Matching Items (53)
- All Subjects: Music
- Creators: Holbrook, Amy
John La Montaine (b. 1920) has devoted his life to music composition. His major works total 62 opus numbers, including operas, concertos, songs, chamber music, and orchestral works as well as eleven compositions for solo piano. Among his composition teachers were Nadia Boulanger and Howard Hanson, and his first piano concerto was awarded the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for Music. He was active also as a concert soloist and collaborative pianist, appearing on prestigious concert series and with first-rank orchestras. Despite his obvious success, La Montaine did not seek publicity. As a result, the majority of his music is not widely known. La Montaine's eleven compositions for solo piano are written in a wide variety of styles, from tonal to serial, with many based on a tonal center, and they range in difficulty from the easiest beginner pieces to challenging concert works. His elementary works include a set of easy canons and many small pieces written for an early piano method. An imaginative set of children's pieces and a small virtuoso étude challenge the intermediate pianist. A diverse range of works for the advanced pianist includes a serious sonata, a lively toccata, several contrapuntal works, lilting dance pieces, and unique smaller pieces. The recording included with this research project is the first to present La Montaine's complete works for solo piano. The composer's own recordings of many of his works are difficult to obtain, and only a few have been recorded commercially. While some of his works remain in publishers' catalogs, those which are out-of-print can be obtained via interlibrary loan. This recording and discussion of La Montaine's solo piano pieces are intended to make his work better known.
Peter N. Schubert in "Hidden Forms in Palestrina's `First Book of Four-Voice Motets'" (Journal of the American Musicological Society, 2007) defines significant blocks of vertical relationships in imitative and non-imitative duos in the thirty-six motets of Palestrina's Motectus festorum totius anni cum communi sanctorum, published in 1564. Schubert describes these blocks of vertical relationships that proceed from duos as modules and organizes them according to categories of construction and function. Palestrina's parody Mass, O Rex glóriæ, reveals the same duos and modules that Schubert discovers in Palestrina's motet of the same name. Palestrina transfers these duos and modules from the motet into the parody Mass, using them as building blocks for points of imitation. The duos, modules, and their motives appear in all but a few places, and are in some cases prominent throughout movements of the Mass, such as the Kyrie. Palestrina manipulates and elaborates these duos and modules according to the character and text of each movement. He borrows them consistently in their original order, which he changes only for reasons of textual meaning or verbal similarity. The module approach to recurring vertical combinations, although a recent application, is valuable for recognizing and treating systematically the duo relationships and their elaboration that are described by late-Renaissance theorists, especially Fray Tomas de Sancte Maria. The identification and analytical interpretation of duos and modules in Palestrina's motet O Rex glóriæ and the parody Mass based on it yields insights not only into his compositional decisions as he adapts material from the motet for its new setting, but also into the potential value of modules as the basis for an analytical approach to the sacred vocal polyphony of the sixteenth century.
New works for the bass clarinet as a solo instrument are uncommon. In the interest of expanding the repertoire of the bass clarinet, three new works for bass clarinet were commissioned from three different composers, all with different instrumentations. The resulting works are Industrial Strength for bass clarinet and piano by Kenji Bunch; Dark Embers for two bass clarinets by Theresa Martin; and Shovelhead for bass clarinet and interactive electronics by Steven Snowden. Although all three works feature the bass clarinet, they are all very different and pose unique challenges to the performer. To accompany these pieces, and as an aid to future performers, a performance practice guide has been included with recommendations for individuals who wish to perform these works. Included in the guide are recommended fingerings, practice techniques, and possible adjustments to the bass clarinet parts designed in collaboration with the composers that make the works more technically accessible. Accompanying this guide are full scores of all three works, a recording of them performed by the author, and a chart that contains recommended altissimo fingerings.
The legacy of the great double bassist and pedagogue Joseph Prunner (1886-1969) includes his scale and arpeggio exercise book, Progressive Studies for the Double Bass, composed in 1955. Progressive Studies was originally written for Prunner's students at the Bucharest Conservatoire and was not intended for a wide publication. In the work Prunner presents major and harmonic and melodic minor scales that are performed in one octave and then extended diatonically through all their modes, progressing through this pattern for three octaves, followed by a series of arpeggio exercises. These exercises are based on a modernized fingering system and are offered in the traditional positions and in what Prunner called "Fixed-Position" scales. A series of chromatic scale exercises are also included that follow the template of the major and minor scales. The study at hand is a revision and expansion of Prunner's work. The edition presented here intends to preserve the information that Prunner provided, fix the errors made in editing, and expand the study greatly by increasing the range of the exercises, providing more arpeggio exercises, creating melodic and harmonic minor "Fixed-Position" scales and arpeggio exercises, and including the study of double-stops. In support of the revised and updated version of Progressive Studies, this study includes a biography of Joseph Prunner and a summary of the importance of the type of scale and arpeggio practice the collection of exercises supports. An explanation of the revisions made to Prunner's work and recommendations for using the exercises also precede the new edition.
John Harbison is one of the most prominent composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has made major contributions in all areas of classical music, including operas, symphonies, chamber music, choral works, and vocal pieces.Among his vast output is 'Four Songs of Solitude,' his only composition (to date) for solo violin. Though the piece is beautiful and reflective in nature, its inherent technical and musical difficulties present challenges to violinists preparing the piece. There is no published edition of 'Four Songs of Solitude' that includes bowings and fingerings, and violinists used to practicing and performing the études and repertoire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries may have difficulty determining how to successfully navigate the music. This paper examines the piece in detail, providing an analytic description of the music and suggestions for practice. An interview with the composer yielded many insights into the structural and harmonic events of the songs, and the composer's interpretive suggestions are given alongside technical suggestions by the author. The solo violin has a centuries-long legacy, and some of the most performed repertoire exists in the medium. 'Four Songs of Solitude' is a demanding set of pieces that stands out in late twentieth-century violin music. Providing information about the piece directly from the composer and suggestions for practice and performance increases the accessibility of the work for violinists seeking to bring it to the concert stage.
