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Issue 29

(Fall 2016)






Ioannis Fulias: The four piano concertos of Xaver Scharwenka. A contribution to the examination of the concerto genre during the late romantic period (Part I)


The present publication is the first, internationally, comprehensive study devoted to the four concertos for piano and orchestra of Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924), works that are not only some of the most representative of their genre during the late romantic period, but also unjustifiably neglected for almost a century. As an introduction, a brief biographical sketch is provided for the composer, brilliant virtuoso and notorious piano pedagogue (among his many other attributes), and a reference is made to his principal works; also, a critical reconstruction of the periodisation of his whole compositional output in two distinct phases (instead of three periods, as has been groundlessly proposed by M. Schneider-Dominco) is offered, and a similar review is attempted concerning the references to Scharwenka’s concertos that are detected both in general and more specific literature. Subsequently, each of the composer’s four piano concertos is examined from a historical and an analytical perspective: the – as complete as possible – history of their creation and performances is based on a thorough cross-check of data from the available primary sources and secondary literature references, leading to numerous revisions of hitherto erroneous or deficient information, while the detailed analyses of the works illuminate their structure and their main stylistic features in connection with a solid theoretical background, which contributes to the elimination of any kind of misinterpretation formulated for these concertos in all their previous, superficial, approaches. Finally, in the conclusion of this study, a) the evolution of Scharwenka’s compositional style is evaluated through his formal choices, the implementation of the cyclic form as a compositional principle, and the relation between the solo instrument and the orchestra that is developed in his four concertos, b) the possible influence that the works of prominent fellow-craftsmen of his occasionally had on Scharwenka is put under investigation, c) the exact position of these piano concertos in the wider history of their genre during the late romantic period is redefined, and, inevitably, d) an inquiry is made into the causes of their displacement from the concert repertoire after the death of their composer.



Nafsika Chatzichristou: Examination of the Greek classical music and opera audience’s motives for participation in live concerts and performances


People’s perceptions and opinions about the value of cultural activities, the level of satisfaction of their needs by participating in them, the rising emotions and benefits (conscious or unconscious) that derive on a personal and social level, are all factors that can determine the form and the degree of their participation. Although the mentioned factors can be reasonably understood as motives for cultural participation, in this article motives are defined by the selected process to attend live concerts and performances of classical music and opera as opposed to the private listening of recordings. While live concerts competitors are varied, modern researchers have pointed out that a dominant one is the art music itself through the listening of recordings in the comfort of domestic place. In order to settle down the scaremongering that records tend to supplant the need to participate in live concerts, the article reveals part of the findings of the empirical research conducted as part of a doctoral thesis on the Greek classical music and opera audience with the support of The Athens Concert Hall – Megaron and the Greek National Opera. The examination of the audience’s motives for cultural participation provides a better understanding of its behaviors and may therefore contribute to defining level and more accurate audience development proposals, as described through the programming, education and marketing sectors.



Maria Sourtzi: Structural characteristics of Perotin’s organum quadruplum Sederunt principes (1st part)


The four-part organum Sederunt principes of Perotin is a work of colossal dimensions. For this reason, this article will be limited to an analysis of the structure of its first part, which, nevertheless, is demonstrative of the highly dexterous compositional skills of Perotin. Through the use of very limited motivic material, Perotin still manages to create a large-scale work without even resorting to a single exact repetition. His compositional practice based on the presentation of the same melodic material, but always in a different manner harbingers, inter alia, the musical style of J. S. Bach, 500 years later. Some of the means for this accomplishment include the employment of motivic repetition and variation, sequences, imitation technique, the rectus-inversus technique, and the use of double and triple counterpoint, probably for the first time in the history of western music. These innovations classify Perotin’s organum Sederunt principes not only as one of his most inspirational compositions, but also as a work ahead of its time.


Alain Gedovius – George Leotsakos: Dimitris Levidis: Gleanings from Le Journal de ma Vie [The diary of my life] (Part II)


This document presents extensive excerpts from the three-volume manuscript diary of Dimitris Levidis, under the title Le Journal de ma Vie [The diary of my life]. The manuscript is expertly summarized in depth, with the aid of Alain Gedovius, who is the owner of the composer’s copyrights, due to his father’s marriage to the composer’s daughter Marie-France. Alain Gedovius kept the archives, music material (both manuscript and printed scores), photos and Memoirs of Levidis for almost 30 years, before donating the whole archive to the Département de la Musique of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The extensive prologue and the commentary of the text have been written by the author and music critic George Leotsakos. Leotsakos, with his vivid style of writing, gives a first account of this new significant find, offering a wealth of information about the fortune of composer’s works after his death.


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