THE DISTINCTIVE VOICE OF PAUL HINDEMITH THROUGH THE VIOLA
Gopal, Arvin Nathan
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Paul Hindemith has made numerous contributions to the viola, both as a composer and performer. As a composer, he has written 7 sonatas for the viola, as well as a number of chamber and orchestral works which feature the viola as a solo instrument. As a violist, Hindemith was one of the only virtuoso soloists of his lifetime, and premiered virtually all of his solo compositions. Many of his pieces remain an integral part of the viola repertoire; Der Schwanendreher is one of the three major Twentieth-Century concertos for the viola. While some of his pieces are well-known, there are many others which are not performed with much frequency, due in part to the sheer output of this prolific composer. In this dissertation project, I performed Hindemith's compositions for the viola as a solo instrument. Consideration was given to exclusively performing his 4 solo sonatas and 3 sonatas for viola and piano. His only viola duet, his only non-sonata written for viola and piano, and 2 of his viola concertos (Der Schwanendreher and Trauermusik) were included in this dissertation project to provide contrast and supplement the three recital programs. Through this dissertation project I have been able to gain a deeper understanding of the complex language of Hindemith and interpret his music in an approach that is accessible to both the performer and the audience. All performances took place in the Gildenhom Recital Hall and Ulrich Recital Hall at the University of Maryland. All collaborations with piano were performed with Eliza Ching. The Duett for Viola and Violoncello was performed with Daniel Shomper, and the assisting musicians performing in the Trauermusik were Joel Ciaccio, Daniel Sender, Daniel Shomper, Cassandra Stephenson and Dana Weiderhold.