Ariel Nurhadi, Dr Bronwyn Ellis

Ariel Nurhadi, Dr Bronwyn Ellis

4:00 - The interpretive and editorial processes of Andrés Segovia: Co-creative input and performance style in his editions and transcriptions

The guitar repertoire was of modest dimensions during Andrés Segovia’s (1893–1987) formative years as a musician at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Confined to the works of guitarist-composers of the Nineteenth Century and some transcriptions of romantic piano music, Segovia was motivated to expand the repertoire of his chosen instrument. This meant that much of the repertoire performed by Segovia fell into one of two categories: either works written (for him) by non-guitarist composers or transcriptions of music originally conceived for other instruments. In each case, the task of editing or adapting these works for performance on the guitar was channeled through various practical and interpretive considerations. 

Segovia’s editions and transcriptions stand as masterful examples of the aesthetic spirit that prevailed during the late-romantic era. While the fingering choices and the re-working of musical material are by his own admission aimed towards instrumental fluency, they also reveal many aspects of his own perception of the guitar’s expressive qualities, the merits and shortcomings of the compositions at hand, and his own performance style.

4:30 - "Wresteth and turneth": Creating and recreating music in Early Stuart and Interregnum England

Creative processes of improvisation and composition in early and mid-seventeenth-century England were shaped not only by local and imported stylistic preferences, but also by contemporary theological, philosophical, and aesthetic perspectives.  Yet these did not always align, neither within the context of contemporary English musical environments, nor beyond.  Lexicons such as A New World of Words (1678) may have defined ‘creation’ as ‘a making or forming of something, ... out of nothing’, but this coexisted and collided with the frequent use (and re-use) of pre-existing material.  Forms such as the fantasia and sets of divisions were highly regarded, despite being built on (and around) a recently created or earlier known melody.  Christopher Simpson declared ‘playing division to a ground’ to be ‘the highest degree of excellency’ (The Division Violist, 1659) and in A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) Thomas Morley noted that the fantasia enabled ‘more art [to] be showne than in any other musicke’. Such respect indicates a focus upon compositional technique (in contrast with later emphases on expression), and a less individualist approach to compositional originality.  Focusing on major forms of the period and the work of composers such as Tomkins, Jenkins, Weelkes, Gibbons and the Lawes brothers, this paper will examine the theory and practice of creating new music in early and mid-seventeenth-century England, exploring how these processes impacted on musical composition and consumption in the reigns of the first two Stuart kings and during the Interregnum. 

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