You are on page 1of 5

Review

Reviewed Work(s): The Practice of Performance: Studies in Musical Interpretation by John


Rink
Review by: David Schulenberg
Source: Notes, Second Series, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Jun., 1997), pp. 1137-1140
Published by: Music Library Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/899458
Accessed: 06-11-2016 17:20 UTC
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted
digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about
JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at
http://about.jstor.org/terms

Music Library Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Notes

This content downloaded from 117.131.219.47 on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:20:01 UTC
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

1137

Book Reviews

anti-Semitism
anti-Semitismofofsome
some
Christian
Christian
texts
texts
(pp.(pp.
ever,
ever, Singing
SingingEarly
EarlyMusic
Musictakes
takes
the
the
willing
willing
97-100,
97-100, 111-13).
111-13).The
The
longest
longest
chapter
chapter
andand
performer
performer aa long
longway
waytoward
towardthe
the
mastery
mastery
centerpiece
centerpieceisisa ameditation
meditation
on on
psalm
psalm
andand
of aa crucial
crucial aspect
aspectof
ofstyle
styleininearly
early
music.
music.
hymn
hymn texts
textschosen
chosen
byby
the
the
author
author
evidently
evidently
It is
is aa signal
signal contribution
contributiontotothe
the
underunder-

because
because they
theyare
aretraditional
traditional
or or
especially
especially
standing
standing of
of early
earlymusic
musicthrough
through
perforperforbeloved
beloved in
inthe
theUnited
United
Kingdom.
Kingdom.
Sometimes, as travelers know, familiar
Copeman's
Copeman'sfundamental
fundamental
question,
question,
as he
as he

mance.

territory appears unexpectedly alien. I frames it near the end of the book, is:

admit to struggling with Copeman's fre- "How far ... does singing religious music,
quently abstruse references and grudgingly of any period,"-ranging here from meidentified abbreviations in Singing the dieval carols through the Bach Passions to
Meaning. Indeed, I had to be informed by Arvo Part-"require in us adherence to the
a British colleague that "SPCK"-nowhere relevant faith?" (p. 134). He answers imunabbreviated in the book-is in fact "a
mediately, "For concert performances I
venerable British institution," the Society
suggest two tests: the singer must respond
thoroughly to the music .. , and he should
for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Then,
not be out of sympathy with the religious
on page 135, Copeman appends the comment that a "friend reading this bookintent
tells of the work.... [I]n a liturgical or
me that it is terribly English, and would
devotional
not
context we need strong actual
fit the U.S. market." Why was I notsympathy
surwith the words and doctrine,
even if not actual adherence to the relevant
prised to read this?
Despite obstacles for us far across thecreed,
sea,
before we agree to sing[.]" Insofar
there is much that is rewarding in this brief,
as Copeman's requirements may touch

idiosyncratic, occasionally preachy volume:


upon matters of personal conviction, this is
a short history of Christianity as seen from
not the place to consider them. As pre-

England; several illuminating examples


of
scriptions
for authenticity in the perforthe very different ways psalm textsmance
have practice of music, however, they
been adapted into hymns (pp. 77-80);
an surely be the ne plus ultra.
would

entertaining appendix on heresies and

conflicts over the wording of the various


Creeds; and helpful words on handling the

DOUGLAS LEEDY

Oceanside, Oregon

The Practice of Performance: Studies in Musical Interpretation. Ed-

ited by John Rink. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. [xiii,

290 p. ISBN 0-521-45374-7. $59.95.]

Symbolizing
Symbolizing the
the emergence
emergence of
ofaanew
newsubsuberal
eral contributors
contributorsare
areaccomplished
accomplished
perperdiscipline
discipline of
of performance
performance studies-the
studies-thepripriformers
formers and
andseveral
severalassert
assert
the
the
indepenindepenmary concern
concern of
of which
which is
is the
thetheory
theoryand
and
dence
dence of
of performance
performancefrom
from
theory
theory
andand
analysis
analysis of
of performance-this
performance-this volume
volumeexexanalysis,
analysis, the
theoverall
overalltone
tone
is is
academic
academic
andand
theoretical.
hibits both
both strengths
strengths and
and weaknesses,
weaknesses,but
but

is nonetheless a worthwhile addition to

The emphasis on the relationship of

scholarly collections.
performance to structure raises questions
about what one writer characterizes as an
The volume's twelve essays are distributed under three headings: "Fundamenongoing "trend" away from formal analysis as an end in itself. In fact, William
tals," "Structure and Meaning in Perfor-

mance," and "Performance as Process."

