Friday 30 October
2-3pm Jean-François Raffin
The Tourte Family at the end of 18th century
The recent discovery of different bow models by the Tourte family sheds new light on their work. Tracing the evolution of bows by Nicolas Pierre, Nicolas Léonard and François Xavier Tourte, leading bow expert Jean-François Raffin will analyse their different models using branded examples, and will present new research on the epoch’s most influential makers.
3.15-4.15pm Constance Frei
Bowed Instruments in Paintings; 16th-early 18th century
The abundance of bowed instruments in paintings from the 16th to early 18th centuries provides many clues to contemporary performance practice. Dressed in luxurious outfits or modest clothing, and often transformed into angel musicians, these violinists hold their instruments and bows in a variety of ways, each suggesting their own sound, articulation and gesture. Examining these paintings against scores from the same period sheds will shed light on Baroque bow techniques.
4.30-5.15pm Bernard Gaudfroy
Life and Work for 18th century Parisian Bow Makers
Powerful guilds controlled the working conditions of violin and bow makers in 18th-century Paris. Bow makers were not permitted to become members of the luthiers’ guild, and many, including the Tourte family, were forced to work in the so-called lieux privilégiés, which allowed craftsmen to work free of the guild restrictions in return for a fee. Bernard Gaudfroy will discuss the difficulties this created for bow makers and how the Tourtes managed to establish themselves in Paris before the guild system was abolished in 1793.
5.15-6.15pm Kai Koepp
French or German Bows for Beethoven; A Political Choice
During Beethoven’s lifetime, the Tourte bow enjoyed growing acceptance, but there was a resistance to its use that is intrinsically tied up in the politics of the time. New studies reveal that outside the realm of French musical influence, string players continued to use their traditional bows and playing styles, particularly in countries that were at war with Napoleon. Native Viennese musicians of Beethoven’s day refused to use a ‘modern’ Tourte bow and bows identified today as Cramer models continued to be in use. For musicians in Beethoven’s time, the choice of bow was a matter of politics into which the concept of sound and articulation were intertwined.
7.30-8.30pm Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Claire Holden
Music in the Salon
What range of music was played in the salon and who were the performers? From visiting virtuosi to unaccomplished amateurs, which styles of bows might have been used by which groups, and how might the choice of bows have affected artistic decision making? Moving away from the public concert hall to domestic settings, where the majority of musical performances took place, this lecture–recital will examine the variety of bows and strokes that might have been used in string chamber music at the turn of the 19th century.
Saturday 31 October
12.30-2pm The Art of Bow Making in the 18th century: Evolution or Revolution?
Round table with Jean-François Raffin, Christophe Coin, Bernard Millant, Kai Koepp, Bernard Gaudfroy, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Constance Frei, Jérôme Akoka. Moderated by Jason Price.
With participants including experts, bow makers, musicologists and musicians, this round table discussion will examine the links between the workmanship and music, as well as contemporary playing techniques and the revolutionary politics of the time. Many questions relating to 18th-century bow making remain unanswered and the discussion will suggest new areas for future research and development.
2.30-4.30pm From the Baroque to the Romantic; Playing on Original Bows
Concert-conference with Christophe Coin, Alexander Janiczek, Chouchane Siranossian, Yoko Kaneko, Claire Thirion and Nicolas Mazzoleni
Performing with bows that span the stylistic developments of the 18th century, this concert–conference will explore the sound production, articulation and performance considerations for repertoire from the second half of the 18th century. Excerpts of chamber music by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven will be featured, as well as solo works by great violinist–composers including Viotti, Baillot and Rode. Works accompanied by pianoforte will be used to explore the nuances of voicing and balance.