Early Recordings and Musical Style: Changing Tastes in Instrumental Performance, 1900-1950
Until recently, early recordings were regarded as little more than old-fashioned curiosities. Scholars and musicians now are beginning to realise their importance as historical documents which preserve the performances of Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and other composers, and of the musicians with whom they worked. In a more general way, recordings reveal the detailed performance practice of the early twentieth century and illustrate how styles have changed over the years. Early recordings also shed new light on nineteenth-century performance, but at the same time they highlight the limitations of our attempts to recreate the styles of the period before the development of recording. In this fascinating and detailed study, Robert Philip argues that recordings of the early twentieth century provide an important, and hitherto neglected, resource in the history of musical performance. The book concentrates on aspects of performance which underwent the greatest change in the early twentieth century: rhythm, including flexibility of tempo, rubato, and the treatment of rhythmic detail; the use of vibrato; and the employment of portamento by stringplayers. The final chapters explore some of the implications of these changes, both for the study of earlier periods and for the understanding of our own attitudes to the music of the past. The book contains information tables, music examples, and a discography and will be of interest to scholars and students of music history and performance practice as well as to musicians and collectors of historical recordings.
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PART I RHYTHM
PART II VIBRATO
PART III PORTAMENTO
PART IV IMPLICATIONS
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2nd movt accelerando accents bass bassoon BBC Symphony Orchestra Beethoven Berlin Philharmonic Berlin State Opera Brahms broad phrasing Busch Casals cello changes Chopin Concertgebouw cond conductor cor anglais deﬁned dotted rhythms early twentieth century Elgar fast ﬁg ﬁnal ﬁngering ﬁrst movement ﬂat ﬂautists Flesch ﬂexibility of tempo ﬂexible phrasing French frequent Hall Orchestra Hallé inﬂuence instruments J. S. Bach Joachim Kreisler late twentieth late twentieth-century London Philharmonic Mahler melody metronome markings modern performances Mozart musicians nineteenth century oboe oboists overdotting Paderewski passage performance practice Philadelphia Orchestra Philharmonic Orch pianists Piano players portamento prominent quavers quoted Rachmaninoff rehearsal Royal Albert Hall Sarasate score second movement semiquavers short notes shortened singers single-ﬁnger slide slow solo Sonata speciﬁc Spohr Stokowski Strauss Stravinsky string-players Symphony Orch tempo ﬂuctuation tempo rubato tenuto tone Toscanini rec triplet variation vibrato Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Violin Concerto Violin Playing violinists Weingartner woodwind writes Ysaye Ysaye’s