Exploring Musical Diversity in the Collaborative Repertoire from 1880 through 1963
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It is essential in musical performance not only to convey the unique language of the composers but also to approach each composition from the perspective of its style. During the 20th century, diverse musical idioms co-existed, sometimes mixing or fusing, yet retaining recognizable characteristics and thereby remaining distinctive. This dissertation explores myriad examples from Late Romanticism/Post- Romanticism, Naturalism, Neo-Classicism, Nationalism and Impressionism composed during this unusually rich period. In order to explore a broad range of collaborative repertoire and to deepen my knowledge of the styles and performance practices relating to these pieces, I studied and performed the repertoire with pianist Eunae Baik–Kim, clarinetist Jihoon Chang, and singers Joshua Brown and Young Joo Lee. The first program featured Post-Romantic, Neo-Classic and Impressionist two-piano works composed by Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky. Each of the three composers used their own distinctive harmonies, rhythms, melodic inventions, pedaling and figurations. In all of the works, both piano parts were densely interwoven, having equal importance. Lied and operatic aria was the focus of the second recital. Brahms’ Vier Ernste Gesänge Op. 121, Ravel’s Don Quichotte a Dulcineé and Italian, French and German operatic arias were the examples of Post-Romanticism and Nationalism. The representative composers were Verdi, Massenet, Korngold, Leoncavallo, Ravel and Wagner. Despite the fact that all of the repertoire was written in traditional musical forms, the composers’ unique voices mark each work as belonging to a particular genre. The third recital focused on Post-Romantic and Impressionistic music written for clarinet and piano: the Première Rhapsodie by Debussy, the Sonata by Poulenc and Brahms’ Sonata in F minor Op. 120, No. 1. These works, although profoundly different in style, share elements of simplicity, clarity and elegance as well as technical virtuosity, articulation and profound musical depth. The three recitals which comprise this dissertation project were performed at the University of Maryland Gildenhorn Recital Hall on February 27, 2010, October 25, 2010, and January 31, 2011. The recitals were recorded on compact disc and are archived within the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).