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The Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna decided to give Avior Byron the Avenir Foundation Research Grant for a one month research trip in Vienna in order to work on two books that he is writing.  
 

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My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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A paper on Huberman in the 2010 Annual Israel Musicology Conference

The violinist Bronislaw Huberman is considered to be one of the greatest violinists in music history. Although his playing is controversial, there were few who did not recognize his greatness as a performer. There is very little academic research on Huberman and his playing. In this paper I will present materials from Huberman’s archive that was not discussed in the literature. I claim that people from different countries and periods conceptualized Huberman’s playing as something that is more than just playing. His performances and interpretations were considered to represent things that are transcendent or even metaphysical. The paper will analyze how important cultural figures, music critics and common listeners, perceived the technique of Huberman, his behavior on stage, his physical appearance, and how he interpreted the scores that he played. The presentation will include listening to historical recordings by Huberman.

Dr. Avior Byron is a musicologist, blogger and composer. Byron published in journals such as Music Theory Online and The World of Music and is currently working on a book on Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance (Oxford University Press). He received his PhD from University of London (2007) and is currently conducting research on Bronislaw Huberman. Website: www.bymusic.org

Call for papers: Israel Musicology Society, 4-5 July, 2010

האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה

הכנס השנתי  5-4 ביולי, 2010

 
קול קורא
 

הכנס השנתי של האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה יתקיים בימים א’-ב’, 5-4 ביולי, באולם נבון באקדמיה למוסיקה ולמחול בירושלים בקמפוס גבעת-רם

 
הכנס יכלול את המושבים הבאים:

1)      מוסיקה יהודית – מוקדש לזכר פרופ’ ישראל אדלר

2)      מוסיקה ישראלית אמנותית – מוקדש לזכר פרופ’ יוסף טל

3)      ניתוח מוסיקה טונלית – מוקדש לזכר ד"ר ארז רפופורט

4)      חקר הביצוע המוסיקלי

5)      חקר החינוך המוסיקלי

6)      מושבים פתוחים

 
להלן פירוט מסגרות ההצגה:
  1.             מושב הרצאות (Paper Session) – משך כל הרצאה לא יעלה על 20 דקות, בתוספת 10 דק’ לדיון ושאלות.
  2.             דיון קבוצתי (Panel Session)
 

תקצירים של הצעות (עד 250 מילים) יש לשלוח בדוא"ל אל:

ד"ר בלה ברובר-לובובסקי This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , ד"ר רבקה אלקושי  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

 
מועד אחרון להגשת הצעות: 5 במאי 2010.
 

פרס להרצאה מצטיינת של סטודנט/ית:

במטרה לעודד השתתפות של סטודנטים (עד 3 שנים מסיום הדוקטורט), מכריז האיגוד על הענקת פרס להרצאה המצטיינת בתחום המוסיקולוגיה או חקר החינוך המוסיקלי. . זהות מקבל הפרס תימסר במושב הנעילה של הכנס, ונוסח ההרצאה המצטיינת יפורסם ב"מנעד."

על סטודנטים המבקשים להציג את מועמדותם להגיש את הנוסח הסופי של הרצאתם לא יאוחר מה-15.06.2010.

 

תערוכת פרסומים:

גם השנה נקיים תערוכת פרסומים חדשים של חברי האיגוד – ספרים, מאמרים, פרוספקטים של ספרים שהתקבלו להוצאה וחומרים במדיה אלקטרוניים. על המעוניינים להציג את עבודתם להביאה עמם לכנס, שם תוצג בדוכן מיוחד (תהיה שמירה על המוצגים במהלך הכנס).

 

כל המרצים והמציגים בכנס חייבים להיות חברי האיגוד. הצטרפות לאיגוד כרוכה בתשלום דמי חבר בסך: 120 ₪ לשנה (רגיל), 90 (פנסיונר), 50 (סטודנט).

 

 

The internet and the interpretation of music

The internet and the interpretation of music

One of the interesting things about the internet is that it lets people become more than passive listeners. Not that listeners were ever really passive. My recent research on letters by listeners to the violinist Bronislaw Huberman show that many listeners experienced intense feelings when listening to his performances. Yet there is something in the web that grants people the possibility to comment and even participate in the creation of meaning in the work of art.


 

Consider for example the video above. One can listen to Arnold Schoenberg’s famous Verklarte Nacht with a film added to it. The music and the film are edited so that they will fit together and create a new experience for us. The story in the file (a solider returning from war) is close to the program used by Schoenberg. I prefer the text by Dehmal, however, the idea of love that is united, is reflected from both the film and the work of the person who arranged the music and film. He or she made a very good job in making them work together.
 
The creation of meaning does not stop here. Youtube grants people the possibility to comment on the film. This often influences the way people experience it. Here are a few examples of comments that were written about this film: "Lovely and touching moments you’ve wed together there. Schoenberg’s score is sublime, and so is she! Love the overall tone and mood of your piece. Thank you.", "Wow. Very nice use of film & music together. I am impressed.", "My gosh that’s absolutely beautiful!!!! x", "Outstanding." These comments affect how people see the video. They see it differently after reading these positive comments, as they tell them to pay attention to the way the music and video are ‘wed together’.
 
Moreover, Youtube grants people the possibilty to embed the video in their blog or website and continue to comment on it, as I did here. This too has the potential to contribute to the creation of meaning. Social websites such as Facebook and Twitter help people to be active in commenting, spreading the meaning, and influencing it in different ways.
 
The composers and performers of the future will know how to use the web, not only for spreading their creations (such as see my compositions pages), but in encouraging individuals to comment and contribute to the creation of meaning. They will encourage people to add things to their creations and change them, while potentially giving credit to all people who participated. The artists of the future will not be individuals who only project meaning. They will make their ‘listeners’ respond, share and influence. It will be an endless creativity of groups of people.
 
The questions of copyright, as well as, who is granted the right to participate, will continue to be significant. And yes, there is a problem of copyright here. The person who made this music and video ‘marrige’ did not bother to write who are the performers and who made the video (only the following information is given: ‘A short film to music. 1940’s period piece’. This might mean that he or she are violating the copyright of certain people and it might be removed from Youtube. Pitty.
 
Indeed, the internet is one of the platforms that will probably change the rules concerning what is and what is not under copyright, and what is a violation in this respect. I can tell you that when I did research at the British Library, I found the issue of copyright very troubling. When I wanted to use excerpts of recordings in order to convey to my readers the foundings of my research. I hope that the rules of copyright will benifit in the future, not only the commercial firms, but also the listeners, scholars and all web participaters.
 

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Feeling bad about my concert review

Feeling bad about my concert review

Last week I attended an all Schoenberg concert in Jerusalem. I reviewed the concert in my blog and the review was not positive. Lady R, who is one of my subscribers, wrote to me arguing that she did not like my review. She claimed that it was too harsh. I used the word ‘murdering Schoenberg’ and she said that this was too much. She said that I should think about these young performers as if they were my children and avoid hurting their feelings. She told me that I do not want to be like the critic Hanoch Ron who is notorious for hurting performers’ feelings without justifying his arguments (Lady R did acknowledged that my criticism was not without explanations).

After writing the review, I noticed that another subscriber sent me an email (about a week before the concert) telling me about the concert, and that he got the information from one of the performers. This made me feel even worse, since I really do not want to hurt anyone, and especially young performers attempting to play Schoenberg.
 
As a result I lowered the tone of my review. I removed the ‘murdering’ and used ‘distorting’ and wrote that it was a students’ concert so that my review will be considered in proportion. However, the basic criticism stayed almost the same.
 
There is some difference between my criticsim and that of the critic Hanoch Ron. As lady R wrote, I do try to explain why I think the way I do about a concert. Moreover, I have about 60 subscribers and this is much less than the readers of Hanoch Ron. It should be remembered that I did mention the first violinist of the 2nd quartet, who played in a professional way. I liked how he performed. The idea behind the concert was brilliant and some of the lectures were better than others (I did not go into too many details since I preferred to speak about the playing). The whole idea of making such a project is great, yet I am not sure that the ideal place should have been the hall of Mishkenot Shaananim and not the School’s facilities.
 
After I changed my review, Lady R was happy from the result. The question of how to make negative criticism in a productive and not destructive manner is an important one. When I did a course on how to lecture in higher education, in Royal Holloway, University of London, we were told that a criticism should start and end with positive remarks. This gives the students a feeling that not everything is black. I truly think that what the student performers did has value.
 
As students, they probably were very busy with other duties. They may not have had too much experience with performing Schoenberg’s music. Some of the movements were reasonable. Nevertheless, I do think that with a few more rehearsals, and with listening to recordings, they could highly improve the result.
 
There is also value in presenting criticism to young performers. Without knowing where one can improve, one cannot advance and do it better next time. This, however, should be conducted in a gentle manner.
 
What do you think? Was my review too harsh? Is there a better way to write things when there is a chance that students will read it? Feel free to comment in the form below.

