True and false, black and white, right and wrong, good and bad. What do these oppositions all have in common? They are dangerously dogmatic and assume metaphysical absolutes.

And you know who deals in absolutes?

Figure 1: A Sith Lord? (hat tip to Say No to Crack)

My money’s on David Hurwitz:

These are musical facts that can't be avoided. [it. mine]

...referring to the Brandenburg Concerti.

[Where], the presence of a full-bodied tutti only highlights more effectively the contrast between solo and orchestral episodes and encourages a wider range of dynamic shading (those "terraced" dynamics can be even more "terraced").

...in opposition to the release of a one-to-a-part, period chamber music approach.

(Does anyone remember the recent, infamous stir caused by a British conductor, who decided to eliminate vibrato from an Elgar piece? Well, no one died as a result.)

Granted, period music does seem to assert some intellectual superiority, but who cares? What kind of music connoisseur landscape have we cultivated where we get so pissed off by such small details, where we cannot tolerate different interpretations, where opinions turn to facts, truths, the right way to do things? I seem to remember several recent wars caused by proselytizing opinions as facts (relationship to David’s review exaggerated, but still).

Listen, “a full-bodied tutti” may “more effectively” highlight grosso and dynamic contrast, but you’ll never get that in writing from four out of five doctors. Know why? Because it depends on what you are trying to highlight, which could be any number of things. This means that “effectively” becomes a questionable opinion, not an absolute fact.


AnthonyS said...

These are musical facts that can't be avoided.

Well, true enough; a piccolo can't play the F below middle C, and the cello doesn't have an E string. Of course, that's not what he means-- I think what he is really saying is that there are aesthetic facts. To wit, I can only say that Mr. Hurwitz and I are very different people.

Sator Arepo said...

I'm grateful for the scare quotes on "terraced"...twice.

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I think the antecedent ends in a weaker and the consequent in a stronger cadence; often, the antecedent ends in a half cadence while the consequent ends in an authentic cadence