Professor Ian Woodfield
Professor of Historical Musicology
Tel: +44 28 9097 5205
Office: Music Building
Address: School of Creative Arts, Music Building, Queen's University Belfast,
Teaching: Mozart’s Operas; Notation and Transcription; Musical Instruments; Early repertory; Bibliography.
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte: a Compositional History (Boydell, 2008) was awarded the Mozart Society of America’s Majorie Weston Emerson Prize for the best scholarly publication on Mozart in English.
The viol; music in the age of exploration; the social history of music in late eighteenth-century England and the role of women; Italian opera in late eighteenth-century London; Anglo-Indian music; the sources of Mozart’s operas, autographs and early manuscript copies.
The Early History of the Viol, Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. xiv + 266, establishes the organological antecedents of the viol and identifies the cultural and historical milieu in which it first emerged. The instrument is shown to have stemmed from a cross-fertilisation between the Spanish vihuela de arco and the North African rebab as played in the Jewish, Moorish and Christian enclaves of the late fifteenth-century Kingdom of Aragon.
English Musicians in the Age of Exploration, Pendragon, 1995, pp. xviii + 310, provides an overview of the role of musicians at all stages of the enterprise of overseas discovery: early shore-line encounters; symbolic ‘Acts of Possession’; attempts at settlement; and military conquest. It also traces the long history of diplomatic musical gifts, presented by commercial organisation seeking permission to trade.
Music of the Raj, Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. xx + 274, is a portrait of Anglo-Indian music-making in the early heyday of the East India Company in Calcutta. It describes the role that women amateurs played in the sudden fashion for arrangements of ‘Hindostannie airs’, which were presented at fashionable concert parties. This episode represents an unusually well-documented case of transculturation, when music itself crosses a pre-existing cultural boundary.
New Light on the Mozarts' London Visit, Music & Letters, vol. 76 (1995), pp.187-208 reports the discovery of a letter in which Margaret Clive, wife of Robert Clive of India’, describes a musical soirée in London at which the young Mozart and the leading castrato Manzuoli were invited to perform.
Opera and Drama in Eighteenth-Century London: The King’s Theatre, Garrick, and the Business of Performance, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. xiv + 339, is a study of the King’s Theatre during the 1770s. Interwoven into this account of London’s Italian opera house is the story of a private battle between the novelist Frances Brooke and David Garrick. Their quarrel, pursued through colourful and vitriolic satire, enmeshed the King’s Theatre in the wider world of London theatrical politics for decades to come, through the unscrupulous machinations of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
Salomon and the Burneys, Royal Musical Association Monographs, 2003, pp.vi + 83, considers the interaction between the contrasting spheres of public and private music-making in late eighteenth-century London, as exemplified by the career of the impresario Johann Peter Salomon who developed his career by exploiting his skills as a refined ‘society’ violinist. The study makes extensive use of the letter-journals of Susan Burney, a perceptive commentator, whose writings provide a vivid picture of London concert life on the eve of Haydn’s visit.
John Bland: London Retailer of the Music of Haydn and Mozart, Music & Letters, vol. 81 (2000), pp. 210-44, discusses the important role of the London music-retailer John Bland in developing the relationship between Haydn and Salomon. It clarifies the legends surrounding the so-called ‘Razor’ quartet.
Mozart’s Così fan tutte: A Compositional History, Boydell & Brewer, 2008, pp. xxii + 242, proposes a radically new thesis that Mozart and Da Ponte considered structuring the plot so that each officer serenades his own partner, before choosing the dramatic structure we know today. This sheds light on some long-debated ‘problems’ of Così: the difficulty in deciding what is parody and what is not: how to distinguish the sincere from the insincere; and above all the sense of unease over the ending.
The Vienna Don Giovanni, Boydell & Brewer, 2010, pp. xviii + 214, presents a systematic philological analysis of the early Bohemian and Viennese manuscript copies of this opera and identifies the Prague Conservatory copy as the exemplar for the Vienna performance materials. The study challenges the view that composite Prague-Vienna versions were a nineteenth-century aberration. Rather it is the traditions of the Gesamtausgabe which are in real need of deconstruction.
Performing Operas for Mozart: Singers, Impresarios and Troupes, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. xvi + 274, is a study of the Bondini-Guardasoni Italian opera company in Prague and the role it played in the promotion of Mozart’s Italian operas along the well-established cultural axis between Bohemia and Saxony. It makes use of a wide range of primary sources in Leipzig, including the superb collections of opera posters and concert programmes in the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum.
Christian Gottlob Neefe and the Bonn National Theatre, with New Light on the Beethoven Family, Music & Letters , forthcoming 2012, discusses the closure of the Bonn stage in 1784 following the death of Elector Max Friedrich. The director of the German theatre Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann was obliged to leave the city. During the next few years, he was kept informed about developments in Bonn by two of his erstwhile colleagues, Christian Gottlob Neefe and Nikolaus Simrock. Their correspondence from this period paints a vivid picture of musical and theatrical life in the city during the later 1780s. The new Elector, Maximilian Franz, permitted a visiting troupe to perform during Carnival each year, but in 1787 Christoph Brandt, a singer in the Bonn Hofkapelle, attempted new initiative. Although this failed almost immediately, a single, well-attended public rehearsal of Monsigny’s Der Deserteur was given, in which Johann Beethoven made what was almost certainly his last stage appearance. In a letter dated 14 May 1787, Simrock rated his performance ‘zimlich gut’.
Arts and Humanities Research Board (2000-2001): £3020: A study of the autograph score of Mozart’s Così fan tutte
British Academy (2001-2002): £1700: A study of the sources of Mozart's Così fan tutte
Arts and Humanities Research Board (2003-2004): £3000: A study of the sources of Mozart’s Così fan tutte
British Academy (2007-2008): £5080: A study of the early manuscript copies of Mozart's Don Giovanni
Arts and Humanities Research Council (2007) £35,564: Study Leave
British Academy (2010-12): £6360: The Sources of Figaro
Recent Invited Papers
One manuscript, two cities: the story of the Prague Conservatory Don Giovanni score (Mozart Society of America: Prague, June 2009)
The Fifth Man: Leipzig, Vienna and the casting of Don Giovanni (Music without Walls: QUB, December 2009)
The sources of the Vienna Don Giovanni (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum: Salzburg, March 2010)
A theory for the transmission of Mozart's Da Ponte operas (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum: Salzburg, March 2010)
The methodology of page-break analysis (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum: Salzburg, March 2010)
A theoretical model for the interaction between libretto and score (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum: Salzburg, 2010)
Drake and the viol (King's Place: London, June 2010)
The early casts of Don Giovanni: new evidence from Leipzig (Nordisk Netvaerk for Tidlig Musikdramatik: Stockholm, August 2010)
The Bondini-Guardasoni troupe: new evidence from Leipzig (Don Juan Archiv: Vienna, November 2010)
A preliminary report on early Figaro sources: Werktreue in the 1786 Prague version (Mozart Symposium: Boston, April 2012)
The Trouble with Cherubino …(Don Juan Archiv: Vienna, May 2012).