Matching Items (16)

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The sarabandes of J.S. Bach: freedom of ornamentation and melodic manipulation

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This document is intended to show the various kinds of stylistically appropriate melodic and rhythmic ornamentation that can be used in the improvisation of the Sarabandes by J.S. Bach. Traditional

This document is intended to show the various kinds of stylistically appropriate melodic and rhythmic ornamentation that can be used in the improvisation of the Sarabandes by J.S. Bach. Traditional editions of Bach's and other Baroque-era keyboard works have reflected evolving historical trends. The historical performance movement and other attempts to "clean up" pre-1950s romanticized performances have greatly limited the freedom and experimentation that was the original intention of these dances. Prior to this study, few ornamented editions of these works have been published. Although traditional practices do not necessarily encourage classical improvisation in performance I argue that manipulation of the melodic and rhythmic layers over the established harmonic progressions will not only provide diversity within the individual dance movements, but also further engage the ears of the performer and listener which encourages further creative exploration. I will focus this study on the ornamentation of all six Sarabandes from J.S. Bach's French Suites and show how various types of melodic and rhythmic variation can provide aurally pleasing alternatives to the composed score without disrupting the harmonic fluency. The author intends this document to be used as a pedagogical tool and the fully ornamented Sarabandes from J.S. Bach's French Suites are included with this document.

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  • 2013

Nikolai Kapustin's solo piano works 2007-2013: a recording and performance guide

Description

Born in 1937, the Ukrainian-Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin has gradually gained recognition among Western music scholars and pianists by blending American jazz idioms into classical forms, such as concertos, sonatas,

Born in 1937, the Ukrainian-Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin has gradually gained recognition among Western music scholars and pianists by blending American jazz idioms into classical forms, such as concertos, sonatas, and preludes; recently he has become a very prominent composer. As one of the most prolific composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, he has composed over 160 works to date. Most of them are piano solo works. The uniqueness of his compositional philosophy is that he consistently treats the music language of jazz as a core element in all his output, while others might only use jazz idioms experimentally in their works.

Being an excellent pianist himself, Kapustin has recorded many of his own works, giving a firsthand reference for interpreting his piano music. Some of his most famous works, including the Variations, Op. 41, the Eight Concert Etudes, Op. 40, and the 24 Preludes in Jazz Style, Op. 53 have been recorded by other prominent artists, such as Steven Osborne and Marc-Andre Hamelin.

Scholarly research on Kapustin’s piano works remains limited. Most of it is found in journal articles and dissertations. Unfortunately, all of them are focused on his early popular works. His more recent works from 2007-2013: the Six Little Pieces, Op. 133, Dialogue, Op. 148, Etude Courte mais Transcendante pour piano, Op. 149, Nobody Is Perfect, Op. 151, A Pianist In Jeopardy, Op. 152, and Wandering, Op. 153, have not yet been discussed in any scholarly writing.

In brief, the purpose of this study is to present a first recording of these six major solo works, and to examine them in a research paper. The paper discusses Kapustin’s consistent use of jazz elements in his recent works, addresses musical and technical concerns in their performance practice, and facilitates more extended study of these valuable but yet to be recorded works.

The paper consists of eight parts. The first part covers brief background information on the composer, as well as reviewing important jazz features, in order to more effectively analyze his stylistic language in the six compositions which are explored in the subsequent chapters including a conclusion.

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  • 2018

A study of the solo piano works by Owen Middleton (b. 1941): with a recording of selected works from 1962-1993

Description

Owen Middleton (b. 1941) enjoys an established and growing reputation as a composer of classical guitar music, but his works for piano are comparatively little known. The close investigation offered

Owen Middleton (b. 1941) enjoys an established and growing reputation as a composer of classical guitar music, but his works for piano are comparatively little known. The close investigation offered here of Middleton's works for piano reveals the same impressive craftsmanship, compelling character, and innovative spirit found in his works for guitar. Indeed, the only significant thing Middleton's piano music currently lacks is the well-deserved attention of professional players and a wider audience. Middleton's piano music needs to be heard, not just discussed, so one of this document's purposes is to provide a recorded sample of his piano works. While the overall repertoire for solo piano is vast, and new works become established in that repertoire with increasing difficulty, Middleton's piano works have a significant potential to find their way into the concert hall as well as the private teaching studio. His solo piano music is highly effective, well suited to the instrument, and, perhaps most importantly, fresh sounding and truly original. His pedagogical works are of equal value. Middleton's piano music offers something for everyone: there one finds daring virtuosity, effusions of passion, intellectual force, colorful imagery, poetry, humor, and even a degree of idiomatic innovation. This study aims to reveal key aspects of the composer's musical style, especially his style of piano writing, and to provide pianists with helpful analytical, technical, and interpretive insights. These descriptions of the music are supported with recorded examples, selected from the works for solo piano written between 1962 and 1993: Sonata for Piano, Childhood Scenes, Katie's Collection, and Toccata for Piano. The complete scores of the recorded works are included in the appendix. A chapter briefly describing the piano pieces since 1993 concludes the study and invites the reader to further investigations of this unique and important body of work.

