Jonathan Shrunk The Music
To be authentic, or as we now prefer, historically informed, we need accurate music, correct instruments, the right number of musicians all dedicated to stylish performance, and a space of the right size and acoustics. That will do. Yes?
Maybe not. Weve been there and done that, and it was very successful. But if we want to pursue our interest in the music of the past to full measure, there is one more thing. To be prepared to rewrite that music.
And why? Because we dont always have the resources called for in the score. And because the music is so flexible that it can always take a different treatment from the composers original version. And this is not a disadvantage it allows the music to be heard in a fresh way. We should note that the composers did not find this a problem even when another composer stole their composition. Until recently, plagiarism would be taken as a compliment.
So for this experiment I have constructed a program of beautiful pieces and unapologetically changed their orchestrations. We include madrigals from Monteverdis Seventh Book, rescored from three or four voices to two voices with instruments. Also a Bach Cantata for four soloists and quite a larger orchestra, rescored for two voices and trio sonata accompaniment. And a favorite concerto from Vivaldis Four Seasons recast in vibrant new colors.
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Los Altos, CA 94022