 


 

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A student performance of Schoenberg’s String Quartets

A student performance of Schoenberg’s String Quartets

Two days ago I stumbled upon a message via Titter saying that there will be a concert with the first movements of the four String Quartets by Schoenberg. After each lecture there will be a short lecture. I decided to attend the concert that occurred yesterday. The lecturers and the student performers were from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. 

The basic idea for the concert is brilliant: play only the first movement from each String Quartet and let the audience hear things that cannot be usually heard in concerts. There were two quartet groups. The first played from the String Quartets 1 and 3 and second group played no. 2 and 4. This could grant the listeners a perspective on the creativity and development of Schoenberg though most of his life. It also granted the students an opportunity to focus on a reasonable task.

It would not be fair to judge a student concert with the same criteria as with more professional performers. It is true that this music is not easy to perform. Nevertheless, there are some things that I would expect also from students of an Academy (this is one of the two highest education institutes for performers in Israel.


 

When the first quartet group started to play I felt physical pain. I know this music quite well from listening to various CDs. I especially adore the performances of the Kolisch Quartet (see the two videos below) and the Lasalle Quartet. I do not expect that the students will play on the level of these excellent quartets. However, I felt that they were simply distorting the music. It seemed to me that they were struggling to play the right notes. There was no groove and no sense of feeling to the various sections of the first movement of String Quartet No. 1. It seemed to me that they did not enjoy playing the music.

The second quartet group was better. I even had a few moments were I enjoyed to listen to the first movement of the Second String Quartet. It was easy to notice that most of the performers, if not all of them, enjoyed the music making. The first violinist (I am not sure whether it was Yuval Herz or Shachar Pooyae) was especially good. They too had some problems with intonation (especially when they started to play) yet the difference between the groups was prominent during the whole concert, especially due to the fact that they played alternately. However, with the second group one could start feeling an interpretation and ensemble playing. The problems of intonation were less important, since they gave the audience the impression that they feel and breathe the music. For me, this is much more important than aspects such as hitting right notes during performance. In short, Yuval Herz, Shachar Pooyae – violin, Willy Zaikin – viola and Daniela Shemer – cello, proved that students can make music on a high level. Yet, even this group had to stop playing in the middle of the performance of the Fourth Quartet. Next time, give the music a few more rehearsals and you will avoid such embarrassing situations.

The lectures were not interesting. The big problem with the lectures was not the mistakes of some of the four lecturers (it is not Robert Kolisch, but Rudolf Kolish), or some of the things that I would never dare to write in public (the program notes actually argued that Schoenberg had a basic musical education! I hope that they meant that he was an autodidact), but they attempted to speak about the music by using anecdotic tales (the Second Quartet and Schoenberg’s wife’s affair with the painter Gerstel) or analyze the music in terms that simply no one could follow (these were moments were some of these people simply slept. The problem was that some of the people were music analysts themselves!). It was absurd that one of the lecturers quoted a letter from Schoenberg to Rudolf Kolisch were he argued that counting the tones in a twelve tone composition is speaking about how the music is built and not about what the music actually is. This was exactly the problem with the lectures. They did not grant the listeners any information that helped them enjoy the music in a better way.


The problem with such concerts is that they give a very bad reputation to the music of Schoenberg, to both the audience and the students. Although the basic idea of the concert was very good, I would recommend that the lectures be much shorter (originally planned for five minutes) and focus on one or two ideas that all of the audience can understand. I would suggest that the students will listen to recordings of famous performers and try to understand what this music is about, before attempting to play it in public.

In short, the feeling was not that of a concert, but of sitting and listening to a rehearsal of under-rehearsed music. I suddenly understood why Schoenberg insisted on many rehearsals. It was clear to me how a bad performance can distort the music. It does not matter whether you like or hate Schoenberg. Listening to an under-rehearsed performance of his music can leave you only with a very negative and general impression. It is simply not the same thing.

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Share your formative performance experiences

Share your formative performance experiences

 
Most people who decided to dedicate their life to music have formative experiences as performers. You do not need to be a professional performer to have experiences as a performer that will stay with you all your life. I had such an experience when I played as a lead guitarist in a high-school rock band (we called ourselves: The Alleycats) , when I was about 15 years old.
 
I remember our first performance in my parent’s garden. There were about fifty people listening to our group. The band started playing and I improvised on my electric guitar. I remember the feeling of pressing the strings with my left hand. Each vibrato seemed like touching butter. It was physical pleasure playing these notes and I will not forget that I wanted to extend each note and each moment of this pure pleasure. I think that the whole experience was not more than one or two minutes, yet to me it seemed like eternity.
 
People have different experiences that they carry for many years. Often, these experience, which are related in various ways to performance, may change their lifes. I am very interested in such experiences and I would like to encourage you to share them with me and the readers of my blog.
 
 

 

Various performance experiences

The experience that I mentioned above is a very personal one and it is hard to communicate it to others. In fact, since it was more than 20 years ago (time flys…), it might have changed (Primo Levi speaks about the way our memories change). Your performance experiences might be very different. Here are a few possibilities:

Learning to play the piano as a child. Hitting the keys with your mother listening.

Playing together with a famous performer.

Playing together with someone dear to you.

Playing a certain of your favorite composer.

Playing at a certain important event (your marrige?).

The list can go on and on…


Share your experiences now

 
I would like to offer this blog post as a stage for musicians who had formative experiences during performance. Please consider sharing them with us. If you have an internet site with an About page (or a similar page on someone’s else website), please add a link to it so that people who read this post, will know more about you. Share with us your formative performance experience now (by filling the comments form below). Thank you!  
 

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Save the Music Library in Tel-Aviv - sign petition now!

A few heartless people in the Tel-Aviv City Hall aim to close the Music Library in Tel-Aviv (Felicia Blumental Library) by gradually reducting its budget. Please take two minutes and sign the petition here in order to help preventing this. Please forward the address of this page to as many people that you know so that they will sign and help.

I am doing research at this library (on Huberman) on a weekly basis. I can assure you that it contains cutural treasures such as the Huberman Nachlass as well as that of many other international and Israeli musical figures. We must spread this information and find as many people as possible that will sign the petition so that the Library’s cutural treasures will not be lost.

I suggested to some people who are concerned that it would be very useful to arrange a concert in protest of the decision. If you are a musician in Israel, please contact me if you are willing to perform in such a concert. If you are a musician out of Israel you may consider making an internet performance on YOUTUBE adding that it is for this cause (if you do so, let me know about it, and I will add it to my blog).

Here is more information in Hebrew:

בימים אלה נדונה בעיריית תל-אביב האפשרות של קיצוץ דרמטי בתקנים העומדים לרשותה של הספרייה למוזיקה (במרכז למוזיקה ע"ש פליציה בלומנטל). ייתכן מאוד שהתקנים ושעות העבודה שייוותרו אחרי הקיצוץ יורידו משמעותית את תפקודה של הספרייה לשפל שאינו מאפשר שירות  מקצועי  ואחראי; למעשה  -  בטווח קצר או ארוך קצת יותר  -  למצב שבו אין עוד טעם בעצם קיומה של הספרייה, ולסגירתה .

כל מי שנעזר בשירותיה של הספרייה למוזיקה, וכל מי שבקי בחשיבותן  בתפקידיהן המגוונים ובדרכים שבהן אמורות ספריות מסוג זה לשרת את הקהל הפוטנציאלי שלהן, מבין שצוות מינימום ובו שני ספרנים בלבד (ובמונחים יבשים של מצבת כוח-אדם  -  ספרן-וחצי ), הממונה לבדו על אוספים גדולים מאוד של ספרים, פרטיטורות ישנות וחדשות, תקליטים ,דיסקים, כמה וכמה ארכיונים (בהם ארכיון ברוניסלב הוברמן ועזבונותיהם של יהויכין סטוצ’בסקי ומנשה רבינא) ואוסף מיוחד של כלי-נגינה   -  צוות מינימום כזה אינו אלא ‘עלה תאנה’. בשעות  העבודה ובשעות הפתיחה המעטות שיאפשרו התקנים החדשים , הנדונים עתה בעירייה, עשוי צוות כזה לבצע רק מינימום של השגחה על הבניין ועל המלאי שבתוכו. הרי הספרייה, שצברה ותק וניסיון מאז שנות החמישים , אינה מתמקדת ב’תצוגת חומרים’ בלבד ולא רק בהשאלה-כשלעצמה. הקהל המגוון שלה (מתל-אביב ומחוץ לתל-אביב)  - סטודנטים שהספרייה מציעה להם, לא פעם , תווים והקלטות שאינם נמצאים באוניברסיטה ובמכללה; תלמידים במגמות מוזיקה; מורי מוזיקה בבתי-ספר ומורים לכלי נגינה; נגנים, מנצחים וזמרים וכן חובבי מוזיקה רבים נזקק כמעט תמיד לשירות מקיף, מה גם שחומרי הספרייה (שלא כמו בספריות ציבוריות כגון בית-אריאלה) אינם מוצגים, ואינם יכולים להיות מוצגים, באופן חופשי על המדפים. השירות המקיף כולל, לעתים קרובות, יעוץ, הפניה והמלצה מפורטת (איזה ספר , איזו פרטיטורה, איזו הקלטה, איזה ביצוע מוקלט, מתאימים לצורך ספציפי, למורה מסוים או לסטודנט מסוים או למבצע מסוים, והיכן מוצאים אותם), מתן עזרה בשימוש במכשירי ההאזנה, סיוע לתלמידים ולחוקרים בהתמצאות בחומרים שהספרייה מציעה.  שירות זה הוא לב-לבה של הספרייה למוזיקה; הוא דורש צוות סביר ושעות עבודה ופתיחה סבירות ; ויתור עליו  - כמוהו כסגירת הספרייה, ותקני-המינימום הנדונים בעיריית תל-אביב - אכן פירושם ויתור וסגירה .

