ELGAR AND MARTINU: THE CELLO WORKS AND MUSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TWO REMARKABLE, SELF-TAUGHT, NATIONALISTIC COMPOSERS

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2006

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The British Edward Elgar and Czech Bohuslav Martinu were two of the most prominent Nationalistic composers of their respective countries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their musical patriotism incorporates the unique paths of their lives as socially isolated and self-taught composers as expressed their outstanding Nationalistic compositions produced through the period of history encompassing the two World Wars.In the first chapter of this dissertation, a brief biography of Elgar is presented and the essential aspects of his formative years influencing him to become a self-taught musician are discussed. The second chapter demonstrates Elgar's musical characteristics through the study of a selection of his masterpieces. In the third chapter, a brief biography of Martinu is presented along with a history of his musical development, characterized by his social isolation during four different periods of his life-his residences in PoliCka, Prague, Paris, and then in the United States. The fourth chapter considers Martinu's musical characteristics as revealed through the study of a selection of his greatest works. In support of this doctoral project, I performed two recitals of cello works by Elgar and Martinu at the University of Maryland, College Park. The first recital, accompanied by Susan Slingland and Hiroko Yamazaki, included three of Martinu's works, Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano (1941); Variations on a Theme of Rossini for Cello and Piano (1 942); and Sonata No. 3 for Cello and Piano (1952). The second recital, accompanied by Wonyoung Chang and Naoko Takao, presented Martinu's Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano (1939) and Elgar's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Op. 85 in E minor (1 919).

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NOTICE: Recordings accompanying this record are available only to University of Maryland College Park faculty, staff, and students and cannot be reproduced, copied, distributed or performed publicly by any means without prior permission of the copyright holder.