Contemporary performance practice and tradition

Heaton, R (2012) 'Contemporary performance practice and tradition.' Music Performance Research, 5 (Spec). pp. 96-104. ISSN 1755-9219

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The interpretation of complex modernist music demands rhythmic and dynamic and pitch accuracy, but it also often displays a significant lack of expression – a tradition adhering closely to the text. However, players find it difficult to suppress an impulse to ‘phrase’, derived from retrieved tradition, imposing familiar gestures from an earlier repertory where none is intended. Performance traditions become attached to works and originate from the techniques and idiosyncrasies of specific performers. Does a player observe the effect of a work’s first performer or is the detail of notation sufficient for an ‘authentic’ rendition? The role of the performer is to identify with the work using a number of different strategies that hold the key to a performance stimulated by creativity and imagination rather than observance of tradition. This paper discusses performance practice in modernist repertory with reference to two works for solo clarinet by Boulez and Carter.

Item Type: Article

Also delivered this paper at: Performance Studies Network International Conference, AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice, Cambridge University (14-17 July 2011)

Keywords: interpretation, tradition, contemporary performance practice, Carter, Boulez
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2014 16:18
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 15:35
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