This is something I've been thinking about for a little while.
What makes certain music come from certain countries? As in what makes French music French, Polish music Polish etc.?
I find it really intriguing. How would you bring out these features while playing?
Nationality of composers and influence from styles of music that are specific to that region. (Like folk from that country and etc)
Look into the rise of nationalism and music. Folk elements were always there but it became a 'thing' later in the 19th century.
It has a lot to do with harmonic patterns and ornamentation. Playing style can have something to do with it, although that aspect doesn’t necessarily translate onto the written page.
Emily what you said makes complete sense.^_^
I'm partial to the idea that the interpretation of nationalistic music can benefit by taking into account the characteristics of the language, like Emily mentions with Hungarian, and the stress almost always being placed on the first syllable, which can often sound really contrary to what someone coming from a different language might expect, and if the stresses aren't notated in the music, you can end up with VERY different results (even sometimes when they are notated).
Thats an interesting viewpoint there Christian
I just listened to a recording on utube of Witold M, being familiar with the first Mazurka and yes the “accent” is quite different to the way I remember my mother playing it.
Some curious comments, especially about mazurkas and Chopin's music, and various interpretations. Isn't music supposed to be an interpretive art? Aren't we allowed to play the music as we feel it sounds best to our artistic sensibilities? So if a person playing a mazurka has no first-hand knowledge of Polish language, are they not allowed to play it? Some people have described the Boston Symphony as having a "French" orchestra sound, as opposed to a "German" orchestra sound. Does that mean they shouldn't play any Germanic music, even though they might use a more delicate French approach?
There is such a thing as a local culture (although it is no longer politically correct in some circles), and, to answer the original question, you probably can only really know it if you grew up within it as a child, or if you at least really lived in it for an extended period. Local cultures are slowly but surely diluting as globalisation progresses. In the case of music interpretation as discussed here, it will then indeed become just a way of interpreting that can be passed over by teachers, fellow musicians, etc.
Interpretation counts for much. Listen to recordings of Dvorak's "New World" symphony by orchestras from Prague and Boston to hear what local culture does to music.
Music becomes "Russian music" (just an example) if there is a critical mass of Russian composers who studied together and influenced one another such that there are stylistic commonalities among them. Here, of course, I am thinking of "The Five". Of course they were contemporaries of Tchaikovsky and were influenced by him (and likely by Glinka too), but they were intentional in their promotion of a "Russian" style of music that was also anti-elitist.
So what do you guys think: Is Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole more French or more Spanish? How about Iberia, Carmen, and Bolero-- French or Spanish? How does identity politics play into which answer you choose (if it does at all)? Discuss and debate. :)
Jocelyn I find Symphonie Espagnol and Sarsate to be extremely Spanish. Bolero I find French. I don't know the other
Local modes, cadences and harmonic progressions, local dance rhythms, local instruments.
David, if people like hearing Chopin with a mid-Atlantic accent, then more power to them. If they've been hearing watered-down interpretations their whole life, then they may not like the real deal. Of course, the response to that is, "who is to say what the real deal is?". A piece can support a variety of valid interpretations, and some music can support more variety of interpretation, I would argue that Bach is abstract and universal in that it travels between instruments pretty well, and I'm not aware of the influence of folk traditions in the writing. Chopin has written some more international music, but the mazurkas are the most rooted in folk tradition. They derive from Polish national dances, so while Chopin was a cosmopolitan composer, and you wouldn't see peasants dancing to his mazurkas, someone may come to try and play them in good faith by not addressing that aspect, but they are missing a great deal of context that will serve to enrich their interpretation - They are playing out of ignorance of knowledge which they could acquire. And you can hear it in their interpretations which add nothing of value, but do then do serve as interpretive models for further musicians and listeners, who might grasp some of the profundity of the pieces despite the flavorlessness of the interpretations, but not realize what the pieces can really say. And then those same people will hear them played in a way that would make sense to a Pole and think they sound bizarre.
As from ~ Elisabeth Matesky / Carrier of the Heifetz-Milstein Legacy of Violin Playing & Teaching
I couldn't agree more, Elisabeth!
Having lost All I wrote re The Question of Jake, I'll just say after reading the 15 plus Replies here, as an artist-pupil of Jascha Heifetz's original Violin Master Classes at USC's Institute for Special Music Studies, which were subsequently filmed & now on YouTube, I am dumbfounded by some of the
Don't worry Elisabeth. My posts can be really hard to read.
Elizabeth, I am with you. I adore Rubinstein. I inherited that from my dad. For me the most perfect Rubinstein is the No. 1 Ballade (the G Minor) -- an absolute masterpiece of power and elegance. Horowitz too -- from Scarlatti to Scriabin.
I love how cancerous this form is, reading this actually makes me feel a little better about myself:).
In the 70s Rubinstein's 1965 Chopin walzes and nocturnes on vinyl were indispensible (albeit perhaps because they were conveniently packaged and cheap too). I bought the nocturnes again on CD 5 years ago, but I've only listened to them once.
Look at Xuanyuan, strutting over there with his benign tumor!
Weston looks better clean-shaven. Much better.
The 2019 winner of both the Old Time fiddle category and the Best Overall performer at the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention was a man from Oslo, Norway.
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