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The pianism of Paderewski

Pluta, Agnieszka 2014. The pianism of Paderewski. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Many aspects of Ignaz Jan Paderewski’s life and career have been the subject of previous research, but some important areas remain uninvestigated. Moreover, many biographies, especially those written in English, have hitherto rarely adopted a critical stance. My aim here is to examine those elements of Paderewski’s performance style that have not hitherto been fully studied. Unique Polish sources include unpublished letters written to his father and Helena Górska, his secretaries’ letters written in 1935 and between 1938-39, and of course his correspondence with his pupils, which sheds considerable new light on his views on, and success in, piano teaching. This dissertation discusses in detail his stylistic approach, attitude towards piano playing, preparation for performance and methods of interpretation. Unpublished letters between Paderewski and his pupils deal with such issues as: choosing concert programmes, techniques of pedalling and advanced interpretational issues. To further evaluate changes in Paderewski’s playing style over his career I have analysed a representative selection of his recordings made over the course of his career. Although Paderewski’s style did not change radically, some of the recorded pieces do demonstrate significant differences in interpretation, and his experiments in phrasing, dynamics, tempo and pedaling. I additionally compare some of the recordings of the same pieces by Paderewski and his contemporaries. For instance, Arthur Friedheim’s recording of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp minor. An approach such as this will illuminate, for example, some differences in style between representatives of the ‘Liszt School’ (of which Friedheim was one of the most celebrated exponents) and that of Leschetizky (as represented by Paderewski). This documentation and evaluation of Paderewski’s performance style has naturally influenced my own performances of his works. The accompanying recital therefore includes one of Paderewski’s most substantial piano pieces, the Sonata in E flat minor, contrasted by a Sonata by Paderewski’s contemporary, Sergei Rachmaninov, and completed by works of Chopin in Paderewski’s repertoire, and a piece by his pupil, Ernest Schelling, also recorded by Paderewski. The recital therefore constitutes a practical application of Paderewski’s performance and programming styles as discussed in the dissertation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paderewski; Pianism; Piano; Performance; Practice; 19th-20th Century Piano Performance Practice; Piano Recordings; Pianola; Teacher Paderewski; Polish Pianists
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Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 01:34
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73065

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