The Piano in Nineteenth-Century British Culture : Instruments, Performers and Repertoire book cover
1st Edition

The Piano in Nineteenth-Century British Culture
Instruments, Performers and Repertoire

ISBN 9781138276123
Published October 6, 2017 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Since the publication of The London Pianoforte School (ed. Nicholas Temperley) twenty years ago, research has proliferated in the area of music for the piano during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and into developments in the musical life of London, for a time the centre of piano manufacturing, publishing and performance. But none has focused on the piano exclusively within Britain. The eleven chapters in this volume explore major issues surrounding the instrument, its performers and music within an expanded geographical context created by the spread of the instrument and the growth of concert touring. Topics covered include: the piano trade and how piano manufacturing affected a major provincial town; the reception of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum during the nineteenth century; the shift from composer-pianists to pianist-interpreters in the first half of the century that triggered crucial changes in piano performance and concert structure; the growth of musical life in the peripheries outside major musical centres; the pianist as advocate for contemporary composers as well as for historical repertory; the status of British pianists both in relation to foreigners on tour in Britain and as welcomed star performers in outposts of the Empire; marketing forces that had an impact on piano sales, concerts and piano careers; leading virtuosos, writers and critics; the important role played by women pianists and the development of the recording industry, bringing the volume into the early twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Nicholas Temperley; Introduction, Therese Ellsworth and Susan Wollenberg; 'That domestic and long-suffering instrument': the piano boom in 19th-century Belfast, Roy Johnston; 'Most ingenious, most learned, and yet practicable work': the English reception of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier in the first half of the 19th century seen through the editions published in London, Yo Tomita; The faces of Parnassus: towards a new reception of Muzio Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum, Rohan Stewart-MacDonald; Mendelssohnian allusions in the early piano works of William Sterndale Bennett, R. Larry Todd; William Sterndale Bennett, composer and pianist, Peter Horton; Victorian pianists as concert artists: the case of Arabella Goddard (1836-1922), Therese Ellsworth; Origins of the piano recital in England, 1830-1870, Janet Ritterman and William Weber; 'Remarkable force, finish, intelligence and feeling': reassessing the pianism of Walter Bache, Michael Allis; Fanny Davies: 'a messenger for Schumann and Brahms'?, Dorothy de Val; 3 Oxford pianistic careers : Donald Francis Tovey, Paul Victor Mendelssohn Benecke, and Ernest Walker, Susan Wollenberg; Index.

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Dr Therese Ellsworth is an Independent Scholar. Her doctoral dissertation, ’The Piano Concerto in London Concert Life between 1801 and 1850’ (University of Cincinnati, 1991) has led to further research, paper presentations and publications on nineteenth-century London concert life and women pianists in particular. She taught at universities in the US before settling for eight years in Brussels (1998 - 2006) and now lives in Washington, DC. Susan Wollenberg is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, UK. She has published widely on subjects including C.P.E. Bach and Schubert, women composers, and the social history of English music, in particular the history of music in Oxford. She was co-editor, with Simon McVeigh, of Concert Life in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Ashgate, 2004).


’Anyone interested in the piano and piano music will find much to enjoy here...’ The Delian