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A Comparison of the Transcription Techniques of Godowsky and Liszt as Exemplified in Their Transcriptions of Three Schubert Lieder

Description: This investigation sought to compare the transcription techniques of two pianist-composers, Godowsky and Liszt, using three Schubert lieder as examples. The lieder were "Das Wandern" from Die Schöne Müllerin, "Gute Nacht" from Winterreise, and "Liebesbotschaft" from Schwanengesang. They were compared using four criteria: tonality, counterpoint, timbral effects, and harmony. Liszt, following a practice common in the nineteenth century, was primarily concerned with bringing new music into the home of the domestic pianist. The piano transcription was the most widely used and successful medium for accomplishing this. Liszt also frequently transcribed pieces of a particular composer in order to promulgate them by featuring them in his recitals. The Schubert lieder fall into this category. Liszt did not drastically alter the original in these compositions. Indeed, in the cases of "Liebesbotschaft" and "Das Wandern," very little alteration beyond the incorporation of the melody into the piano accompaniment, occurs.Godowsky, in contrast, viewed the transcription as a vehicle for composing a new piece. He intended to improve upon the original by adding his own inspiration to it. Godowsky was particularly ingenious in adding counterpoint, often chromatic, to the original. Examples of Godowsky's use of counterpoint can be found in "Das Wandern" and "Gute Nacht." While Liszt strove to remain faithful to Schubert's intentions, Godowsky exercised his ingenuity at will, being only loosely concerned with the texture and atmosphere of the lieder. "Gute Nacht" and "Liebesbotschaft" are two examples that show how far afield Godowsky could stray from the original by the addition of chromatic voicing and counterpoint. Godowsky*s compositions can be viewed as perhaps the final statement on the possibilities of piano writing in the traditional sense. As such these works deserve to be investigated and performed.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Cloutier, David, 1948-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The New Classicism: Alfredo Casella's Sinfonia, Arioso and Toccata, Op. 59, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Chopin, Mozart, Bartók, Bach, Schumann, Arensky, Bruch and Others

Description: The neo-classic movement in Italy, which gained momentum in the early 1920's, was rooted in an instrumental style patterned after that of the Baroque era. The term "new classicism," proposed by Ferruccio Busoni in 1920, represented a reaction against the extreme chromaticism and large performance forces of the late nineteenth century. The pianistcomposer Alfredo Casella, after earlier periods in which he was influenced by such diverse composers as Mahler, Debussy, and Schoenberg, soon became the chief spokesman for the neoclassic movement in Italy. Casella considered the Sinfonia, Arioso and Toccata his most important work for the piano, because of its size and musical content. It is notable for its usage of thematic transformation, much of which is based on the interval of a fourth or fifth. This study includes a formal outline of each movement, showing sectional divisions and tonal regions, as well as illustrations of thematic transformation and intervallic patterns. Also discussed are the work's neoclassic style characteristics, including counterpoint, pandiatonicism, modality, and linear cadential treatment.
Date: May 1981
Creator: Copeland, Nancy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries