The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence

The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence

The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence

The Pathetick Musician: Moving an Audience in the Age of Eloquence

Synopsis

What is rhetorical music? In The Pathetick Musician, Bruce Haynes and Geoffrey Burgess illustrate the vital place of rhetoric and eloquent expression in the creation and performance of Baroque music. Through engaging explorations of the cantatas of J.S. Bach, the authors explode the conventional notion of historical authenticity in music, proposing adventurous new directions to reinvigorate the performance of early music in the modern setting. Along the way, Haynes and Burgess investigate intersections between music and oratory, dance, gesture, poetry, painting and sculpture, and offer insights into figural elaboration, articulation, nuance and temporality. Aimed primarily at performers of Baroque music, the book situates the study of performance practice in a broader cultural context, and as much as an invaluable resource for advanced study, it contains a wealth of information that pertains directly to anyone working in the field of early music. Based on a draft sketched by celebrated Baroque oboist and early music scholar Bruce Haynes before his death in 2011, The Pathetick Musician is the fruit of the combined wisdom of two musicians renowned equally for their contributions as performers and scholars. Drawing on an impressive array of Classical treatises on oratory, musical autographs and performance accounts, it is an essential companion to Haynes' controversial The End of Early Music. Geoffrey Burgess has taken up the broader claims of Haynes' philosophy to create a practical, accessible text that will be stimulating for all musicians interested in the rediscovery of early music. With copious musical examples, contemporaneous works of art, and a companion website with supplementary audio recordings, The Pathetick Musician is an invaluable resource for all interested in exploring new expressive possibilities in the performance and study of Baroque music.

Excerpt

GEOFFREY BURGESS

In 1984 I heard Bruce Haynes play live for the first time in a concert of music by J. S. Bach. The program, directed by Gustav Leonhardt at the Oude Muziek Festival in Utrecht, included the Sinfonia from BWV 152, Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, and Cantata 131, Aus der Tiefen. I was already familiar with Bruce’s playing from recordings and had met him briefly a couple of months prior, but in concert I found Bruce’s special blend of poise and eloquent spontaneity at once compelling and moving. Afterwards I was eager to talk with him about the concert and his views on the music, but there were time constraints. With his generous smile Bruce assured me we would have plenty of time for future conversations. Little did I suspect how long our dialogue would last, and how true the theme of the final work on that concert would hold. Thirty years later, after an intensive study period, the release of our co-authored book The Oboe, our dialogue continues with Bruce’s voice calling aus der Tiefen through the draft of this book.

A child of the 1960s Dutch early music school, Bruce Haynes (1942–2011) was mentored by Alan Curtis in Berkeley, California, and then studied recorder with Frans Brüggen and chamber music with Gustav Leonhardt in The Netherlands. He went on to play a leading role in the early music movement as one of the pioneers of the twentieth-century revival of the Baroque oboe, which he taught at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague for ten years from 1972. Even more than his exceptional qualities as a performer, Bruce will be remembered as the early music movement’s spokesman—and whistleblower. After dedicating years to playing eighteenth-century oboe (which he preferred to call by its historical name hautboy) and researching its history, in his last years he turned to more general questions of interpretation. His ideas and basic tenets owe much to the teaching of his mentors, and his polemical stance was very much in line with the . . .

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