אנו פונים לכל מקבלי ההחלטות בעירייה לשקול היטב את משמעותו של קיצוץ קיצוני ולא להוציא אותו אל הפועל .

אנא, צרפו את חתימתכם לעצומה זו . 

http://www.atzuma.co.il/musiclibrary

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Research proposal for the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant

The Avenir Foundation-Research Grant

 
Last week I received the following wonderful news from The Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna concerning the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant:
 
Dear Avior,

With pleasure I am writing to you to inform you about our decision to support your research projects by providing an Avenir stipend for travel and accommodation in Vienna/Moedling.

Support for the Research Grants will include:
Housing at the Schoenberg-House in Moedling for a four-week period;
Public transportation passes to and from the Schoenberg-House in Moedling to the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna as well as transportation within Vienna;
Per diem allowance;
Transportation allowance to assist in travel to and from Vienna.

 
The news made me very happy since it will help me finish two books. The following is the research proposal that I have submitted on 3 September 2009 to the Arnold Schoenberg Center:
 

From Dr. Avior Byron, Musicology Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

To Dr. Christian Meyer, Director of the Arnold Schoenberg Center

 

Research proposal for the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant:

I would like to come to the Schoenberg center for one month during August 2010. The aim of the research trip is to work on two books. I am applying for a 2 week grant for my Oxford book (Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance) and an additional 2 week grant for a second book entitled Schoenberg and Performance: Changing Interpretive Perspectives. In the following I describe the contents of both books.

 

A. Plan for the book Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance

I have signed a contract for editing a book on Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance, which is the fourth out of nine volumes called Schoenberg in Words: Teachings, Correspondence and other Writings (1890-1951), (Oxford University Press).

The main aim of the research trip is to examine the documents listed below and to search for further documents that could be included in this book.

Book description: This volume will be the first published collection and translation devoted to Schoenberg’s writings on performance. Only a handful of these commentaries have appeared in the editions of Style and Idea (1975, 1984). Indeed, from 1923 to 1951, Schoenberg wrote more than thirty manuscripts, two of which he targeted for a proposed book project. Some of these works are reactions to concerts that he heard or reviews or essays that he read, while others discuss the philosophical nature of performance itself. Although they do not deal exclusively with performance, selected correspondence with various musicians often makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of specific works.

My introduction to the text will engage the primary concepts of Schoenberg’s aesthetics of performance —crucially, the impact of his notion of musical idea on interpretation and the role of the performer in relation to the composer and the score itself. The writings will divide chronologically into three parts (1909-18, 1919-32, 1933-51), which reflect certain changes of attitude toward performances during his career. For example, he strongly altered his views in America where his pieces lacked appropriate venues. Although Schoenberg’s notions of the aesthetics of performance do not define a school of thought that others may readily follow, his ideas contribute to a refined interpretation of his music and the classical canon.

The grand will help me examine the following letters and writings as well as find other ones that might be relevant for the book.

MANUSCRIPTS TO BE CONSULTED AND EXCERPTED: (230 PAGES)

c. 1900  Das Opern- und Konzertpublikum und seine Führer [The Opera- and Concert-Public and Its Leaders, from ‘Seven Fragments’]

1904 Prospectus for the Society of Creative Musicians
1909 Letter to Busoni concerning Op. 11
1909 Tempo annotations on the performance score of his String Quartet, Op. 10
1912 (revision 1948) Excerpt from ‘Gustav Mahler’, about Mahler as conductor.

1912 Berlin Diary about not identifying a clarinet playing in a wrong transposition.
Post 1917 Excerpt from Schoenberg’s annotations on Busoni’s Entwurf einer neuen Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Outline of a New Aesthetic of Music).

1914 Schoenberg’s introduction to Pierrot lunaire
1918 Prospectus of the Society for Private Musical Performances
1920 Letter to Berg and other students
1920 Letter to Erwin Stein
1922 Letter to the singer Marya Freund
1922 Letter concerning Copenhagen performers
1922 Letter to Varèse
1923  Zur Notenschriften ["On notation"]
1923 Vortragszeichen ["Performance indications"]
1923  Noten-Bilder-Schrift ["Pictorial notation"]
1923  Der Moderne Klavierauszug ["The modern piano reduction"]
1923 letter to Josef Rufer
c. 1923 or 1924 Zur Vortragslehre ["For a treatise on performance"]
1924 Zu einigen Punkten der Frage, ob man Krammermusik dirigiren soll ["One point about the question whether on should conduct chamber music"]
1924  Eine neue Zwölfton-Schrift ["A new twelve-tone notation"]
1926 Mechanische Musikinstrumente ("Mechanical Musical Instruments")
1926 Zur Metronomisierung ["On metronome markings"]  

1927 Schoenberg to Stein
1929 Musikalische Dynamik ["Musical dynamics"]
1929 Das ist eine seichte Auffassung ["This is a shallow conception"]
1929 Ein "Urheberrecht nachsch-affender Künstler" ("A ‘Copyright for performers’")
1930?
Splitter (shortened form of Gedankensplitter. Aphorisms on opera)
1931  Revolution Evolution (Notierung – Vorzeichen) ["Revolution-evolution, notation (accidentals)"]
1931  Raumton, Vibrato, Radio, etc. ["Tone space, vibrato, radio, etc."]
1931  Phrasierung ["Phrasing"]
1934  Vortrag und Gestalt ["Performance and Gestalt’]
1934  Triolen und Quartolen bei Brahms und Bach ["Triplets and quadruplets in Brahms and Bach"]
Post 1934 Tempo
1936 Schoenberg answered Columbia by telegraph concerning recording of Pierrot lunaire

Late 1930s – Early 1940s EXPRESSION music was from the very beginning…

1939 manuscript with Schoenberg’s claim that critics and conductors were creating a conspiracy against him

1940 letter to Moses Smith concerning recording of  recording of Pierrot lunaire

 1940 letter to Fritz Stiedry and Erika Stiedry-Wagner
c. 1940  Das Vibrato hat man in meiner Jugend  ["in my youth the vibrato was called…"]
1941 letter to Stein ‘… though Mrs. Stiedry is never in pitch’
c. August 1944 Koussevitzki-Toscanini
c. 1945 Musical notation is done in rebusses …
post-1945 Theory of Performance
1946 May I state that knowing records, I realized that their performers…
1947 Before Musical notation
1948 Today’s Manner of Performing Classical Music
1949 For the Radio Broadcast of the String Trio
1949  Ich glaube den Anfang von Pelleas ["I believe that the start of Pelleas"]
1949 To Twelve American Conductors
1949 Letter to Steuermann
1949 letter to Daniel Ruyneman

1949 letter to Hans Rosbaud
1950 Letter about Rudolf Kolisch
1950 Letter to Basil Douglas
1951 Letter to Thor Johnson

 

B. Plan for the book Schoenberg and Performance: Changing Interpretive Perspectives.

This book focuses on Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice as a conductor in relation to the various cultural and social environments in which he lived. It also examines historical recordings from the early interpretive history of Schoenberg’s music. In Part I examine Schoenberg’s history as a performer. I suggest that the common notion that Schoenberg was an unaccomplished conductor was often tainted by issues unrelated to his performance technique. Part II focuses on Schoenberg’s writings. There is a discussion of some of the basic conceptions concerning his performance aesthetics and I inspect his performance-related writings (articles, unpublished manuscripts and letters). I argue that Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics significantly changed during his life.

Part III and IV contain several case studies focusing on Schoenberg’s practice. I examine Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4, dating from his tonal period, and Suite, Op. 29 as well as the Piano Piece, Op. 33a from his twelve-tone period and claim that several key factors affected Schoenberg’s performance practice. Part IV is dedicated to Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21 from the atonal period. There is a detailed discussion of the Sprechstimme enigma (how should the voice perform it?). I examine for the first time the test pressings for the commercial recording. This sheds new light on how Stiedry-Wagner and Schoenberg performed the Sprechstimme in his 1940 commercial recording of the piece. A comparison is made between a broadcast that I have recently discovered and the famous 1940 commercial recording of the piece, showing significant differences between the two. I end this part by suggesting criteria for evaluating Sprechstimme performances and examining early recordings of performers from the 1950s.

