Thesis submission ID 943 | created | last updated

Soo-Jung Ann, Interpretation and performance: a comparative study of artistic interpretations of performances of Beethoven's Eroica Piano Variations and Fugue in E flat major, Op. 35
DMusPerf, Royal Irish Academy of Music, 2022

Volumes, pp.: 1 vol (ix, 185 pp.)  
Supervisor(s): Denise Neary
Repository (online):
Repository (hard copy): Royal Irish Academy of Music Library

General specialism: Performance
Key terms, concepts: Performance interpretation
Key terms, persons: Beethoven; Artur Schnabel; Wilhelm Kempff; Alfred Brendel; Gerald Klickstein
Key terms, genres, instruments: Piano Variations

Once music is created, the music may be played repeatedly by numerous performers for a long time and this custom has created the tradition of performances of Western classical music. Although the same music is played more than once, each performance is not considered as just repeating but as a unique recreation by each performer’s interpretation. For the only one recreative art, the considerations of better interpretations of music have always been regarded as endless questions or tasks for every performer. This study will consider possible answers or directions.

According to The Oxford Companion to Music, interpretation is defined as ‘the process by which a performer translates a work from notation into artistically valid sound.’ For the process to reach a better interpretation, this study pays attention to one of the methods of the educator and guitarist, Gerald Klickstein. He examines seven essentials of artistic interpretation in his book The Musician’s way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness. He suggests using these to develop musicians’ interpretive abilities and create their own heartfelt interpretations. This instruction has gained strong empathy from many musicians and has been applied for their process of practice for reaching artistic interpretations. It includes the following essentials: 1. Capture the mood, style, and tempo; 2. Shape the dynamics; 3. Color the tone; 4. Mold the articulation; 5. Contour the meter; 6. Drive the rhythm; and 7. Express the form.

The first part of this study will examine the background of the composition, urtext editions and Beethoven’s piano of the era in order to investigate the composer’s intentions for authentic interpretations. The second part will investigate the materials used for the main study. The third part will look closely with an analytic view into what has already been accomplished as artistic interpretations of Beethoven’s Eroica Piano Variations and Fugue in E flat major, Op. 35 by three great pianists using Klickstein’s essentials as the main study for the artistic interpretations. Through these three parts, the study has clear applicable interpretive thinking and skills for Beethoven’s Eroica Variations and Fugue and furthermore other classical piano music
Thesis submission ID 943