Rothstein makes explicit an assumption

Despite the universal ring of these labels,


shared by several others: that every comthe volume's purview is limited to
position possesses some "structure" that
twentieth-century performance of Western
is first analyzed and then "conveyed" in
concert music, especially instrumental
performance (p. 218). Given this "fundaworks from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart mental"
to
position, other aspects of perforSergei Prokofiev. Moreover, although sevmance, such as expression, representation,

This content downloaded from 117.131.219.47 on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:20:01 UTC
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

NOTES, June 1997

1138

and social function, seem to be secondary


for him and several other analytically ori-

ented contributors.
Such narrowness of focus is not neces-

authors reach such seemingly vacuous


conclusions as: "Sleep was the only nonmusical activity which our musicians

judged especially relevant to improving violin performance" (p. 94). The authors do
sarily a failing. Indeed, the most success-

not seem to have considered whether the


ful essays may be those that straightwhose education and daily rouforwardly pursue their analyticalmusicians
and
music-theoretical ends. Several discussions
tine were studied have spent any time

broaching the philosophy of music would


thinking about or studying music. It is difhave benefitted by reference to the voluficult to see the value of including in this
minous recent literature in this area. And
volume a study that concludes with the

a few lapses of scholarship might have been


cliche of likening musical practice to sports
avoided by checking references: what is while
im- ignoring the intellectual aspects of
"expert" musicianship.
plied to be a performer's arbitrary revision
of the notes of a work by Johann Sebastian
Equally troubling is the reexamination
Bach is actually a documented variant readby Patrick Shove and Bruno H. Repp of
ing (p. 220fn.); a comment about Mozart's
certain "empirical approaches" to the study

of musical "motion" undertaken in the


"process of composition ... as he described
it" apparently refers to a document1920s.
of
As described, the analyses by the
doubtful authenticity (p. 126fn.).
German "pioneers" Eduard Sievers, Gustav
On the positive side, it is refreshingBecking,
to
and Alexander Truslit read like
find specific performances-that is, recordpseudoscience; the experiments of their
ings-cited as both sources and subjects"modern
in
successors" Manfred Clynes and
most of the essays. Even where their arNeil Todd likewise seem to lack necessary
guments may not be entirely convincing,
controls. Although producing impressive-

the essays in the last two-thirds of the looking


book
graphs ("sentograph pressure
provoke fruitful thought about the curves"),
relasuch research seems chiefly to retionship of performance to other aspects
of
inforce
subjective preconceptions, notably

music.

the authors' conclusion that "much music

The opening section on "Fundamentals,"


composed in this century encourages only
however, represents a missed opportunity,
primitive forms of motion or inhibits natoffering little that might be truly ural
fun-motion altogether" (p. 79).
damental to performance studies. Roy
Eric Clarke reports what seems to be a

Howat's opening essay, "What Do more


We objective method for quantifying

Perform?" makes some interesting points


measure-to-measure tempo fluctuations in
about the pianism of Claude Debussyperformance,
and
producing graphs that are
his contemporaries. But it does not potentially
seriuseful in the study of, say, ruously engage the long-standing (and highly
bato. But the essay is somewhat comprorelevant) debate over the ontology ofmised
the by the equivocal analysis of the music
musical work, implicitly conflating a work
performed; for example, the exposition of
with its notation-hence the declaration
the Beethoven Bagatelle, WoO 60, is pre"What we can interpret ... is its notation"
sumed to end at m. 9, even though what
(p. 3). Moreover, the arguments for one
permight well identify as the secondary
formance decisions in particular pieces
key area continues to the cadence in m. 17.
In the remainder of the volume as well,
tend to be prescriptive or based on anecdotal evidence, avoiding in-depth historical
the inherently equivocal nature of analysis
or text-critical considerations.
renders problematical a number of essays
There follow several essays whose quasithat seem reluctant to admit the subjective
empirical or "scientific" methods might
character of their methodology. David Ephave been more critically examined. Parstein analyzes what he terms in his title "A
Curious Moment in Schumann's Fourth
ticularly unfortunate is Ralf Th. Krampe
and K. Anders Ericsson's chapter "DelibSymphony." Although recognizing that the
erate Practice and Elite Musical Perforform of the first movement only approxmance," which may well perpetuate
un- that of a Classical sonata-allegro, the
imates
flattering stereotypes of both musicians
analysis depends on the author's view that
and the discipline of music education.
The
a sonata-style
recapitulation begins at m.

