This is interesting, but rather general at the moment. Please tell us what those vocal forces were, and exactly what they sounded like. It sounds like you've done thorough research and put it into practice. Are there any recordings you would recommend which achieve the sounds Schubert intended?
Yes, it is, perhaps, "rather like" the example you give. And I expect that much great music may, on occasions, transcend the performing medium. But of course, as always, "it depends".
Originally Posted by Miles Coverdale
Some Baroque woodwind concertos can sound wonderful with a brass instrument. Many harpsichord pieces work on the modern piano (though some - for example Bach's Italian concerto - don't, in my humble opinion, quite hit the spot on a Steinway). I've heard B5 1st movement arranged for brass band, which was singularly unimpressive, I've heard a travesty of a Bach organ work arranged for string orchestra and I've heard various Lieder sung by women. On the other hand, some of WT Best's transcriptions for organ are little short of miraculous and there is much that has been arranged from voice to orchestra that seems to work very well.
As regards vocal and choral, however, which is what concerns the thread, I'm not sure that a man would pull off Casta Diva in quite the way that Caballe has managed it, nor that Annette Dasch would manage Erl-konig. I trust few would disagree... In the same way I don't think that, say, Gloucester cathedral choir would be appropriate on stage as the chorus in Nabucco, or that the Met opera chorus could effectively sing Purcell's "Hear my Prayer" - at least, not as Henry and everyone else involved in sacred music who has come after him would have expected it to be sung.
So, whilst we can all no doubt find examples of music that has sucessfully crossed the boundary between what or whom it was originally written for and various other forces or instruments, my original comment stands.
That the BBCS can manage some repertoire beautifully isn't in doubt. That they can offer appropriate vocal forces for all choral music is clearly a non-starter. What they manage to make of D383 remains to be heard.
And how do you know what the vocal forces the composer "knew" sounded like? And what about the possibility that the composer envisaged performances by forces other than those for whom the piece was written?
Originally Posted by Simon