2nd International Congress of Musicology

Athens Concert Hall, 4-6 November 2003

Paper Abstracts

Nikolas Lagoumitzis

Interpretive Interventions in Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, as a Means of Approaching the Musical Form

The present paper attempts a study of the way in which interpretive choices and the structure of the musical form are related. As such, the study is not an aesthetic judgement from the author’s standpoint. On the contrary, our endeavor is directed to a presentation of musical analysis as a tool for the “de-codification” of the musical work from the standpoint of the artist / interpreter, principally aiming at the interpretation / rendering of the work. As our field of study we selected three of Beethoven’s piano sonatas – opus 2 no. 1, opus 53, and opus 111 – more specifically two moments from the first movement of each sonata, which are considered of great importance for the structure of the “sonata form”. A further reason for our choice is their common placement in the musical score. In these moments we reveal the interpretive interventions of three pianists, representative of three great European Schools, the German, the Russian, and the French. The comparison between these interventions as aesthetic choices leads to certain interesting thoughts regarding: first, the relationship between the “sonata form” and the interpreter’s viewpoint, second, the evolution of an interpretive tradition through the principles of the great musical schools, and, finally, the evaluation of those interventions as “functional” in their contribution to the approach and presentation of the musical work.

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