Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Should It Sound Divine or Danceable?

Should my Bach's Fugue from BWV 1000 sound divine or danceable? Have been listening to major artistes from the two general schools playing Bach, with legendary artistes like Henryk Szeryng, Arthur Grumiaux etc in the school which craft Bach's pieces in a divine way and in the other school, there'll be those who play Bach in a lighter, danceable style.

I've never been very supportive of the latter school, especially when they twist and desecrate the works until the very essence of Bach's music is lost. It wasn't until I heard of Hilary Hahn's rendition of Bach that changed my mind. Or rather, she's an exception. She completely tore down the divine nature of the works and recreate a completely different yet amazing effect that is not at all inferior to the former camp. Her recordings of the 3 sonata and partitas captured my total attention the first time I heard them. It's taxing to listen to the Chaconne by Szeryng twice consecutively yet for Hahn, I can just go on and on without feeling any decrease in the intensity and passion. But well, what I could accept from the latter camp can only stop there. I can't accept how artistes like Lara St John and Yo-Yo Ma (his second recording of Bach) butcher up Bach and left his pieces unbearable for the ears.

Of course, now considering the fact that I play the guitar, it'd probably take a miracle on top of an impeccable technique and astounding musicality to make Bach's pieces sound divine. Well, maybe I ought to focus more on making it danceable, yet at the same time not take too much liberty with the tempo...

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