tateharmann wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:22 pm
Indeed, Walton is a very good example of a modern composer who wrote music for the modern sound. I still think you could play him with gut strings on a Torres-esque instrument, though. ...
I once reviewed a recital in a small but popular London venue, by an established early-music practitioner, who at the time (1995) was aiming to spread the no-nails-in-modern-repertoire message. Basically, gentle sweet passages sounded nice, but anything needing power, such as the final part of the Torroba Sonatina
, were completely unconvincing.
I wasn't, therefore, at all convinced then, and still am not; neither were many others, not least as the audience on that occasion consisted entirely of me, the player's spouse and a Japanese tourist.
It still remains perfectly possible that it can be done, and I do recall that part of the problem with the above recital was that the player wasn't totally on top of the repertoire, which hardly helped. But all the no-nailers linked to in the earlier parts of the thread (and others cited by Rob) have sounded very unsatisfying, not least, somewhat amateurish in tone - by which I mean, I have several adult students whose tone I prefer to some of those noted, professional players.
There's another little dimension I always think of here as well though. When we play for instance, early 19th century repertoire, some can seem terribly impoverished, and yet, sympathetically played on a historical instrument, can come to life. So there is a sense that some musics have little chance to move away from their immediate context, and my view is that essentially, the stronger a composition is the more readily it can move away. The obvious example is Bach, who is still a genius if played on an ensemble of kazoo, comb-and-paper and tuned flower pots (no, I don't have an example to hand).
I wonder if the reliance on the charismatic tone of a modern instrument powered by nails is a reflection today's repertoire too.