Romantic lab

Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde, cello
Artem Belogurov, piano


Romantic Lab is a video-blog dedicated to the study of late 19th- and early 20th-century performance practice, presenting the results of research and experimentation with Romantic performance by imitating historical recordings.

There is a consensus among musicologists and researchers that the earliest surviving recordings are an invaluable source of information of what performance practices of the time were. This is corroborated by a large amount of written evidence, such as treatises, methods, reviews of concerts, letters and memoirs of composers and performers. We believe that analysing and imitating early recordings is an invaluable technique in the study of 19th-century performance practices: both as a way of understanding them better and as a way of incorporating their stylistic features in performances. We chose the format of a video-blog hoping to engage with other musicians who have similar interests and approaches, open a discussion, as well as hopefully reaching to a wider audience.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Videos by Noelia Nicolas and sound by Antal van Nie.

To give a taste of what the rest will be like, and to open a discussion (please contact me if you have any thoughts to share about what we are doing), here is one of the full pieces we recorded. It is Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor arranged for cello and piano, based on a recording by Joseph Hollman from ca.1915.