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THE ART OF TRANSCRIBING FOR HARPSICHORD
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A relatively unexplored area of the harpsichord repertoire is the group of transcriptions made by J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Jean Henry d'Anglebert (1629-1691), and Jean-Baptiste Forqueray (1699-1782). These transcriptions are valuable and worth exploring and performing. Studying them provides unique insights into their composer‘s musical thinking. By comparing transcriptions with their original sources, the transcriber's decisions and priorities can be observed. The performance component of this dissertation comprises three recitals. The first features works of Johann Sebastian Bach: two transcriptions of violin concerti by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), and two transcriptions of trio sonatas by Johann Adam Reinken (1643-1722). The most salient feature of Bach‘s transcriptions is his addition of musical material: ornamenting slow movements, adding diminutions and idiomatic keyboard figurations throughout, and recomposing and expanding fugal movements. The second recital features works of Jean Henry d'Anglebert and Jean-Baptiste Forqueray, two French composer/performers. From d'Anglebert‘s many transcriptions, I assembled two key-related suites: the first comprised of lute pieces by Ennemond Gaultier (c. 1575-1651), and the second comprised of movements from operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687). Forqueray's transcriptions are of suites for viola da gamba and continuo, composed by his father, Antoine Forqueray (1671-1745). Creative and varied ornamentation, along with the style brisé of arpeggiated chords, are the most important features of d‘Anglebert‘s transcriptions. Forqueray‘s transcriptions are highly virtuosic and often feature the tenor and bass range of the harpsichord. The third recital features my own transcriptions: the first suite for solo cello by J.S. Bach, excerpts from the opera La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704), and two violin pieces by Nicola Matteis (fl. c. 1670-c. 1698). In these transcriptions, I demonstrate what I have learned from studying and performing the works in the first two recitals. These recitals were performed in the Leah Smith Hall at the University of Maryland on May 4, 2010; May 11, 2010; and October 7, 2010. They were recorded on compact discs and are archived within the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).