Balancing the Ideals of Werktreue and Originality in One's Activity as a Musician
In my thesis I ponder some of the questions around the possibilities and limitations of interpretation in western art music. These include questions such as "what are the limitations of interpretation?" and "what is the purpose of composing and performing music?" My main research question is, however: "Is it possible to balance the ideal of Werktreue and that of originality in one's activity as a musician?" As a showcase I am using Bach's Prelude from his Second Suite for Solo Cello, of which I have performed a version that is widely accepted as the "original" one and two versions of the piece reinterpreted by two composition students of the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg. My text includes a description of a concert performance of these three pieces and the work leading up to it. Furthermore I present my thoughts about interpretation by drawing from my experience as a musician and music student as well as by reflecting on other texts relevant to the subject. I also want to provoke the art music community to think a bit more critically about interpretation and not to take performing practices as granted without questioning anything.
J. S. Bach