A SURVEY OF FRENCH KEYBOARD MUSIC FROM 1880 TO 1950
Yoon, Hyo Young
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French music flourished from the last quarter of the nineteenth century into the early twentieth century, especially in the genres of opera and orchestral music. Although French keyboard music enjoyed less popularity, being overshadowed by these predominant genres, prominent impressionist figures Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) . . brought its revival to the French music. Scholars consider Debussy to be a frontrunner of Impressionism, and his influence had a major impact on subsequent composers. As a result of his popularity, other significant works by French composers seem to be overlooked by pianists and audiences and are not as often performed. Because keyboard works by Debussy and Ravel are a popular performance choice among pianists, I was eager to examine music by other French composers. Through my resea,rch, I found many great works that warranted further study and deserve a place in the keyboard repertoire. This recording project contains works by lesser-known French composers written between the years of 1880 and 1950, namely Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894), Gabriel-Urbain Faure (1845-1924), Charles Koechlin (1867-1950), Albert Roussel (1869-1937), Erik Satie (1866-1925), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Robert Casadesus (1899-1972) and Henri Dutilleux (b.1916). Since piano repertoire is abundant, it is sometimes difficult to create a performance program. Therefore, it frequently becomes the default to choosing familiar repertoire rather than using the opportunity to expand the repertoire. As a pianist, I feel responsible to search for hidden musical treasures with which pianists and audiences alike are not so well acquainted. This recording project explores nine lesser-known French compositions written between 1880 and 1950. I expect this to be an opportunity to introduce both pianists and audiences to outstanding but unfamiliar works by French composers. This dissertation was recorded on two compact discs in Dekelboum Concert Hall at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center of the University of Maryland. The recordings are archived in the University of Maryland Library.