VIRTUOSIC ELEMENTS IN THE COLLABORATIVE PIANIST’S REPERTOIRE: SELECTED SOLO, VOCAL, AND CHAMBER WORKS OF RACHMANINOFF AND RAVEL
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This dissertation project explores some of the technical and musical challenges that face pianists in a collaborative role—specifically, those challenges that may be considered virtuosic in nature. The material was chosen from the works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel because of the technically and musically demanding yet idiomatic piano writing. This virtuosic piano writing also extends into the collaborative repertoire. The pieces were also chosen to demonstrate these virtuosic elements in a wide variety of settings. Solo piano pieces were chosen to provide a point of departure, and the programmed works ranged from vocal to two-piano, to sonatas and a piano trio. The recitals were arranged to demonstrate as much contrast as possible, while being grouped by composer. The first recital was performed on April 24, 2009. This recital featured five songs of Rachmaninoff, as well as three solo piano preludes and his Suite No. 2 for two pianos. The second recital occurred on November 16, 2010. This recital featured the music of both Rachmaninoff and Ravel, as well as a short lecture introducing the solo work “Ondine” from Gaspard de la nuit by Ravel. Following the lecture were the Cinq mélodies populaires grecques and the program closed with the substantial Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano. The final program was given on October 10, 2011. This recital featured the music of Ravel, and it included his Sonata for Violin and Piano, the Debussy Nocturnes transcribed for two pianos by Ravel, and the Piano Trio. The inclusion of a transcription of a work by another composer highlights Ravel’s particular style of writing for the piano. All of these recitals were performed at the Gildenhorn Recital Hall in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. The recitals are recorded on compact discs, which can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).