A GLOBAL SAMPLING OF PIANO MUSIC FROM 1978 TO 2005
Whitehead, Annalee Schultz
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Pianists of the twenty-first century have a wealth of repertoire at their fingertips. They busily study music from the different periods -- Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and some of the twentieth century -- trying to understand the culture and performance practice of the time and the stylistic traits of each composer so they can communicate their music effectively. Unfortunately, this leaves little time to notice the composers who are writing music today. Whether this neglect proceeds from lack of time or lack of curiosity, I feel we should be connected to music that was written in our own lifetime, when we already understand the culture and have knowledge of the different styles that preceded us. Therefore, in an attempt to promote today’s composers, I have selected piano music written during my lifetime, to show that contemporary music is effective and worthwhile and deserves as much attention as the music that preceded it. This dissertation showcases piano music composed from 1978 to 2005. A point of departure in selecting the pieces for this recording project is to represent the major genres in the piano repertoire in order to show a variety of styles, moods, lengths, and difficulties. Therefore, from these recordings, there is enough variety to successfully program a complete contemporary recital from the selected works, and there is enough variety to meet the demands of pianists with different skill levels and recital programming needs. Since we live in an increasingly global society, music from all parts of the world is included to offer a fair representation of music being composed everywhere. Half of the music in this project comes from the United States. The other half comes from Australia, Japan, Russia, and Argentina. The composers represented in these recordings are: Lowell Liebermann, Richard Danielpour, Frederic Rzewski, Judith Lang Zaimont, Samuel Adler, Carl Vine, Nikolai Kapustin, Akira Miyoshi and Osvaldo Golijov. With the exception of one piano concerto, all the works are for solo piano. This recording project dissertation consists of two 60 minute CDs of selected repertoire, accompanied by a substantial document of in-depth program notes. The recordings are documented on compact discs that are housed within the University of Maryland Library System.