Matching Items (34)

An evening of woodwind music

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2019-02-15

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FORGOTTEN VOICES: THE LIVES, DEATHS, AND WORKS OF FOUR THERESIENSTADT COMPOSERS

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Prior to World War II, about 55,000 Jews were living in Prague, a very cosmopolitan and artistic city. They represented nearly twenty percent of the city’s population. By the end of the war, at least two-thirds of them had died

Prior to World War II, about 55,000 Jews were living in Prague, a very cosmopolitan and artistic city. They represented nearly twenty percent of the city’s population. By the end of the war, at least two-thirds of them had died in the Holocaust. The Nazis converted the small fortress town of Theresienstadt, near Prague, into a transport camp for Jews on their way to Auschwitz and other death camps. Theresienstadt was where the Nazis sent most Jewish Czech intellectuals, military veterans, artists, and members of the upper class who were well connected. It was also the camp they chose to present to the international community. For all of these reasons—Theresienstadt’s isolation, the demography of the inmates there, and the Nazis’ desire to use it to fool the international community—the Nazis allowed unparalleled self-administration and artistic freedoms.
Arguably the most noteworthy result was its flourishing musical community. Composers and performers who had worked together in Prague prior to the war were able to continue to do so freely in ways that Jewish people were not allowed anywhere else in occupied Europe. They kept the musicians in Theresienstadt—delaying their deportations to Auschwitz—longer than almost anyone else in the camp, until the threat of Soviet liberation was imminent. This thesis aims to explore the lives and works of four Theresienstadt composers: Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, and Hans Krása. All four of these artists were successful prior to the war, spent time in Theresienstadt, and were sent to Auschwitz on the same transport on October 16, 1944. Three of the four died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and Klein was sent on to the Fürstengrube concentration camp, where he was shot and killed in January 1945. These composers and their music should be remembered, studied, and performed, not only for historical and moral reasons, but also for artistic ones. Their works represent some of the finest music in the German tradition written during this period. In conjunction with this paper, I have arranged Gideon Klein’s String Trio—one of the pieces profiled here—for saxophone quartet. Members of the Arizona State University saxophone studio will perform it twice in April. I hope that the performances will help make audiences aware of the strength of the music that came out of Theresienstadt, and reinforce the fact that it remains highly relevant. In this thesis, the composers’ careers before and during their time in Theresienstadt will be traced, as well as the measures they took to preserve their music, their interactions with each other, and their efforts to use hidden messages in their music. It is hoped that this document will help fill an important gap in the history of European music in the twentieth century.

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2013-05

A Performance Guide for Playing Johann Sebastian Bach's Violin Partita no. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002, Partita no. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, and Partita no. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006 on Alto and Soprano Saxophone

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The saxophone is privileged to have a wide variety of repertoire from contemporary composers. Due to its invention in the later half of the nineteenth century, it has no repertoire written by baroque composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach. There are

The saxophone is privileged to have a wide variety of repertoire from contemporary composers. Due to its invention in the later half of the nineteenth century, it has no repertoire written by baroque composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach. There are several published arrangements of Bach’s three solo violin partitas including that of Ronald Caravan and Raaf Hekkema. These collections either do not present every movement of each of these three partitas, or they do not present them in their original keys. An advantage to arranging these works in their original keys is that saxophonists have the opportunity to learn more about the works by playing along with recordings of great violinists such as Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn, something that would be very difficult to do if they were not in the original keys. In Ronald Caravan’s Bach for Solo Saxophone, Caravan includes a collection of many unaccompanied works by Bach for saxophone but does not include all of the movements from the three partitas and they are not in the original keys that Bach wrote for. In Raaf Hekkema’s Bach for Saxophone, Hekkema arranges the entirety of the three partitas, however they are not set in the original keys that Bach wrote for. In addition to these points, those collections do not provide information of the life of J.S. Bach, baroque performance practice, mechanics of the baroque violin, baroque dances, and advice on going about the mechanics of these pieces from a saxophonist’s perspective. This information is very useful to a young saxophonist who is trying to fully understand and perform Bach’s three solo violin partitas.

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2020-05

A recording project featuring four newly commissioned duets for clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon

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Four new duets by different composers were commissioned for this project that utilize the clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon. The pieces are Three Southwest Landscapes by Dan Caputo, Gestures by Michael Lanci, Connotations and Denotations by

Four new duets by different composers were commissioned for this project that utilize the clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon. The pieces are Three Southwest Landscapes by Dan Caputo, Gestures by Michael Lanci, Connotations and Denotations by Jeffery Brooks, and Lyddimy by Thomas Breadon, Jr. The present document includes background information and a performance guide for each of the pieces. The guide gives recommendations to aid musicians wishing to perform these works. Also included are transcripts of interviews conducted with each composer and performer, as well as full scores of each piece. In addition to the document there are recordings of all four pieces.