Part V includes a review and analysis of video and audio performance of Schoenberg that can be obtained only via the internet. The jump to the twentieth century will grant the reader a perspective to what direction the interpretation of Schoenberg’s music is going to.

Part VI evaluates Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice from a large perspective. In chapter 11 I examine whether Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice shed new light on the analysis of his music. In the final chapter I examine the relation between Schoenberg’s practice as a conductor (Parts III and IV) and his performance aesthetic (Part II), and I point out some of the problems and challenges that it presents to one who wishes to interpret Schoenberg.

 

I will need access to performance manuscripts and I will try to find more performance related manuscripts. Access to the library as well as to early recordings of Pierrot lunaire will also be of great importance.

 
Plan of book chapters:

Acknowledgments
Lists of tables, figures, examples and sound examples
List of Abbreviations
Preface

Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1. Demystifying Schoenberg’s conducting

 
Part II: Aesthetics

Chapter 2. Basic performance conceptions
Chapter 3. Schoenberg’s writings on performance

Chapter 4. Comparison of Schoenberg’s and Adorno’s performance aesthetics  

Part III: Ideas in Practice - compositions from the 1920s
Chapter 5. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
Chapter 6. Suite, Op. 29
Chapter 7. Piano Piece, Op. 33a, early performances, 1950s-1960s


Part IV: Ideas in Practice - Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21
Chapter 8. Schoenberg’s broadcast and commercial recording
Chapter 9. Sprechstimme reconsidered

Chapter 10. Evaluating Sprechstimme - early performances, 1940s-1950s

Part V: Performing Schoenberg on the internet
Chapter 11. Video and audio performances on the web
 

Part VI: Evaluation
Chapter 12. Analysis and performance
Chapter 13. On interpreting Schoenberg

Appendices
Interview with Dika Newlin

Excerpts from an interview with Schoenberg’s children

Bibliography
Discography

 

Related posts

Arnlod Schoenberg spoke to me in a dream

Evaluating Sprechstimme: what early recordings tell us - the chapter

Cats performing Schoenberg Piano Piece Op. 11 - a must!

Early Performances of Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21 Research Proposal

Artur Schnabel and Schoenberg’s Performance Aesthetics and Practice

Bjork singing Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire

The Schoenberg Archive in Vienna

A letter from Oxford University Press: Schoenberg’s Writings on Performance

Email interview with Schoenberg’s Children

Conference paper: Schoenberg’s or Adorno’s Performance Aesthetics?

 

Blogging researcher at the British Library

Blogging researcher at the British Library

The following was published in an internal newletter of the British Library:

In August Israeli musicologist and composer Avior Byron was awarded one of the Library’s prestigious Edison Fellowships to carry out research on Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

He found the British Library facilities to be of great help in his continuing research that combined the examination of sound recordings from CDs, LPs and the Library’s SoundServer with printed scores and printed books.

 

Schoenberg’s music sounded very modern in its day and still has the power to shock. Pierrot Lunaire is a setting of poems for voice and chamber group, except the voice does not sing, but intones the text to approximate pitches using Sprechstimme – the ‘spoken voice’.

Dr Byron’s analysis used special visualisation software in the Sound Archive to reveal that the pitch of the voice suggested bySchoenberg’s score in fact varies with each performer. 

He commented: “This is the most advanced software I have seen for analysing recordings.

I find it very useful for hearing very short extracts of music repeatedly as in a loop.  It provides opportunities to see sound representations and hear things that are not discernable during normal listening to recordings.”

Dr Byron has shared his findings through his blog and Twitter even using ‘tweets’ to take research notes. “The blog gives me more space than Twitter to express myself, yet it is still less formal than academic publishing in journals and books.

It was surprising and encouraging to see how people in the British Library were enthusiastic about my tweeting. It certainly shows that the British Library is in the forefront of technology.”

Richard Ranft, Head of the Sound Archive, comments: “as part of a review of the S&C directorate, staff have been preparing scenarios on future research use of the Library’s collections and services. 

Dr Byron’s research methods, his needs for a variety of analogue and digital sources and his sharing with fellow academics worldwide of his discoveries online and in real-time, is a powerful example of how researcher behaviour is changing.”

For more information about the Edison Fellowships please contact Jonathan Summers

 

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Evaluating Sprechstimme: what early recordings tell us - the chapter

The New European Ensemble needs funding. Can you help?

How the British Library Sounds Archive helped my research

Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell us

Follow my research on Pierrot lunaire early recording live on Twitter

Early Performances of Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21 Research Proposal

How to become a freelance musicologist

Where to publish online articles on music: journals review

 

How Twitter helped my research on music

How Twitter helped my research on music

During most of August 2009 I made a trip to the British Library in order to do research on early recordings of Pierrot lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg. The trip was funded by the British Library (see how the British Library helped my research). During this trip I started to use Twitter (read here why I used Twitter). You can read here the result of my research trip.

I admit that using Twitter was fun. It helped me writing notes and the idea that people are reading it as I write was great… This helps one be less alone in the archive than one usually feels. I made some friends that still follow me on twitter. I am now doing some research on Huberman and I just received this message as a result of my Twitting:

neweuropean@avior Could you post the letter Joachim wrote for Huberman on your blog. Would love to read the text. We’re Huberman fanatics!

 The British Library was very exited from the fact that I was Twitting around and they interviewed me for their internal newspaper. The  "New Eurpean Enseble" wrote to me that they are working on a recording of Schoenberg and I offered to write the sleeve notes for their recording, They were exited by the idea. Many of my followers retwitted some of my twitts and this gave them even more exposure.

 

Twittes during my research trip:

The following can give you some idea about what was in my mind during that period. Some of the twittes are boring some are interesting. Some may give you an idea when I discovered interesting things some are meaningful only for me.

The twittes start from the end to the start.

 

