"As Fast as One Possibly Can ...": Virtuosity, a Truth of Musical Performance

Abstract : Virtuosity is a concept that has the double advantage of being transverse with respect to different musical genres and of pointing at performance - at music that is not fixed by the score. These are two characteristics that directly refer to approaches developed by Derek Scott, which he has done by focusing, as I intend to do, on the nineteenth century - a period when great divides were established. These divides still govern current musical practices, and perhaps even more, the academic disciplines that target them. In the course of the questioning of the opposition between popular and art music as carried out by critical musicology, and mirroring its focus on the notion of performance, I have decided to payr espect to the way musicians themselves have taken on the constitutional ambivalence of virtuosity. Indeed, for them this refers less to the specific property some types of music or artists possess than to a distanced attraction - a dangerous temptation, an impossible injunction of which they need to be wary.
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Antoine Hennion. "As Fast as One Possibly Can ...": Virtuosity, a Truth of Musical Performance. Stan Hawkins. Critical Musicological Reflections. Essays in Honour of Derek B. Scott, Ashgate, pp.125-138, 2012. ⟨hal-00771908⟩

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