Botticelli, Andrea. “Creating Tone”: The Relationship Between Beethoven’s Piano Sonority and Evolving Instrument Designs, 1800-1810. D.M.A. diss., University of Toronto, 2014.
This study investigates how Beethoven “created” his own tone when faced with the new Erard and Streicher instrument models in the first decade of the nineteenth century. The story of Beethoven’s evolving pianistic writing unfolds in tandem with his changing instrument preferences; there is a constant feedback loop between innovations in piano construction and his piano music. I explore the reciprocal relationship between Beethoven’s instruments, used as tools and springboards for creative expression, and his piano writing. I look at these works from a performer’s perspective; understanding how this music sounded in the context of these instruments informs our knowledge of Beethoven’s individual stylistic elements, their genesis and evolution.