Category: Musical interpretation

The past is a foreign country

In its passage from manuscript composition to audible performance, a musical work passes through the hands of editors, teachers, interpreters, recording engineers and many others, all of whom make decisions, often based on personal choices, and have to satisfy the tastes and needs of a changing public. With over a century of recorded sound as evidence, we can now assess the options and expectations of the modern performer, and measure these against the evidence available to the interpreter today, and the range of choices to be made.

St Cecilia and Music: True of False?

Why does music require a 'patron saint'? What are the qualifications of such a person, and how has the praise of a non-musical heroine contributed so much to our poetic and musical heritage: music ranging from Purcell and Handel to Benjamin Britten provides partial evidence, but the social and guild fabric of professional music-making has also benefited from the long-standing Annual Feasts.
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Gresham College
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