On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music

On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music

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On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music by Camille Saint-Saëns

Published:

1915

Pages:

22

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1,068

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On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music

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Book Excerpt

performance with grand choral and instrumental masses. One is deceived by its noble character, by its two choruses, by its two orchestras, and one forgets that it was destined for the little Church of St. Thomas in Leipsig, where Sebastian Bach was organist. While in certain cantatas that composer employed horns, trumpets, trombones and cymbals, for the "Passion According to St. Matthew," he only used in each of the orchestras two flutes, two hautbois, changing from the ordinary hautbois to the hautbois d'amour and the hautbois of the chase,--now the English horn; that is to say, hautbois pitched a third and a fifth lower. These two orchestras and these two choruses then certainly were reduced to a very small number of performers.

In all very ancient music, from the time of Lully, one finds constantly a little cross marked over the notes. Often this certainly indicates a trill, but it seems difficult to take it always to mean such. However, perhaps fashion desired that trills should thus be made out o

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