Research published in this issue are only for internal circulation within the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague.
Efficient Practice Design (2018 )
Name: Seungjin Kang
Main Subject: Classical Horn
Research Supervisor: Susan Williams
Title of Research: Efficient practice design: utilising a six-step process of borrowing ideas
Research Question: How can I develop a practice strategy that involves consciously working with borrowed musical ideas?
Summary of Results:
The performer implements expressive performance through interpretation within the potential possibilities of the work (and the performer). This research focuses on developing a much more conscious process in which I would know and understand where my musical ideas are coming from. To do this, I used a practice design utilising the six-step process of borrowing ideas from David Kord Murray's Borrowing Brilliance. Prior to the study, I interviewed three horn teachers from the Royal Conservatoire to compare how the musical ideas that these teachers use are formed. I compared their processes of approaching repertoire with the processes described in Murray’s book. I also analysed four (contrasting) recordings of the concerto, noting details of how they were played – also with audio editing software.
The analysis of the teachers' responses showed that some of the ‘six steps to borrowing ideas’ featured. In this study, I used principles of the six-step process to design an exercise regime to help me practice Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4. I used practice notes (logbook) to record the process and analyse the results.
As a result, the conscious exercises (in six stages), compared to my earlier way of practicing, enabled more planned execution and showed that a more systematic and efficient interpretation of the work was possible. Going through the ‘six-step processes’ and repeating them enabled new insights and improved interpretation of repertoire. This process is summarised in the form of endless algorithms.
Horn player Seungjin Kang was born in South Korea where he began his musical studies with Seok-jun Lee and Kyung-il Choi. In 2013 he completed his Bachelor's at the Korea national university of arts and at the age of 24 he was appointed the principal horn player of the Cheongju Philharmonic Orchestra of Korea. He studied abroad in this orchestra in 2016 and as a result, is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, where he studies with Martin van de Merwe and natural horn with Teunis van der Zwart. Between 2016-2018 he played at the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Gergiev Festival, Asko Schönberg, Dutch National Opera Academy.
Tom Harrell: A Humble Brilliance (2018 )
Name: Jan Toth
Main Subject: Jazz Trumpet
Research Supervisor: Patrick Schenkius
Title of Research: Tom Harrell: A Humble Brilliance
Research Question(s): What is it that makes Tom Harrell one of the most praised jazz trumpet players and composers in the world, and how did he achieve that despite his illness? How can we utilise Harrell's knowledge of music and apply it to our own playing?
Summary of Results:
Tom Harrell is one of those fascinating individuals that despite having history of weird behavior attributed to their illness like schizophrenia, managed to use his inspiration and hard work to become a jazz superstar and an idol to many trumpeters around the world. He is most often described by other musicians and his colleagues as a shy and modest person, both intelligent, and brilliant. In my research I was mostly analysing the brilliance of Mr. Harrell in his music. Beside the fact that he has written hundreds of compositions, some of which became standards, he is known for the lyricism of his playing, creating beautiful and melodic lines. I transcribed and analysed many of his solos to try and get into his way of thinking. He likes using aspects from the basic jazz vocabulary, but connects phrases in the way that it sounds very lyrical and appealing to the ear. He always chooses the prettiest notes and executes phrases with a warm sound. He rarely goes outside and when he does, he doesn't go far and always makes an esthetical figure out of it rather than to complicate things. In my research presentation I will be speaking more about his vocabulary and style of playing. I will demonstrate certain logical things he likes to play and how it can be practised and applied when playing with the band. You can clearly notice how much time and hard work Harrell invested in trumpet playing when you hear him consistently play his stuff through all 12 keys, with minimal difference in regard to the chorus played. His creativity can also be seen in his numerous compositions, which is something I will also touch in my research. Because of his mental condition, Tom Harrell had to live a very disciplinary life in order to make it work for him, which consequently also left him with many free hours to focus on his practising and writing.
