Matching Items (4)

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The imitation of orchestral effects and the expressive role of the piano in Richard Strauss's Sonata for violin and piano in E-flat major, op. 18: a performance guide for pianists

Description

The Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 18 (1888), was the last major work of chamber music by Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Although for only two instruments, the

The Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 18 (1888), was the last major work of chamber music by Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Although for only two instruments, the Sonata reflects Strauss's growing interest in symphonic writing both in his tone poems and orchestral songs, anticipating his style of orchestration and his expressive use of tone colors. This study examines instances of orchestral writing in the piano and makes suggestions for their performance. An overview of Strauss's compositions, from his early chamber music to the `heroic' symphonic works, places the Sonata in context. An analytical description of each of the Sonata's three movements shows the structure and content of this large work and provides the framework for examination of the orchestral effects in the piano. Comparison of excerpts from the Sonata with passages from Strauss's orchestral writing in Don Juan (1889), "Cäcilie," "Morgen!," and "Lied der Frauen" leads to suggestions for the collaborative pianist of ways to re-create the various orchestral effects.

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  • 2014

Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano: A Representation of His Compositional Sound and Style

Description

This research paper aims to understand Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano (1948) as a summary of his compositional styles, by demonstrating common elements between the preludes and Martin’s

This research paper aims to understand Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano (1948) as a summary of his compositional styles, by demonstrating common elements between the preludes and Martin’s compositions of other genres.

Swiss musician Frank Martin (1890-1974) composed in many genres, from theatrical and symphonic works to vocal, chamber, and solo works. Huit préludes pour le piano, his best-known piece for solo piano, merits more recognition in the modern repertoire than it currently receives, as it encompasses a wide range of pianistic techniques, colors, and atmospheres to challenge the mature pianist. This set of preludes represents Martin’s unique compositional sound and style, in which Martin retains a sense of tonal functions despite the intense chromaticism in his music. Featured elements in the Huit préludes include the use of the B-A-C-H motive and its alterations, chromatic yet triadic writing, gliding tonality, baroque elements, dodecaphony, stratification, extreme range and registral shifts, octave doublings and displacements, percussive rhythmic drive, large-scale crescendi, and hidden cyclicism. Martin also uses the 12-tone row as a chromatic tool, but rejects atonality and applies the concept without strict enforcement. Influences of music from past eras are evident in the Huit préludes through various compositional techniques and practices such as contrapuntal lines, chant-like declamatory melodies, imitation, toccata, and pedal-points. This research project explores these various techniques within and between the preludes and his works of other genres, and thus identifies the Huit préludes as a consolidation of Martin’s mature sound and style.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Adding to the Bass Clarinet Repertoire Through Informed Transcription

Description

The bass clarinet, developed almost a century after the soprano clarinet, isrelatively young compared to many modern instruments and consequently possesses a
comparatively small repertoire. Until the mid-20th century, composers

The bass clarinet, developed almost a century after the soprano clarinet, isrelatively young compared to many modern instruments and consequently possesses a
comparatively small repertoire. Until the mid-20th century, composers did not view the
bass clarinet as a solo instrument and instead perceived it as cumbersome due to its low
pitch and predominant use as an accompaniment instrument, resulting in a dearth of solo
repertory for the bass clarinet before this time. Bass clarinetists desiring to perform
repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods must then appropriate
music from other instruments. Through this study, I identify and detail a process for
creating informed transcriptions of music for the bass clarinet to increase its body of solo
and chamber literature. I examine the original scores and existing transcriptions of
Concerto in C minor by Henri Casadesus (attributed to Johann Christian Bach) for cello,
Bassoon Concerto Op. 75 by Carl Maria von Weber, Trios, Hob. IV:1-4 “London Trios”
by Joseph Haydn, Kol Nidrei, Op. 47 by Max Bruch, and Clarinet Concerto in A Major,
K. 622 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to identify methods for the transcription process. I
compare this to the transcription process for other instruments through examination of the
Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120, Nos. 1 and 2 by Johannes Brahms, which were transcribed
from clarinet to viola by the composer himself. In this document, I discuss the historical
background of the selected pieces, the selection process, editing considerations,
performance practice, and the usage of transcriptions as a pedagogical tool. Although
transcriptions for the bass clarinet already exist, appropriation of music from other
instruments will continue to supplement and diversify its repertoire. These pieces serve to
develop important technical and musical skills and allow the bass clarinetist to play
music across various style periods. In this project, I select and transcribe three pieces for
the bass clarinet: Sonata for Cello No. 1 in F Major by Benedetto Marcello, Grand
Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and Serenade in F
minor, Op. 73, by Robert Kahn. The transcribed scores are included in the appendices of
this document.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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From Gentle to Giant: Signs of a Continuing Tradition of Organ Building in Central and Southern Germany 1750-1850

Description

When one thinks of the great German Romantic organs of Ladegast, Walcker,

Schulze, and Sauer, visions of the large colossus organs of the cathedrals of Merseburg,

Schwerin, and Berlin come to mind.

When one thinks of the great German Romantic organs of Ladegast, Walcker,

Schulze, and Sauer, visions of the large colossus organs of the cathedrals of Merseburg,

Schwerin, and Berlin come to mind. These instruments were rich in power but also in

timbre and dynamic contrasts, able to crescendo from barely audible to thundering and

back. On the other hand, their eighteenth-century predecessors in the Southern and

Central German regions of Baden-Württemburg, Bavaria, Thuringia, and Saxony showed

a softer side characterized by few reeds and mixtures, generally small size, and gentle

voicing and winding. However, many of the traits found in these earlier instruments,

including an abundance of 8’ registers, a focus on color rather than contrapuntal clarity,

tierce mixtures, and a relatively low proportion of mixtures and reeds to foundation stops

are carried over to the early Romantic organs.

Especially interesting are the transitional instruments around the turn of the

nineteenth century. The end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth, the

time between the death of J. S. Bach in 1750 and E. F. Walcker’s construction of the

Paulskirche organ in Frankfurt in 1833, often appears as a sort of “Dark Ages” for the

organ in which little happened to advance the organ into the new century. Modern

scholarship has largely overlooked these instruments. However, the Central and Southern

German states were among the few areas that saw a continuation of organ building

through the economic and political disaster resulting from the Napoleonic Wars, the

secularization of many institutions including the grand abbeys of Swabia, and a rapid

change in musical aesthetic toward the symphonic and the virtuosic.

In this document, I examine organs of the Southern and Central German territories

of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Thuringia, and Saxony. I focus on organs that show

development from the late Baroque to the early Romantic Period, culminating in the

organs of Eberhard Friedrich Walcker in Baden-Württemberg and Friedrich Ladegast in

Thuringia. These little-known transition instruments provide intriguing insight into the

genesis of the famous German Romantic organs, giants in stature and sound.

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Date Created
  • 2019