SELECTED TWENTIETH-CENTURY NEOCLASSIC CELLO REPERTOIRE
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In the twentieth century, various stylistic trends occurred in classical music. One of the most important of these was Neoclassicism, a reaction against the overstated emotion of Romanticism and the radical musical experimentation of the first two decades of the twentieth century. In order to reestablish the balanced aesthetic precepts and spirit of the classical period, composer Igor Stravinsky (1882– 1971) championed the neoclassic style in the 1920’s. Neoclassicism was adopted by composers seeking a variety of new styles and techniques to call their own. While incorporating classical elements such as tonal centers, balance, and clarity of form and texture, many composers endeavored to connect with new musical aspects, such as irregular rhythms, dissonances, and large amounts of chromaticism. My dissertation focuses on the unique ways in which six individual composers of this era crafted common classical characteristic with diverse new materials. The twentieth century saw many composers contributing to the enrichment of the cello repertoire. Many of their compositions exhibit exceptional development of cello techniques. As a cellist, I strove to explore their great virtuosity, as well as to demonstrate how each composer approached and aided in the definition of musical Neoclassicism. The first recital included the three Sonatas for cello and piano by Bohuslav Martinů. The second recital was composed of the Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 25, No. 3 by Paul Hindemith, the Sonata for Violin and Cello by Maurice Ravel, and the Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 143 by Francis Poulenc. The third recital consisted of the Suite Italienne for Cello and Piano by Igor Stravinsky and the Sinfonia Concertante Op. 125 by Sergei Prokofiev. The three recitals comprising this dissertation were performed on April 7, 2012 in the Ulrich Recital Hall, February 10, 2013 in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and May 5, 2013 in the Ulrich Recital Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park. Compact disc recordings of these recitals are available in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland.