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Creating a new interpretation of Chopin's piano music using a comparison of modern and historical instruments through the performance of the second piano sonata

Ishimura, J. (2020). Creating a new interpretation of Chopin's piano music using a comparison of modern and historical instruments through the performance of the second piano sonata. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance)

Abstract

In this research project, new approaches to performing Chopin’s Second Piano Sonata are explored by using the experiences of two period instruments: a Pleyel original grand fortepiano (1848 - known to have been played by Chopin) and an Erard original grand fortepiano (1845). I researched how my experience of these instruments led to the creation of new knowledge that then informed my approach to performing the piece on the modern piano.

Through comparative analysis of the mechanical features of these instruments, their influence on the pianist’s touch, and further consequences for the management of dimensions such as articulation, dynamics, use of pedal, texture balance and tempo, I established myself as an artist-researcher reflecting upon my performance preparations towards recordings of this piece on all three instruments.

I documented my discoveries, reflected on the knowledge gained from documentary evidence, and exemplified how this was applied on the modern instrument in text and audio/video. The research is an account of how the instruments teach me how to play this work. Performance of the Sonata on the Pleyel and the Erard fortepianos can be creatively reproduced to a great extent on the modern instrument, suggesting, in turn, that modern piano pedagogy might benefit from insights gained from this work.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 10:42
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25198
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