Final Thesis JWK - University of Sydney most useful resource for this thesis was Bajenescu’s book, Das Leben des Tonkuenstlers George Enescu and the Memoirs by Carl ... George Enescu

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Text of Final Thesis JWK - University of Sydney most useful resource for this thesis was Bajenescu’s book,...

  • Perfection..does not interest me.

    What is important in art is to vibrate oneself and make others vibrate."

    (George Enesu)

    George Enescu

    His influence as a violinist and pedagogue

    by

    Ji Won Kim

    Master of Music (Research) Performance

    2011

  • 1

    The University of Sydney

    Statement by author

    This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfilment of

    requirements for Master of Music degree at the Sydney

    Conservatorium, University of Sydney.

  • 2

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to express my sincere gratitude and enormous respect

    to Associate Professor Goetz Richter who has been an inspiring supervisor

    for this work. His encouragement and support has made this humble

    thesis possible. I also would like to thank my mother and brother who

    have been patient and supportive throughout.

  • 3

    Abstract

    George Enescu, a timeless figure in music history, inspired me to

    write this thesis. His statement "perfection..does not interest me. What

    is important in art is to vibrate oneself and make others vibrate" truly

    captivated me. His pedagogy seemed to be unlike any other teachers that

    are known today. Enescus intuitive artistry and his self-effacing approach

    to music making identify him as a special musician. His life, playing style

    and instrumental characteristics, his pedagogy and legacy are

    investigated in this thesis. I argue that the holistic characteristic of the

    comprehensive musician Enescu should inform contemporary approaches

    to violin performance and violin pedagogy and are able to contribute to a

    more authentic and truthful way of music making.

  • 4

    Contents

    Acknowledgements ................................................................... 2

    Abstract .................................................................................. 3

    Chapter 1: The Life of George Enescu ......................................... 6

    1.1. Enescus Childhood ....................................................................................................................................... 8

    1.2. Studies in Vienna ........................................................................................................................................ 10

    1.3. Studies in Paris ............................................................................................................................................ 14

    1.4. Concert and Teaching Career following Graduation .................................................................... 19

    1.5. Summary ........................................................................................................................................................ 21

    Chapter 2: Enescus Style and Aesthetic Roots ........................... 23

    2.1 Influences ....................................................................................................................................................... 24

    2.2. Aesthetic roots .................................................................................................................................................. 26

    i. Lautari ................................................................................................................................................................... 26

    ii. Franco-Belgian School ................................................................................................................................... 29

    iii. Viennese School .............................................................................................................................................. 30

    iv. French school ................................................................................................................................................... 32

    2.3 Enescu and Bach ................................................................................................................................................ 33

    2.4 Characteristics .................................................................................................................................................... 34

    i. Improvisatory performance and holistic creative impulse ............................................................. 34

    ii. Sound .................................................................................................................................................................... 35

    iii. Glissandi ............................................................................................................................................................. 37

    iv. Intonation .......................................................................................................................................................... 39

    v. Importance of Bach ......................................................................................................................................... 40

    2.4 Summary ............................................................................................................................................................... 41

    Chapter 3: Enescus Technical Characteristics ............................ 42

    3.1 What is technique? ............................................................................................................................................ 42

    3.2 Flesch and Steinhausen ................................................................................................................................... 43

    3.3 Relevant technical features ........................................................................................................................... 45

    i. Bow arm / hand .......................................................................................................................................... 45

    ii. Trills and left hand function ........................................................................................................................ 48

    iii. Vibrato ................................................................................................................................................................ 49

    3.4 Summary ............................................................................................................................................................... 50

  • 5

    Chapter 4: Enescus Pedagogy ................................................. 52

    4.1 Method ................................................................................................................................................................... 53

    4.2 Flesch and Enescu ............................................................................................................................................. 55

    4.3 Fleschs pedagogical paradigm .................................................................................................................... 57

    4.4 Enescus pedagogical paradigm ................................................................................................................... 58

    4.5 Limitations of both paradigms ..................................................................................................................... 62

    Chapter 5: Enescus Legacy ..................................................... 63

    5.1 The influence of Enescuism ........................................................................................................................... 63

    5.2 Enescus pedagogical influence .................................................................................................................... 64

    5.3 Enescus contemporary significance ......................................................................................................... 66

    Bibliography .......................................................................... 69

    Discography ........................................................................... 78

  • 6

    Chapter 1: The Life of George Enescu

    George Enescu was a Romanian composer, an accomplished

    conductor and a performer whose immense contribution to violin playing

    remains influential to date. Enescus abilities extended over the mastery

    of multiple musical instruments. The author of Violin Virtuosos, Henry

    Roth, describes him as a violinist of vastly diversified talents.1 A

    contemporary of Enescu, Carl Flesch, says that it is impossible to say

    which of his gifts deserves to be regarded as the greatest since his

    qualities as composer, conductor, violinist and pianist were about equally

    outstanding.2 His charisma as a musical performer and his spirituality as

    a composer and conductor make Enescu unique in music history where he

    has no rival. Numerous testimonies identify Enescu as an ingenious

    teacher and his influence continues to resonate until today.

    One can question what made Enescu such a unique figure both as a

    performer and as a teacher. Are the individuality and the character of

    both activities related, and if so, in what ways? What makes him different

    to other virtuosos and pedagogues? Did his ability as a composer make

    him a different performer and a more effective teacher? Why was his

    pedagogy so seemingly different to that of his contemporaries Carl Flesch

    or Otakar Sevcik? Can we even compare his intuitive pedagogy t