Chapelhow, Claudia (2020) Eighteenth-Century ‘Historically Inspired Performance’ on the Modern Clarinet. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

My project focuses on playing ‘historically inspired performances’ of late eighteenth-century
repertoire on the modern clarinet. I aim to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of
Classical performance ideologies and performance practice in a set of two recitals. In the
process, I aim to get closer to the living experience of the music and reach beyond the notation
in search for lost performance traditions1. Ralph Vaughan Williams compares a page of music
to a railway timetable and argues that the page ‘tells us no more about the living experience of
the music than the timetable tells us about the sights to be enjoyed during the journey’2. Thus,
I seek to unveil the sights I reason ought to be searched throughout the course of this thesis.

The design of this project is divided into three main chapter segments containing different
genres of repertoire as case studies. The repertoire that I case study are from works and
composers that I believe will provide me with the most holistic understanding of late eighteenthcentury
style. Throughout discussion, I have included some basic analysis and discussion of
themes and phrases, because Peter Le Huray argues that these considerations are necessary
in achieving a degree of ‘authenticity’ in performance3. I also discourse my own interpretations
of the musical parameters that I deem central in creating an inspired coherent musical whole.

The project’s design uses lessons learnt in the first recital as a learning process to develop a
more informed and stylistic performance of the second recital. The repertoire in the first recital
includes a performance of Jean-Xavier Lefèvre’s seventh sonata, included in his Méthode de
clarinette (1802)4, alongside three Mozart arias that I transcribed for Bb clarinet: ‘Porgi, amor’
from Le Nozze di Figaro, ‘Zeffiretti lusinghieri’ from Idomeneo, Re di Creta and ‘Der Liebe
himmlisches Gefühl, K.119’5.

The methodology of combining application of instructions from Lefèvre’s Méthode to his
seventh sonata and adapting aspects of vocality to the clarinet in Mozart’s arias acts as a
‘Historical Informed Performance’ [HIP] learning method. This is because questions are raised
in the process that inform later performance choices, which I address in the performance
reflections of the thesis. When performing Lefèvre’s sonata, I question how exactly and to what
extent I can adapt his work and indeed his instructions to the modern clarinet. Furthermore,
when performing the arias, I question what exactly it means to perform vocal music on the
clarinet. I also consider how and to what extent I should try and reflect the text itself in addition
to the general character of the aria and reflect on when it is acceptable to be more instrumental
than vocal. By addressing such ambiguities, I aim to produce a more stylish and informed
performance of the Viennese concertos: Mozart’s adagio from his Clarinet Concerto in A Major
and Hoffmeister’s Clarinet Concerto in Bb Major.

1 Peter Le Huray, Authenticity in Performance: 18th-Century Case Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press,1900), 1.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid., 2.
4 Jean-Xavier Lefèvre, Méthode de Clarinette (Offenbach: J. André, 1802).
5 Using editions: Wolfgang A. Mozart, Great Mozart Arias for Soprano, Voice and Piano (Mineola and New York:
Dover Publications, Inc, 2016). And Wolfgang A. Mozart, Concert Arias for high Soprano (Germany: Bӓrenreiter,

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