Hi Cory, if orchestras and ensembles were using more modern instruments it is doubtful that composers would compose for older instruments...in the classical world I can't think of anyone who did this except for some modern classical composers who do compose for things like harpsichords and recorders (rather than flutes)

As I say in the podcast, using modern instruments destroys Purcell's music...it improves nothing but blocks the effects the composer was tying to create.

Modern recordings of Bach by groups using electronic instruments or even modern classical instruments are not very good either compared to the original instrumentation. However Bach harpsichord pieces played on a piano to my mind work better than the original as they bring out the counterpoint better and add emotion to the piece that, I think, Bach intended as we see it in his vocal pieces.

In my previous podcasts on the subject I didn't say that classical music is listened to less. I was referring to modern classical music which most people hate and not without reason. I base this on what I see in the music industry, not some poll.

Expand full comment

Though I do not listen to classical music much, I think the issue with having trouble deciphering what is being sung / said in recordings is not limited to opera. Tenet comes to mind...

Do you think substituting the originally intended instrument for a more modern one ever improves the piece? I wonder if in some of these cases, the original composer would have used a different instrument if it were available.

You were talking in some previous podcasts about how the prevalence of classical music is decreasing as people are not listening to it as much, if I remember correctly, yes? Is there any data available that shows this? I don't doubt the assertion, but am more interested to see to what extent it is true.

Expand full comment