an enumerative device is seen in the development of the motifs.  The use of pedal tones in the flute part 16th note figures (m. 12-13, 36-37) and slower harmonic movement in some places (m. 16-24, m. 40-48) suggest a static feeling.  The slower harmonic rhythm and the repetition of arpeggios imply emphasis of a strong idea (commoratio).  We hear exclamatio in several places:  from the end of m. 13 (A-B D, D#-E G, B!), from the end of m. 37 (E-F# A, A#-B D, F#!), and from m. 51 (first note of each beat--A D# F# A; G E G B; F# D# F# A C!).  The deceptive cadence in the middle of m. 68 opens the way for an epexegesis, additional remarks to clarify what had already been said, via some quite colorful language (chromatic progression through m. 69).

The lightness in dynamic and tone along with the pointed articulation project a carefree character in the .m4a performance.  It is antithetical to the low spirits of the first movement, as if to say, “Life goes on.”  The approach to the climaxes of phrases, particularly to the high C in measures 54 and 69, and the emphasis on the climactic note, by way of weighty articulation, were very effectively done.

In the .wav recording, the hefty dynamic and sharp staccatos in the opening theme suggest “anger” as the Affekt of the movement.  The sharp attacks in the main melodic notes (m. 6 and 7; m. 13 beat 4 to m. 14; m. 51-53) and in the pedal tones in m. 13 are a continued expression of anger.  The substitution (alletheta) of a different sentiment than what was heard in the original statement of the theme occurs in m. 29-31 (more legato than the exegesis) and in m. 65-67 (addition of parenthetical ornaments).  Did a transformation take place?  Is the orator now at peace with what caused his anger at the beginning?

Mvt III - Andante

The tonality (G major in the middle of this e minor madness), relaxed tempo, and slower harmonic rhythm in this movement suggest repose, and the descent in the opening motif seems to express sorrow.  The opening theme seems like an example of mempsis, or a declaration of a grievance.  I would dare say that the Affekt of this piece is that of a peaceful but sad refuge.  (I would relate this to my continuo team to make sure they don’t play anything antithetical in the first 6 measures.)  The sentiment is amplified through upward melodic movement in m. 14 -15.  From m. 21 on, the harmony breaks away from the ground bass progression to develop the theme, wandering to e minor then b minor, offering an explanatory dissection of the main musical material (enumeratio).  The return of the sustained note, not just in the recapitulation but also in the developmental section, is always nicely heralded by a brief ornamental passage (m. 19-20, m. 23-24, m. 26-27, m. 42-43).  That treatment tells me that the sustained note itself is the star of this movement.

.m4a recording:  The messa di voce execution of the first note in the flute part gives this movement a plaintive character.  The lift placed just before m. 20 and 43 brings out the importance of the sustained note, almost as if the long note is the thesis of the movement.  The deliberate articulation of the G in the 3rd measure of the flute part provides a clarifying punctuation to the short theme.  The lifts executed at the ends of ornamental figures, such as before the 2nd beat of m. 11, before the high C# in m. 35, and before the G at the beginning of m. 40, have the effect of drawing the listener’s attention to the skeletal melodic notes.  The flexibility with the tempo at m. 14 and 15 (slight rit into m. 15 and accel back to tempo in m. 16) results in a buildup that prepares the listener for what is coming next.  The ornaments added at m. 37, 47 and beginning of 48 seem parenthetical, although the intent of increasing the intensity of the phrase at m. 37 is apparent.  The ornament from the end of m. 48 into m. 49 serves as an epexegesis (addition of words to clarify the sentiment), and it is one of my favorite moments in this performance.

In the .wav performance, the flutist plays with a timbre and legato technique that seems, to me, to wallow in melancholy.  That alone makes me like this performance a wee bit more than the other one.  As in the other recording, similar emphasis is placed on the sustained notes either through a messa di voce treatment or through the use of flattements.  The placement of slight lifts at the ends of ornamental figures (end of m. 8, end of m.18, end of m. 19, and the end of m. 37) seems to put less importance on the figures and focus the listener’s attention to what comes next.  Ornaments are added in the same places as in the other recording, and from this I learn that one should identify not just the places that beg for ornamentation but also the reasons why.

