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A Performer's Guide to the First Two Movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Grand Sonata in G Major, Opus 37

A Performer's Guide to the First Two Movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Grand Sonata in G Major, Opus 37

Date: December 2012
Creator: Dorozhkina, Elena V.
Description: The Grand Sonata in G Major, Op.37, composed by Tchaikovsky, is a powerful large-scale composition and a piece of a symphonic scope. However, the sonata did not receive a desired acclaim in the modern repertoire partially due to an obvious lack of performance instructions in the existing editions, which makes the sonata challenging to perform. Thus, in order to reduce the technical challenges and to encourage more frequent performances of the sonata, this dissertation offers a performer's guide that addresses essential elements of pedal indications, phrasing and detailed dynamics, as well as suggestions on voice balancing, agogics, fingering, and hand redistribution. The guide consists of musical examples that are focused on the most challenging sections of the sonata, and is organized in the subsections according to a technique type proposed to facilitate a performance of the sonata. In addition to the examples on application of individual techniques presented in the main body of the dissertation, alternative and more elaborate versions of the suggestions are proposed in the appendices. The dissertation also provides a history of the sonata, and discusses its concept and symphonic principles. Additionally, the work highlights Tchaikovsky's piano style and describes his views on the art of piano ...
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From Ritual to Art in the Puritan Music of Colonial New England: the Anthems of William Billings

From Ritual to Art in the Puritan Music of Colonial New England: the Anthems of William Billings

Date: August 2012
Creator: Dill, Patrick W.
Description: The manner in which Billings’s music contrasts with the Puritan musical ideal clearly demonstrates his role in the transition from ritual to art in the music of eighteenth-century New England. The tenets of Puritan worship included the restriction that music should serve primarily as a form of communal prayer for the congregation and in a secondary capacity to assist in biblical instruction. Billings’s stylistic independence from Puritan orthodoxy began with a differing ideology concerning the purpose of music: whereas Calvin believed music merely provided a means for the communal deliverance of biblical text, Billings recognized music for its inherent aesthetic worth. Billings’s shift away from the Puritan musical heritage occurred simultaneously with considerable change in New England in the last three decades of the eighteenth century. A number of Billings’s works depict the events of the Revolutionary War, frequently adapting scriptural texts for nationalistic purposes. The composition of occasional works to commemorate religious and civic events reflects both the increase in society’s approval of choral music beyond its nominal use in worship, both in singing schools and in choirs. With his newfound independence from Puritan ritual, Billings seems to have declared himself one of the United States of America’s first ...
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Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Date: August 2012
Creator: Edmonds, David Michael
Description: In 1619, Johannes Kepler published his magnum opus Harmonices mundi in which the astronomer derived distinct pitches and scales for each known planet in the solar system from calculations of various aspects of their orbital motions. This was the first theoretical realization of the ancient tradition of musica universalis (also called musica mundana), or music of the celestial bodies. It was not until the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask (b. 1960) began his compositional career by deriving his own “planetary scale,” however, that the theoretical musica universalis came into audible existence. Sisask’s work represents a distinctive musical voice among today’s choral composers, and although he is steadily gaining attention for his unique compositional style, only limited information exists about the specifics of his background, his interest in astronomy and shamanism, and the subsequent influence these interests have had on his choral music. At once traditional and modern, he bridges the gap between ancient Estonian folk song and the present. Through an application of exotic techniques including extreme repetition, ritualistically driving rhythms and sudden changes in timbre and texture; coupled with his own peculiarly crafted “planetary scale,” Urmas Sisask has created a completely unique body of work which is examined in this ...
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Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Date: August 2012
Creator: Vidovic, Silvije
Description: Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies are uniformly considered highly challenging in terms of technical execution. However, their artistic value is frequently questioned. This dissertation examines the compositional elements that are often overlooked in these virtuoso works, and provides a viewpoint into their interpretative characteristics. Furthermore, it pursues a claim that besides being excellent performance pieces, these works also make an intriguing contribution to Liszt scholarship, and deserve meaningful consideration in terms of their artistic quality. Following the Introduction (Chapter 1), Chapter 2 provides a brief historical perspective of the critical affirmation Liszt the composer encountered from the musical society. It also includes a short background on Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, as well as the general reactions these works evoked from pianists, audiences, and scholars, during the time they were composed to the present day. As the main body of the dissertation, Chapter 3 investigates the three primary compositional concepts found in Rhapsodies Nos. 6, 10, and 12. These concepts are divided into three subchapters: Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects. Each of these subchapters provides explanatory information, as well as some of the most characteristic passages presented.
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The Impact of the Development of the Fortepiano on the Repertoire Composed for It From 1760–1860

The Impact of the Development of the Fortepiano on the Repertoire Composed for It From 1760–1860

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lin, Chao-Hwa
Description: The relationship between piano manufacturer and composer is interactive, and consequently both compositions and performance styles evolved organically due to this relationship. Early on, the instrument had more influence on the composer, whereas with the instrument’s establishment, composers began to exert more influence on the subsequent development of the instrument through their requests of manufacturers. The relationship between pianist-composers and manufacturers is important for pianists to study and understand, as well as the actual sound of a composer’s fortepiano and the way he performed on it. Through studying the development of the piano and the relationship between manufacturers and composers, pianists can reinterpret compositions before the mid nineteenth century, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Dussek, Chopin, and Liszt, using their knowledge of the aforementioned to bring a different perspective to their performances on the modern piano. There are numerous manufacturers and composers who made important contributions to the development of the piano. This dissertation focuses on selected pianist-composers and fortepiano manufacturers, and the impact of their relationship on piano literature before 1860.
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Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Transcriptions of Beethoven´s Symphony No 2, Op 36: a Comparison of the Solo Piano and the Piano Quartet Versions

Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Transcriptions of Beethoven´s Symphony No 2, Op 36: a Comparison of the Solo Piano and the Piano Quartet Versions

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kim, Aram
Description: Johann Nepomuk Hummel was a noted Austrian composer and piano virtuoso who not only wrote substantially for the instrument, but also transcribed a series of important orchestral pieces. Among them are two transcriptions of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36- the first a version for piano solo and the second a work for piano quartet, with flute substituting for the traditional viola part. This study will examine Hummel’s treatment of the symphony in both transcriptions, looking at a variety of pianistic devices in the solo piano version and his particular instrumentation choices in the quartet version. Each of these transcriptions can serve a particular purpose for performers. The solo piano version is an obvious virtuoso vehicle, whereas the quartet version can be a refreshing program alternative in a piano quartet concert.
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Claude Bolling’s Toot Suite for Trumpet and Jazz Piano: a Performance Guide

Claude Bolling’s Toot Suite for Trumpet and Jazz Piano: a Performance Guide

Date: August 2012
Creator: Passley, Oscar O.
Description: Claude Bolling’s Toot Suite for Trumpet and Jazz Piano that was premiered by French virtuoso trumpeter Maurice Andre in 1980 is an important work in the trumpet repertoire. At present, there is limited research regarding Toot Suite. Almost all of the six movements within Toot Suite are performed on a different instrument: C trumpet for Allegre, Eb trumpet for Mystique, Bb cornet for Rag-Polka, Bb piccolo trumpet for Marche, Bb flugelhorn for Vesperale and Bb piccolo for Spirituelle. Chapter 1 examines the life and musical background of the composer. It also exposes the history surrounding the origin of Toot Suite. Chapter 2 discusses the musical influences of the composer that are found in Toot Suite. Chapter 3 provides an analysis of existing studio recordings. Chapter 4 offers specific suggestions regarding preparation and performance of Toot Suite. Chapters 5 and 6 conclude the guide with interviews with the composer and prominent trumpet performers and pedagogues that have recorded and/or have performed Toot Suite live.
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Lind, James Meyer the Trumpet Concertos of Anthony Plog: a Performer’s Guide

Lind, James Meyer the Trumpet Concertos of Anthony Plog: a Performer’s Guide

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lind, James Meyer
Description: Anthony Plog (b. 1947) has contributed several notable works for brass instruments. He is known for writing extremely technically challenging works that contain angular melodies, fast rhythms and a large degree of chromaticism. Though his music is difficult, it also conveys intense emotions. His music for trumpet, specifically Concerto no. 1 for Trumpet, Brass Ensemble and Percussion and Concerto no. 2 for Trumpet and Orchestra, represents a zenith in his compositional development. This dissertation examines Concerto no. 1 and Concerto no. 2 from a performer’s perspective to better understand the stylistic characteristics and challenges encountered in his music. Each concerto is examined in terms of rhythmic structure, intervallic structure, thematic material, motivic material and form.
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Goethe Settings By Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter: Text, Music and Performance Possibilities

Goethe Settings By Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter: Text, Music and Performance Possibilities

Date: August 2012
Creator: Moore, Wes C.
Description: The connection between text, music, and performance in the lieder of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is an integral aspect to fully comprehending the style and performance of the genre. It is also essential in order to understand the full development of the lied in its totality. The era represented a transitional period in musical development, influenced by Enlightenment values of elegance, good taste, simplicity, and naturalness which sought to eradicate the overly decorative “excesses” of the high-Baroque. In this study, emphasis is placed upon the unique development of the lied in the northern German regions by the composers Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter and their musical settings of the lyric poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The study also addresses the overall development of the genre as it progressed from the Baroque through Classicism/Neo-Classicism, Sturm und Drang, and into Romanticism exploring the musical settings and performance possibilities both then and now in the context of the various treatises and correspondence between the composers and poet. It seeks to effectively address the notion that these early songs were composed and performed by those versed in the ideal of music being an improvisatory/dramatic vehicle for expressing emotion ...
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Correcting the Record: a Comparison of Vladimir Ashkenazy’s Urtext-based Edition of Pictures at an Exhibition with Orchestration By Ravel and Stokowski

Correcting the Record: a Comparison of Vladimir Ashkenazy’s Urtext-based Edition of Pictures at an Exhibition with Orchestration By Ravel and Stokowski

Date: August 2012
Creator: Choi, Hoon
Description: Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) never published his piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. The first publication of the Pictures was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s (1844-1908) piano edition in 1886, five years after Mussorgsky’s death. Among several piano editions of Pictures, Manfred Schandert’s urtext piano edition of 1984 has shed new light on the piano suite. The urtext edition is based on a facsimile of Mussorgsky’s autograph, and Schandert’s authoritative urtext contains all of Mussorgsky’s musical indications that previous editions neglected to include. Previous orchestrations based on less comprehensive editions include well-known orchestrations by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977). Vladimir Ashkenazy (b. 1937), on the other hand, derived his orchestration directly from the Schandert edition. In this study I argue that Ashkenazy offers “corrections” to his predecessors, Ravel and Stokowski, whose orchestrations differ—at times radically—from Mussorgsky’s autograph. This dissertation thus will explore the significant features of Ashkenazy’s orchestration in relation to the urtext edition by comparing it to the orchestrations of Ravel and Stokowski. In an age of attempts to present “authentic” versions of past music, Ashkenazy’s orchestration provides an authenticity that other orchestrations lack. Ashkenazy’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition provides conductors an alternative performance option that is both effective ...
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