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Marcel Moyse between two centuries: Examining early twentieth-century French flute performance practice through recordings

Rachel Lynn Waddell, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Marcel Moyse clearly stands as one of the formative influences on flute playing in the twentieth century. This document will show Moyse, furthermore, to be a pivotal flutist between an earlier nineteenth-century performance practice and twentieth-century performance practices. Moyse's legacy as a teacher and performer has been well-documented, but the legacy of his recordings has not been examined in great depth until recently. Moyse's career as a recording artist was limited to the 1920s and 1930s, and his recordings have only recently been remastered and commercially reissued on compact disc. The first chapter of this document presents an introduction to the issues of the recorded legacy of Moyse, a review of the pertinent available Moyse resources, and a brief overview of the French flute school at the turn of the twentieth century. In order to place the Moyse recordings into the proper context, general performance practice issues of the pre-World War II years are examined in the second chapter. The third chapter consists of detailed analysis of specific recordings, placed into the context of other French flutists of the early twentieth century (Philippe Gaubert, Adolphe Hennebains, and Georges Barrère), and compared with modern recorded performances. The fourth chapter is commentary on Moyse and his contemporaries. The ramifications of understanding these early recordings on performance and pedagogy comprise the final two chapters of this document. Modern flutists can form “new” ideas of performance based on what was done many years ago, and has been largely forgotten (or never known) to current generations of students and teachers. Further, re-evaluation and re-examination of Moyse's pedagogical legacy, through his various published materials, and based on an awareness of the recordings, give the modern flutist a clearer concept of how to use these materials. ^

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Recommended Citation

Waddell, Rachel Lynn, "Marcel Moyse between two centuries: Examining early twentieth-century French flute performance practice through recordings" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3045540.