Mvt IV – Allegro

This movement opens with a fanfare, as if to announce a grand event.  The motif in the flute part at m. 3 (rising line, ending with resolved appoggiatura) and its repetition in m. 4 project the character of a plea, with the music from m. 5 to 12 stating a justification or an explanation for the request.  The agitated rhythms and very active bass line suggest the presence of conflict.  The use of pragmatographia (vivid description of an event) is evident in the measures that could be interpreted as drum calls and artillery at a battle scene (m. 13 ff, m. 56 ff).  All these lead me to identify “heroic” as the Affekt of this movement.  The repetition in m. 36-37 and 82-83 is a form of iteratio (repetition, with vehemence, to get one’s point across).

.m4a performance:  The perkiness in tone and articulation give it the feel of a rally for a cause or a petition for something better, thus complementing the sentiment of mvt III.  The tempo changes in m. 36-37 and 82-83 draw the most out of the iteratio.

The .wav performance, through its majestic execution and forward momentum, exudes boldness and bravery.  The overall legato articulation, with some variation that highlights the more important melodic notes, gives it a constant forward direction.  As in the other recording, the iteratio at m. 36 and 82 is enhanced though not just through tempo flexibility, but also through varied articulation and the addition of slurs.  The ornaments added to the flute part in m. 24 and 25, while the bass continues the “explanation,” serve as a persuasive device.  The buildup in dynamics from measure 57 to 65 is very effective in portraying the orator’s passion for the cause.

* * *

I would just like to share two things that I got out of this exercise:  1) I now feel like it is possible to really appreciate something in a performance without necessarily feeling the need to copy it; and 2) holy sh*$@, I better get to work on analyzing my BFBC pieces!

I am dying to hear what other people have to say about the recordings and am so looking forward to BFBC 2013!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Workshop countdown and a word about file sharing

Hello Everyone. The workshop is about six weeks away and I am excited to return to Seattle. I'm also excited to meet the new people and reconnect with those who are returning after a hiatus. 

Today's message is about the wiki. Each year people who are not enrolled in the BFBC request access to the site. And each year they are not granted access. I'm only bringing this up because we have many first time participants. Except for the workbook and a few of the sonatas that I've made with Sibelius and the suite by Dieupart, I believe everything is available for free on the internet. But my time (and Janet's and Kathie's and Don's) is worth something so I'm not inclined to share the hours of work that goes into preparing the workshop with people who are not attending the workshop. I find it similar to people who show up to a potluck empty handed, eat and drink a lot of stuff, and then leave with a box of leftovers. That said, I cannot prevent anyone from sharing the files that are available here. Except for the workbook, Mattheson, and Dieupart, you'd only be redistributing files found elsewhere. If you feel a need to share the material that is up to you. 

Also, if you find your practice time increasing, make sure to oil your flute(s). See you in 40 days. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Homework (or, "What is going on here?")

Homework announcement:

Yes, we have homework before the workshop begins. Workshop participants are directed to the wiki folder 012 Homework. In the folder are two different recordings of the same sonata by JS Bach (e-minor, BWV 1034). One was recorded in a studio, the other is a live recording. One recording uses viola da gamba, theorbo, and Baroque guitar for the continuo, the other uses Baroque cello and harpsichord. One recording is at A=415 Hz, the other is at A=392 Hz. Additional information not on the wiki: One recording is from 1994, the other from 2013.

The Assignment:

Listen to the two recordings

  1. For the beginning and intermediate players, you merely need to tell me what you liked about each movement and why, and if you preferred one recording to the other and why. 
  2. For the advanced/professional players, the last thing I want to hear from you is which performance you like best. In fact, I don't want to hear your opinions on that at all. Instead I want you to address the rhetoric of each performance (what you think the goal or affect of each movement is and if the movements form a cohesive rhetorical presentation), and a few reflective observations (e.g., "that was clearly an attempt at shameless grandstanding," or "the flutist takes a breath at the 1'32" mark; I prefer to take my breath at the 1'45" mark," or "I would ask the continuo group to do X instead of Y"). 
  3. You may leave your comments in the comment section within the folder OR put them here if you are one of the contributors to this blog. 
  4. For a crash course on rhetoric, click here.

Ready . . . go!