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Period Performance and Early Instruments 1. Connects with all the issues raised by `Performance as discipline’ lecture. History of Early Music Revival.

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Presentation on theme: "Period Performance and Early Instruments 1. Connects with all the issues raised by `Performance as discipline’ lecture. History of Early Music Revival."— Presentation transcript:

1 Period Performance and Early Instruments 1. Connects with all the issues raised by `Performance as discipline’ lecture. History of Early Music Revival. Early Instrument Industry. Instruments or Voices in Medieval Music.

2 Early Music Revival Music Revival goes back to Mendelssohn’s 1829 revival of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and of his revivals of oratorios by Handel and Hadyn. The Idea that before the 19 th Century People were only interested in music that was contemporary is not really true. The Academy of Ancient Music – related to the Academy of the 18 th London that aimed to maintain Corelli and Handel. Handel’s Messiah has been performed ever since it was written. Eighteenth Century Musicologists like Hawkins knew a lot about Renaissance Music and Medieval Music and were able to enlighten others. Bach and Handel Societies in both England and Germany flourished in many provincial towns and cities – and fuelled the choral traditions in those countries.

3 Brussels Instrument Museum The Development of Instrument Museums – and the playing of old instruments (Brussels and the Fetis’s Historical Concerts in the 1880s and 90s). Brussels concerts on original instruments heard by Arnold Dolmetsch ( )– family tradition of instrument tuning, mending and playing – especially of Bach’s 48.

4 Dolmetsch’s Legacy The apostle of retrogression – instrument maker, performer, polemicist, scholar and teacher. Played all the instruments and believed in going back to primary sources. Early Music and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The personal connection with William Morris and his emphasis on craftsmanship, do-it-yourself and the `grow your own’ earthiness traditions. Haslemere, The Dolmetsch Family, the festival, recordings and BBC connections. Recorder movement in schools.

5 Elizabethan Fever in the Edwardian Era Edmund Fellowes and madrigals/lute songs (co-inciding with revival of English composition – Elgar and VW). Revival of Tudor Church Music – of the Oxford Movement and Surpliced choirs in all parish churches). Co-incided with period when Britain was convinced of its superiority and empire at its height.

6 Interwar Years and the Spread of Ideas Interwar Years – The Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Schola Cantorum of Paris – Schools starting up dedicated to reviving Early Music – close connection with academics. Schools in Germany in 1920s dedicated to particular instruments, e.g. Lute. Modern composers rediscover Early Music (Stravinsky, Hindemith, Busoni and Others) American Renaissance (Dolmetsch and Landowska in America). Hindemith at Yale. New York Pro Musica. Thurstan Dart and the scholar musician.

7 1960s and Post War Generation - Flambouyant Performers !960s and gathering pace of Baroque Opera Revival. Baroque dance and stagecragt resurrected. Alfred Deller and the Countertenor renaissance. Early music Subcultures – Noah Greenberg, David Munrow, Gustav Leohardt. Amateur factor. Industry started with followers and groupies Early Music in Japan, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia.

8 1980s and Beyond Beethoven, Brahms and Beyond – Classical and Romantic Music on Period Instruments. Influence on Concert Programming, Musical Education and Recording Industry. Historical Performance: The Dominant Musical Ideology of Our Time. Affecting the way modern classical performers play e.g. the erosion of acceptance of vibrato But also questioning of the preoccupation with the past.

9 Post 1980s ideas - Instruments or Voices Idea that the use of instruments in medieval music is always questionable – very little of the notation is intended for instruments and before the 15 th centuries instrumentalists would not have been musically illiterate. English `a capella heresy’ Questioning of the need for authenticity – as it is unobtainable anyway - and banning of the word.

10 Harry Haskel’s book on the Early Music Revival `Authenticity is of course the nub, the central issue, the very raison d’etre of the early music movement. In a sense, the history of the movement is the history of the search for authenticity – or more accurately, the history of changing concepts of authenticity – in the performance of early music. A distinction must now de drawn between the early music revival, as that umbrella phrase has been rather loosely used so far in this book, and what has come to be called the historical performance movement. Clearly many of the musicians associated with the revival of early music and instruments have had little or no interest in historical modes of performance. Only recently has the attitude expressed in Landowska’s famous remark `you play Bach your was, I’ll play Bach his way’ gained general acceptance among early musicians’. Haskell, p.175


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