teisipäev, juuli 05, 2005

Kuidas muusikud ennast täiuslikuse jahil salvestustesse kaotasid

Alex Ross kirjutab juunikuu New Yorkeri artiklis "The Record Effect" muusika salvestamisest (fonograafist magnetofonini) ja selle mõjust kontsertidele ning interpreetide tehnikale, mille tulemusena olin vähemalt mina sunnitud ümber hindama enda arusaama klassikalise muusika esitusest tänapäeval:
Katz devotes one striking chapter to a fundamental change in violin technique that took place in the early twentieth century. It involved vibrato—that trembling action of the hand on the fingerboard, whereby the player is able to give notes a warbling sweetness. Until about 1920 vibrato was applied quite sparingly. On a 1930 recording, the great violinist Joseph Joachi uses it only to accentuate certain highly expressive notes. (The track is included on CD that comes with Katz’s book.) Around the same time, Fritz Kreisler began applying vibrato almost constantly. By the nineteen-twenties, most leading violinists had adopted Kreisler’s method. Was it because they were imitating him? Katz proposes that the chang came about for a more pedestrian reason. When a wobble was added to violin tone, the phonograph was able to pick it up more easily it’s a “wider” sound in acoustical terms, a blob of several superimposed frequencies. Also, the fuzzy focus of vibrato enabled players to cover up slight inaccuracies of intonation, and, from the start, the phonograph made players self-conscious about intonation in ways they had never been before. What worked in the studio then spread to the concert stage. Katz can’t prove that the phonograph was responsible for the change, but he makes a good case.
Artikkel on pikema poolne, kuid äärmiselt huvitav.

Minu jaoks oli üheks suurimaks avastuseks - nagu eelnevast tsitaadist selgus - tõsiasi, et muusikud, kes olid harjunud esinema publikule ning mõtlema rohkem muusika emotsionaalsele mõjule, hakkasid pärast salvestamisvõimaluste avanemist rohkem tähelepanu pöörama enda tehnikale, täiuslikkuse saavutamisele.

Veel üks väike tsitaat:
“Freedom from disaster was the standard for a good concert,” he writes. Rehearsals were brief, mishaps routine. Precision was not a universal value. Pianists rolled chords instead of playing them at one stroke. String players slid expressively from one note to the next—portamento, the style was called—in imitation of the slide of the voice. And the instruments themselves sounded different, depending on the nationality of the player. French bassoons had a reedy, pungent tone, quite unlike the rounded timbre of German bassoons. French flutists, by contrast, used more vibrato than their German and English counterparts, creating a warmer, mellower aura. American orchestral culture, which brought together immigrant musicians from all countries, began to erode the differences, and recordings canonized the emergent standard practice. Whatever style sounded cleanest on the medium—in these cases, German bassoons and French flutes—became the gold standard that players in conservatories copied. Young virtuosos today may have recognizable idiosyncrasies, but their playing seldom indicates that they came from any particular place or emerged from any particular tradition.
Kuigi artikkel käsitleb peamiselt salvestamise mõju klassikalisele muusikale võib artiklist leida huvitavaid seiku ja viiteid pop-muusika staaridele, nende lähenemisele ja mõjule, mida tehnoloogia nende muusikale avaldab.

Kohustuslik lugemisvara kõigile muusikasõpradele.

Muide, artikli autor - mitmekülgne Alex Ross - peab ka blogi The Rest Is Noise.