Portfolio of Performances Investigating Chamber Transcriptions of Orchestral Repertoire: This portfolio is comprised of twelve works performed across nine concerts (see Portfolio Items for details).

Ashley Smith (Artist)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputPerformancepeer-review

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Abstract

RESEARCH BACKGROUND

The re-opening of live performance in the context of COVID-19 required smaller performing forces and smaller audiences in order to adhere to social distancing requirements. This situation prompted the opportunity for the transcription of orchestral repertoire for chamber ensemble forces in order to retain audiences across this period. Extending upon this situation, this portfolio investigated the best practices and scope for the transcription of symphonic and concerto works for a mixed chamber ensemble. It also explored rehearsal and performance methods for performing transcribed repertoire in the unconducted chamber context.

RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION

The reduction in instrumentation resulted not in literal transcription, but a significant reallocation of the original voicing, registration, dynamic shape and texture. Concertante works responded most successfully: the chamber context offered textural transparency and flexibility to greater temporal and dynamic risks. Those works where the original orchestration was incomplete or elastic (e.g. the Bartok and Shaw performances) afforded opportunity to significantly recast texture and timbre. The lack of a conductor required significant short-scoring, but allowed a high spontaneous and flexible approach to tempo and phrasing to be achieved in performance.


RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE

The performances were funded by Arts Queensland and independently produced by leading chamber music organisation, the Southern Cross Soloists and staged at major performance venues including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Each performance was broadcast nationally by the ABC and reviewed by national media including Limelight, and ClassiKon. The Bangalow Music Festival performance was a finalist for the APRA-AMCOS award for Excellence in a Regional Area. The project was funded by Arts Queensland.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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