2012 Conference Report
University of Leeds School of Music, 4-5 April 2012:
'Authorship and ‘Authenticity’ in Composition, Editing and Performance'
Following our earlier conference in 2010, this event was even more international, with speakers from the USA, Canada, UK, and Russia. The conference also included a concert by the Eroica Quartet, the leading ensemble in the field of 19th-century performance. It was notable for the number of papers that related to the cello and cellists, a clear indication that research in this field is expanding. George Kennaway (Leeds) drew attention to Friedrich Grützmacher's untypically restrained editions of Beethoven's cello sonatas; Gabriella Kaufman (Birmingham) explored the cellist Gaspar Cassado's MSS and printed editions of his ever-popular Requiebros; and Kate Haynes (Toronto) brought a fresh perspective to Grützmacher's extraordinary performing version of the Bach cello suites, enlivening her talk with impressive live demonstrations.
The diversity of repertoires explored in 2010 was maintained with Justin Albstein's (Cambridge) masterful presentation of the genesis of Cyril Rootham's Septet and Tertis's involvement in the process, and Lidia Ader's (St. Petersburg) account of the notational issues around early microtonal composition in Russia. As is so often the case, these papers raised interesting questions which had unexpected relevance to the other topics under discussion.
David Milsom (Huddersfield) discussed Spohr's edition of Rode's 7th concerto with a subtle exploration of the issued involved, and with excellent demonstrations. Clive Brown (Leeds) gave a most detailed account of Ferdinand David's MS annotations and alterations to Mozart's Duos K.423 and 424 for violin and viola, preserved in the copy from Uppingham School. These two speakers also performed Mozart's K.424 from David's personal copies and Spohr's Duo op. 67 no. 2 from David's published edition, convincingly demonstrating the performing practices that had been discussed in their papers. Peter Collyer (Leeds) presented the fruits of his archival researches in the Leipzig school of editors with particular reference to the violist Friedrich Hermann. Duncan Druce gave a particularly virtuoso performance of David and Alard's version of Corelli's 'Follia' variations, accompanied by Graham Barber, which vividly showed the freedom with which 19th-century performers approached this repertoire. Robin Stowell (Cardiff) presented an intriguing paper on a copy of a Viotti concerto marked up with detailed manuscript markings apparently stemming from Eugene Ysaÿe. Diane Tisdall's (King's College London) paper on early 19th-century Parisian music shops went a long way to show the persistence of baroque repertoire used as teaching material at this time, and Claire Holden (Cardiff) explored the choices facing the performer of Beethoven's 'Kreutzer' sonata - this paper was notable for its particularly effective visual presentation of complex source material. At short notice, Kai Köpp (Bern) replaced a speaker who had been forced to withdraw, and in a fascinatingly wide-ranging presentation drew attention to the variety of bow designs, old and new, in use in Vienna in the early 19th century, as well as to the intriguing relationship between 19th-century vocal performance and the fingerings supplied by Bernhard Molique for his own violin concertos. Ilias Devetzoglou (Leeds) looked at early recordings and editions of Fauré's Berceuse with particular attention to the use of portamento.
Peter Hanson, leader of the Eroica Quartet, spoke directly from his own experience as a performer at the highest level, and the quartet gave superb performances of movements by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Debussy. This was followed by animated discussion chaired by Clive Brown, which brought the conference to an end.