Contemporary performance of the sonatas for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven as informed by Carl Czerny

Martens, Peter (2016-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation places the sonatas for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven into the context of a continuing discussion about the composer’s metronomic tempo indications (MTIs) for a large number of his own works, many of which were added retrospectively after the patenting of Maelzel’s metronome in approximately 1815. There seems to be an increasing consensus that these indications deserve serious consideration when performing such works. The sonatas for cello and piano happen to fall into a category of works for which the composer did not leave MTIs. But it is in the writings of his associate and former pupil, Carl Czerny, that one does find a source that not only includes MTIs, but also performance instructions for these works. Despite its title, the book Carl Czerny – On the Proper Performance of All Beethoven’s Works for Piano is not limited to a discussion of his works for solo piano, but also contains specific mention of the sonatas for cello and piano as well as all his other chamber music with piano. Therefore this source is given a central position in the present study. The authenticity and validity of Czerny’s text is evaluated, leading to the acceptance of Czerny as a reputable and qualified figure to pronounce on Beethoven interpretation, in this case specifically on his sonatas for cello and piano. In addition, Beethoven’s preoccupation with tempo is examined within the context of a conceptual study of the notion of tempo. Following the newly established premises of Performance- or Practice-based Research the performance of the sonatas in accordance with Czerny’s instructions and at his MTIs is then included as an integral part of the study. At the same time this research is anchored within three relevant streams of current discourse: Historically Informed Performance Practice and the performance history of the works in question, both of which are underpinned by the notion that the musical work is ultimately realised in its performance. Consequently, the interpretations, captured on CD, experiment with and reveal new knowledge about Beethoven’s six sonatas for cello and piano through performance. To place these sonatas in an even wider context the study also includes performances of Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto for violin, cello, piano and orchestra, Haydn’s cello concerto in D major, the second sonata for cello and piano in F major by Brahms and the sonata for cello and piano by Shostakovich. Finally, a South African link is created by the inclusion of Peter Klatzow’s sonata for cello and piano.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif plaas Ludwig van Beethoven se sonates vir tjello en klavier in die konteks van `n voortgaande bespreking rondom die komponis se eie metronomiese tempo-aanduidings (MTA’s) vir `n groot aantal van sy werke. Baie van dié aanduidings is eers bygevoeg nadat die metronoom in ongeveer 1815 gepatenteer is. Daar blyk `n groeiende konsensus te wees dat hierdie aanduidings vandag ernstig in aanmerking geneem behoort te word wanneer sulke werke uitgevoer word. Die sonates vir tjello en klavier behoort egter tot daardie groep van werke waarvoor die komponis juis geen metronoomaanduidings nagelaat het nie. Maar die geskrifte van sy medewerker en voormalige leerling, Carl Czerny verteenwoordig wel `n bron wat nie net MTA’s insluit nie maar ook algemene uitvoeringsaandudings. Ten spyte van sy titel is die boek Carl Czerny – Über den Richtigen Vortrag der Sämtlichen Beethoven’schen Klavierwerke nie beperk tot werke vir solo klavier nie, maar maak spesifiek ook melding van die sonates vir tjello en klavier asook van al sy ander kamermusiek met klavier. Daarom word aan dié bron `n sentrale plek in hierdie studie gegee. Die outentisiteit en geldigheid van Czerny se boek word ondersoek en lei tot die aanvaarding van Czerny as `n geloofwaardige en gesaghebbende figuur met betrekking tot die vertolking van Beethoven se werke, en veral van die sonates vir tjello en klavier. Verder word Beethoven se uitgesprokenheid rondom die kwessie van tempo ondersoek in die konteks van `n algemeen konseptuele studie van die begrip tempo. In aansluiting by onlangs gevestigde uitgangspunte rondom wat in Engels bekend staan as Practice-based Research word `n volledige uitvoering van Beethoven se sonates vir tjello en klavier volgens Czerny se tempo- en ander aanduidings ook as `n integrale deel van hierdie studie aangebied. Terselfdertyd word die studie geanker in drie strome binne die huidige diskoers rondom uitvoering: Histories ingeligte uitvoeringspraktyk en die uitvoeringsgekiedenis van die betrokke werke, wat op hulle beurt weer gebaseer word op die aanname dat `n musikale werk eers in sy uitvoering ten volle gerealiseer word. Die vertolkings (soos dit op die ingeslote CD’s opgeneem is) eksperimenteer met en onthul nuwe kennis ten opsigte van Beethoven se ses sonates vir tjello en klavier deur middel van uitvoering. Ten einde hierdie sonates in `n nog breër konteks te plaas word daar ook ander uitvoerings by die studie ingesluit: Beethoven se sogenoemde Tripelkonsert vir viool, tjello, klavier en orkes, Haydn se tjellokonsert in Dmajeur, die tweede sonate in F-majeur van Brahms en die sonate vir tjello en klavier van Sjostakowitsj. Ter wille van `n Suid-Afrikaanse skakel word die uitvoerings met Peter Klatzow se sonate vir tjello en klavier afgerond.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98182
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