Pachelbel Canon: should one stay close to the original?
I found a version of Pachelbel's Canon in D for two violins and proposed to my teacher to play this as a duet at the next student recital. It's an arrangement by Scott Staidle and it's mostly the original notes, including 3rd position and the 1/32 notes.
That is: mostly the original notes; the arranger has added lots of slurs and changed a few notes here and there. This annoyed my teacher quite a bit ("it's not supposed to be played like this"), so she had me undo all those changes.
So, my question to you: assuming that you like Pachelbel's Canon: how does it sound best to you? Original version for three violins and one cello, or different combinations of instruments? Slurred or not? What about the tempo? Professional performances on Youtube are at 26 to 57 bpm for quarter notes, which is quite a wide range. (I don't really have a choice here since I lack the skills for 57 bpm. :-) )
I'm aware that not everybody likes this piece – I've seen the rants – but I'm not one of them. It doesn't seem to be popular at student recitals over here. And surprise: my teacher found a cello volunteer!
A cello volunteer? - probably never played it before!
Seriously, though, with a 300-year old popular piece such as the Canon I do wonder whether there is any point in trying to keep too close to an imagined Baroque interpretation, unless (a) you have an audience who specifically want such a performance, or (b) you want to learn in depth about playing in the Baroque style – in which case there are hundreds of other pieces of the period that haven't received the attention of modern editors.
Trevor, thanks for the fine tutorial.
When she is not teaching, my teacher plays in a baroque ensemble (HIP style), so I can see where her view is coming from.
I think that there's so many arrangements that originality doesn't matter so much. You could play the original version, either with the correct people or just two violins, though this is your choice.
Pick just about any famous piece for the violin, lookup youtube performances by world famous players, and you will find a wide variety of tempos, bow work and even !gasp! changes to the music, sometimes significant.
"if they are objecting to changes because it is not Canonical +grin+"
Why stay close to the original?
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