W. A. Mozart: Violin and Viola Duos — the 'Uppingham' collection - Part A
TITLE PAGE, Abstract, Acknowledgements, Citation
Part A: INTRODUCTION (David Milsom & Clive Brown)
Part B: FERDINAND DAVID’S EDITION IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT (David Milsom)
Part C: PERFORMING FERDINAND DAVID’S REALISATION OF THE MOZART VIOLIN & VIOLA DUOS (David Milsom & Clive Brown)
Part D: EXPERIMENTAL RECORDINGS (Clive Brown – violin; David Milsom – viola)
Part E: CONCLUSIONS (David Milsom)
Part F: LIST OF REFERENCES
Part A: INTRODUCTION (David Milsom & Clive Brown)
A1. Project Introduction (David Milsom)
In 2009, Clive Brown unearthed a collection of manuscripts at Uppingham School which had belonged to Ferdinand David and contains his personal performance markings. As he writes elsewhere on the CHASE website, these parts, referred to on this website as the Uppingham Collection, appear to be items left behind (possibly in error) by David’s son, Paul David, who was music master at the school between 1865 and his retirement to Oxford in 1907. Others of Ferdinand David’s personal copies are now in the Bodleian Library (Mendelssohn String Quartets opp. 12, 13 & 44) and the British Library (Beethoven Violin Concerto) as part of a bequest by the late Alan Tyson, and in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (Mendelssohn String Quintet op. 18).
The Uppingham Collection taken as a whole must be seen as one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years in the sphere of nineteenth-century performing practice. Of particular significance, of course, is the nature of Ferdinand David’s annotations in these copies, which provide fascinating and valuable insights into his own performing practices. At the centre of this investigation are David's personal copies of the Mozart Violin and Viola duos K. 423 and K. 424 [view/download], in a published edition made by David for Bartholf Senff in c.1866 (plate number 490). They are annotated by David in a mixture of blue crayon and pencil, as discussed below. These annotations, many of which comprise changes to David’s Senff edition printed markings, offer detailed insights into his own performing practices with colleagues in Leipzig. One of the most substantial changes to the Duo texts exists in the Andante of the B-flat duo, K. 424, in which there is an attached sheet of manuscript in David's hand, replacing Mozart's viola part with a new version in multiple-stopped pizzicato chords. That there is documentary evidence that David performed the duo in this version (in a review of a concert at the Gewandhaus in 1870 as reported by Signale für die musikalische Welt 28 (1870) makes the copies particularly interesting – it seems highly probable that the copies in the Uppingham Collection are indeed the copies used in that performance. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. It is relatively unusual for performing parts to survive from this period and, as the CHASE team of researchers has found, even archived copies of published editions from the time can be difficult to find, many having been lost as a result of inevitable ‘wear and tear’, replacement by libraries and collections with newer (and supposedly therefore ‘better’) editions, as well as the vicissitudes of war and political upheaval.
This article examines and evaluates the content of these annotated copies of the Mozart Duos, placing them in the context of other 18th- and 19th-century editions. It offers a detailed appraisal of the relationship between David's printed and penciled markings, and locates such instructions within the wider context of his own performing practices. These documentary sections form a backdrop to the final part of the study, in which the performance implications of David's markings are tested through practice in experimental recordings of performance from the Uppingham Collection parts. Our practical realisation of David's markings also draws upon previous scholarship into 19th-century string performing practices, notably Clive Brown’s Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900 (Brown, 1999) and David Milsom’s Theory and Practice in Late Nineteenth-Century Violin Performance 1850-1900 (Milsom, 2003).
The overall aim of this article is to appraise the significance of these performing parts, as well as to offer an insight into how they might be used by scholars and performers. The project includes a complete sound recording of both duos as performed by the authors in a series of sessions in St Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield (September 2013). The project, therefore, acts as a resource – to demonstrate or ‘model’ how the CHASE materials, representing a rich vein of evidence, might be used (in conjunction with written and early recorded sources) to rediscover forgotten modes of realising late 18th- and early 19th-century notation.
