Playing in the Manner of Ricardo Viñes

Håkon Skogstad has since 2017 been fully funded as a research fellow at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim pursuing a PhD in Artistic Research


Can recreating historical recordings through extreme imitation transpire into artistic knowledge?

Could this embodied artistic knowledge be applied to conduct new and personalized interpretations?

We live in a classical music époque with strong roots to the romantic period - a proud pianistic pedigree only a few generations old. The ideal of our time is to perform and interpret music with the highest respect for the composers - trying to evoke the traditions of the past, but also to reimagine the work through our own artistic capabilities. Why then are we so often ambivalent about historical recordings from the beginning of the last century? There is usually a clash between what modern day musicians and audiences hear and what is conceived as tradition. Skepticism occurs and we start questioning the circumstances of the recording technology - sometimes not validating the performance - blaming on recording technology issues, or the age and health of the recording artist.
Portrett mindre oppløsning
    In my artistic research project I want to investigate and study the recordings of Spanish born pianist Ricardo Viñes to shed light on a forgotten playing style coming from the romantic tradition that deeply influenced the so-called impressionistic period of the early 1900s. I believe there is a vast amount of hidden knowledge in such old recordings and that this knowledge can be embodied and interpreted through extreme imitation - the recreation of historical recordings.

Videos of recreated historical recordings

Ricardo Viñes: C. Debussy - Poissons d’or (from Images, Book 2)
Sergei Rachmaninov: F. Chopin - Waltz (Op. 64, No. 2)
Ignacy Friedman: F. Chopin - Nocturne (Op. 55, No. 2)
Ricardo Viñes: A. Borodin - Scherzo in A-flat
Ricardo Viñes: D. Scarlatti - Sonata in D (K. 29 / L. 461)
Ricardo Viñes: I. Albéniz - Granada (Serenata), Op. 47 No. 1