A critical edition of the 48 studies for oboe, op. 31 by Franz Wilhelm Ferling (1796-1874), based on original historical evidence and viewed within the context of the evolution of didactic material for oboe, with particular reference to nineteenth-century performing practices.
The present thesis is structured in an Introduction and four chapters. The Introduction discusses the originality of the subject and includes all available historical information concerning Ferling and his work as a performer and composer, and a detailed description of all of his known compositions. A substantial part of the information presented in the discussion of Ferling's compositions, and concerning their citations in nineteenth-century journals, is the result of original research and criticism. There is also reference to the importance of the 48 Studies in modern instrumental training. Chapter 1 examines the historical evolution of instrumental didactic material, concentrating on didactic compositions for the oboe and ultimately focussing on nineteenth-century oboe methods, studies and similar compositions. In this context the 48 Studies are compared to other contemporary didactic works for the oboe and to pieces of the same genre for other instruments. The chapter concludes with a detailed table of all nineteenth-century didactic compositions for the oboe, arranged chronologically. Chapter 2 presents the most important editions of the 48 Studies for Oboe Op. 31. The discussion determines its first publisher and the date of its original publication, based on contemporary information, and concludes that no modern edition is based on this original edition. The most important modern editions are also discussed and compared with their supposed sources. The differences that emerge from this comparison support the proposition that a critical edition of the work is necessary today. Chapter 3 has a brief description of all the historical (nineteenth-century) sources used in the critical report, together with a brief discussion of my editorial policy and the most important issues that demanded editorial intervention. The chapter includes a stemmatic filiation diagram. An extended and detailed critical report, together with the critical edition itself, which is the core and main subject of the thesis, are included in the Appendix. Chapter 4 discusses several performance-practice issues based on both modem scholarship and nineteenth-century pedagogical material (some of which was presented in Chapter 1). This discussion is closely related to editorial issues tackled in Chapter 3. The thesis concludes with a summary of the results of the research and a brief discussion of issues that await further investigation. The appendix presents all Tables referring to the discussion in the above chapters, comparisons between twentieth-century editions, the critical report as well as J. P. Spehr's 1837 edition of the Studies. In the course of research, I took advantage of an extended bibliography which includes dictionaries and other reference material, catalogues of compositions and music journals from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many didactic compositions for the oboe from 1695 to 1900, and modern editions of Ferling's compositions as well as a large number of modem pedagogical compositions, books and articles on issues regarding performance and editorial practice.
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