Recreated recordings overview
The following texts are reflections based on my work of recreating a total of 11 historical recordings. This work is divided in four main phases:
A “Ricardo Viñes romantic performance style”
- Isaac Albéniz, Dos Danzas Españolas / 2 Morceaux Caracteristiques, Tango in A Minor, Op. 164
- Isaac Albéniz, Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47, Granada
- Alexander Borodin, Petite Suite, No. 7 (b) - Scherzo an A flat major
- Domenico Scarlatti, Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 29
Three contemporaneous pianists
- Frédéric Chopin, Waltz in C-sharp minor Op. 64, No. 2, played by Sergei Rachmaninov
- Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 55, No. 2, played by Ignacy Friedman
- Arnold Schönberg, Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, op. 19, played by Jesús María Sanromá
Ricardo Viñes’s recordings of Debussy
- Claude Debussy, Images 2e série: Poissons d’Or
- Claude Debussy, Etude No. 10, Pour les sonorités opposées (fragmented recording)
- Claude Debussy, Images, 1re série: Hommage à Rameau (fragmented recording)
- Claude Debussy, Estampes, La Soirée dans Grenade
- Claude Debussy, Etude No. 10, Pour les sonorités opposées
- Claude Debussy, Images, 1re série: Hommage à Rameau
The first aim was to recreate four recordings by Ricardo Viñes and by doing this, to embody his romantic-influenced way of playing. Following this, I did the same with the three contemporaneous pianists Sergei Rachmaninov, Ignacy Friedman and Jesús María Sanromá, and compared my experiences from recreating Viñes’s recordings with these, looking for general similarities and differences in their approaches. Recreating the Debussy recordings of Viñes was next, and here I also examined the romantic performance practices of Viñes in the context of the “impressionistic” tradition. Finally, I used my knowledge and experiences from the recreated recordings to reconstruct the missing first thirds of the two fragmented Debussy recordings.
The following texts include videos and annotated scores (the videos are played by clicking on the image and the complete annotated scores are accessed by clicking on the cover page). Three different videos are provided per piece: a) the video where I am seen playing, but with the original recording heard in the background (in black-and-white); b) the video of my full recreated performance (in color); and c) the “cross-cut”-version which alternates between video “a” and “b”. These “cross-cut”-versions are also part of the artistic results of this research. On the two “extrapolated” recordings, I have included videos of the live performances from the final artistic presentation at Dokkhuset, Trondheim in Norway, on October 18, 2021.
The annotated scores are to be regarded as rough sketches to guide the reader through my recreated recordings. They should not be read as literal revisions or edited scores. The markings made by me in these scores are meant illustrate what I deemed to be the most important practices of the performers in the original recordings that are not marked in the original scores. As a standard in these “sketches,” thick red lines or circles signify tempo alterations (rushing/slowing); thin red lines or circles signify “dislocation”; and blue thin lines or circles signify specific notes within chords that are “dislocated” (usually the melody note). In addition to this, I have notated arpeggios not marked in the original score. Also, thin red circles may at times indicate certain areas of interest in accordance to my written text. In the case of the Scarlatti Sonata played by Viñes, and the Chopin Waltz played by Rachmaninov, the “deviations” from the original score were to such an extent that I found it more practical to transcribe entire performances to avoid over-cluttering the annotated scores. In these transcriptions, the notes that “deviate” from the original score (such as altered notes, re-arranged chords etc.) are colored red.
In all of the Viñes’s recordings, I have compared the historical recordings I recreated with modern-day as well as other historical recordings. Due to copyright issues, the examples used in this comparison can be heard on YouTube through the links provided in the footnotes, but they can also be found through other channels (digital or on physical CD/LP).