Jan Toth is a trumpet player born in Croatia, currently residing and studying in The Netherlands. He became very interested in music at the age of 11, when he first engaged in listening to jazz and blues recordings and started to play different styles of music in local bands. Jan finished the bachelor program at the Conservatory in Klagenfurt under Daniel Nösig, and is currently a student at the Conservatoire in The Hague, with Rik Mol as a mentor. In 2014 he passed the Marianne Mendt Competition to perform at the St. Pölten Jazz Festival alongside top Austrian musicians, and has since then (as well as before that) been a part of many different music projects.
An E-flat Major Clarinet Concerto. The authorship issue between James Hook and Jean-Xavier Lefèvre (2016 )
Juan Jose Molero Ramos
Name: Juan José Molero Ramos
Main Subject: Clarinet (Early music)
Research supervisor: Charles Toet
Title of Research:
A Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in E-Flat Major. The authorship issue between Mr. James Hook and Mr. Jean-Xavier Lefèvre
After discovering the same music written by two composers (J. Hook and J. X. Lefèvre), Who would be the authentic composer of the piece?
Summary of Results:
James Hook composed a Clarinet Concerto in E-flat Major in 1812 which seems to be the first English clarinet concerto in 19th century.
Nobody realized before this concerto is the same music as Lefèvre’s Clarinet Concerto in E-flat Major. The reason is Lefèvre’s Clarinet Concerto was lost untill now. Internet Data systems (like RISM) make possible to locate Lefèvre’s score in the Russian State Library in Moscow.
During the research process I discovered similarities between both concertos and I focused my research to clear this authorship issue. The tools used to be successful in my target was the comparison of the music itself from both composer between them and with the concerto, but also and more important, the bibliographic data of both original sources by using archives and documentation techniques.
Hoftrumpeter in central Germany (2015 )
Name: Patrice Boileau
Main Subject: Baroque Trumpet
Research Coach: Bart van Oort
Title of Research: Hoftrompeter in central Germany
Research Question: What would have been the professional life of court trumpet players
in Thuringia/central Germany from 1650 to 1750? What kind of music did they play?
Summary of Results:
The baroque era seemed to have been the apogee of the art of trumpet playing by slowly
raising it to an instrument of art. The instrument become part of an elite, where only few
people could play it well and had the right to do so. In this paper I aim to illustrate the life
and role of trumpet players at court, in parallel to those of other court musicians and the
Stadtpfeifer. By the numerous courts present in central Germany, the trumpet seems to
have blossomed with a variety of composers writing for the instrument. What was the
court life for a musician, what were the daily duties of the trumpeters, would they only
play music, would they mix with the other musicians and how were their relations with
the others? Those are all questions that I addressed in this paper. At the end of my paper
you can find a list of composers active in central Germany that composed for the trumpet
and my own edition of two pieces by one of these composers.
Patrice Boileau is a young and dynamic trumpet and cornetto player native of the
Province of Québec in Canada. After his studies at the Conservatoire de musique de
Québec, he completed an Artist Diploma in orchestral performance at The Glenn Gould
School. Patrice is currently completing a master in baroque trumpet at the Royal
Conservatoire in The Hague with Susan Williams.
Patrice has performed with several group in eastern Canada, such as the Orchestre
Symphonique de Québec, Quebec City’s opera house, National Academy Orchestra,
Sinfonia Toronto, the Sneak Peak Orchestra and the True North Brass. His passion for
early music brought him recently to play with European ensemble such as Brabantsch
Musyk Collegie, Elbipolis Barockorchester, The New Dutch Academy, The Wallfisch
Band, Apollo Ensemble, Il Gardellino, and Les Agémens.
Thrilling or killing? - Applying pictures in a classic concert performace (2015 )
Name: Luise Kimm
Main Subject: Classical Singing
Research Coaches: Gerda van Zelm, David Prins
Title of Research:
Thrilling or killing? – Applying pictures in a classical concert performance
Research Question: What function can a screen have on the concert stage?
Summary of Results:
In concerts of classical music, more and more often extras are applied to the basic
concepts of performance. This comes in light-shows, with pictures or a film-version of the
piece on stage projected in the hall.