Building bridges through music: a recording and performance collaboration with adult composers, young soloists, and collegiate band accompaniment
Although music is regarded as a universal language, it is rare to find musicians of different ages, ability levels, and backgrounds interacting with each other in collaborative performances. There is a dearth of mixed-ability-level wind band and string orchestra repertoire, and the few pieces that exist fail to celebrate the talents of the youngest and least-experienced performers. Composers writing music for school-age ensembles have also been excluded from the collaborative process, rarely communicating with the young musicians for whom they are writing.
This project introduced twenty-nine compositions into the wind band and string orchestra repertoire via a collaboration that engaged multiple constituencies. Students of wind and string instruments from Phoenix’s El Sistema-inspired Harmony Project and the Tijuana-based Niños de La Guadalupana Villa Del Campo worked together with students at Arizona State University and composers from Canada, Finland, and across the United States to learn and record concertos for novice-level soloists with intermediate-level accompaniment ensembles.
This project was influenced by the intergenerational ensembles common in Finnish music institutes. The author provides a document which includes a survey of the existing concerto repertoire for wind bands and previous intergenerational and multicultural studies in the field of music. The author then presents each of the mixed-ability concertos created and recorded in this project and offers biographical information on the composers. Finally, the author reflects upon qualitative surveys completed by the project’s participants.
Most the new concertos are available to the public. This music can be useful in the development and implementation of similar collaborations of musicians of all ages and abilities.
Literature is an important source for children to learn about many aspects of life, including music, and, more specifically, the trombone as a special type of musical instrument. The project at hand seeks to encourage the introduction of the trombone to young children through books and stories in which the instrument is featured prominently. Seven such books by various authors are identified and analyzed, and a study guide for each is presented. In addition, a brief history of children’s literature and a discussion of its use in the music classroom provide context for these seven books as well as any music-themed literature. Finally, the centerpiece of this project is the creation of a new book intended for children and featuring the trombone, written and illustrated by the present author.
J. S. Bach's Arias for Soprano and Oboe Obbligato: The Oboe Family's Vital Role in the Expressive Dialogue
This document is an expansion of the information presented at a lecture-recital on March 24, 2017, at Arizona State University. The program consisted of ten arias selected from the cantatas and oratorios of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), all for soprano with oboe, oboe d'amore, or oboe da caccia obbligato.
The document first discusses the place and importance of oboe obbligatos in Bach's vocal works. In all, there are 173 arias with oboe obbligatos from the sacred and secular cantatas, oratorios, and the passions. Of these, 56 are arias for soprano. The ten selected for this document are intended to illustrate the rich variety of this repertoire and especially the ways in which Bach interprets and conveys the meaning of their texts.
Most of Bach's arias that feature the oboe, or the short-lived oboe d'amore or the oboe da caccia, come from his early years in Leipzig (1723-1726). The document examines the circumstances there that led to so much music for these instruments, discussing Bach's connection with instrument-makers and musicians, notably the oboist Johann Caspar Gleditsch (1684-1747).
The body of the document describes individually the ten arias performed on the May of 2017 recital, which come from BWV 1, 21, 74, 94, 98, 144, 187, 199, 202, and 248. Texts and translations are provided, and background information is given for each. The da capo structures and any distinctive features are discussed. Each description focuses on the meaning of the text, the musical character that conveys the overall affect, and specific devices of mood- and word-painting. In all cases, the close affinity of the voice and the oboe is a central concern.
This paper is the writing component of a project the author under took to create an entertaining program for a chamber ensemble. It discusses ways for chamber ensembles to create entertaining concert programs for today's audiences. Information was gathered by analyzing four interesting and successful groups--The Canadian Brass, Mnozil Brass, Les Trompettes de Lyon, and The Blue Man Group--and identifying common traits. These traits help facilitate the ultimate goal of making connections with audiences and include originality, comedy, choreography, memorization, continuous presentation, musical appeal, high quality presentations, and the proper personnel. These attributes were then implemented into the author's experimental group, the Omni Brass Ensemble, for testing with live audiences. Materials were used from published interviews, articles, newspapers, ensemble websites, and recordings of their performances. From the author's performances with the Omni Brass Ensemble, indications are that these findings work with live audiences.
Tony Baker & Alex Iles: interviews with two trombonists who excel as performers and soloists in classical and Jazz settings
The ability of musicians to perform well in multiple musical styles is increasingly common and necessary. This paper profiles two trombonists who have gone well beyond the ability to function in multiple genres, and are instead considered significant artists. Tony Baker and Alex Iles were chosen to be profiled for this project because both have achieved recognition as solo artists in the genres of classical music and jazz and have performed on international stages as soloists. They also have significant ensemble experience in both classical and jazz settings and are active teachers as well. Both hold-high profile positions that have helped grow their reputations as performers: Mr. Baker as a professor at one of the largest music schools in the United States, the University of North Texas, and Mr. Iles as a highly in-demand freelance musician in Los Angeles. This paper presents interviews with both trombonists that investigate their development as musicians and soloists in both classical music and jazz. They are asked to describe the benefits and challenges of performing at a high level in both styles, and how these have affected their musical voices. Common traits found in their responses are examined, and recommendations are created for musicians seeking stylistic versatility.