Their Tone of Voice

Study Day with Hilary Metzger (cello)

In recent years, HIP research of later repertoire has become increasingly interested in the value of old recordings. Strangely, these documents often testify to performance practice techniques that seem to be at odds with the instructions or preferences found in the methods and other written documents by the very performers who made the recordings. As a consequence, there has been a tendency to doubt the reliability of written sources in general, a particularly frightening proposition when one considers that for performers who died before the early 20th century, written sources form a large part of the only performance practice evidence that exists.
This presentation will contend that written sources have more validity than we realize, especially when we examine them less literally, but take into consideration the context and above all, the tone of voice which the author expresses his ideas. By comparing the writings and the recordings of specific performers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it becomes evident that in some cases, the written document may even shed more light on the musical and performance preferences of that artist. This analysis can also therefore give us guidelines for how to read the words on performance instructions from musicians who did not leave us acoustical recordings.

12.30 Welcome & lunch
2.00 Lecture Hilary Metzger
3.30 Sharing research
6.00 End

Hilary Metzger was born in New York City. She received her BA at Yale University while studying with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music, and her Masters and Doctorate with Timothy Eddy at Mannes College of Music and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Thanks to a US government Fulbright grant, she then studied baroque cello with Christophe Coin at the Paris Conservatory, where she received a unanimous premier prix. Currently, she plays regularly with l’Orchestre des Champs Elysées (Philippe Herreweghe); Anima Eterna (Jos van Immerseel); Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet) and performs chamber music with members of these groups. Ms Metzger is frequently invited to perform and lecture on issues of historical performance at institutions throughout Europe as well as in Asia and in the United States. She is on the faculty at the Ecole Nationale de Musique de Villeurbanne near Lyon and at the Jeune Orchestra Atlantique Masters degree program at the Université of Poitiers.