This submission for the degree of Master of Music at the Elder Conservatorium of Music explores, through the medium of performance, ways in which classical guitarists can enhance the expressive nuances in their playing. In the twentieth century, despite the numerous refinements in guitar technique [particularly in areas regarding speed and volume), the high degree of ‘polish’ in classical guitar performance practice is such that some of the subtleties of expression have been diminished. Through an exploration of recordings from leading classical guitarists, and subsequent analysis of their use of expressive techniques, I have found ways to apply them in my own performance.
Within this portfolio of two CD recordings [the first of which contains Spanish Nationalist/Romantic repertoire and the second works by Dowland, Bach and BrittenJ and supporting exegesis, I explore the effectiveness of various technical and musical tools that the guitarist may employ for greater expressivity. The most significant observations from aural analysis, both of my own and others’ recordings, are that the most ‘expressive’ interpretations result when a combination of several techniques are used simultaneously, and that slower tempi and a greater length of time preparing the work allow for more expressive possibilities.
University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music, 2012