Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

CHASE

W. A. Mozart: Violin and Viola Duos — the 'Uppingham' collection - Part D

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 

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Part D: EXPERIMENTAL RECORDINGS (Clive Brown – violin; David Milsom – viola)

D1. Technical Introduction (David Milsom)

The Duos were recorded in St Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield, on September 11th and 12th, 2013, with the assistance of the University of Huddersfield Studios team, under the supervision of Dr Robert Davis (who completed the editing process). The recordings were produced by Ruth Milsom. As was the case with the recordings made during his AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at Leeds (2006-9), the intention was to employ minimal editing, balancing avoidance of particularly egregious errors with maintaining the ethos of live performance. The results are far from flawless technically; one hears, for example, discrepancies of intonation, often through the fluctuating pitch of the period-appropriate gut strings, but of course this is a problem highly likely to have been encountered by musicians performing in the Leipzig Gewandhaus in the 19th century. A few edits have helped to tidy the performances, but we did not want to create a 'patchwork' performance and prized the spontaneity of performing style above absolute technical precision.

The listener will hear quite clearly our sparing use of vibrato, and readiness to employ the portamento. These align with David's fingerings and in some cases in the viola part where markings are scant (in the G-Major Duo especially) additional fingerings cognate with what we understand of David's own practices were inserted. On a more general level, we attempted to practise the kinds of tempo flexibility relevant to David's style. Overall/aggregate changes of tempo (often misleadingly termed 'rubato' in more recent times) have been avoided, except for where these are indicated in the score. What is evident (and necessarily somewhat experimental) is the attempt to practise an informality of rhythmic realisation – often playing equally-notated groups of notes unequally – as a reflection of the practices documented in numerous 18th- and 19th-century writings, and audible on recordings by musicians such as Joseph Joachim, Marie Soldat, Karl Klingler and Carl Reinecke. These (extempore) departures from the more-or-less literal meaning of the notated text seem to underpin the freer attitude to performance evident in this style and period. The listener will hear such freedoms rather more in evidence on the repeats of exposition sections and thematic material otherwise, in order that the performance itself embodies a degree of ‘development’ as implied by 19th-century aesthetic theories (see, for example, Milsom, 2003: 189-204).

The ambient acoustic of St Paul’s Hall (a converted Anglican church dating from 1831) is perhaps a credible representation if not of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, then, hopefully, the kinds of performing spaces with which David and his colleagues might have been familiar.

LINKS TO RECORDINGS

Mozart Duo in G K. 423 movement I 
Mozart Duo in G K. 423 movement II  
Mozart Duo in G K. 423 movement III  
Mozart Duo in B-flat K. 424 movement I  
Mozart Duo in B-flat K. 424 movement II  
Mozart Duo in B-flat K. 424 movement III 

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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