Email de Duncan Fox - gambista 

Recebemos o email de Duncan Fox a propósito da crítica de M.P. ao concerto da Capela Real em Coimbra, lemos com agrado e divulgamos o email, pensamos que M.P., como profundamente entendido em música teórica e prática e não apenas ouvinte e melómano, poderá esclarecer as dúvidas de Duncan Fox num próximo artigo. Pedimos obviamente autorização ao autor para que o texto do email fosse tornado público. Outra nota importante é a seguinte: os leitores muitas vezes pensam que existe apenas um autor deste blogue, ou que este é monolítico apenas com uma orientação e uma estratégia. É falso, somos muitos a escrever neste espaço e não existe qualquer orientação estratégica definida. Cada qual escreve o que lhe apetece e como quer respondendo pelos seus textos, muitas vezes discordamos do que outros escrevem e até já entrámos em discussão interna, o que é saudável.
Assim aqui vai o texto do Duncan no inglês original.

Dear Critic,

We were greatly interested to read your article regarding the concert given by Capela Real in Coimbra on the 25th of September. Like most musicians we always wish to hear the opinions of members of our public, especially of the more well informed among them. Your comments, through their capacity to offend or amuse (depending on one's viewpoint), show themselves to contain more than a grain of truthfulness. Technical weaknesses and ignorance on the part of the musicians are at times described with undeniable wit and we suppose that even those in the direct line of fire could not fail to see the funny side of such comments as, for example, "My First Book of Baroque Cello'".

Some, upon reaching the end of your article might have wished for more enlightenment. Might you not have shared with us some of your abundant store of knowledge to which you so frequently refer? We read only of errors, ignorance, tedium and discordance and for those unfortunate ears and listeners who survived the agonizing and highly soporific experience (how many dimensions are we in at that point?), perhaps some such enlightenment would not only be welcome but maybe even soul- saving.
However, this is beginning to look suspiciously like literary criticism and I am sure that you will support our view that the work of the critic should only be ventured by those who know their limits.

So, to get to the main point in writing.
Shortly after reading your article we happened to bump into the double bass player whose name we cannot remember. As we described your article to him his expression changed from extreme consternation to one of relief when he discovered that he had not received any direct criticism but then changed again to one of confusion and finally disbelief when informed of your comments about the absence of a violone in the pieces by Biber and Charpentier played at the concert. He swears that the instrument he used was in fact a violone, insists that no specialist in historical performance has ever questioned its authenticity and specifically mentioned a number of musicians whose authority should not be doubted for a moment if one takes into account their countries of residence (viva cultural and aesthetical coherence!) . We then questioned him about the particular type of violone he was using, thinking that perhaps he should have been using the smaller violone in G rather than the violone in D but he began raving about treatises and new research and even mentioned (we thought this rather pathetic) a recent recording of Biber sonatas by "Il Giardino Armonico" in which he claims they use the same type of instrument. We did manage to corner him on the issue of Charpentier however and he admitted that Charpentier most probably never even set eyes on a violone of any variety as the bass violin or basse de violon was then the prefered instrument in France.

As you can see we have got into some troubles over this issue. If you would be so kind as to share with us your sources of information regarding the characteristics of the 17th century violone and its correct usage in German and, perhaps more interestingly, French music, we are sure that the double bass player whose name we have completely forgotten could be brought round to seeing the errors of his ways.

With thanks for your attention and apologies for not having written in Portuguese,



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