Pleasing the eye has always been an issue on the concert stage of course. It is essential to
consider how a performance should proceed and look like. But illustrating the music that
is played in a concert has more consequences than only decorating the stage even a bit
more or making a bigger impression in the audience.
In my research paper, I document several formats of classical concert productions that
used a visual interpretation in performance. In this case study I tried to figure out the
function of screen and film on stage and their effect during the concerts. I summarized
my findings in a list of ‘Do’s & Dont’s’. This list I, or others might use in a project
where there is the wish to give a visual form to an own interpretation of a piece.
In a second more theoretical part I shortly introduce music-historical background of the
idea to illustrate classical music and the aesthetic discussion this idea rises. Furthermore I
pay closer attention to the tool of the (electronic) screen in concert and to what a screen
does with our brain.
My name is Luise Kimm. I come from southern Germany. I am finishing my Master
studies in classical singing at the Royal Conservatory. I have two bachelor degrees, one
German one in musicology and voice and one Dutch one in classical singing.
Next to my studies, and beforehand, I always performed. I sing as a soloist as well as in
ensemble in churches, in concert and in opera throughout Europe.
Research – Jewish composers in a social context (2016 )
Name: Marc Wielart
Main Subject: Piano
Research Supervisor: Gerard Bouwhuis
Title of Research:
Jewish composers in a social context
Should Jewish composers be programmed under the heading of their identity, considering their position in society and their artistic influence?
Summary of Results:
This research paper is a personal subject; belonging to a minority means to conceal a part of your identity when necessary. Ultimately, Jewish individuals who deepened their social awareness, contributed disproportionately by expressing their inner richness to the arts.
Quite often composers of Jewish descent are being programmed because of their presumed identity. German speaking Jews shared in general a deep respect for German culture, language and national identity. Almost all of Jewish intellectuals identified themselves above all as ‘German’. In order to outline the social context of several influential Jewish composers, a journey leads us through correspondence and thoughts by intellectuals from the nineteenth century to the landmark of the Second Viennese School and Expressionism.
Everyone’s artistic and personal development is an individual occasion. Jewish composers shared in general a high awareness of their social position and the political developments in the societies they were part of. The historical background of German-ruled Europe in the nineteenth century is important to understand the eventually cruel fate. German culture was both inclusive as exclusive, as I described in an introducing chapter on historical and social developments.
Gradually artists of Jewish descent and loyalty were confronted with the downside of their culture: Exclusion. Today, we have access to an enormous amount of information, such as musical sources, correspondence, publications and interviews. While using the direct sources, we are able to set eyes on expressions of hatred, anxiety and alienation.
Marc Wielart (1990) studied with pianists Ton Hartsuiker, Rian de Waal and Ellen Corver. Before this research he studied subjects as the relation of music to the fine arts, wrote a dissertation on the influence of Immanuel Kant on modern European artists and is active at informing on modern anti-Semitism.
I don't know Up from Down (Bow) (2018 )
Name: Jesse Feves
Main Subject: Violone
Research Supervisor: Johannes Boer
Title of Research: I don't know Up from Down (Bow)
Research Question: How do I choose my bowings when playing J.S. Bach's Orchestral suite no.2 on 16 foot Violone?
Summary of Results:
Although all string players are interested in the problems of bowing, it remains a major point of discussion at rehearsals and takes up a lot of time. More often than not there is not enough time, short-cuts are taken, and the bowings are just a standard imposed on the music for ease of rehearsal.
A phrase can be played differently with the same bowing directions or sound the same with different bowings. To be able to play a phrase the way I would like it should I practice until satisfied or change the bowings? Due to the lack of information on bowing directions of 16 foot Violone in the 18th century I have looked to visit treatises of the 18th century that contain information on bowing directions of the violin. This piece has been chosen in particular because much thematic material of the violins also occurs in the basso, enabling the possibility of comparing similarities and differences. The extent to which the 18th century rules of violin playing apply to the 16 foot Violone remains arguable, as the rules themselves.