  1. Here is the chapter I just finished on Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, Sprechstimme and early recordings http://twurl.nl/2do3qi9:36 PM Aug 29th from TweetDeck
  2. Still recovering from the flight from London to Israel. Good to be at home in Mazkeret Batya. Although it is too hot here.9:26 PM Aug 29th from TweetDeck
  3. From Blog: http://bit.ly/1P00eX6:28 AM Aug 29th from twitterfeed
  4. Result of Edison fellowship, British Library. Pierrot lunaire: ‘Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell’ http://twurl.nl/xikqvg6:13 PM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  5. Mé jméno je Avior10:18 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  6. טוב לחזור לישראל אחרי חודש באנגליה. אני כמו בבית.10:15 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  7. Just discovered TweetDeck. Looks very good.10:07 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  8. I hate flying on airplanes9:13 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  9. #rememberwhen we used LPs?8:59 AM Aug 28th from web
  10. #rememberwhen there were no mobil phones?8:59 AM Aug 28th from web
  11. Pl show support and tell others! #GiladShalit held captive by Hamas terrorists 3yrs - no humanitarian aid. Use #GiladShalit tag T …8:57 AM Aug 28th from web
  12. Arrived to Israel safely. It’s good to be home.8:56 AM Aug 28th from web
  13. Heading tomorrow back to Israel.8:16 PM Aug 26th from web
  14. The British Library staff were very kind and helpful. What I found here really helped my research on Sprechstimme and Pierrot luanire.8:16 PM Aug 26th from web
  15. Finished writing my chapter draft on "Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell us". A must for anyone interested in Pierrot!8:15 PM Aug 26th from web
  16. Just finished my research trip in the British Library on Schoenberg’s early recordings of Pierrot lunaire. Found very interesting things.8:14 PM Aug 26th from web
  17. Reading a very interesting article by Jane Manning in TEMPO on Pierrot lunaire6:22 PM Aug 26th from web
  18. Free Gilad #giladshalit6:21 PM Aug 26th from web
  19. My debt to England ♫ http://blip.fm/~cbzen2:27 PM Aug 26th from Blip.fm
  20. Possible my next victime ♫ http://blip.fm/~cbz212:12 PM Aug 26th from Blip.fm
  21. Writing the conclusion to my chapter on early recording of Pierrot lunaire in the British Library ♫ http://blip.fm/~cbyz72:09 PM Aug 26th from Blip.fm
  22. Breath with me ♫ http://blip.fm/~cbycd1:37 PM Aug 26th from Blip.fm
  23. ‘in “Parodie,” a doubly inverted canon at the half bar is developed between the voice and piccolo, and clarinet and viola. What about it?’12:32 PM Aug 26th from web
  24. My research tips and ‘How to’ page. Check out bymusic.org resources: http://www.bymusic.org/reso…11:40 AM Aug 26th from web
  25. From Blog: The New European Ensemble needs funding While I started to document my notes on Twitter dur.. http://bit.ly/11i5qT6:09 AM Aug 26th from twitterfeed
  26. The New European Ensemble needs funding. Can you help? http://tinyurl.com/mbsc7r6:13 PM Aug 25th from web
  27. Links to free scans of musical scores http://bit.ly/3ypTMp Do you know any other interesting sites?5:07 PM Aug 25th from web
  28. http://bit.ly/IGb2f Bronislaw Huberman3:18 PM Aug 25th from web
  29. Thinking seriously to write an article on Bronislaw Huberman3:18 PM Aug 25th from web
  30. Arnold Schoenberg as a painter http://bit.ly/L0JXX2:42 PM Aug 25th from web
  31. Almost got killed yesterday when the wheel of our car feel down just suddenly!2:27 PM Aug 25th from web
  32. It seems to me that record reviews are seen by many critics only as a documentation of the "real" thing, which is thought to be the concert.1:48 PM Aug 25th from web
  33. Finished reading David Metzer’s article "The New York Reception of Pierrot lunaire: The 1923 Premiere and Its Aftermath".1:45 PM Aug 25th from web
  34. @neweuropean Send me 200-500 words on your ensemble, aims and need for funds, and I will put it on my blog. Perhaps it might help.1:43 PM Aug 25th from web in reply to neweuropean
  35. Prof. Jonathan Dunsby just commented on my post 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research http://tinyurl.com/kuwyam6:07 PM Aug 24th from web
  36. Finished the first draft of my chapter: "Evaluating Sprechstimme: what early recordings tell us"5:46 PM Aug 24th from web
  37. It may be concluded that all four performers change their Sprechstimme at certain places due to the text.3:18 PM Aug 24th from web
  38. The Sonic Visualizer helps you to slow down small performance gestures and understand what exactly the performers do there.1:13 PM Aug 24th from web
  39. This research is proceeding much smoother than the one I did in Berlin.1:09 PM Aug 24th from web
  40. Finding interesting things in Spectogram comparison of early vocal performances of Pierrot lunaire.1:08 PM Aug 24th from web
  41. Interesting blog post of Pierrot http://bit.ly/98FRQ11:22 AM Aug 24th from web
  42. From Blog: 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research   In this essay I will give a fe.. http://bit.ly/D1dCY2:39 AM Aug 24th from twitterfeed
  43. The thing that bothers me most in my current writing is how to create value.1:39 AM Aug 24th from web
  44. Find resources for music research: http://www.bymusic.org/reso…1:33 AM Aug 24th from web
  45. This is for all of the Jews that are following me. Byron’s web publications on Judaism http://bit.ly/1d3Xfk1:27 AM Aug 24th from web
  46. 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic #research http://tiny.cc/LRJQM12:56 AM Aug 24th from web
  47. From Blog: Second thoughts: the higher education jobs situation in Israel     .. http://bit.ly/1aHhqc12:21 AM Aug 23rd from twitterfeed
  48. Going home for #Shabbat6:46 PM Aug 21st from web
  49. Starting to write about pitch analysis of the Sprechstimme in Pierrot lunaire (early performances).5:29 PM Aug 21st from web
  50. Thanks to @Gruven_Reuven I do Daily Tehillim reading. Gruven, your a #GoodJew5:26 PM Aug 21st from web
  51. @Gruven_ReuvenDaily Tehillim Reading 01-Elul: Chapter 1-9: English=> http://tinyurl.com/lrvj7a Hebrew=> http://tinyurl.com/nvhhrx5:25 PM Aug 21st from web
  52. Going to eat something4:54 PM Aug 21st from web
  53. Interview with Xenakis http://tinyurl.com/ldsu2l4:11 PM Aug 21st from web
  54. @cos2 Do you have the journal Musical America 5-56, p. 34? We do not have it here at the British library.3:48 PM Aug 21st from web
  55. The conductors ofr some of the early recordings are doing very interesting things with regards to tempo.3:46 PM Aug 21st from web
  56. @jupiterjenkins Good luck with the gig3:41 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to jupiterjenkins
  57. @operacat Are you also messing around with Pierrot?2:56 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to operacat
  58. @kos2 I checked out already contemporaneous reviews of the recordings2:55 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to kos2
  59. I also spoke about balance… what else can I write about?1:34 PM Aug 21st from web
  60. I spoke about sound qulity, voice colour, tempo, room resonance… what else?1:33 PM Aug 21st from web
  61. @Gruven_Reuven You could write En>link He>link12:41 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  62. Tempo difference partially explains the positive reaction and consensus of the critics with regards to Semser’s performance.12:40 PM Aug 21st from web
  63. Checking the voice types of the voices in the early recordings http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…12:10 PM Aug 21st from web
  64. I would like to first write about they the first or general impression of these early recordings is so different.11:52 AM Aug 21st from web
  65. Address the question of why Leibowitz recorded Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire twice during the 1950s11:30 AM Aug 21st from web
  66. There are so many types of interpretation from the very start.11:28 AM Aug 21st from web
  67. Why an I listening to early recordings?11:27 AM Aug 21st from web
  68. A live performance of Pierrot http://bit.ly/aisHm11:16 AM Aug 21st from web
  69. Going to breakfest at the British Library cafe. Taking performances score of 4 early recordings of Pierrot (my notations). Ideas pls come.11:12 AM Aug 21st from web
  70. Jist had a cup of coffee with Daniel Leech Wilkinson http://www.kcl.ac.uk/school…6:11 PM Aug 20th from web
  71. Going to have a coffie. Too much Schoenberg music.5:26 PM Aug 20th from web
  72. Started writing about those early recordings. What is the point that I want to say?5:01 PM Aug 20th from web
  73. This best way to start the section is to just write about it as if I am telling it to a non-specaillist friend. What is really interesting?4:50 PM Aug 20th from web
  74. @Gruven_Reuven So you know what to do from now on…4:34 PM Aug 20th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  75. I have a small creativity breakdown with writing about the rare recordings of Pierrot lunaire4:25 PM Aug 20th from web
  76. @Gruven_Reuven Do you have Rambam in Hebrew too?4:22 PM Aug 20th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  77. Finished writing the part about reviews of early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire1:50 PM Aug 20th from web
  78. Prof. Milan Slavický from the Czech Republic died. He was a very kind person. May he rest in peace. http://www.musica.cz/slavic…11:30 AM Aug 20th from web
  79. Had to pay to use the New York Time archive. Not fun.6:21 PM Aug 19th from web
  80. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 4, op. 58, G major. Ancerl, Karel, 1908-1973. Pálenicek, Josef, (piano). http://tinyurl.com/letgxj4:57 PM Aug 19th from web
  81. Just discovered that the British Library Sound Archive has lots of rare recordings online http://tinyurl.com/ak4hz54:49 PM Aug 19th from web
  82. I’m not so crazy about Ethel Semser’s Pierrot lunaire.4:03 PM Aug 19th from web
  83. @jtanews I can usderstand why the number of Israeli doctors is dropping. The academie is always crying "we have no budget". So people go.3:59 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to jtanews
  84. @ahoova Enjoyed that one!3:56 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to ahoova
