CAPTURING SOUND: THE METHODS OF ARRANGING AND EXECUTING INSTRUMENTAL SOUNDS BETWEEN ORCHESTRA AND PIANO
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The piano stands today as a romantic instrument, designed to produce large amounts of sound, a wide range of dynamic contrasts, and infinite voicing possibilities. The piano’s ability to create and sustain harmonies across its over seven- octave range provides composers a single instrument to express the harmonic expanses of an entire orchestra. Through the nineteenth century, composers around the world imbued orchestral characteristics into their pianistic writing. In contrast, some composers took the opposite route and began orchestrating solo piano works. This dissertation explored several orchestral works transcribed for piano across selected genres in order to portray the techniques necessary to most accurately represent the intricate collaboration of orchestral textures and production of sound through the piano.
The pieces performed were as follows: Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes, arranged by Maurice Ravel for two piano, four-hands; Igor Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps, arranged by the composer for one piano, four-hands; Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn, originally scored for two pianos, four-hands; and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, arranged by the composer for two pianos, four- hands. Collaborators included pianists Dr. Nadežda Mijatović-Sekicki and Dr. Alexei Ulitin. These works were presented at the University of Maryland’s Gildenhorn Recital Hall on September 30, 2018, and December 8, 2019. In lieu of performing the third D.M.A. lecture recital, this dissertation encompassed additional chapters of detailed processes and suggestions on how to facilitate transcriptions and reductions at the piano. Recital recordings can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).