Changing Chopin: posthumous variants and performance approaches

Ho, Sze-Hwei Grace (2013). Changing Chopin: posthumous variants and performance approaches. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This thesis aims to examine Chopin’s own style of playing and to trace some of the approaches taken by 19th and 20th century pianists in interpreting Chopin. In doing so, the study hopes to challenge our assumptions about the sacrosanct nature of the text, while offering possibilities for performance. Through examining the accounts of Chopin’s playing and teaching as well as the customs that would have been familiar to him, this study offers a glimpse of the practices that is today often neglected or simply relegated to the annals of ‘historical performance practice’. Special attention is also given to exploring the aspects of Chopin’s style that might pose particular problems of interpretation, such as rubato, tempo and pedalling. In the final analysis, perhaps it is not the early interpreters who represent a ‘radical’ break from Chopin’s aesthetic, but we modern interpreters, with our more rigorous standards and stricter notion of ‘fidelity to the score’. As will be demonstrated, it may ironically be by ‘changing’ Chopin while trying to maintain a certain level of restraint characteristic of the composer that we come closer to the sound world or practices familiar to him.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music


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