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  • 2011

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An overview of Bohuslav Martinù's piano style with a guide to analysis and interpretation of the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281

Description

Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech

Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech folk music. His music is fresh and appealing to the listener, yet it remains intriguing as to how all the elements are combined in a cohesive manner. Martinù himself provides clues to his compositional process. He believed in pure musical expression and the intensity of the musical idea, without the need for extra-musical or programmatic connotations. He espoused holistic and organic views toward musical perception and composition, at times referring to a work as an "organism." This study examines Martinù's piano style in light of his many diverse influences and personal philosophy. The first portion of this paper discusses Martinù's overall style through several piano miniatures written throughout his career. It takes into consideration the composer's personal background, musical influences and aesthetic convictions. The second portion focuses specifically on Martinù's first large-scale work for piano, the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281. Written during a time in which Martinù was black-listed by the Nazis and forced to flee Europe, this piece bears witness to the chaotic events of WWII through its complexity and intensity of character. The discussion and analysis of the Fantasie et Toccata intends to serve as a guide to interpretation for the performer or listener and also seeks to promote the piano music of Bohuslav Martinù to a wider audience.

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  • 2011

The complete solo piano works of Chen Yi: a recording, analysis, and interpretation

Description

This dissertation focuses on seven solo piano works written by contemporary Chinese-American composer Chen Yi. It is presented in the form of a recording project, with a written analysis of

This dissertation focuses on seven solo piano works written by contemporary Chinese-American composer Chen Yi. It is presented in the form of a recording project, with a written analysis of each recorded composition. The seven recorded pieces are Variations on "Awariguli", Duo Ye, Guessing, Two Chinese bagatelles: Yu Diao and Small Beijing Gong, Ba Ban, Singing in the Mountain, and Ji-Dong-Nuo. They were written between 1978 and 2005, presenting a wide range of Chen Yi's compositional style. The written portion consists of five chapters. After the introductory chapter, a sketch of Chen Yi's life is presented in Chapter Two. This chapter specifically uncovers Chen Yi's deep roots of Chinese traditional and folk music through her experiences during the Cultural Revolution. Chapter Three analyzes each of the seven pieces. Through formal structure realization, motivic analysis, and folk music implication, the author discovers the blend of Chinese and Western cultures throughout Chen Yi's music. Chapter Four discusses the performance aspect of these compositions through the author's recording experience. In this chapter, the author provides background information as well as suggestions on specific performance practice. The last chapter summarizes the entire dissertation.

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  • 2012

A recording and overview of the solo piano works by John La Montaine (b. 1920)

Description

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

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.

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  • 2010

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An analysis of selected piano solo works inspired by Biblical references: William Bergsma and Louis Weingarden

Description

Biblical references play an important role in traditional programmatic music. Composers such as Kuhnau, Haydn, Liszt, Messiaen, and Bolcom produced considerable amounts of piano repertoire with biblical allusions: Musical Presentations

Biblical references play an important role in traditional programmatic music. Composers such as Kuhnau, Haydn, Liszt, Messiaen, and Bolcom produced considerable amounts of piano repertoire with biblical allusions: Musical Presentations of Some Biblical Stories in 6 Sonatas (1700) by Kuhnau, The Seven Last Words from Our Saviour on the Cross (1787) by Haydn, The Way of Cross (1878-1879) by Liszt, Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus (1944) by Messiaen, and The Garden of Eden: Four Rags for Piano (1969) by Bolcom. The twentieth century American composers William Bergsma and Louis Weingarden participated in this tradition by producing piano pieces that contain direct biblical quotations. These works, which have received little attention, include two movements from Tangents (1951) by Bergsma and Triptych: Three Pieces for Piano (1969) by Weingarden.

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of these piano works, considering structural, rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic elements. In particular, the paper examines Bergsma and Weingarden’s work through the technique of word painting in order to illuminate the relationship between the biblical text and music. Key findings include that Bergsma’s Tangents contains dissonant harmonies and irregular rhythms to reflect the agony of people on the biblical Judgement day, while the use of tonality reflects God’s love in other parts. Similarly, Weingarden uses an illustrative style of word painting in Triptych to closely reflect this biblical narrative and scene through the combination of some twelve-tone techniques with chromaticism. These works present a high degree of pianistic and musical elaboration that incorporates twentieth-century compositional techniques, and this paper argues that they merit more attention for recitals by college-level and professional pianists. This paper begins with an introduction which provides the methodological approach used in the paper and a biography of each composer. It then progresses to an analysis of Bergsma’s Tangents, followed by an analysis of Weingarden’s Triptych.

