The Solo Piano Music of Robert Starer
Ayesh, Kevin Bradley
Johnson, Roy H.
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This dissertation consists of a tape recording of the complete solo piano music to date of Robert Starer (b. 1924), and a supplemental, descriptive essay that is designed to be considerably more detailed than the usual booklet that often accompanies commercial presentations of this type. Starer's piano works range from the short to the extensive. He has contributed several genres of keyboard literature: sonatas (one traditional in form, the other unconventional.); a theme and variations; fantasies; toccatas; a fugue; free forms; and preludes, caprices, and other character pieces. The large works include the two sonatas, the fantasy-like Evanescents, The Ideal Self: Fantasy, Variations and Fugue on a Song, and Twilight Fantasies. Smaller character pieces, of which Starer has composed many, exist mainly in collections, such as Five Caprices, Three Israeli Sketches, and At Home Alone. Starer is perhaps best known to pianists through his instructive compositions; most popular are the two sets of Sketches in Color. The dissertation includes a biographical sketch of the composer and a discography of Starer's solo piano works.