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STIMU Symposium Utrecht

August 30, 2017 - September 1, 2017

Le trésor des pianistes :

Louise and Aristide Farrenc’s séance historique

Le trésor des pianistes is a 23 volume anthology of historical keyboard music compiled by Louise and Aristide Farrenc between 1861 and 1875. The scope of this collection is staggering, comprising keyboard music from the late 1500s until the 1830s. The Farrencs’ urtext editing philosophy is quite remarkable in their time period during which many editions of earlier music, e.g. Amédée Méreaux’ Les clavecinistes de 1637 à 1790, embedded interpretive decisions with the goal of adapting or ‘improving’ historical musical texts for their new nineteenth century context.

François-Joseph Fétis, passionately interested in early music, was one of the catalysts for their monumental project.  Fétis’ Concerts historiques inspired Aristide Farrenc, who spent the final twenty-five years of his career devoting his energies to studying the current practices and musical thought of his contemporaries and immersing himself in the musical past. Enriched by her studies with Aristide, Louise Farrenc later held her own historical concerts, séances historiques, lecture recitals in which she and her pupils at the Conservatoire performed and discussed seventeenth and eighteenth century keyboard pieces alongside Mendelssohn and other more contemporary music.

This lecture explores the impetus for Le trésor des pianistes in the musical climate of Second Empire France and the connections between historical practices and modernism exposed by their revival.

Joanna Marsden is a doctoral candidate in historical performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. Her research focuses on the performing practices, instruments, and repertoire of the French flute school of the nineteenth century. She completed her Masters at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague in 2013.


August 30, 2017
September 1, 2017


Tivoli Vredenburg Cloud Nine
Vredenburgkade 11
Utrecht, 3511 WB Netherlands
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Organisatie Oude Muziek
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