An investigation and comparison of the French and Austro-German schools of violoncello bowing techniques: 1785-1839

by Walden, Valerie Elizabeth

Abstract (Summary)
This study traces the development of violoncello bowing technique in France, Austria and Germany between the years 1785-1839. Using evidence obtained from contemporary violoncello methods, periodical reviews, iconographic materials, diaries, letters, musical manuscripts, first-edition performance repertoire, and first-hand research at the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute and University of California at Berkeley, the technical methodology of each school is examined. By this process, diverse qualities in the playing manner of J. P. Duport, J. L. Duport, Janson, Tricklir, Breval, J. H. Levasseur, Lamare, Hus-Desforges, Baudiot, Norblin, Vaslin and Franchomme, and that of A. Kraft, Ritter, Romberg, N. Kraft, Dotzauer, Lincke, Bohrer, Merk and Kummer are discernible. Such divergences in bowing technique form the basis of dissimilarities present in French and Austro-German violoncello performance of 1785-1839, a circumstance occasioned by a variety of contributing factors. These issues are segregated for investigation. Following the Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2 provide background information regarding the development of the instrument, bow, and bowing techniques before 1785. Chapter 3 discusses design modifications that occurred to the instrument and bow between 1785 and 1839. Chapters 4 and 5 present the biographies of each of the violoncellists examined, while Chapter 6 discusses the influence of performers from the French violin school and the musician interaction brought about by the French Revolution and subsequent wars. Analysis of the varying performance characteristics of the French and Austro-German schools begins with Chapter 7, this chapter and Chapter 8 surveying the performance methodology of each of the violoncellists included in this study. Chapters 9 and 10 assess the consequential relationship of performance technique to performance repertoire and Chapter 11 summarizes the findings of the accomplished research. These findings detail differences in the performance methodology of the French, Austrian and German violoncello schools in the period 1785-1839. The variants evinced include the manner in which the bow and instrument were held, the type of bowing techniques incorporated into the performance repertoire of each nationality and the method of their execution, the way in which the violoncello's varying sonorities were exploited, and the regard for sound quality and volume by performers of each school.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:music 0413 education 0522 history european 0335


Date of Publication:01/01/1994

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