The Art of Performance

The Art of Performance

by Heinrich Schenker, Heribert Esser, Irene Schreier Scott
     
 

Heinrich Schenker's The Art of Performance shows this great music theorist in a new light. While his theoretical writings helped transform music theory in the twentieth century, this book draws on his experience as a musician and teacher to propose a sharp reevaluation of how musical compositions are realized in performance. Filled with concrete examples and

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Overview

Heinrich Schenker's The Art of Performance shows this great music theorist in a new light. While his theoretical writings helped transform music theory in the twentieth century, this book draws on his experience as a musician and teacher to propose a sharp reevaluation of how musical compositions are realized in performance. Filled with concrete examples and numerous suggestions, the book will interest both music theorists and practicing performers.

Schenker's approach is based on his argument that much of contemporary performance practice is rooted in the nineteenth-century cult of the virtuoso, which has resulted in an overemphasis on technical display. To counter this, he proposes specific ways to reconnect the composer's intentions and the musician's performance.

Schenker begins by showing how performers can benefit from understanding the laws of composition. He demonstrates how a literal interpretation of the composer's indications can be self-defeating, and he provides a lively discussion of piano technique, including suggestions for pedal, sound color, orchestral effects, and balance. He devotes separate chapters to non-legato, legato, fingering, dynamics, tempo, and rests. In addition to the examples for pianists, Schenker covers a number of topics, such as bowing technique, that will prove invaluable for other instrumentalists and for conductors. The book concludes with an aphoristic and sometimes lyrical chapter on practicing.

After Schenker's death, his student Oswald Jonas prepared the text for publication from Schenker's notes, eventually leaving the manuscript to his stepdaughter, Irene Schreier Scott, who entrusted the work of organizing and editing the disparate material to Jonas's friend and student Heribert Esser. She later translated it into English. This edition is the first publication in any language of this remarkable work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195151510
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/02/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
928,005
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
Editor's Introduction
Sources and Editorial Procedure
Plates
1. Musical Composition and Performance
2. Mode of Notation and Performance
3. The Technique of Playing the Piano
4. Non Legato
5. Legato
6. Staccato
7. Fingering
8. Dynamics
9. Tempo and Tempo Modifications
10. Rests
11. The Performance of Older Music
12. On Practicing
Appendixes
Notes
Selected Bibliography with Annotations
Index of Musical Examples

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