SELECTED AMERICAN VIOLIN WORKS AND THEIR EUROPEAN CONTEXT
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For my dissertation, I did a study and performance of American violin works by Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and John Corigliano, along with contemporaneous European works by Paul Hindemith, Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Francis Poulenc. The selected American violin works display the development of a distinctively American style and cover a significant formative period (1914-1963) of American classical music. I intend that the European works form a backdrop for setting in relief any distinctly American qualities possessed by the American works. This is because they cover a similar time period and have significant stylistic affinities and shared influences. My topic stems from a question, "What defines the American Sound?" I attempted to find the answer by looking at the time when American composers consciously searched for their identities, and declared their music to be distinctly American. I found that those distinctive qualities stemmed from three sources: folk music, jazz and hymns. Ives and Copland can be viewed as American in content for their inclusion of such elements, while Bernstein and Corigliano can also be considered as "ideologically American" for their adventurous and eclectic spirit. The simplicity derived from singing a hymn or crooning a popular song; the freedom inspired by jazz; the optimism of accepting all possibilities-these elements inform the common spirit that I found in the music of these four American composers. FIRST RECITAL Sonatafor Violin Solo Op.3112 (1924), Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Suite Italiennefor Violin and Piano (1932), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Sonatafor Violin and Piano (1963), John Corigliano (b.1938) SECOND RECITAL Second Sonatafor Violin and Piano (1914-17), Charles Ives (1874-1954) First Rhapsody for Violin and Piano (1928), Bela Bart6k (1881-1971) Violin Sonata No.1 infminor (1938-46), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) THIRD RECITAL Nocturne for Violin and Piano (1926), Aaron Copland (1900-1990)Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 119 (1942-3, rev.1949), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium'') (1954) by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) The pianists were Sun Ha Yoon (Bart6k) and Grace Eunae Cho (all other repertoire).