« on: April 04, 2015, 10:15:14 pm »
Had a really fascinating afternoon yesterday at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying the original orchestral score (from October 1906) of York Bowen's Viola Concerto. I also managed to have a quick flick through the original piano reduction from 1907.
The 1906 score is mainly in black ink. There are some red ink additions, mainly tempi markings, and occasional extra notes in the orchestral strings. I suspect these were York Bowen himself, as the handwriting is close match to the black ink.
The score also has pencil - in particular a note about two extra bars of cadenza. The 3rd and 4th bars of the cadenza's final allegro assai in the Weinberger edition do not appear in the original, I think the pencil must be Tertis - but could be YB himself (also a viola player). A chap on F-B says that Tertis wrote the cadenza, so perhaps someone missed a couple of bars when writing out the orchestral score...?
And the orchestral score also has lots of blue pencil. This is an extravagant hand, and different from YB's meticulous detailed writing. The Blue also appears in the original piano reduction, crossing out all the optional cuts, and actually crossing out a further 4 bars. These 4 bars are not in the Weinberger edition, and would sit between 579 and 580. I'd love to know if this Blue was YB himself. but I suspect it is Landon Ronald, preparing with Tertis for the March 1908 premiere.
John White, in editing the Weinberger publication, does state that his editions are led by the original solo part Tertis used (which was in Harry Danks possession). This of course, I have not seen (and would love to!). It must have very different articulation and dynamics from the original. However, it does show that there are very many differences between composer's original thoughts and the first performance - sure Tertis and Bowen agreed much of this, but would love to know what was discussed!
It's also been a joy dealing with publishers and the RAM getting this far. Alex at Weinbergers and Kathryn at RAM have been incredibly helpful. I really hope I can do this justice in the performance!