Labor Management


Sound recordings from the first decades of the 20th century form a performance-practice treatise, documenting practices that may offer insight into music-making of earlier times. In the case of piano music, very many of these recordings are recordings of Chopin’s music. There are a lot of recordings of short pieces. (The length of one cylinder and later one “side” of a disc was around 3 minutes.) Chopin: Waltz in A Minor, op. 34, no. 2, … [Read more...]



The story told by Robert Levin involved snickering Italian waiters. Bob asked quite a few Italian speakers, "What does sfogato mean?" (An Italian-English dictionary will say something like “letting loose.”) The motivation for Levin's particular curiosity was the use of the term in the score of Chopin's Barcarolle (m. 78). It's a word that doesn't appear in (earlier) piano music. Frédéric Chopin: Barcarolle In this written music, "sfogato" … [Read more...]



In earlier museum practice, shards of ancient decorated pottery were pieced back together with missing sections reconstructed and plausible designs painted in. Missing parts of an image were supplied by restorers. As exhibited, those restored vessels had complete surface decoration. Some fragments were antique; the rest, the painted-in parts, made a whole pot look as it might have before it was broken. Today, it's more likely that the … [Read more...]



Sometimes a piece of music is "withdrawn" from a composer's catalog. Music that was composed, published, and available is taken back -- rescinded. You can't get it anymore. Usually, the composer has thought better of it: the music doesn't hold up now, the composer's style has changed a lot, it's an early piece that just doesn't seem good enough for public display... All of Philip Glass's early non-tonal music is unavailable now. I play(ed) a … [Read more...]