Kristian Lindberg: The Orchestral Piano

Kristian LindbergResearch Fellow at Norwegian Academy of Music
The project investigates the interpretative possibilities in early romantic piano music through an understanding of how composers like Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Liszt sought to make the piano sound like an orchestra.

The project can be seen as a different approach to historical interpretation of piano music, wanting to define a new ”identity” for the instrument that is sorely needed to refresh the way we listen to and play the piano repertoire. In contrast to the instruments of the orchestra it is much more difficult to pin down the keyboard instrument, who has gone through many changes throughout the centuries. In the baroque era it was part of the basso continuo-group before it became furniture together with the string instruments in romantic era chamber music. In much of the music of the 20th century we see the piano ”reduced” to an instrument of the percussion-section, together with the celesta and the harp. This later development, together with the digitalization of music has made it more and more difficult to recreate the imaginativeness and subtlety required for a true interpretation of the classical and romantic piano music. The richness of the instrument was actualized through the works of the greatest geniuses of western music. The possibilities of the instrument is inexhaustible, yet in the concert halls of the world today the sound of the piano has become more sterile and standardized than ever.
Franz Liszts transcriptions of Beethovens symphonies are central to the study, as well as the original piano solo works of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The study of conducting as well as the different instruments of the orchestra will also be an important part of the study.

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