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  • 2015

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A study of the piano works by Anatol Lyadov

Description

As one of the composers living in an era filled with innovations, Anatol Konstantinovich Lyadov (1855-1914) has been relatively ignored by scholars and pianists to date. He is an unusual

As one of the composers living in an era filled with innovations, Anatol Konstantinovich Lyadov (1855-1914) has been relatively ignored by scholars and pianists to date. He is an unusual composer with multiple characteristics: solitary but expressive, talented but indolent. His compositional style never lacked critics—especially with respect to his persistent preference of miniatures. Nonetheless, his piano works embody the breathtaking beauty of the composer’s independent musical ideas and colorful musical language. Compared with the flourishing, dazzling, and nationalized music from other composers living in the same era, these light, flowing musical pieces from Lyadov have irreplaceable value.

Through the study of these small-scale piano works, one finds important connections with the music of other renowned composers (e.g. Chopin and Scriabin), and the employment of traditional aspects such as Russian folk tones and fairy tales. Stylistically, Lyadov was a representative of 19th-century Romanticism; however, his compositional style changed during his late period (after 1900), presenting a unique use of dissonance.

The scholarly research on Lyadov’s piano works remains limited. Most of the related resources can be found only in the Russian music literature. No in-depth study or dissertation on the complete piano works of Lyadov could be located, and therefore my research paper is intended to provide useful information to piano performers and teachers, hopefully encouraging more study and performance of Lyadov’s piano works. Despite their lyrical melodies and deep emotion, these works are thus far relatively unpopular and unknown, with only a few played occasionally as encore pieces.

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  • 2018

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Writing a piano reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra

Description

The purpose of the paper is to outline the process that was used to write a reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, to describe the improvements

The purpose of the paper is to outline the process that was used to write a reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, to describe the improvements in saxophone playing since the premiere of the piece, and to demonstrate the necessity of having a reduction in the process of learning a concerto. The Concerto was inspired by internationally known saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher, who demonstrated for Brant the extent of his abilities on the saxophone. These abilities included use of four-octave range and two types of extended techniques: slap-tonguing and flutter-tonguing. Brant incorporated all three elements in his Concerto, and believed that only Rascher had the command over the saxophone needed to perform the piece. To prevent the possibility of an unsuccessful performance, Brant chose to make the piece unavailable to saxophonists by leaving the Concerto without a reduction. Subsequently, there were no performances of this piece between 1953 and 2001. In 2011, the two directors of Brant's Estate decided to allow for a reduction to be written for the piece so that it would become more widely available to saxophonists.

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  • 2013

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Beyond Debussy and Ravel: impressionism in the early advanced short piano works of selected European and American composers

Description

Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their

Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their piano music remains substantial, influential, and frequently assigned and played today. Nevertheless, from a pedagogical perspective, important factors required in achieving a successful performance of Debussy and Ravel's piano music--delicate tone production, independent voicing, complicated rhythm, sensitive pedaling, and a knowledgeable view of Impressionism--are musically and technically beyond the limit of early advanced students. This study provides a collection of short piano pieces by nine lesser-known European and American composers--Edward MacDowell (1861-1908), Charles Griffes (1884-1920), Marion Bauer (1887-1955), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), Arnold Bax (1883-1953), Selim Palmgren (1878-1951), Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) and Federico Mompou (1893-1987). They were influenced by impressionistic aesthetics or composed at one time in an impressionistic manner over a span of their lifetimes and their music provides a bridge to the more advanced impressionistic pieces of Debussy and Ravel for early advanced students. These composers' selected short piano pieces display richly colored sonority through the use of impressionistic techniques such as non-functional harmony (parallel chords and free modulation), exotic setting (e.g. modality, pentatonic and whole-tone scales), ostinato figures, bell-sound imitation, and extended texture. Moreover, personal interpretive elements, such as poetic and folklore references, were incorporated in some piano works of MacDowell, Griffes, Bauer, Scott, and Bax; among them MacDowell and Bax were particularly inspired by Celtic and Nordic materials. Mompou infused Spanish folklores in his individual naïve style. Most importantly, these selected short piano pieces are approachable and attractive to early advanced pianists. These works, as well as other largely undiscovered impressionistic piano character pieces, ought to be a great source of preliminary repertoire as preparation for the music of Debussy and Ravel.

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  • 2011