Jesse Feves, born and raised in Amsterdam, started his musical career transporting his mother’s harpsichord and sleeping under it. His older brother's example of terrific violin playing and hand-me-down violins served the tenderfoot well, studying with Coosje Wijzenbeek and Lorna Glover. Some years ago a new delight, the Double Bass, entered his life appreciating bass lines and drawing much inspiration from his father.
F. A. Hoffmeister Viola Concerto - Getting the inspiration for historically-informed performance. (2018 )
The main goal of this research was to figure out how can the study of the features of classical style give me more insight on how to make a faithful interpretation? Through the methods of content analysis I have found which topics were discussed and considered important from mid-18th century to mid-19th century. These topics were then systematized and placed in tables, compared and placed in one common table. Then scores were marked as close as possible to L. Mozart’s intentions, L. Spohr’s intentions and the score I used before (marked before my research). After that, these were practiced and recorded.
Comparing the scores has brought me to some conclusions, differences between my playing and the requests of the masters. These were all the basic features of the classical style, which can be applied to my interpretation in theory. With the practicing and recording methods, I could choose more objectively which features of classical style, which I shall apply to my interpretation (the ones listed as an answer to the third sub-question).
Theoretically speaking, regarding the tempo – I have always practiced perfect tempo keeping with the metronome and never even considered the fact of slowing down, let alone accelerating in furious passages.
The dynamics marked in my score are similar to what is in L. Mozart and L. Spohr versions. I had never accentuated first of the slurred notes and then made a diminuendo, as L. Mozart asks. One difference, however, was in the dolce section in which I used to play a quasi- polyphonic setting in which both piano and forte was used. Mozart and Spohr would play dolce in a soft, ingratiating.
The bowings in my version are more versatile and in a way continue L. Spohr’s tradition of slowly leaving behind the down beat down bow tradition so present in L. Mozart’s Versuch. Regarding the usage of my bow, through Spohr’s Violinschule I have rediscovered the upper half of the bow. For instance, I always played the detasche bowing in the middle part of the bow, unlike Spohr suggests (upper third).
My fingerings version was almost the same as the L. Spohr’s version and quite different from L. Mozart’s version. Being able to use the open string and flageolets is truly helpful. Though, according to some, the usage of the harmonics when playing orchestra auditions with this concerto should be somewhat limited. (Kugel, 2014)
Before analyzing the two violin schools, I have used different ornamentation, which was marked in my score. (Hoffmeister F. A., 1996) For example in bar 41 Music Well edition that I was using asks for a trill, while Henle edition only marks a turn. Also, it has before never occurred to me to even consider adding some embellishments myself. After reading L. Mozart’s Versuch, I am much more confident to add the embellishments, as well as to treat the vibrato (tremolo) as an embellishment, which should be added only on long notes. Practically speaking, I have made different choices for my interpretation. This new interpretation is a mixture of both violin methods and it represents the classical features that I shall apply to the performance practice because of their musical consequences.19
I have often found it somewhat hard to understand what exactly the classical style is. But, in my opinion, with such little improvements as mentioned earlier in this section, one can get closer to the style. As we know, playing in a correct style has gained more and more importance in the last century (Scherman, n.d.), and the audition setting asks for it as well. (Lebrecht, 2014)
What still should be done to improve the clarity of the research is to apply the topics that I have extracted in the tables on the whole concerto. Also, there is definitely room for improvement in the embellishments section. In my research, there was no place for a thorough study of all embellishments that L. Mozart had stated. Such study and its application on the whole of Hoffmeister concerto would be of great importance to its understanding. Also, a study of the difference between the L. Mozart’s Versuch and L.
Spohr’s Violinschule could bring great insight to how violin technique changed from mid-18th century to mid-19th century. I consider my common table as a good beginning of the study. To conclude, I hope my research will bring some clarity to the young colleagues who wish to have more information on the Hoffmeister Viola Concerto, as it did for me. Especially I wish it to be a guide for putting down bowings, choosing fingerings, adding and performing
embellishments. If but one wondering violist is somewhat helped, I shall be pleased.