FINAL STAGES: MUSIC WRITTEN FOR VIOLA IN COMPOSITIONAL TRANSITION
Green, Chelsey A.
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Through the presentation of three performance recitals, this dissertation examines nine pieces written for viola by eight different composers during major transitional moments in their lives. Whether the moment of transition was set amid battling terminal illness, the end of their compositional career, or even death, these substantial pieces, often recorded and performed today, are significant staples in the standard viola repertoire. The works chosen for this project showcase an effective progression of virtuosity for the viola as a solo instrument through the late 19th and into the 20th century. The compositions included in this dissertation are: Béla Bártok (1881-1945) Concert for Viola and Orchestra, Op. Posthumous (1945/1949) Ernest Bloch (1880 - 1959) Suite Hébraïque (1951) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (ed. for Viola), Op. 120 Nos. 1 and 2 (1894) Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) Passacaglia (1941) and I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still (1944) Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) Sechs Phantasiestücke für Viola and Pianoforte, Op. 117 (1927) Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11 No. 4 Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Märchenbilder (1851) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147 (1975) Through analysis of compositional style and consideration of each composer’s life condition at the time of composition, this project provides insight towards the origins of these iconic pieces and facilitates a greater understanding of the composers’ connection to and proclivity towards the viola as voice at these significant transitional moments in their lives. The recitals were recorded on compact discs and are archived within the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).