UNUSUAL SOUNDSCAPES: CHAMBER ENSEMBLES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AND BEYOND INVOLVING THE COLLABORATIVE PIANIST
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A Collaborative Pianist is constantly exposed to a variety of styles, soundscapes and ensemble combinations. Since the twentieth century proved to be the most musically diverse period in human history (and the twenty-first century continues that trend), it provided the most options to choose from while looking for so many varied sounds, combinations and styles in music. This recording project, while focusing on unusual ensemble combinations in music of the twentieth century and after, features both works that are strictly instrumental as well as works involving voice. The first part of my dissertation focuses on Olivier Messiaen, who is inarguably one of the most influential and unique composers of this period. The works that I have chosen to discuss are the magnificent Quatour pour la fin du Temps (1941) and a lesser-known but nevertheless gorgeous chamber work, La Mort du Nombre (1930) for soprano, tenor, violin and piano. The other half of the dissertation focuses on American music: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1978) by Lukas Foss, Let Evening Come (1993) by William Bolcom, Struwwelpeterlieder op. 51 (1996) by Lowell Liebermann, and The Platter of Discontent by Marc Mellits (2004). The reason I have chosen works by American composers is due to the fact that after the World War II, the United States became the place to which many of the renowned European composers immigrated. Therefore, all the traditions that developed in Europe over centuries now continued to evolve in America. The two CDs can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM). Works by Messiaen are on CD1, recorded on June 16th, 2017 in Gildenhorn Hall at the University of Maryland with Amy Broadbent, soprano, Christian Hoff, tenor, Josh Henderson, violin, Emily Robinson, clarinet and Ismar Gomes, cello. Works by American composers are on CD2, recorded live between 2013 and 2016 with Laura Mitchell, soprano, Elliott Isaakson, viola, Julia Bullock, soprano, Fanya Wyrick-Flax, flute, Amy Garapic, percussion, Josh Henderson, violin, Anne Dearth, flute, Brad Cherwin, clarinet, Emma Schmiedecke, cello, and Yumi Tamashiro, percussion.