  85. Listening to rare recording of Barbara Sukowa on BBC 1989 - she is more wild than anything i’ve heard. A real meshuge.3:47 PM Aug 19th from web
  86. @Gruven_Reuven I usually study 10 minutes of Mishne Tora before Shacharit. Short and sweat like Twitter.1:46 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  87. Fanfare, April 1993: ‘Jeanne Héricard is more relaxed and sensible …; we gain in comprehension but lose some of the neuroticism’12:46 PM Aug 19th from web
  88. @Gruven_Reuven How many sources do you learn on an every-day basis (like daily study of Tehilim?)12:01 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  89. High Fidelity on Leibowitz and Ethel Semser: ‘the most beautiful Pierrot lunaire… more beautiful than I thought Pierrot could be…’11:58 AM Aug 19th from web
  90. From Blog: How the British Library Sounds Archive helped my research     I was ask.. http://bit.ly/417Uo11:42 AM Aug 19th from twitterfeed
  91. Need to think about a new subject for research. Something completely new.7:00 PM Aug 18th from web
  92. Need to write a book proposal7:00 PM Aug 18th from web
  93. Tomorrow will write about reviews of these early recordings.6:59 PM Aug 18th from web
  94. Listening to Christine Schafer sing Pierrot. Very sexy performance.6:54 PM Aug 18th from web
  95. From Blog: Evaluating Sprechstimme – what early recordings tell us Before writing my new chapter.. http://bit.ly/19TyyC6:29 PM Aug 17th from twitterfeed
  96. After discussing the recordings I will present reviews of these recordings and discuss how these reviewers evaluate them.5:14 PM Aug 17th from web
  97. Already changed the structure of my chapter. The reviews of early recordings will be dealt with separtly as an issue in itself.5:14 PM Aug 17th from web
  98. Wrote 981 words of my ‘Evaluating Sprechstimme’ chapter5:13 PM Aug 17th from web
  99. Martha Elliot: "…But whether the composers would ultimately approve of this approach remains unanswerable". Very good!4:46 PM Aug 17th from web
  100. Martha Elliott: ‘singers today can come closer than many of the original performers to what these composers actually asked for…’4:45 PM Aug 17th from web
  101. @Gruven_Reuven Do you read it in English?4:19 PM Aug 17th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  102. Czech for a moment ♫ http://blip.fm/~bucy73:20 PM Aug 17th from Blip.fm
  103. Writing, writing and writing3:18 PM Aug 17th from web
  104. mmmm ♫ http://blip.fm/~bucbl2:59 PM Aug 17th from Blip.fm
  105. Long live Schoenberg ♫ http://blip.fm/~bubpy2:38 PM Aug 17th from Blip.fm
  106. Starting to write my chapter on "Evaluating Sprechstimme – what early recordings tell us"2:35 PM Aug 17th from web
  107. Is anyone really following my research on Twitter? Going to eat.2:13 PM Aug 17th from web
  108. Drafted a chapter structure: http://bit.ly/H00ST2:08 PM Aug 17th from web
  109. Attempt to finish today the first part of the chapter: reviewing Bryn-Julson’s argument. My arguement for liberal informed interpretations1:43 PM Aug 17th from web
  110. I will use reviews of these recordings in order to show what other people hear1:42 PM Aug 17th from web
  111. Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell us1:41 PM Aug 17th from web
  112. I will probably call the chapter: Evaluating Sprechstimme1:41 PM Aug 17th from web
  113. The middle of chapter will explain why early recordings and show what they actually do there.1:39 PM Aug 17th from web
  114. Will conclude chapter with what could be criteria (apart for pitch fidelity) for evaluating Sprechstimme interpretations.1:39 PM Aug 17th from web
  115. I will start the chapter by reviewing Bryn-Julson’s argument. Put forward my arguement for liberal informed interpretations….1:36 PM Aug 17th from web
  116. Books, Articles, Conferences and Seminars that quoted work by Avior Byron http://bit.ly/2z4fgl1:05 PM Aug 17th from web
  117. I will point to various aspects that could be considered when building a Sprechstimme interpretation in Pierrot lunaire.12:07 PM Aug 17th from web
  118. My chapter will bring evidence from early recordings on a variety of interpretation, all which are "correct" by very good performers.12:07 PM Aug 17th from web
  119. It will advocate an informed liberal interpretation of the work in general and Sprechstimme in particular.12:06 PM Aug 17th from web
  120. Today I will start writing my new chapter on Pierrot lunaire and early recordings.12:05 PM Aug 17th from web
  121. From Blog: On rabbits and pigs When did you see for the last time a job post from the music department.. http://bit.ly/2NBthO2:09 PM Aug 15th from twitterfeed
  122. Shabbat Shalom6:34 PM Aug 14th from web
  123. I will start next Monday to write my chapter on early performances of Pierrot lunaire.6:34 PM Aug 14th from web
  124. Read Dunsby’s go on Parodie. I like what and how he write.6:33 PM Aug 14th from web
  125. Reading what Aidan Soder writes of Pierrot. Very interesting.5:26 PM Aug 14th from web
  126. Tempo of 4 recordings is slower than notated. Even that of Schoenberg conducting (which is the fastest). Sch approved his recorded tempos.4:51 PM Aug 14th from web
  127. @rabbikopans Gobbel it all up quickly4:05 PM Aug 14th from web in reply to rabbikopans
  128. Ellen Adler’s attempts to perform right pitches are the most successful from the 4 singers, yet she too is not singing always "correctly".12:50 PM Aug 14th from web
  129. Being interviewed for the British Library newsletter12:07 PM Aug 14th from web
  130. Ellen Adler is singing the notated pitch most accurately with comparison to the other early singers6:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  131. Ethel Semser also gives her self great liberty. She does the opposite than Stiedy-Wagner in the first two notes of the song6:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  132. Jeanne Hericard is even freer than Stiedry Wagner. She keeps a very general relation to notated pitch.6:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  133. Stiedry-Wagner usually starts with the right tone yet let herself go freely to un-notated places.6:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  134. Sonic Visualizer - some comments as I go http://www.bymusic.org/blog…6:25 PM Aug 13th from web
  135. They are all liers. But the lie in different ways. And this is what I am going to talk about!5:33 PM Aug 13th from web
  136. @frumsatire who wants?5:32 PM Aug 13th from web in reply to frumsatire
  137. It is interesting that some of their "lies" are systematic. They appear in several thematic places in the same manner.5:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  138. These singers. They are all "liers"!5:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  139. You cannot lie to the spectogram. A very good tool to examine musical performances.4:49 PM Aug 13th from web
  140. Going to look for Jonathan Dunsby’s book on Pierrot lunaire1:48 PM Aug 13th from web
  141. Starting to really know these four early performances.1:37 PM Aug 13th from web
  142. Research shows that too much preperation during rehearsals can hurt spontanity in live performance1:13 PM Aug 13th from web
  143. Relate to the question whether the persistence to produce the pitches in Pierrot may not come on the expense of spontaneity and other issues1:12 PM Aug 13th from web
  144. Compare rezitation of m.1-2 and m. 28 in the early performance of Pierrot12:44 PM Aug 13th from web
  145. Learning from early performances. Explain in the chapter why early recordings are attractive for learning from.12:17 PM Aug 13th from web
  146. Learning more about the structure of the song Parodie in Pierrot lunaire11:39 AM Aug 13th from web
  147. Too much polyphonic Schoenberg for one day. Going home.7:01 PM Aug 12th from web
  148. Stiedy Wagner is at my left ear, Hericard at the right and Adler in the middle of my head. Crazy!6:59 PM Aug 12th from web
  149. Hearing a canon of three early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire: left headphone, right and in the middle (-:6:57 PM Aug 12th from web
  150. I am listening to two performances putting each on a different side of the headphones. Very nice!6:46 PM Aug 12th from web
  151. Listening to various early performances playing at the same time!6:44 PM Aug 12th from web
  152. Some once said: we know what to measure but we know less how people hear things.5:25 PM Aug 12th from web
  153. Trying to understand what Sonic Visualizer has that previous software doesn’t5:08 PM Aug 12th from web
  154. James North on Jeanne Hericard’s Pierrot: "we gain in comprehension but lose some of the neuroticism".4:30 PM Aug 12th from web
  155. Someone should publish a book with review of recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. There is one on live performances.4:26 PM Aug 12th from web
  156. Although there were stupid music critics also at the 1950s4:00 PM Aug 12th from web
  157. Some of the music criticism is very good. See Adrian Jack (1974) on Pierrot at Record and Recordings3:52 PM Aug 12th from web
  158. Reading through record reviews of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire3:37 PM Aug 12th from web
  159. Interesting article of Joan Evans on Hans Rosbaud as conductor in Nazi Germany http://tinyurl.com/pefxv83:17 PM Aug 12th from web
  160. Governments should make free access to academic jounal via JSTOR for free. Knowledge should be free to the public.2:44 PM Aug 12th from web
  161. Listening to Alban Berg "Kammerkonzert" with Rene Leibowitz conducting. Rare recording.2:24 PM Aug 12th from web
  162. @neweuropean Great. Looking forward.12:41 PM Aug 12th from web in reply to neweuropean
  163. Going to fetch articles on Pierrot lunaire from the British Library reading room.12:37 PM Aug 12th from web
  164. From Blog: Cats performing Schoenberg Piano Piece Op. 11 This is one of the best performances ever hea.. http://bit.ly/J8C7F8:59 AM Aug 12th from twitterfeed
  165. Just added myself to the http://wefollow.com twitter directory under: #music #research #classical12:02 AM Aug 12th from WeFollow
  166. Just added myself to the http://wefollow.com twitter directory under: #music #research #academic12:01 AM Aug 12th from WeFollow
  167. Will the internet save the declining world of classical music? http://tinyurl.com/q2znl37:02 PM Aug 11th from web
