Last Friday (04/01/13), I presented at the RMA research students' conference in Southampton, with a paper entitled 'Revision, a case study: Mieczysław Weinberg'. Below is the abstract for my paper.
I extend many thanks to all who came to listen and for their thought-provoking comments and questions.
'The many instances of composers revising their previous works later on in life raise questions of authenticity, intervention and intention, as well as sheer craft. Such delicate topics may be difficult to approach, especially when there is little or no documentation of motivation, as in the case of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-96), a Polish-Jewish composer who lived and worked for most of his life in Moscow and whose posthumous reputation has dramatically advanced. Towards the end of his life, Weinberg revised many of his early works, especially his string quartets, in some cases making corrections and minor amendments, in others making substantial revisions, adding movements, and even rescoring for different forces. The significance of such revisions is vital to an understanding of Weinberg’s development as a composer, not least because many of his earliest works are now known to us only in their later manifestations. In this paper, I shall give examples of Weinberg’s revisions and explore the wide-reaching questions they raise. '