This content downloaded from 117.131.219.47 on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:20:01 UTC
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

1139

Book Reviews

297. This moment, however, occurs in the


the Brahms pieces and C. P. E. Bach's free
course of a dominant prolongation extend- fantasias, which differ fundamentally in
ing from m. 285 through m. 320; there is form and notation.
Tempo is also a prime concern in Edno unambiguously articulated sonata-style
return at all. If a Classical model for the

ward T. Cone's "The Pianist as Critic."

form exists, it might be found in more


Cone views performance as "an implied act
loosely constructed movements, such
as
of criticism"
(p. 241); the metaphor holds
Mozart opera ensembles.
only through a somewhat special definition

of "criticism," but that is immaterial. CritEpstein asserts that "the intuitive feeling
of the music" preceded "analytical logic"
in here is accomplished by the pericism
dictating his interpretation of this passage,
former through the judicious choice of
which includes a revision of the score'stempos.
dyThis, in Cone's view, can render

namic markings at this point (p. 148).


He
thematic
relationships between sections

has taken into account revisions in the au-

clearer or, in the case of Chopin's Etude op.


tograph in this passage, but whether these
10, no. 3, produce "not only a mood but
really support the argument is not entirely
also a form more in accord with Chopin's
clear. More problematical is the assumption
conception" (p. 252). Again, the analytic

that "intuitive feeling"-presumably argument


his
is strong, and Cone makes a

own-is not to some degree the productgood


of case against the "'inauthentic' sentipreconceptions about the movement's form
mentality" of the modern performing traIn this case, too, there is also some
and about symphonic form in general.dition.
As
a result, there is a danger of circularity
documentary evidence to support Cone's

here; although musical form may well


claim about the composer's intentions-

"structure" affect, form is a constructionwhich,


of
as he argues, changed between the
the individual listener or analyst.
writing of the two autographs and the first

Ronald Woodley asserts the presencetwo


of printed editions. As such, Cone's essay
"strategies of irony" in Prokofiev's F-minor
offers a traditional performance practice

Violin Sonata, op. 80. As Woodley notes,


approach, bolstered by a strong analytical

element.
irony is regularly attributed to surface fea-

tures of Prokofiev's music. But it requires


Of all the essays, perhaps the one that
a leap of faith to see a connection between
most fully realizes the promise of perforWoodley's reductive "bass structures" and
mance studies mediated by theory and
what he describes as the work's "selfanalysis is Nicholas Cook's essay on two reironisation" (p. 174). This hypothesis
is of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
cordings
promising, but it would have been helpful
by Wilhelm Furtwangler. Using a method
to provide a fuller demonstration ofsimilar
how to Clarke's, Cook first graphs the
the formal structure of the music "partictempo fluctuations in the recordings of the
first
movement. He then shows that these
ipat[es] in the processes of ostrananie
(defamiliarization) and zatrudnenie (problemfluctuations constitute "dynamic tempo
atization)" (p. 173). (One might compare
profiles" which, in general, delineate "the
the analysis of ostrananie and irony in
Al-organisation of the music into large
same
fred Schnittke's Concerto Grosso no.spans
4 by
that Schenker strove to express in his

Lisa Brooks Robinson, "Mahler and Post-

analyses" (p. 120).


modern Intertextuality" [Ph.D. diss., Yale Janet M. Levy similarly aims to show how
University, 1994], 178-220.)
certain performance decisions in recordJohn Rink's essay on the Brahms Fan-ings of Classical works reflect analyses of
tasien for piano, op. 116, presents a strong
the works in question. Her focus is on amanalytical argument for maintaining simple
biguous passages that can function as both
tempo proportions between the work'sbeginnings and ends of larger structural
seven movements. I would not, however,
units (a topic of considerable current indescribe his as a "'historical performance' terest in music theory). Unfortunately, she
approach" (p. 280). No historical documen- tends to rely on assertion in arguing, for
tation supports Rink's "hypothetical pro- example, that a particular way of performportional tempos" (p. 279), and more ex- ing a cadence figure will cause it to "be
tended argumentation is needed to support heard not merely as an echo, i.e., an endthe historical "link" posited here between ing, but also as a beginning" (p. 157).

This content downloaded from 117.131.219.47 on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:20:01 UTC
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

NOTES, June 1997

1140

Questions about the degree to which a


given performance can, in fact, reflect a
particular analysis are raised more urgently

by Joel Lester. More than any other, his


essay takes up the fundamental philosoph-

ical and methodological questions raised

structure.
structure.But
But
Lester's
Lester's
article
article
presents
presents
what what
might
mightbe
bea auseful
useful
program
program
for future
for future
stud- stud-

ies,
ies, proposing
proposing
that
that
"the
"the
focus
focus
of analysis
of analysis

could
couldshift
shiftfrom
from
finding
finding
'the''the'
structure
structure
of
of
aa piece
piecetotodefining
defining
multiple
multiple
strategies
strategies
for for

interpreting
interpreting
pieces"
pieces"
(p. 214).
(p. 214).