A2. Research Background & Context (David Milsom)
The practical/experiential aspect of this form of scholarship has been a significant area of activity for the authors for a number of years. In c.2005, Clive Brown instigated ‘Leeds University Centre for Historically-Informed Performance’ (LUCHIP) with the intention of seeking to demonstrate, in experimental ways, how the fruits of academic research into Classical and Romantic performing practices might be acted upon in performance. This resulted in a number of investigatory performances. In 2006, David Milsom joined the Centre as an AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts, in a project to record a number of string chamber works in experimental reconstructive ways. Crucially, this included Milsom’s aim to embody various research findings and to become, as much as surviving evidence allowed, a posthumous disciple of the so-called classical German tradition of violinists such as Louis Spohr (1784-1859), Ferdinand David (1810-1873) and Joseph Joachim (1831-1907). This practice-research project (2006-2009, represented by web pages of the project itself: String Chamber Music of the Classical German School 1840-1900: A Scholarly Investigation through Reconstructive Performance) proved to be a significant step towards the CHASE project. It was based in the context of pre-existing scholarship into performing practices, mainly in the form of written evidence of performance style, historical editions, and early recordings by relevant artists (such as Joseph Joachim himself). In the course of preparing these performances the LUCHIP (later Ferdinand David) Ensemble, which includes Clive Brown and David Milsom as members, was formed. The relatively primitive state of knowledge of 19th-century string editions became evident and inspired the setting-up of CHASE (funded by an AHRC Research Grant, 2008-2012).
As a consequence, this Mozart Duo project has a pioneering intent – to model how scholar-performers might use the materials housed on the CHASE website. The results in performance are, by definition, neither permanent nor definitive; rather they seek to show how a whole-hearted attempt to act upon this evidence can result in innovative and interesting ‘historically-informed’ performances.
A3. General Description of the Mozart Duo Parts in the ‘Uppingham Collection’ (Clive Brown)
NOTE: This section replicates the introduction to the Ferdinand David 'Uppingham' parts here on the CHASE site, but has been included here for ease of reference for the reader.
The Uppingham Collection contains five individual parts of David’s edition of Mozart’s Duos for violin and viola, K. 423 and 424: two complete sets, each comprising a violin and viola part, plus an additional viola part. One set has been extensively marked by David with manuscript changes and additional performance instructions. An additional viola part also contains some markings by him. A further complete set, with an undecorated title page, contains no manuscript markings by David. When we obtained these very fragile copies, in which many pages are loose, they had been reassembled in the wrong order. By means of water stains and other internal evidence it has been possible to present the copies in their correct order on the website. They are reproduced here in the following order:
1) This set (violin and viola) has a decorative border on the title page of the first violin part, and on the blank first page of the viola part David has written his name together with the title Duos v. Mozart | f. Viol & Alto in blue crayon. This set contains extensive annotations by David in similar blue crayon to that which he used on the first page of the viola part, as well as some annotations in pencil and ink. The only movement in this set of parts not marked by David is the Rondo of K. 423 in the viola part. The viola part of K. 424 is altogether more heavily marked by David than that of K. 423. David himself performed on the viola in K. 424 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert of 26 November 1870 with Englebert Röntgen playing violin. At the Gewandhaus concert of 17 November 1868 David had also played viola in the G major Duo, apparently also with Röntgen, although neither the programme nor reviews make clear the identity of the violinist. For reviews of these performances from the
This set of parts annotated by David also contains a few markings in later hands, some modern, the copies evidently having been used quite recently by pupils at Uppingham School. In the violin part of the Andante of K. 424 in this set, David wrote a short cadenza in the bottom margin in pencil; a slip of manuscript paper containing a fair copy of the cadenza was later stuck on top with red wax; this copy appears not to be in Ferdinand David’s hand, but may perhaps have been copied by Röntgen before the 1870 Gewandhaus concert. David himself seems to have played the violin part after the copy of the cadenza was added, for in addition to the fingerings copied from the pencil sketch, the fair copy has had a blue crayon fingering on the final note, which appears to be in David's hand. The viola part in this set includes a completely rewritten version of the K. 424 Andante written by David on a pasted-in sheet of manuscript paper ruled with a rastrum. David's alternative version consists mostly oftriple- and quadruple-stopped chords replacing Mozart's original double-stopped chords; as the Signalereview indicates, this was played at the Gewandhaus concert in 1870.
2) This additional viola part is associated with the preceding set. It contains just a few blue crayon markings by David on page 4, at the end of the Adagio of the first Duo.
3) This set (violin and viola) appears from its undecorated title page to be a latter printing. It is unmarked except for some pencil markings made by students at Uppingham School in recent times. David's printed markings, often obscured in the copies he annotated, can be clearly seen in this set.
Reviews of first performances of the Duos at the Leipzig Gewandhaus appeared in the
[Then came a duet for violin and viola in B flat major by Mozart (No. 2 in the edition of the duets edited by David and published by Bartholff Senff), a piece full of inspiration and loveliness, excellently performed by Concert-masters Röntgen (violin) and David (viola), and received by the public with stormy acclamation. The Adagio (with its continuous pizzicato viola accompaniment) even had to be repeated.]