From: Matanya Ophee <>
Subject: Re: Bach Lute Suite #4
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Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 16:00:14 GMT
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Sharon <> wrote:

>>What? I guess you're not familiar with tools developed in the past several
>>decades? ;-p

>This recording was made loooong before the "increase tempo
>without increasing pitch" techniques appeared.

That, my young friend, automatically dates you. Increase tempo without
increasing pitch techniques existed already in the early 60s when I
was working for one of the most important makers of tape recorders in
the world, Nagra Tape recorders of Lausanne, Switzerland. Scott is
correct that there are _software_ tools today that can do that very
well, something every transcriber of recorded music is using. Back
then, it was done with hardware.

When a tape moves across a _fixed and stationary_ head, the pitch it
produces is directly related to tape speed. But when the head is not
fixed, but rather _rotating_, the pitch and the tempo can be altered
at will by modulating the head's rate of rotation _and_ the tape
speed. Here is for example, a machine that was widely available in the


As you can see, this come from the December 1988 issue of Guitar
Player magazine. Similar _professional_ level machines were in use at
the time I worked for Nagra, 1962-63  and every decent recording
studio had one.

In other words, as long as the _impression_ of "technical highjinxs",
to use the words of Jeff Carter, exists, there is no getting around
the fact that if CP needed to use a capo on the first fret for
whatever musical reasons, he had to explain these reasons in the
recording itself, and certainly in the edition of the music he
published. Not having done so, is, and will continue to be a source of
embarrassment to him.

Here is what it says on the cover of EMI DS-37335, CP Sacred Music for

Präludium ("We Thank Thee, We Thank Thee") from Cantata 29 - J.S. Bach
- Trans. Christopher Parkening.

	J.S. Bach adapted this work for several settings,
including solo lute, solo violin, and organ with orchestra.
Christopher Parkening's transcription is based on both the lute and
violin versions.....

In other words, the first part claims that this is a transcription
from the Cantata, the second part says something else. Also, the text
misrepresents the work of Bach. The piece is a Präludium in the violin
version, but it is a Sinfonia in the Cantata.

To take the _title_ of the Cantata with its religious content, and
paste it on to something that never had it, is a deception on a grand

To NOT say a word here about the change in pitch from E to F,
particularly when the original Bach Sinfonia is in D, is at the very
least, unnecessary obfuscation.

CP is not the first guitarist whose recordings have been tampered with
by recording engineers, and certainly not the last. When a record
label needed to squeeze out a few more seconds from a recording so
that it could fit on the side of an LP, they made it fit. Already in
my first article in Soundboard in 1976, I spoke of one particular
recording by Segovia where this was obviously done. I'll dig out the
details if you are interested.

But I'll make you this deal, Sharon: you tell me when and where CP is
going to perform this piece in public. I'll be there. If he does it in
3:48, I will profusely apologize for suspecting "technical highjinxs"
in the recording, I will make sure anybody else who ever had such a
suspicion is properly instructed, and to top it all, I'll finally
agree to the notion that Jesus Christ actually existed. If he does it
in 3:35, as it is on the recording, I will proclaim Jesus Christ as my
Lord and Savior. I promise.

Matanya Ophee
Editions Orphe'e, Inc.,
1240 Clubview Blvd. N.
Columbus, OH 43235-1226
fax: 614-846-9794