  168. Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST live webcasts BEGINS Friday, August 28 at http://bit.ly/4nhC326:40 PM Aug 11th from web
  169. the Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST FULL SEASON OF live webcasts through its Digital Concert Hall BEGINS Friday, August 286:39 PM Aug 11th from web
  170. Instead of speaking of what Sprechstimme should be techincally, speak what a song and Pierrot in general should convey in performance5:33 PM Aug 11th from web
  171. Aesthetic criterias for judging a Sprechstimme performance: The relation of the voice to other instruments, the words, balance, mood5:30 PM Aug 11th from web
  172. One of the imporant questions is what are the aesthetic criterias for judging a Sprechstimme performance?5:29 PM Aug 11th from web
  173. Found many reviews of early recordings of Pierrot lunaire5:13 PM Aug 11th from web
  174. Starting to work with Sonic visualizer5:11 PM Aug 11th from web
  175. Going to examine more reviews of recordings of Pierrot lunaire3:31 PM Aug 11th from web
  176. I should look for information about the singers: Ethel Semser, Ellen Adler andJeanne Hericard3:30 PM Aug 11th from web
  177. Listening to Ethel Semser do Pierrot lunaire. It is interesting to see what critics wrote about these recordings.3:24 PM Aug 11th from web
  178. Sprechstimme problem is not how to do it with regards to pitch, but how to make music with relation to the poem, structure and yourself.3:15 PM Aug 11th from web
  179. Praying is like twitting. It sometimes helps.3:10 PM Aug 11th from web
  180. Had a wonderful lunch and conversation with the pianist and musicologist (Messiaen spcialist) Peter Hill http://tinyurl.com/nqjywo2:59 PM Aug 11th from web
  181. @neweuropean I’ll be happy to write sleeve notes to serenade op.24 and suite op.29 (which I wrote a chapter about). Are you interested?10:12 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to neweuropean
  182. The Sprechstimme debate cannot be solved. We should concentrate on what sounds to us more convincing and why.7:08 PM Aug 10th from web
  183. It is not only whether they hit the right pitches. It is more interesting to ask what do they do with the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ pitches!7:07 PM Aug 10th from web
  184. My neck ackes7:05 PM Aug 10th from web
  185. I think it would be useful to read reviews of these recordings - yet there are so many!6:13 PM Aug 10th from web
  186. Steidry-Wagner has a twitter voice in her recording of Pierrot lunaire. Compare to that of Semster.6:13 PM Aug 10th from web
  187. I need a software that can measure the pitch of singing on recordings5:46 PM Aug 10th from web
  188. Barbara Sukowa is a true wilde haye5:40 PM Aug 10th from web
  189. Talk about what a composer pays attention to when writing (see Parodie end H_ at m. 20 but no start) and its relation to preformance (gap).5:36 PM Aug 10th from web
  190. Attack Bryn-Julson Phyllis as a springboard to discussing early recordings.5:30 PM Aug 10th from web
  191. Just had lunch with Jane Manning and Anthony Payne. Enjoyed it very much.5:16 PM Aug 10th from web
  192. Know I need to check how do the various singers of these early recordings of Pierrot lunaire ‘reproduce’ the pitches in the score.2:29 PM Aug 10th from web
  193. Jeanne Hericard plays with her tone color according to text. So does Stiedry, Ethel Semser and Ellen Adler. This is a very important thing.2:27 PM Aug 10th from web
  194. Both Rosboud and Schoenberg have some instruments marked Hauptstimme that do not sound at all in their recordings2:02 PM Aug 10th from web
  195. Jeanne Hericard makes interesting changes in tone color according to the words to the song Parodie in Pirrto lunaire11:09 AM Aug 10th from web
  196. Jeanne Hericard is also very theatrical in her Sprechgesang10:49 AM Aug 10th from web
  197. Semster also changes her Sprechgesang drastically when the poem’s words change their meaning (albeit Leibowitz’s intoduction…).10:47 AM Aug 10th from web
  198. Semser starts differently Parodie than Adler even though the condoctor is in both cases Leibowitz10:46 AM Aug 10th from web
  199. Can’t avoid noticing they "crying" element in Ellen Adler’s Sprechgesang.10:41 AM Aug 10th from web
  200. From Blog: What is music theory for? This question is something that most academics in Israel find har.. http://bit.ly/5JIGd7:53 AM Aug 8th from twitterfeed
  201. Something very cute: Ellen Adler’s performance of Sprechstimme. It is hard to capture how exactly she does it, but I want to write about it.6:12 PM Aug 7th from web
  202. In Schoenberg’s recording it is not clear what is going on in m. 14. Strange.6:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  203. @neweuropean I have to upload them when I return to Israel. Since I did my PhD I didn’t have too many oppotunities to compose.6:03 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  204. Bethany Beardslee in Parodie: "Then suddenly - listen! - a whisper!" great performance.4:28 PM Aug 7th from web
  205. @kos2 That’s a pitty. I would love to visit NY. Never been there4:26 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to kos2
  206. Bethany Beardslee has something special about her voice. Crying.4:25 PM Aug 7th from web
  207. Bethany Beardslee and Robert Carft also have the voice at the front.4:24 PM Aug 7th from web
  208. Hericard and Rosbaud also put the voice in the front.4:20 PM Aug 7th from web
  209. Pilarczyk and Boulez put the voice in the front too.4:19 PM Aug 7th from web
  210. Compare Leibowitz recordings to the of Manning (1967). Her voice is definitly at the front.4:17 PM Aug 7th from web
  211. Listening to Ellen Adler and Leibowitz. Also here the voice is more in the background or on the level of other instruments.4:15 PM Aug 7th from web
  212. Listening to Ethel Semser and Leibowitz perform Parodie. The voice is really at the level of other instruments. Sometimes even less.4:13 PM Aug 7th from web
  213. Trying to download sonicvisualiser http://www.sonicvisualiser….4:00 PM Aug 7th from web
  214. Perhaps reduce the amount of recordings3:30 PM Aug 7th from web
  215. Listening to Alice Howland and Herbert Zipper perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire3:29 PM Aug 7th from web
  216. @otterhouse Could too much Lunaire make you a Lunatic? For sure3:05 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to otterhouse
  217. @neweuropean What do you think about my music? http://www.bymusic.org/comp…2:41 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  218. @neweuropean That’s great! Let me know if you record Pierrot. I’ll be glad to write the sleeve notes.2:38 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  219. @MessiaenProject Absolutely2:36 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to MessiaenProject
  220. @chrisleeclark I also did some work on Erwartung. I think it is similar to Pierrot. I am sure the voice notation has a staff.2:34 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to chrisleeclark
  221. @neweuropean Where are you based?2:31 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  222. @otterhouse For sure!2:30 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to otterhouse
  223. @kos2 Looks very interesting. Do you have funding that helps scholars come to your library?2:29 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to kos2
  224. Take the first sentence in Parodie and compare it with all 12 recordings. Then measure the length of the whole songs in these performances.2:26 PM Aug 7th from web
  225. Check also voice tone, intonation in relation to words and counterpoint of other instruments.2:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  226. Things to check in recordings: Pitch accuracy, balance of voice vs. instruments, tempo, relation to words. Anything else?2:03 PM Aug 7th from web
  227. Wagner is an issue also outside of Israel http://micurl.com/4g5badl1:43 PM Aug 7th from web
  228. Possible title: Counterpoint, Sprechstimme and early recordings1:05 PM Aug 7th from web
  229. However, It could be another good case study to show how people perform it when there is some relation to the instrument that is not strict.12:53 PM Aug 7th from web
  230. The Sprechstimme in "Der Mondfleck" is relatively free from the counterpoint in the other voices. That why I should concentrate on "Parodie"12:51 PM Aug 7th from web
  231. What I link about Schoenberg is that he has the ability to write music in various levels of comprehensability.12:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  232. It would be very wrong to argue that Schoeberg was writing "paper music". I think he cared about the listener, yet somethings are complex.11:31 AM Aug 7th from web
  233. Perhaps I should take only Parodie as my case study and cover all 12 recordings. After all, recordings are the center of my research.11:22 AM Aug 7th from web
  234. There is a significant gap between what the composer imagines, what he or she write and what one hears of various recordings.11:18 AM Aug 7th from web
  235. I think I have an idea for the chapter that I want to write. I reconsidered my argument in my MTO artilce ‘Sprechstimme reconsidered’11:02 AM Aug 7th from web
  236. Reading Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Paul Mathews book Inside Pierrot lunaire. They quote me quite extensively and disagree with some of my views6:52 PM Aug 6th from web
  237. Who might be interested in publishing rare recordings of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot lunaire?3:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  238. Manning cares to perform the cannon in Parodie accurately.3:02 PM Aug 6th from web
  239. Schoenberg should have written Clarinet part at Parodie mm. 22-24 one ocatve higher. Cannon (if he cared) does not work in performance.3:01 PM Aug 6th from web
  240. Another research question: what is the balance between the voice and viola in the recordings of Parodie?2:47 PM Aug 6th from web
  241. The cannon is not perfect. Schoenberg changes the notes because of the words of the song.2:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  242. Parodie will definetly be a case study2:45 PM Aug 6th from web
  243. Research question for Parodie: Which performers care to articulate the cannon between the viola and voice?2:42 PM Aug 6th from web
