Sigurd Slåttebrekk


The notes must embrace the bars, not the bars the notes


Norges Musikkhøgskole

Norwegian Academy of Music

Disputas:  20 janaur 2013

Veileder: Olav A. Thomessen og Tony Harrison


Associate Professor Tuija Hakkila, Sibelius
Academy in Helsinki

Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, King’s College Music Department in London

Professor Tor Espen Aspaas, Norwegian Academy of Music (head of the committee)

In pursuing this project, we have wanted to single out, describe, and demonstrate some important characteristics of Grieg´s playing. Other performers of his time share these characteristics, many of which have gradually disappeared from performances in our own time. The choice of examples we have made throughout this web is of course made to support our case. It would be quite possible to ‘prove’ or demonstrate examples in opposition to this, both in modern and in early performances. There are exceptions in both directions, most certainly when we concentrate on single aspects of a performance. These are by no means black and white issues! But even though many performers and theorists, most specifically from the early music scene, have contributed immensely to our understanding of tempo modulation and tempo modification, there are in our view still aspects of the late romantic performances that most performers of today do not fully comprehend, specifically with regards to phrase junctions, musical syntax, and phrase structure. Although there is good reason to believe that many of the performance features we find in the early years of the recording era originated in even earlier performance styles, we have chosen to present ‘our’ Romantic performers in their performances of the Romantic repertoire. In this repertoire we often find a prevailing cantilena ideal, and the performed melodic idioms correlate closely with the composed idioms.


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