This document examines how compositions in the toccata genre reveal the musical language of select contemporary composers; analyses of post-1950 piano works by York Bowen, Robert Muczynski, Sofia Gubaidulina, Nikolai Kapustin, and Emma Lou Diemer will illuminate how these composers melded their personal styles with received traditions and applied new musical idioms to the genre.
The toccata has changed continuously through the centuries in form, texture, and character. In the Romantic era and the first half of the twentieth-century, the genre gained prominence in piano literature due to its ability to showcase technical virtuosity with brilliant character, free formal structure, and perpetual and repeated motion. In the second half of the twentieth-century, the toccata was particularly notable as a genre within which composers explored and developed their personal musical styles by adapting the generic features to their diverse musical idioms. As background for this discussion, this document will analyze the stylistic features and characteristics of the toccata genre in terms of texture, harmonic language, melodic and rhythmic writing, and formal structure. This will be followed by biographical sketches and assessments of each composer's musical style in the context of their toccata compositions. Finally, the study will offer suggestions for performance practice, with interpretive suggestions, technical difficulties, and solutions. By better understanding how late twentieth- century composers have engaged with the toccata as a genre, performers will enhance their musical and technical interpretations of those works.
|Commitee:||Pridonoff, Elizabeth, Pridonoff, Eugene|
|School:||University of Cincinnati|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||1957-2000, Bowen, York, Diemer, Emma Lou, England, Gubaidulina, Sofia, Kapustin, Nikolai, Muczynski, Robert, Piano, Russia, Style and performance guide, Toccata, Ukraine|
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