Musical Arrangements and Questions of Genre: A Study of Liszt's Interpretive Approaches

Description:

Through his exceptional creative and performing abilities, Franz Liszt was able to transform compositions of many kinds into unified, intelligible, and pleasing arrangements for piano. Nineteenth-century definitions of "arrangement" and "Klavierauszug," which focus on the process of reworking a composition for a different medium, do not adequately describe Liszt's work in this area. His piano transcriptions of Schubert's songs, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven are not note-for-note transcriptions; rather, they reinterpret the originals in recasting them as compositions for solo piano. Writing about Liszt's versions of Schubert's songs, a Viennese critic identified as "Carlo" heralded Liszt as the creator of a new genre and declared him to have made Schubert's songs the property of cultured pianists. Moreover, Liszt himself designated his work with Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven "Partitions de piano": literally, piano scores. As is well known, concepts of genre in general create problems for musicologists; musical arrangements add a new dimension of difficulty to the problem. Whereas Carl Dahlhaus identifies genre as a tool for interpreting composers' responses to the social dimension of music in the fabric of individual compositions, Jeffrey Kallberg perceives it as a "social phenomenon shared by composers and listeners alike." The latter concept provides a more suitable framework for discussing the genre of transcriptions, for their importance derives in large part from relationships between the original and the derivative works, both as constructed by Liszt and perceived by critics and audiences. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century's, Liszt's transcriptions of songs and symphonies were construed as both compositions for pianists and subsets of the originals. Consequently, these compositions should be studied for their own musical value as well as for the light that they shed on the original works. Liszt's transcriptions are derivative and at the same time created distinct genres.

Creator(s): Van Dine, Kara Lynn
Creation Date: May 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Publisher Info: Web: www.unt.edu
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 2010
Description:

Through his exceptional creative and performing abilities, Franz Liszt was able to transform compositions of many kinds into unified, intelligible, and pleasing arrangements for piano. Nineteenth-century definitions of "arrangement" and "Klavierauszug," which focus on the process of reworking a composition for a different medium, do not adequately describe Liszt's work in this area. His piano transcriptions of Schubert's songs, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven are not note-for-note transcriptions; rather, they reinterpret the originals in recasting them as compositions for solo piano. Writing about Liszt's versions of Schubert's songs, a Viennese critic identified as "Carlo" heralded Liszt as the creator of a new genre and declared him to have made Schubert's songs the property of cultured pianists. Moreover, Liszt himself designated his work with Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven "Partitions de piano": literally, piano scores. As is well known, concepts of genre in general create problems for musicologists; musical arrangements add a new dimension of difficulty to the problem. Whereas Carl Dahlhaus identifies genre as a tool for interpreting composers' responses to the social dimension of music in the fabric of individual compositions, Jeffrey Kallberg perceives it as a "social phenomenon shared by composers and listeners alike." The latter concept provides a more suitable framework for discussing the genre of transcriptions, for their importance derives in large part from relationships between the original and the derivative works, both as constructed by Liszt and perceived by critics and audiences. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century's, Liszt's transcriptions of songs and symphonies were construed as both compositions for pianists and subsets of the originals. Consequently, these compositions should be studied for their own musical value as well as for the light that they shed on the original works. Liszt's transcriptions are derivative and at the same time created distinct genres.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Discipline: Musicology
Department: College of Music
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Liszt | arrangements | genre
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • UNTCAT: b3875905 |
  • OCLC: 680649162 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc28488
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Van Dine, Kara Lynn
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.