[Dixielandjazz] Changed tempos for symphonic standards

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 27 13:37:12 PST 2004

Hi listmates,

Speaking of contemporary orchestral conductors, I have noticed that recent 
recordings of the standard symphonic repertoire seem to be taking extreme 
liberties with tempos (tempi?).

I heard a rendition of the Rachmaninov 3rd piano concerto that screwed up 
virtually every phrase. The molto vivace passages were lento and vice versa. 
Drove me bats.

I hear it more and more.  The claim that slowing the tempo down allows the 
intricacies of the rhymic patterns to emerge is, to me, simple doo doo and 
represents arrogance on the part of the conductor or the soloist.

I heard the Moldau opening phrases (representing trickles of water from 
melting snow as they cascade down the mountainside to gather into a mighty 
river) being played so slooowwwwlyy that I thought it was molasses oozing 
down the mountain. Utter Crap!!!

I won't listen to that stuff. Drives me bonkers.

Same is true of dixieland tunes. Sometimes I hear wildly altered tempos for 
standards from some band trying to get a new expression out of it and it 
really jangles my sensibilities.

Other that that all is well with the world and I'm a happy human being.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill "If it's supposed to be fast play the goddam thing fast!" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

ps - and vice versa

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