Pointing the way
A chamber-music quality 'Nutcracker' -
with RON BIERMAN
'... closer to what Tchaikovsky had in mind.'
The Anima Eterna orchestra is among those that have extended original
instrument performance to the Romantic repertoire and, indeed, instruments
and performance techniques have changed considerably since the late
nineteenth century. Orchestras were generally smaller than today.
Tchaikovsky's strings were gut rather than metal and were played with little
vibrato. Woodwinds were made of wood. (So that's
where the name came from.)
Tchaikovsky's love of Mozart is seldom apparent partly because of current
performance practices. Baroque composers aren't the only ones who might
benefit from a review of original instruments and techniques.
While I'm curious about nineteenth century practices, I'm more interested
in how the differences sound to the modern ear. Whatever Tchaikovsky expected,
his preferences might have changed had he the additional options available
today. 'Original' isn't necessarily better.
Copyright © 21 May 2003
Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA