Description: John Corigliano (b. 1938) is a contemporary American composer who has in the last twenty years established himself as a composer whose versatility and accessibility are appreciated by a wide range of audiences. He has labeled himself an eclectic composer who unashamedly borrows from other musical styles and periods in an effort to create works that appeal to a variety of listeners. He has been mentioned along with George Rochberg, George Crumb, and Jacob Druckman as an advocate of the post-modern movement in contemporary American music, a trend that has been crucial to the development of contemporary concert music. The purpose of this study is to examine the two solo piano works of Corigliano in terms of style, structure, and musical influences. The Etude Fani-agy (197 6) is a set of five etudes, performed without pause. The etudes are unified through an elaborate use of thematic transformation in which a row-like idea generates most of the material. The keyboard writing is varied and dramatic, with similarities to Debussy, Bartok, Prokofiev, and Copland. Fantasia on an Qstinato (1985), commissioned for the van Cliburn International Piano Competition, is an atmospheric tone poem that transforms the theme from Beethoven's Symphony no« 7 (second movement) . The rhythmic and harmonic structure of this theme are retained through much of Corigliano's work. Full quotations and fragments of the symphony are combined with newly-composed material influenced by Beethoven's theme. Influence of minimalist techniques associated with Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass is apparent throughout the work; rhythmic phasing, repetitive patterns, and musical stasis are used extensively in the second section. A comparison of the Etude Fantasy and Fantasia nn an OstinatQ confirms the eclectic characteristics of Corigliano's style. In both works, the composer borrows freely from a variety of musical traditions, combining and modifying traditional ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Simms, Beverley
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation