Wow, guys, I leave town for five days, and look what happens.
I'm not going to go into a play by play summary of what I think about the original discussion, but a couple points which stand out to me.
Marc's points about resonance and polyphony are well thought out but ultimately incorrect. The recording quality I have is not enough for me to hear finely the resonance which Heifetz has, but I will say that he does have extremely sophisticated control over the different melodic lines and polyphony. As far as I can tell (hear), he does make the violin resonate in the way Marc says he is supposed to, but I am not here to discuss the difference between our ears and recordings. What I KNOW that he does do is that he brings out the polyphonic material through subtle manipulations of tone (especially in the movements with only a single line, he does these simply extraordinary changes in tonal color between certain notes, i.e. a note in the soprano voice and then in the alto) and time.
On a related note, he pays very close attention to the motific design of the architecture and keeps a continuity even through different sections (e.g. by playing a slight variation on a previous motif in exactly the same manner to show the connection).
A number of people I noticed said that they just don't like the Bach (in the same way that they don't like eggplant, I think it was). I have two thoughts about this. First of all, it's perfectly reasonable and acceptable to say this. Personally I think that it's completely ridiculous, because tastes are just acclimations and you should always push your boundaries. Unless I think a food is disgusting, I will not go out of my way to avoid it - and in fact, as I have begun to enter adulthood I have lost disgust for nearly all foods, and for that matter do not even dislike that many. Second of all, you don't have to like something to appreciate it. For example, I don't particularly like Ehnes' Bach (and Hilary Hahn's Bach, but she recorded it when she was seventeen - which was IMHO a mistake - so I cut her some slack). I think they are both far too dry. However, I do recognize the merit in all the different aspects of their playing, especially in the musical and artistic aspects.
...I'm bored of writing, maybe I'll add some more later. So, happy discussion again. Although, do try to keep conversation more productive and less venomous this time. I was moderately disappointed by most people's behavior on the original thread.
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