The solo piano sonatas of Cipriani Potter (1792-1871): An analysis, reappraisal, and historical performance
Date of Award
Master of Arts (Performing Arts)
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
Associate Professor Jonathan Paget
Associate Professor Stewart Smith
Dr Victoria Rogers
The solo piano sonatas (Op. 1, 3, and 4) of once eminent English pianist/composer Cipriani Potter (1792-1871) are a collection of works that have for the most part fallen into obscurity. Potter produced three such sonatas in his lifetime, each at approximately the same time during his educational trip to Vienna between 1817 and 1818. Potter was much celebrated in his own time as a virtuoso pianist, teacher, and eventual principal at the Royal Academy of Music, and as an editor of the works of Mozart and Beethoven amongst others. This study examines Potter’s sonatas in light of both modern and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century methods of analysis, as well as in the light of his two greatest influences: Joseph Wolfl (1773-1812) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). The study comprises an analysis, reception history, critical reappraisal, and historical performance. It applies three analytical frameworks: the stylistic taxonomy (sublime, beautiful, and ornamental) of contemporaneous commentator and teacher of Potter, William Crotch (1775-1874); late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century key characteristics (largely drawn from Rita Steblin’s History of Key Characteristics); and the analytical approach of James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s Elements of Sonata Theory. The analysis, alongside historical performance concerns, informs and influences the interpretive decisions in a complete public recital of Potter’s sonatas using a replica fortepiano after Conrad Graf (ca. 1819). The analysis also informs a critical reappraisal of the significance of Potter’s works, which (as shown through a reception history) have not been fully appreciated. The aim of this project is to produce an effective analytical method for application to the remainder of Potter’s piano output and serve as a stepping-stone for further research into Potter’s music.
The Solo Piano Sonatas of Cipriani Potter (1792-1871) Part 2 - Annotated Scores are unavailable in this version of the thesis.
Proctor, J. (2020). The solo piano sonatas of Cipriani Potter (1792-1871): An analysis, reappraisal, and historical performance. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/2411