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dc.contributor.authorBehan, Adam
dc.description.abstractThe detailed study of individual classical performers has traditionally been restricted to the genre of music biography, one which is rich in contextualisation but light on direct engagement with the performer’s abilities as captured in recordings. More recent approaches to performance use empirical techniques to quantify and discuss what is termed performer ‘style’, but often without embedding that style within the context of said performer’s life or cultural surroundings. In other words, there is a methodological rift of sorts between biographical and empirical approaches to performers, one which creates a sharp divide between life and work. In this thesis, I attempt to integrate them through a study of the twentieth-century Russian pianist Maria Veniaminovna Yudina (1899–1970), a neglected but enormously significant musician in the Soviet Union. I consider these issues and introduce Yudina in Chapters 1–2. I then undertake several case studies based around Yudina’s discography. In Chapters 3–4, I explore Yudina’s romantic and baroque repertoire by comparing her performances in live concerts with studio recordings, framing the differences and their significance in terms of recent theories of liveness. The concert hall emerges as a key venue for Yudina’s artistic practice in which she experimented and took risks that are not found in her studio recordings, pointing to the importance of performance setting as a contextualising factor in studies of recordings. In Chapter 5, I analyse her recordings of contemporary repertoire in the context of her place within 1960s Soviet vnye culture and her ‘new’ music ideals. In Chapters 6–7, I discuss two of her last sets of recordings in relation to detailed essays that she wrote to accompany them. I argue that her interpretation of Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition constitutes a performance of Russian national identity, one geared toward community building underpinned by a Russian Orthodox faith. I approach her last set of recordings for solo piano—six Brahms intermezzos—as an act of autobiographical making based around themes of loss, mortality and nostalgia, all of which I conceptualise in terms of the idea of lateness. I conclude with two main points. First, I draw out the implications of Yudina’s varying performing strategies across baroque, romantic and contemporary repertoire, arguing for a move away from style and towards a framework of craft. Second, I assess the prospects (and perils) of integrative approaches to a performer’s artistry for performance studies and musicology more generally.
dc.description.sponsorshipPeterhouse, Cambridge
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
dc.subjectperformance studies
dc.subjectmusical recordings
dc.subjectMaria Yudina
dc.subjectmusic biography
dc.subjectmusic analysis
dc.titleLife, Work and the Individual Classical Performer: Maria Yudina's Artistic Practice and Imagination, 1947–70
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.contributor.orcidBehan, Adam [0000-0003-4796-3720]
cam.supervisorRink, John
pubs.licence-display-nameApollo Repository Deposit Licence Agreement

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's licence is described as Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)