A modern process of performance practice and its implementation on Dimitris Dragatakis’s concert for solo violin and orchestra

Stylianos Tsakalidis

PhD, University of Macedonia, 2012
Title: A modern process of performance practice and its implementation on Dimitris Dragatakis’s concert for solo violin and orchestra
PhD abstract:

This dissertation focuses on presenting a modern approach to performance practice by introducing a contemporary process for use by the performer, as well as by implementing this process on Dimitris Dragatakis’s Concert for Solo Violin and Orchestra. Based on the latest scientific findings we will expand on the concept of both the mental and physical aspects that are involved in preparing for the performance of a musical work. The mental aspect is based on the notion of the auditory image, which constitutes the mental representation of the work’s auditory material. Beginning with the formation of the auditory image in the brain and directed towards the actual physical training, the study integrates the use of both mental training and kinesthetic preparation in the performance practice process. The physical aspect of the process includes programming musical movements, storing the resulting motor programs in the performer’s memory and enabling the subsequent automatization of the musical movements. The process concludes with feedback control, which aims at verifying whether the performance’s auditory outcome identifies itself with the target auditory image. After presenting the process, we focus on demonstrating how it can be implemented by the performer who prepares for the performance of a specific modern musical work, using as an example Dimitris Dragatakis’s Concert for Solo Violin and Orchestra. The process’s practical implementation integrates three stages: preparing for the performance, studying and performing the edited solo violin part and developing a preparatory piano reduction of the orchestra score. Preparing for the performance entails collecting all necessary information concerning the composer and the musical work. Studying and performing the edited violin part includes implementing the editor’s performance proposals, as these are expressed through the notation of performance markings. The preparatory piano reduction facilitates the solo violin part study and practice by providing the performer with a piano accompaniment. The approach adopted in this dissertation concludes with an extra reduction of the orchestra score for piano and percussion. The performance practice process proposed by this dissertation aims at facilitating the performer’s preparation for the performance of demanding modern musical works.

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