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Review

Volume 10 • Number 2

Fall 2003


 

 

Inviting Pathways

by David Breitman

Six Degrees of Tonality: A Well-Tempered Piano. Enid Katahn, pianist; notes by Enid Katahn and Edward Foote. Gasparo Records, 2000. (On the label: "WARNING: This CD contains pure intervals which may be habit forming!")

Beethoven in the Temperament: Historical Tunings on the Modern Concert Grand. Enid Katahn, pianist; notes by Enid Katahn and Edward Foote. Gasparo Records, 1997. (On the label: "WARNING: This CD contains pure intervals which may be habit forming!")

These two discs, with their accompanying text, constitute a remarkable document. Musical performance is an extremely conservative field. Many musicians operate within very narrow constraints; the boundaries marking off the acceptable from the unacceptable are very tightly drawn. The differences among individual performances are significant, to be sure, but there is a high degree of consensus around virtually every performance parameter (the exception
that proves the rule: Glenn Gould, who strayed too far from the norm—he was the "eccentric Glenn Gould" and Leonard Bernstein had to issue a disclaimer before
their performance of a Brahms concerto).

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