Mystery score

Mystery score

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Wagner's Orchestration: Join in the Fun

ACD, on both his blog and in comments below to my Roger Norrington/Wagner posting, asserts that transparency in Wagner represents a "willful disregard of a composer's clear intent as reflected in the score."

When asked to provide and discuss some examples from the scores themselves, he declined, on the grounds that it has been his "experience that whenever someone makes such a demand it's never for the purpose of possible enlightenment, but rather a challenge laid down in the hope the challenged will fail utterly to meet it."

I'm sorry about that. I find it's easier to talk about orchestration (massing vs. transparency) with reference to the score itself. I'm not the other people ACD is thinking of and I wish he'd give it a whirl. I might learn something. Or, I might disagree. But there's no chance of either if the discussion is stopped in its tracks.

So, I invite others with an interest in the subject - pro-massing, pro-transparency, or neutral - to offer up some passages for discussion. Pick a section; find the measure numbers; if you've got recordings that you think make interesting points about the passages, provide the timings.

Post on your own blog, email me, or post comments here. If you email me, I'll put up a posting for your email.

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