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2014

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A recording and commissioning project aimed at developing new repertoire for pre-college and early-college saxophonists focused on the early applications of extended techniques

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Composers and performers alike are pushing the limits of expression with an ever-expanding sonic palette. There has also been a great expansion of saxophone repertoire over the past few decades. This has lead to an increasing number of advanced pieces

Composers and performers alike are pushing the limits of expression with an ever-expanding sonic palette. There has also been a great expansion of saxophone repertoire over the past few decades. This has lead to an increasing number of advanced pieces incorporating saxophone extended techniques. As younger saxophonists discover these compositions, they too become inspired to implement these techniques in their own playing. There is a need for broader selections of introductory to intermediate compositions with saxophone extended techniques. It is the goal of this project to expand this repertoire for pre-college and early-college saxophonists. These target-level saxophonists are those who have already begun their studies in extended techniques. Three commissioned composers have contributed pieces for this target level of saxophonist with the purpose of bridging the gap between first attempts of extended techniques and the advanced pieces that already exist. Saxophonists who have the standard techniques to perform compositions such as Sonata for E-flat Alto Saxophone and Piano by Paul Creston will be suited to approach these compositions. In addition to the compositions, the author has composed short warm up exercises, utilizing selected extended techniques. A professional recording of the resulting compositions and exercises are also included. The enclosed document will provide a performer's analysis to help instructors of potential performers navigate the extended techniques and provide insight on other challenging aspects of the compositions. It is not the intention of the following document to teach the individual techniques.

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2015

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An ultrasonographic observation of saxophonists' tongue positions while producing front F pitch bends

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Voicing, as it pertains to saxophone pedagogy, presents certain obstacles to both teachers and students simply because we cannot visually assess the internal mechanics of the vocal tract. The teacher is then left to instruct based on subjective “feel” which

Voicing, as it pertains to saxophone pedagogy, presents certain obstacles to both teachers and students simply because we cannot visually assess the internal mechanics of the vocal tract. The teacher is then left to instruct based on subjective “feel” which can lead to conflicting instruction, and in some cases, misinformation. In an effort to expand the understanding and pedagogical resources available, ten subjects—comprised of graduate-level and professional-level saxophonists—performed varied pitch bend tasks while their tongue motion was imaged ultrasonographically and recorded. Tongue range of motion was measured from midsagittal tongue contours extracted from the ultrasound data using a superimposed polar grid. The results indicate variations in how saxophonists shape their tongues in order to produce pitch bends from F6.

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2016

PRISMS contemporary music festival 2016: Noise spectra concert 1

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2016-11-18

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Clarinet multiphonics: a catalog and analysis of their production strategies

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Clarinet multiphonics have become increasingly popular among composers since they were first introduced in the 1950s. However, it is a topic poorly understood by both performers and composers, which sometimes leads to the use of acoustically impossible multiphonics in compositions.

Clarinet multiphonics have become increasingly popular among composers since they were first introduced in the 1950s. However, it is a topic poorly understood by both performers and composers, which sometimes leads to the use of acoustically impossible multiphonics in compositions. Producing multiphonics requires precise manipulations of embouchure force, air pressure, and tongue position. These three factors are invisible to the naked eye during clarinet performance, leading to many conflicting theories about multiphonic production strategies, often based on subjective perception of the performer. This study attempts to observe the latter factor—tongue motion—during multiphonic production in situ using ultrasound. Additionally, a multiphonic catalog containing 604 dyad multiphonics was compiled as part of this study. The author hypothesized that nearly all, if not all, of the multiphonics can be produced using one of four primary production strategies. The four production strategies are: (A) lowering the back of the tongue while sustaining the upper note; (B) raising the back of the tongue while sustaining the upper note; (C) changing the tongue position to that of the lower note while sustaining the upper note; and (D) raising the root of the tongue (a sensation similar to constricting the throat) while sustaining the upper note. To distill production strategies into four primary categories, the author documented his perceived tongue motion over twenty repetitions of playing every multiphonic in the catalog. These perceptions were then confirmed or corrected through ultrasound investigation sessions after every five repetitions. The production strategies detailed in this study are only for finding the correct voicing to produce the multiphonics. The catalog compiled during this study is organized using two different organizational systems: the first uses the traditional method of organizing by pitch; the second uses a fingering-based system to facilitate the ease of finding multiphonics in question, since notated pitches of multiphonics often differ between sources.

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2018