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Music and the MindEssays in honour of John Sloboda$
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Irène Deliège and Jane Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199581566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.001.0001

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Expressive variants in the opening of Robert Schumann’s Arlequin (from Carnaval, op. 9): 54 pianists’ interpretations of a metrical ambiguity

Expressive variants in the opening of Robert Schumann’s Arlequin (from Carnaval, op. 9): 54 pianists’ interpretations of a metrical ambiguity

Chapter:
(p.311) Chapter 15 Expressive variants in the opening of Robert Schumann’s Arlequin (from Carnaval, op. 9): 54 pianists’ interpretations of a metrical ambiguity
Source:
Music and the Mind
Author(s):

Andreas C. Lehmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.003.0015

This chapter presents an analysis of 54 recorded interpretations by famous pianists of the opening of Robert Schumann’s Arlequin (from his Carnaval, 1834/1835). Some recordings suggest an unexpected four-beat measure clashing with the 3/4 time signature. In the analysis I describe the expressive variants in detail and try to relate them to schools of playing, gender, and age of performer, year of recording, and tempo of the recording. The results reveal gender and effects of tempo, and the source of the delay responsible for the audible result was the first beat of every uneven measure; pupil–teacher traditions could not be found. Expressive variants due to notational ambiguity may go unnoticed by performers and create aesthetic results that show both systematic application of certain rules and idiosyncratic variability.

Keywords:   pianists, Robert Schumann, music, expressive variants, notation

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