Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Artur Schnabel’s Interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C Major, Opus 53, ‘Waldstein’: An Analysis of Selected Writings, Editions, and Recordings
    Kuo, Chih-Wei ( 2021)
    The Austrian-born pianist Artur Schnabel (1882 - 1951) is celebrated as an interpreter of Beethoven, having not only performed and recorded all thirty-two piano sonatas, but also publishing his own detailed edition. Claude Frank (1925 - 2014) was the only pupil of Schnabel to also record the entire cycle. Furthermore, Ian Hobson (1952 -) became the only former student of Frank to also complete this project. This thesis examines Schnabel’s edition of Sonata Opus 53 in C Major ‘Waldstein’ and compares and contrasts details of three pianists’ interpretive ideas to one another. Particular focus is given to pedal and tempo choices. The analysis displays a wide range of difference in these areas. Schnabel himself discouraged the use of his own edition and the results of the thesis show that he made many alterations to his own written advice when actually recording this work. Frank and Hobson’s recordings reveal additional parting of interpretation in multiple examples. In addition to the analysis of the edition and recordings, a literature review of other pertinent related sources will be provided. Some interpretive elements related to articulations, fingerings, and performance practice proved impossible to reach conclusions without video footage which would have displayed the pianists’ hands. Those examples are also detailed. This analysis can be a resource and guide for those wanting greater understanding into the interpretation of ‘Waldstein’, as well as the pianistic traditions of Beethoven playing.
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    Edition as Work: The Editorial Interventions of Ferruccio Busoni, Alfred Cortot & Heinrich Schenker in the Publication of Canonical Piano Repertoire
    Young, Man Chung Nicholas ( 2020)
    Scholarly criticism of music notation tends to focus on the intentions of the composer, and neglect or dismiss the artistic agency of the editor. The famous notion of Werktreue, likewise, implies that the will of the composer is the only legitimate source of artistic intention. These attitudes run counter to the rich tradition of interventionist editing in nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, when editors put forth important aesthetic claims by emending the musical text that represented canonical repertoire. This study proposes the reception of interventionist music editions as a type of Work, using the frameworks of aesthetic and literary criticism on Works of Art, and the Goehrian theory of work-concept. From this proposition is introduced the concept of ‘Edition-Text’ as the text of an Edition-Work, which is a separable entity from the text of a Composition-Work. The study applies these notions to the preliminary analysis of publications of canonical piano repertoire, edited by the three contemporaneous pianist-scholars Ferruccio Busoni, Alfred Cortot, and Heinrich Schenker. It commences with a survey of the three editors’ historical and aesthetic contexts, followed by a comparative study of a selection of their respective edited publications, the Busoni-Ausgabe, Editions de travail and Erlaeuterungsausgabe. A range of observations are gathered on the substance and style of the Edition-Texts as manifest by a range of notated and literary phenomena, from which comparisons are made of the editors’ contrasting intentions and ideals concerning the cognition and sensory expression of music. It also considers how these editorial acts, in their critique, extension and worship of the Composition-Text, can be understood as pursuits of artistic ideals that strive beyond the perceived achievements of the referent compositions and composers, and therefore assert their claim to being a Work in their own right. The study concludes with remarks on the opportunities granted by future technologies for the improved presentation of Edition-Works, and suggestions for how performance may be best informed through a wide study of historical and contemporary editions.