Presented at the Grieg Conference in Berlin May 14, 2009
Tony Harrison, Norway
Sigurd Slåttebrekk, Norway
Being The Go-Between: Recreating Grieg’s 1903 Paris recordings
‘To perform in public is the most frightening thing I know. And yet to hear my works brought to life in a wonderful performance in accordance with my intentions – that I cannot resist.’
There has always seemed to us to exist a curious anomaly between the way most performing musicians and musicologists approach the available written and aural source material of a work they are studying. Something has always seemed a little out of step here. Certainly in our time we tend to approach any written material, particularly the musical notation contained in the score, with a veneration often bordering on the biblical. A new manuscript or a new reading of a well-studied one, often yields changes that make existing published editions largely unusable even though the new discoveries may be relativity minor. We all (and I include ourselves in this) bow long and low to the god of the ur-text.