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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Thought, Virtuosity and Spontaneity in Luciano Berio's 'Six Encores' for Piano
by Fomalgaut, Asiia, M.F.A., Mills College, 2017, 38; 10282010
Abstract (Summary)

The anthology of the Six Encores (1965-1990) for piano solo, written by a major Italian modernist composer Luciano Berio (1925-2003), demonstrates a wide spectrum of compositional techniques and styles of 20 th-century musical experimental thought. To play the six short, one to four minutes each, pieces the performer must possess the highest level of preparation and impeccable knowledge of the instrument: yet virtuosity is only one aspect of the cycle. Four of the encores are dedicated to the four elements of nature – Water, Earth, Air and Fire, named in German as Wasserklavier, Erdenklavier Luftklavier and Feuerklavier; the other two, Brin and Leaf, are the epigraphic miniatures which symbolize the passage of an ephemeral entity. All of the Six Encores illustrate the spiritual visualization of scenic elements and depict a precise trajectory of their imagery stimulating listeners with improvisatory spontaneity mixed with stylistic logical calculation.

This study dissects Berio’s conceptualization of the piano and provides an analysis of the composer’s expressive linguistic equipment in the Six Encores. The first chapter describes Berio’s ideological approach to the process of music creation in its virtuosity and spontaneity of thought. The other six chapters present specific insights into each of the Six Encores for piano: Brin (1990), Leaf (1990), Wasserklavier (1965), Erdenklavier (1969), Luftklavier (1985) and Feuerklavier (1989), by scrutinizing the structural, rhythmic and timbral elements of Berio’s poetic voice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ghuman, Nalini, Bernstein, David
Commitee: Ghuman, Nalini, Payne, Maggi
School: Mills College
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Berio, Luciano, Encores, Erdenklavier, Feuerklavier, Luftklavier, Wasserklavier
Publication Number: 10282010
ISBN: 978-1-369-82251-9
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