  244. Order Austin, Music in the 20th Century, p. 1992:39 PM Aug 6th from web
  245. Who needs music theory? Listen 2 Jonathan Dunsby http://bit.ly/3lbyyb2:38 PM Aug 6th from web
  246. I will probably choose Parodie as a case study since it has a canon between the viola and the voice2:08 PM Aug 6th from web
  247. aviorPerhaps another case study will be bars 20 and 27 from Der kranke mond. "(dieser Takt anders, aber doch nicht tragisch!!)"1:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  248. There is something very Twitter about Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Every song is a kind of Twit.1:34 PM Aug 6th from web
  249. To whom am I writing?1:33 PM Aug 6th from web
  250. @problogger check this out: Follow my research live on Twitter http://www.bymusic.org/blog…1:30 PM Aug 6th from web in reply to problogger
  251. I think another case study will be Mondesstrunken. Everybody recognizes this piece since it is the first song and it has a nice pizz. tempo1:26 PM Aug 6th from web
  252. Leibowitz did also Gurrelieder with Ethel Semser1:20 PM Aug 6th from web
  253. I like Ethel Semser dark voice. Great performance!1:13 PM Aug 6th from web
  254. Ethel Semser has such a dark voice!1:06 PM Aug 6th from web
  255. I hope to decide today which songs will be my case studies. Probably 3-4 songs.1:05 PM Aug 6th from web
  256. Just liken to the Erika-Wagner performance for comparison. Yes, this song will be a case study.1:03 PM Aug 6th from web
  257. Choose Eine blasse Wascherin as one of my case studies since I know it quite well from MTO article http://www.bymusic.org/publ…12:59 PM Aug 6th from web
  258. I like how Ethel Semser and Rene Leibowitz do Eine blasse Wascherin12:57 PM Aug 6th from web
  259. Leibowitz is one of the slowest conductors of Pierrot with regards to tempo. This is true about both of his recordings from the early 1950s.12:51 PM Aug 6th from web
  260. Leibowitz writes on record sleeve that Schoenberg wanted the reciter part to blend with the instruments. He advocates faithfulness to score.12:48 PM Aug 6th from web
  261. Listening to Ethel Semser and Rene Leibowitz perform (1954?) Pierrot lunaire12:45 PM Aug 6th from web
  262. Ilona Steingruber sings the written pitches of the Sprechstimme. She quite ignores Schoenberg’s introduction.12:40 PM Aug 6th from web
  263. Schoenberg writes Hauptstimme only for the instuments, never for the voice. Why did he say once that he wants the voice 2 be like instrument12:38 PM Aug 6th from web
  264. I don’t like doing research with records since its hard to go back just a bit as you do with CDs12:35 PM Aug 6th from web
  265. Listening to Ilona Steingruber and Vladimir Golschmann perform (1961) Pierrot lunaire12:32 PM Aug 6th from web
  266. From Blog: Follow my research on Pierrot lunaire on early recording, live on Twitter Comments on .. http://bit.ly/Y3KR412:02 PM Aug 6th from twitterfeed
  267. A good title for my Pierrot lunaire chapter: "… when words fail, music speaks." (Hans Christian Anderson)11:28 AM Aug 6th from web
  268. Steingruber really likes to sing. Scheonberg not like it. http://bit.ly/hztZj6:49 PM Aug 5th from web
  269. The voice color and manner of singing is so central and Schoenberg says SO little about it.6:42 PM Aug 5th from web
  270. The main factors that affect the listening experience of recordings of Pierrot are: (1) The voice color (2) tempo (3) balance of instruments6:39 PM Aug 5th from web
  271. Listening to Ilona Steingruber with Golschmann conducting Pierrot lunaire (1961).6:35 PM Aug 5th from web
  272. Ilona Steingruber (with Golschmann conducting) sounds very different. Apart of her voice color, she sings quite alot.6:34 PM Aug 5th from web
  273. Jeanne Héricard, Hans Rosbaud, conductor: Something metalic about this performance. Especially her voice.6:28 PM Aug 5th from web
  274. Jane Manning (1967) does Die Kreuze very emotional.6:20 PM Aug 5th from web
  275. @soundarchive Nothing urgent. Just nice to see that the sound achive is twitting!6:17 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  276. @soundarchive Where are you sitting?5:56 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  277. The instrumental introduction to Die Kreuze could be useful for examining and comparing instrumental performance in the various recordings.5:50 PM Aug 5th from web
  278. On Gebet an Pierrot Ellen Adler pronounces the last words of the song with a strange color of a dying voice5:46 PM Aug 5th from web
  279. However Manning argues in the Saul Seminar that Richard Hofman said the Schoenberg would agree that it would be sung by a male Sprechstimme5:43 PM Aug 5th from web
  280. I guess people do it only with female singers is because Schoenberg recorded it with such adn did so always in performance.5:42 PM Aug 5th from web
  281. He didn’t even write if it should be a singer man of woman! It would be nice if a male Sprechstimme would sing Pierrot. Anyone volunteers?5:41 PM Aug 5th from web
  282. It is so strange that Schoenberg wrote so little about the color of the voice that he wanted when this affects the performance so much!5:39 PM Aug 5th from web
  283. Both Leibowitz recordings are similar with regards tempo yet the voice makes such a difference!5:35 PM Aug 5th from web
  284. Ellen Adler, voice and René Leibowitz, conductor - this recording is very different from his recording with Ethel Semser5:34 PM Aug 5th from web
  285. Why I write my research notes on Twitter http://www.bymusic.org/blog…5:19 PM Aug 5th from web
  286. Ethel Semser and René Leibowitz did a very interesting recording of Pierrot. Spooky4:57 PM Aug 5th from web
  287. Ethel Semser’s voice is low4:51 PM Aug 5th from web
  288. In both recording René Leibowitz performs Pierrot very slowly4:50 PM Aug 5th from web
  289. Eine blasse Wascherin. Ethel Semser and René Leibowitz take it very slow.4:49 PM Aug 5th from web
  290. It is crazy how the voice takes all the attention.4:48 PM Aug 5th from web
  291. I think I should first choose 1-3 songs and focus on them.4:46 PM Aug 5th from web
  292. Pierrot lunaire. Ethel Semser, soprano; René Leibowitz, cond. (1954?) Strange color of voice. Mondesruncken. Slow tempo. Rare recording.4:45 PM Aug 5th from web
  293. @soundarchive Thanks. You forgot the n in Byron (-;1:36 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  294. Perhaps I should check the balance between the voice and the instruments in the recordings of Pierrot lunaire?1:33 PM Aug 5th from web
  295. Gould plays slower once again12:30 PM Aug 5th from web
  296. Or perhaps choose some of the recordings of 1940s-1960s. Or look at all of them but on one song.11:28 AM Aug 5th from web
  297. Just found more recordings of Pierrot from the 1960s (total: 12). We might want to concentrate on the 1940s and 50s (total: 5). Or not?11:26 AM Aug 5th from web
  298. I have learned to control stress during the early stages of research. Good research takes time and patience.7:00 PM Aug 4th from web
  299. I think I should focus on one, two or maximum three songs in order to say something meaningful.6:51 PM Aug 4th from web
  300. Claude Helffer does the piano part quite agressively in Leibowitz’s performance<><><><><><><><><>6:50 PM Aug 4th from web
  301. Leibowitz conducts it slower and it sounds more relaxed6:48 PM Aug 4th from web
  302. Listening again to Rene Leibowitz and Ellen Adler do Die Kreuze from Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire6:47 PM Aug 4th from web
  303. There is something very nervous in Schoenberg’s and Erika’s recording of Pierrot lunaire. Because they were nervous, or is it style?6:46 PM Aug 4th from web
  304. Why do they sound so different?6:44 PM Aug 4th from web
  305. Listening to Schoenberg conducting and Erika Stiedry-Wagner Sprechsitimming Die Kreuze from his Pierrot lunaire6:44 PM Aug 4th from web
  306. Listening to Rene Leibowitz and Ellen Adler do Die Kreuze from Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire6:42 PM Aug 4th from web
  307. They all sound very similar at start, but then when you focus, interesting things start to appear6:41 PM Aug 4th from web
  308. Listening to various early performances of Schonberg’s song, Die Dreuze, from Pierrot lunaire6:40 PM Aug 4th from web
  309. What are the similarities and differences between early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire?6:38 PM Aug 4th from web
  310. I treat the recordings as musical objects with their own significant. I do not care too much how it really sounded in live performance.6:09 PM Aug 4th from web
  311. The British Library is great. They have lots of material and are very helpful.2:47 PM Aug 4th from web
  312. Schoenberg wrote interesting things in the program of the first performance of Pierrot lunaire2:46 PM Aug 4th from web
  313. From Blog: Here is the research proposal I wrote for the Edison Fellowship in the British Library Soun.. http://bit.ly/2UMLgN11:19 AM Aug 4th from twitterfeed
  314. Why do most singers who write about Pierrot let themselves say what one SHOULD or SOULD NOT do?5:40 PM Aug 3rd from web
  315. Going to eat some english food4:05 PM Aug 3rd from web
  316. Manning says that the early recording of Pierrot are not accurate with regards to pitch yet are "authentic" with regards to the spiritofwork3:49 PM Aug 3rd from web
  317. We will probably focus our research on early recordings from the 1940s-1960s of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire3:47 PM Aug 3rd from web
  318. Some parts in performances of Pierrot sound very wild!3:06 PM Aug 3rd from web
  319. I think that Schoenberg’s & Stiedry’s performance sounds like it does due to early recording techinque3:03 PM Aug 3rd from web
  320. Listening to Hand Rosbaud recording of Pierrot3:00 PM Aug 3rd from web
  321. It’s great to be in London again!2:55 PM Aug 3rd from web
  322. What does Manning mean by said that "she sound authentic?"2:54 PM Aug 3rd from web
  323. This month I will liten to many many recordings of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg.2:52 PM Aug 3rd from web
  324. Listening to Jane Manning’s Saul Seminar in the Sound Archive at the British Library2:50 PM Aug 3rd from web

 

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