Ethics of Conservation; Water Distribution; Non-invasive Detection; Neutron Imaging; Brass Instruments; Le Sacre du Printemps; Metal Corrosion; Galvanic; Stravinsky, Igor (1882-1971); Corrosion Protection; Archeochemistry; Conservation; Physical Chemistry; Electrochemistry; Restoration of Musical Instruments
Von SteigerAdrian (2019), Klingende Sammlung Bern und Quartetto italiano der HKB, in NIKE , BAK , ICOMOS (ed.), Schwabe, Basel, 66-67.
Von SteigerAdrian, AllenbachDaniel, ElsenerBernhard, LedergerberMartin, MannesDavid (2018), New Insights into the Conservation of Brass Instruments: Brass Instruments between Preventive Conservation and Use in Historically Informed Performance., in Historic Brass Society Journal
, 30, 85-102.
Von Steiger Adrian (2017), Das Innenleben unserer Blechblasinstrumente., in Schweizer Musikzeitung
, (Juli 2017), 22-25.
Elsener Bernhard, Cocco Federica, Fantauzzi M., Palomba S., Rossi Antonella (2016), Determination of the corrosion rate inside historical brass wind instruments – Proof of concept, in Materials and Corrosion
, 67, 1336-1343.
Cocco Federica, Elsener Bernhard, Fantauzzi M., Rossi Antonella (2016), Dissolution of brass alloys naturally aged in neutral solutions: An electrochemical and surface analytical study, in RSC Advances
, (6), 90654-90665.
Von Steiger Adrian (2016), Hirsbrunner, a Swiss Family of Wind Instrument Makers, in The Galpin Society Journal
, April 2016(LXIX), 181-200.
Cocco Federica, Elsener Bernhard (2016), Nanosized surface films on brass by XPS and XAES, in RSC Advances
, 6, 31277-31289.
Elsener Bernhard, Lombardo Tiziana, Ledergerber Martin, Wörle Marie, Cocco Federica, Rossi Antonia (2016), TECHNART 2015 - Non-destructive and microanalytical techniques in art and cultural heritage, in Microchemical Journal
, 124, 757-764.
Von Steiger A. Allenbach D. Elsener B. Ledergerber M. Lombardo T. Mannes D. et al. (2016), To play versus to display - Historische Blasinstrumente aus Messing im Spannungsfeld zwischen Konservierung und Nutzung, in Glareana
, (2), 4-18.
The 'historically informed performance practice' (HIP) of old music began already towards the close of the 19th century, underwent a surge of development in the 1930s and then from the 1970s onwards became a dominant trend in contemporary musical practice. It regards the use of so-called 'period instruments' as one of its fundamental elements, and according to availability this can mean either the use of copies of extant original instruments or, in certain cases, the use of the originals themselves. Whereas, for example, for music of the Middle Ages the reconstruction of instruments after pictorial sources is quite normal (for the instruments themselves have not survived), for music between ca 1500 and 1800 the use of copies has become established - copies that are as faithful as possible to the original, that have been 'optimised' where necessary and (for example) standardised in matters of pitch (especially in the case of wind instruments). For the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries upon which the principles of HIP are now encroaching, it is quite normal to play on original wind instruments. They are available in relatively large numbers, a market still exists for them, and in comparison to rarer, earlier instruments they are considered less valuable and are thus not generally regarded as collectible objects by museums and private collectors.Above all, however, the variety of instrument types in the 19th century was so broad that for most instruments no standard model established itself that could now be reconstructed in large numbers and thus made economically viable. So it is common to use a large number of original instruments, changing them constantly, in line with the principle that one should use an appropriate instrument for each work played. It seems likely that this trend, which at present is only just beginning, will become more and more widely followed as the HIP movement expands further into the repertoire of the 20th century and draws an ever greater number of performers and listeners into its orbit.With this in mind, it thus seems natural that guidelines for the use of historical wind instruments should be set up - instruments that are regarded as being particularly in danger on account of the contact they require with the humidity in the breath of their players. (Playing historical string instruments, on the other hand, has long been a matter of course - the oldest currently in use date from the 16th century.) The question is increasingly being asked as to what criteria exist for their use, criteria that would negotiate between the two extremes of their being displayed only in museum cases, or being subjected to 'normal' concert use. Private and public instrument collections are more and more being forced to confront such issues.The present project has a clearly defined object of research, namely the brass instruments used in a Parisian theatre orchestra on a specific evening in May 1913 - namely for the world première of Igor Stravinsky’s "Le sacre du printemps". Taking this as our starting point, our goal is to examine the corrosion phenomena in historical instruments currently being used, and to present an appropriate set of recommendations for their conservation and usage. The project is thus situated - also in musical terms - in a field where the 'avant-garde' of the historically informed performance brigade is currently active, but where there is little empirical data available for 'period' instruments. The focus of the investigation is on instruments in the Burri Collection in Bern, which possesses some 1200 wind instruments, primarily from the 19th century. This collection was conceived by its founder, Karl Burri (1921-2003), expressly as a 'playable museum', and the problem of how to conserve brass instruments that are still in use is presented here in a highly topical fashion. The project builds on the foundations laid by various other projects that have either been concluded or are currently running within the Research Area 'Interpretation', and which focus on brass instruments of the 19th century, their historical materials and manufacturing techniques. It will be carried out as an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Collection Centre of the Swiss National Museum, the Neutron Imaging and Activation Group of the Paul Scherrer Institute, the Durability and Corrosion Group of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich ('Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich', ETHZ) and the Research Division of IBM. Besides publishing the scientific findings, the results of the project will also be integrated into orchestral performances and into the pedagogy of universities of music. This will allow the application of the project’s practical results to be documented.