by performance studies. One may wonder

whether minute differences in two pianists'

performances of a Mozart minuet really


reflect distinct analyses of its large-scale

DAVID SCHULENBERG

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Bela Bart6k: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources. By

Laszlo Somfai. (The Bloch Lectures in Music, 9.) Berkeley: University


of California Press, 1996. [xxii, 334 p. ISBN 0-520-08485-3. $60.00.]
Laszl6 Somfai's intention is to providethe
a compositional
compositional process-the
process-thedraft
draftstage
stage
(chapter
(chapter 7)-chapter
7)-chapter 44 tracing
tracingthe
thesketches
sketches
scientific musicological framework for the
the

and the
the plan
plan of
of the
the work
work in
insuccessive
successive
divergent specializations in Bart6k restages
stages of
of development,
development, chapter
chapter55dealing
dealing
the fragments
fragments and
and unrealized
unrealizedcomcomlection of available biographical data or with the
with extramusical speculation, the other positional
positional plans,
plans, and
and chapter
chapter66serving
servinga a

search, one of which deals with the col-

with theoretic-analytical method. The au- particularly


particularly valuable
valuable function
functionfor
formusicolmusicologists in
in its
its chronological
chronologicalsurvey
surveyof
ofpaper
paper
the study of about thirty-six hundred pages
types used
used by
by Bart6k
Bart6k from
from1903
1903to
to1945.
1945.
of sketches, drafts, and autograph manuChapter
Chapter 77 explores
explores the
the most
mostcomplex
complex
scripts as well as numerous documents,
part of
of the
the compositional
compositional process,
process,in
inwhich
which
including corrections preserved on recordthe draft
draft serves
serves as
as the
the prime
primelink
linkin
inBarBart6k's source
source chain
chain and
and isis the
thekey
keymanumanuings of Bart6k's performances of his own
compositions. This volume, which incorposcript
script for
for understanding
understanding the
theevolution
evolutionof
ofa a
rates a wealth of previously unknown magiven work.
work. It
It is
is at
at the
the draft
draftstage
stagethat
thatwe
we
terial, is the first to integrate and summaencounter
encounter some
some of
of the
the most
mostinteresting
interesting
rize the multifaceted aspects of the Bart6k
compositional
compositional and
and aesthetic
aestheticissues.
issues.We
We
sources. For this reason especially, the book
learn much
much about
about Bart6k's
Bart6k'sdiffering
differingapaprepresents an important contribution to the
proaches
proaches to
to various
various genres
genresfrom
fromthe
thededeBart6k literature.
tailed descriptions
descriptions of
of the
the drafts.
drafts.Somfai's
Somfai's
In his analysis of the evolutionary "chain
survey
survey of
of five
five chronological
chronologicalsubdivisions
subdivisionsof
of

thor's schema and conclusions are based on

of sources" of Bart6k's compositions in


the existing
existing drafts
drafts (between
(between1890
1890and
and

1945) shows
shows how
how Bart6k
Bart6k drafted
draftedcertain
certain
chapter 3, the author demonstrates theoretical knowledge of the multiplicity and
genres
genres in
in final
final layout,
layout, others
othersin
inshort-score
short-score
variety of sources, which encompass the enor in full-score
full-score form.
form. His
Hisdescriptions
descriptionsalso
also
tire creative process from sketch through
permit
permit aa better
better understanding
understandingof
ofthe
thehishisdraft(s) and corrected proof sheets to retorical
torical circumstances
circumstances surrounding
surroundinga awork,
work,
vised edition and recordings. This frameas in his
his discussion
discussion of
of the
theSonata
Sonatafor
forTwo
Two
work is intended as a fundamental guide
Pianos
Pianos and
and Percussion
Percussion and
andMusic
Musicfor
forStrings,
Strings,
for analysts of Bart6k's styles and interPercussion,
Percussion, and
and Celesta,
Celesta, where
wherehe
heprovides
provides

historical and aesthetic reasons for the impreters of his music, the "theoretical model
of the source types" (summarized on p. 29)
mediate drafting of both works in full
serving as the basis for the overall orgascore, a procedure atypical of Bart6k. The
author also makes astute observations in
nization of the chapters. This macroscopic

the section on "The Formation of a Work."


projection of the "model" permits a rigorous and logical presentation of the arFor instance, he asserts that in the genesis
of the Violin Concerto's twelve-tone theme
guments. Chapters 4 through 6 are preliminary to the most important part of
-originally a ten-note idea-permutations

This content downloaded from 117.131.219.47 on Sun, 06 Nov 2016 17:20:01 UTC
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms