My current PhD studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien under supervision of Dr Clive Brown focuses on the violoncello performance practice of King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (1744–1797) and his court.
Mechanical Instrument Digitisation Project
Nothing could be more important to the musicians of today, than to hear recordings (or closely mimicking automations of performance) by eighteenths-century musicians.
Especially when those recordings come with the following statement by the well known and trusted lexicographer Ernst Ludwig Gerber:
“Those clocks which I saw and heard at Mr. Kleemeyer's workshop in 1797 played in a way which left nothing to be desired. Since the Berliners know how to bring so much life into this inanimate, mechanical musician, these clocks would be useful for the history of taste in music for future times, by communicating the manner prevailing in our age to the ears of future generations.” - Neues Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler 1813
Through work with some Flötenuhren built by Kleemeyer in the 1790s I am reconstructing interpretations pinned into the barrels of these mechanical instruments, including works of Mozart, Haydn and Pleyel, so that we may understand late eigtheenth-century use of ornamentation, tempo modification and articulation.