When the Cello Speaks Alone: Cello Cadenzas in Chamber Music Duos

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This dissertation explores chamber duo works in which the cello has one or more significant solo passages. Works studied are sonatas for cello and piano by Luigi Boccherini (1771), Anton Rubinstein (1855), Edvard Grieg (1883), Alexander Tcherepnin (1924), and Marcus Paus (2009); show pieces by David Popper (Hungarian Rhapsody, 1894), Sulkhan Tsintsadze (Five Pieces on Folk Themes for Cello and Piano, 1950), Joachim Stutschewsky (Three Hebrew Melodies, 1934), and Buxton Orr (A Carmen Fantasy, 1985); and two duos with violin by Zoltán Kodály (1914) and Bohuslav Martinů (1927). Short biographical notes are provided on each composer and cadenzas are analyzed for their role and placement in each respective composition. Works have been organized according to the following categories: improvised cadenzas, cadenzas that prolong harmonic tension, virtuosic cadenzas based on folk and ethnic traditions, cadenzas providing an introduction or transition, and reflective cadenzas.

In the conclusions, it is noted that post-Classical era composers place the cadenzas in a variety of locations, including at the opening of the work, before the recapitulation, and between themes of the recapitulation. Some composers use the cello alone for transitions or to introduce material at the beginning of the piece or movement. Few of the cadenzas include previously stated themes, and most cadenzas discussed in this paper wholly abandon the traditional function of delay. In all of these, the inclusion of a cello cadenza augments the emotional and textural dimension and variety.



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