Archie Chen, Towards a Historically Informed Performance of Chopin’s Op. 10 Études (DMusPerf, Royal Irish Academy of Music, 2016)

These details defined Tue Jan 29 17:46:22 2013, last updated Thu Dec 3 12:13:02 2020  edit
 Author:  Chen, Archie 
 Title:  Towards a Historically Informed Performance of Chopin’s Op. 10 Études 
 Degree, institution:  DMusPerf, Royal Irish Academy of Music 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2016 
 Volumes, pp.:  1 vol (ix, 157pp) 
 Supervisor(s):  Denise Neary 
 Repository:  Royal Irish Academy of Music Library . 
 General specialism:  Musicology: Performance Studies  
 Content, key terms:  Concepts:
Genres, instruments: 
Historically informed performance

In the 1970s, historically informed performance practice became a major movement which involved performers and musicologists alike. Earlier, historically informed performances and scholarship focused on Baroque repertoires as well as music of the Renaissance and earlier periods, whereas later studies expanded this scope to include Classical, Romantic, and Modern works, although much work remains to be done in this regard. With regard to Frédéric Chopin’s works, specifically his Op. 10 Études, make an ideal focal point for this type of study: they are of both musical and pedagogical interest, and research gives an insight into manifold aspects such as current performance traditions at the time, instrument construction and playing techniques. Recent research has addressed some of these issues in isolation, but no scholar has yet discussed historically informed performance in relation to this set of pieces.

Chapter 1 provides a background survey of the historically informed performance movement and demonstrates how a historically informed performance offers one option for performers to interpret piano repertoire. In Chapter 2, the focus turns to Chopin, examining his musical training and career with regard to his individual style and contributions to the genre of the piano etude. In Chapter 3, common performance variables, including articulation, dynamics, tempo and ornaments, are discussed from a historical standpoint and illustrates each of the variables by reference to passages from this set of twelve studies. Chapter 4 consists of specific case studies that apply information from all of the preceding chapters. By studying existing primary sources as well as performing the études on Chopin’s own pianos, this dissertation explores how these works might have been performed in Chopin’s time while providing a set of guidelines for pianists with which they may develop their individual interpretation of Chopin’s first set of études.