Music Composers Unite!
I have always used my own interpretation of phrasing except where the composer made it very clear if he or she wanted it done a particular way. Unless I felt very strongly about the marking, I would omit it.
I wrote a piece recently for a small chamber group; I started using slurs to give phrasing ideas better, and the entire piece took on a completely different form! Generally I've been told even by performers themselves that the more detailed you can get, the better, because it helps them to keep more accurately with the ideas you had in mind. I use slurs all the time now--it really gives more form to the piece in my opinion.
Simon Godden said:
My question was really, are they necessary (phrase-marks)? Are orchestral composers still using them? I can see their function in piano music to a certain degree, especially piano music open to interpretation as a lot of Chopin's work was. But for phrase marks to appear on an orchestral score for conductors to interpret is giving him/her to much to think about, in my opinion.