Tracing Neoclassical Influences in selected solo and chamber music for the clarinet

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The musical period of Neoclassicism began in the 1920's, between the first and second world wars. It was initiated by French composers and eventually spread to other countries. One of the most important themes to emerge from the movement was to escape from the formless, rather emotional music of the Romantic era and instead, emphasize balance, order, objectivity and clarity in musical form.

Many popular clarinet repertoires are enjoyed by performers and listeners because the music is enjoyable to play and easy to listen to. In particular, classically influenced clarinet music is quite interesting because it features musical elements from both the past and contemporary musical styles. For instance, some composers have integrated preexisting, more traditional styles of composition with lighter styles of modern culture such as popular music and Jazz.

It is difficult to discover purely neoclassical clarinet repertoires even though many composers created their pieces during the neoclassical era. What we most commonly find are both neoclassical and non-neoclassical influences in compositions from that time period.

Thus, I aim to trace the influence of neoclassicism in selected clarinet repertoires that exist today. It is my hope that increased awareness and knowledge about accessible clarinet music may encourage the general public to develop a deeper interest in a wider sphere of clarinet music, beyond what is considered popular today.

The works performed and discussed in this dissertation are the following:

(Recital I) Duo Concertante by Darius Milhaud; Sonata by Leonard Bernstein; Sonata for Two Clarinets by Francis Poulenc; Duos for Flute and Clarinet, Op. 34 by Robert Muczynski; Dance Preludes by Witold Lutoslawski, (Recital II) Sonatine by Arthur Honegger; Time pieces by Robert Muczynski; Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano by Darius Milhaud; Sonate for Clarinet, Flute and Piano by Maurice Emmanuel; Tarantelle for Flute, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 6 by Camille Saint-Saëns,

(Recital III) Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz; Suite from L'histoire du Soldat for Clarinet, Violin and Piano by Igor Stravinsky; Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin and Piano by Béla Bartók The recitals that took place on December 1, 2012 and on April 25, 2013 were performed in the Ulrich Recital Hall of the Clarice Performing Arts Center in College Park, Maryland. The recital that took place on November 2, 2013 was performed at the Gildenhorn Recital Hall of the same performing arts center.



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