INFLUENCES IN ERWIN SCHULHOFF’S PIANO CHAMBER WORKS AND LIEDER
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This performance dissertation explored the music of Erwin Schulhoff (1894 – 1942) in a series of three performances. Similarities in musical language and style found in Schulhoff’s selected piano chamber works and Lieder were compared to the works of his most influential contemporaries, including his teacher, Max Reger (1873-1916), Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), and Leoš Janáček (1854-1928). From the juxtaposition of Schulhoff’s works with works by the above composers, each recital displayed his ability to adopt distinctive musical elements from historical western musical genres and utilize them in achieving his own unique polystylistic voice in his musical compositions. Schulhoff was a Czech musician who was born into a German-Jewish family centered in Prague. He left behind almost 200 compositions in almost every genre and in many different styles which encompass a wide musical range, including late German romanticism, Impressionism, and Czech folk music. His compositions did not receive much attention nor were they extensively studied or actively performed during his lifetime and immediately after his death, since, as a victim of the Nazis, he was forgotten for about 40 years after dying in the Wülzburg concentration camp in Bavaria in 1942. More recently, interest in his compositional output has grown exponentially and his works are being studied, performed, and recorded with regularity, a confirmation of their musical quality and emotional content. The first recital explored Schulhoff’s early compositions of 1911, reflecting the style of German romanticism in which Schulhoff was influenced by his composition teacher, Max Reger, as well as Richard Strauss. The second recital focused on the influences of both Claude Debussy and Strauss on works of Schulhoff written in 1913 and 1914. The third recital featured the connection between the works of Schulhoff and Leoš Janáček, as both composers incorporate Czech and Slavic folk idioms. The recitals were performed on October 25th, December 8th, 2021, and March 17th, 2022 at the University of Maryland School of Music’s Gildenhorn Recital Hall. Recordings can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).