Tuesday 17 July 2012

Period Instruments

Supporting the baseboard - table legs.

My original plan was to support the baseboard on several telescopic table legs purchased from IKEA.

At the moment the board is supported by the baton running along the back wall (that will stay) and two temporary trestles and a wooden leg what I made myself.

But I'm beginning to think that that homemade leg is doing a pretty good job - it's steady as a rock - and  I could easily and cheaply manufacture another 2 or 3 of them instead of buying the IKEA legs at £20 a pop. (Been on an economy drive since returning from France.)

La jambe de bois.

Secured to the board by downward screws.

Wooden foot with card protecting floor from rough edges.
Might paint them bright orange to match the wall.

Period instruments:

In an earlier blog I mentioned that I had tickets for the appearance at the Edinburgh Festival this year of the Orchestre des Champs Elysées  playing Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony on period instruments.

Doing this out of curiosity - not at all keen on the idea of period instruments.

However, I also mentioned in that earlier blog that on  Radio 3 that morning, a well-known conductor was quoted as having said that the reason an orchestra should play on instruments from the period in which the piece was composed was NOT to be historically authentic but was to sound better. After all, the composer created and rehearsed and adjusted the piece so as to exploit the sound world of those instruments. If he was composing for modern instruments he would probably have written the piece differently.

I was convinced by that argument and so bought the tickets.

But when reading George Solti's memoirs last month he stated his opposition to period instruments basically saying that modern instruments were simply better and what was the point of playing anything with lesser instruments?

But on Saturday on Radio 3 I heard another argument in favour of playing with period instruments.

The speaker in question was about to appear at the Proms playing Debussy on period instruments and he opined that the very special nature of the sound world created by Debussy was best served by the older instruments - they drew out the transparency in Debussy.

That impressed me. But of course, the sound world of Bruckner is quite the opposite of the ethereal world that we associate with Debussy - Bruckner's sound is colossal/huge/fulsome/gargantuan etc etc.

I'll be even more interested to see what the end result is on the 20th August in Edinburgh.

Last night's dinner:

Too dismal to photograph - a feeble pizza.

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