UNDER-APPRECIATED VIOLIN REPERTOIRE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

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2009

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From the countless number of works in the violin repertoire, only a relatively few are chosen to be played regularly. For instance, the premier of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto was not successful, and the work was neglected until the late 19th century, when it was revived by Joachim. I strongly believed that we should not stop discovering and bringing forgotten and under-appreciated masterpieces to our audience so that we may prevent these works from being buried permanently. This was the purpose and the title of my dissertation project.

Selections for my dissertation programs consisted of works by relatively unknown composers or lesser-known pieces by well-known composers. In addition, I did try to make the program as varied as possible: I played a violin concerto and solo violin piece as well as regular violin sonatas. As I looked for such works, and prepared all the recitals it often occurred to me that I was getting lost in the midst of thousands of under- appreciated treasures which I felt the need to rescue. Furthermore, all of them were the kinds of works that definitely required much more of my time and effort to research and to learn than standard repertoire that could be easily heard in recordings and read about, for the limited accessible information about them and technical difficulties. Therefore, I basically selected the pieces for the three dissertation recitals among those works I most wanted to learn immediately.

My project included Arvo Pärt’s Fratres for Violin and Piano, Béla Bartók’s Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano, Ottorino Respighi’s Violin Sonata, Leoš Janáček’s Violin Sonata, Carl Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, Karl Goldmark’s Ballade, Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Sonata, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Cadenza for Solo Violin, and André Previn’s Tango Song and Dance. The pianists for these performances were Juny Jung and Hyun Jung Kim for the first two recitals, and Hye Jin Lee for the last one.

My thirst for researching and playing hidden treasures of the past for my audiences will not end after I complete my degree, and I am sure that this project will go on throughout my whole musical life.

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