PIANISTIC VIRTUOSITY IN CHAMBER MUSIC FROM 1893 -1962
Kim, Eun Ae Baik
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Many twentieth-century composers possessed amazing proficiency at the piano. Their keyboard prowess and intimate knowledge of the instrument helped contribute to a remarkable body of piano chamber music which resulted in requiring greater technical command on the part of the pianist. Composers such as Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Poulenc, Bartók, Ravel and Stravinsky were excellent pianists as well as superb symphonic writers. By employing their vast technical abilities and honing their experiences with orchestral forces, these composers were able to create chamber music replete with new musical textures, rich sonorities and various coloristic effects which heightened the demand for pianistic virtuosity. Today’s pianists need to conquer the technical challenges of these chamber works before even beginning to put them together with their partners. Fortunately, most of these composers knew their instrument and its technical demands well enough to ensure that everything they wrote would be idiomatic to the instrument even while maintaining an exceptional level of technical difficulty, thereby raising the level of piano technique to new heights. The three recitals, which comprise this dissertation project, were performed on February 21 and October 10, 2010, and February 27, 2011 at the University of Maryland Gildenhorn Recital Hall. The first recital, which was performed with pianist Sooyoung Jung, included works for two pianos: En Blanc et Noir (1915) by Claude Debussy, Fantaisie - Tableaux (1893) by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Three Movements from Petrouchka (1947) by Igor Stravinsky. In the second recital the focus was on duos with piano: Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1962) with clarinetist Samuel Doosik Shin, Karol Szymanowski’s Notturno e Tarantella for Violin and Piano (1915) with violinist Blanka Bednarz, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano (1901) with cellist JongBin Kim. The final recital featured works for two pianos with pianist Sooyoung Jung: Claude Debussy’s orchestral works Nuages and Fêtes arranged for two pianos by Maurice Ravel and Rachmaninoff’s Suite No. 2, Op. 17 for two pianos (1901). The recitals were recorded on compact discs and archived within the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).