The chart below explains in detail about the different conditions that applies to each pianist:




          The exploration of Lotte Lehmann’s early recordings and the use of historical information about performance styles of the past are both part of historically informed performance (HIP) practice. HIP exponent and orchestral conductor Roger Norrington argues that the historical is not there to feed practice, but that musicians should change their way of playing according to the evidence.1 The question of what impact HIP has on performance is explained by musicologist Eric Clarke. He argues that there are 3 different approaches to HIP:

  1. Reconstructionist: a practice most obviously associated with authenticity and thus adhering as closely as possible to earlier performance styles and contexts.
  2. Recreationist: a practice of recreating the performance style in contemporary circumstances.
  3. Creationist / Creative: looking back at what history can tell us about how people performed in the past, but implementing this information in an entirely different way, in different circumstances.

          Listening to recordings as a model and attempting to re-enact recorded sounds, is one of the simplest tools with which to understand the practice of HIP. Clarke adopted uses the metaphor of Japanese or Chinese calligraphy to describe HIP. In studying calligraphy, the pupil would spend years simply learning to imitate the strokes of a calligrapher. The aim of this imitating action is not to reproduce what the calligrapher has already made. It is to understand the process of making strokes. By mastering the process, this can be incorporated into their own strokes.

          This framework is explained by Clarke, who discusses a violinist imitating the sound of Joseph Joachim’s playing. By using similar bow strokes in order to achieve the sound that Joachim’s produced, the string player would understand what it feels like to physically produce sound the way Joachim did. The embodiment of this physicality can result in the violinist being able to play repertoire that Joachim did not record in this style. Clarke further reflects on the recreationist approach as a starting point to explore creativity and bring a deeper understanding of the repertoire.


Research Method

          I adopted Clarke’s “recreationist” HIP stance by re-enacting the musical style heard on Lehmann’s recordings with the use of modern recording technologies. The devices that I used for the recording process are an H4n zoom recorder, an iPhone 6, and a Huawei Pro 20. I used Audacity software to analyze the voice of Lotte Lehmann and Sonic Visualizer software to capture spectrograms of her recordings. I worked with three pianists: A, B, and C who studied and work in Royal Conservatoire of The Hague to create my re-enactments. The recordings were made in a practice room at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. I involved pianist C in my recording process to best show the style that I have been taught in the conservatoire over the past 6 years. The recordings made with pianist A and B were part of the explorative process to re-enacting the recordings of Lehmann.

          I copied the musical performance on Lehmann’s recording of An die Musik (1927) by Franz Schubert and Ich grolle nicht (1930) by Robert Schumann. I tried different methods in exploring the re-enactment process with pianist A and B. I also worked with pianist C to explore pre-war style (without listening to recorded originals) and in preparing versions that fit the mainstream practices current today. The outcome of this process resulted in recordings of further repertoire including Du bist die Ruh by Schubert extrapolated from Lehmann’s performance style.

The general process by which the recordings were made was as follows: