Early Music America Fall 2012 - (Page 2)
Consider the ﬂute. The transverse ﬂute. Of all the instruments in our world of period music-making, is the traverso possibly the most historically characteristic of the Baroque and Classical eras? Except for the harpsichord/piano comparison (which, after all, are two separate instruments linked by a common keyboard system), what other period instrument presents such a departure from its modern avatar? Trumpets, horns, oboes, strings, harps, and percussion—all use pretty much the same acoustical engineering today as they did in the 17th- and 18th-centuries (with some important variations that we have all come to relish). But for the better part of two hundred years, the ﬂute was totally different. Beginning in the latter part of the 17th century to the gradual adoption of the cylindrical Boehm ﬂute in the 19th century, the critical interior dimensions of the ﬂute were tapered from the embouchure down to the end, creating a “conical” bore that signiﬁcantly affected the sound and the way the instrument was played. The introduction of the conical bore made the ﬂute into a relatively sophisticated instrument compared with its Renaissance predecessor, capable of taking its place in the developing orchestras of its day. For the pioneer generation of historical ﬂutists, trained on the cylindrical Boehm ﬂute in high school, college, and youth orchestras, the discovery of the charming and caressing tone of the conical traverso was a revelation. The mysteries of the instrument were not easily mastered, but experience and hard work paid off with some extraordinary effects (example: the bell-like arpeggios of Frans Brüggen’s ﬂute obbligato in “Doch weichet, ihr tollen, vergeblichen Sorgen,” from Bach’s Cantata “Liebster Gott,” BWV 8, in the old Das Alte Werk series). Lee Inman’s interview with Janet See, one of America’s traverso pioneers, reveals the excitement of discovery that continues to motivate players of early winds today (page 37). Another development during the ﬁrst generation of early musicians has been the growing familiarity and comfort with the more casual aspects of improvised popular music of earlier centuries. Decades of attention to surviving texts have evolved into an instinctive, easy presentation based on internalized, even personalized, interpretation. We can see the result in the way a scholar-musician like Grant Herreid is able to re-create what actors might have sung on stage or barbers might have played to their customers or how young men might have “serenaded their loves” in 17th-century Spain (“Reconstructing Spanish Songs from the Time of Cervantes,” page 29). In Don Kaplan’s coverage from the Berkeley Festival (page 40), we ﬁnd both the pioneer generation, represented by Jordi Savall, and the coming generation of early music performers, represented by the participants in EMA’s Young Performers Festival. It is good to see that what has rewarded Janet See in her career (“Having a life with an instrument that is pretty much devoid of any technology except one’s own technique...is an unusual and wonderful thing.”) is entirely consistent with the sentiment of the young performers (“There will always be an audience for live music and for early music in particular.”) and promises new rewards in the future.
Editor Benjamin Dunham firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Maria Coldwell email@example.com Editorial Advisory Board Jeffery T. Kite-Powell David Klausner Elisabeth Le Guin Steven Lubin Anthony P. Martin Advertising Manager Patrick Nugent firstname.lastname@example.org Recording Reviews Editor Tom Moore email@example.com Book Reviews Editor Mark Kroll firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Associate Mark Longaker email@example.com Editorial Assistant Andrew Levy
Early Music America (ISSN #1083-3633) is published quarterly by Early Music America, Inc., 2366 Eastlake Ave. East, #429, Seattle, WA 98102-3399. Subscription price (4 issues) Individual, U.S. and Canada $30; Institutional $80-$135; overseas add $10 for shipping and handling. Periodicals postage paid at Seattle, WA, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Early Music America, Inc., 2366 Eastlake Ave. East, #429, Seattle, WA 98102-3399. Copyright © 2012 by Early Music America, Inc., and its contributors. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of any work herein without the express permission of Early Music America or other copyright owner is unlawful.
PS: This is the last issue that my colleague Maria Coldwell will be working with me on EMAg as executive director of Early Music America. Her decade of leadership has been an extraordinary tenure, from her stabilizing of the organization’s ﬁnances to the daily expression of her deep knowledge and concern for our members’ lives in the pursuit of early music performance. I couldn’t have wished for a better boss....and a ﬂutist, to boot!
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Fall 2012 Early Music America
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Early Music America Fall 2012
Musings: Listening Forward
Profile: A Classical Playlist on Your Cable Television
Reconstructing Spanish Songs from the Time of Cervantes
Janet See: Traversist on Two Continents
Musical Mosaic Explores “Perspectives of Interspersing Peoples”
In Conclusion: Conducting Early Music
Early Music America Fall 2012