Tempo fluctuations in the performance of Joseph Haydn´s Keyboard Sonata in F major, Hob. XVI:29
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We know from eighteenth-century sources on performance practice that tempo fluctuations in the shape of agogic rubato, contrametric rubato and sectional changes of tempo were used extensively by performers in the late eighteenth century. Tempo fluctuations based on the performance aesthetics of the late eighteenth-century, comprehensive knowledge of music, and "good taste" are recommended in famous treatises by: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Leopold Mozart, Daniel Gottlob Turk, Johann Joachim Quantz, Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, and later Carl Czerny. Today, recordings and live performances of the keyboard music of Joseph Haydn and his contemporaries seldom display any use of this expressive device, and there seems to be a lack of knowledge or understanding of how, and to what degree a performer might include it in his or her execution of music from the Classic era. This thesis investigates both what kind of tempo fluctuations were used, and how these were notated in the score, through study of musical rhetoric, topoi and analysis. A case study of Joseph Haydn's Keyboard Sonata in F Major, Hob. XVI: 29 attempts to clarify the difference between what is conventionally thought of as written and unwritten expression markings. A close reading of the score confirms the notion that it contains an abundance of information if the performer knows how to read the conventions of notation. A survey of fourteen recordings confirms the initial notion that the majority of today's performers use a modicum of tempo fluctuations in the rendering of this music. This thesis also speculates what possible reasons there might be for such a sparse use of tempo rubato. Problems of centuries, the lack of knowledge of conventions of notation, the development of recording technology and changes in the aesthetics of live performance are all brought into the picture.
Avhandling (doktorgrad) - Cornell University, 2006