Revolutionary etudes: The expansion of piano technique exploited in the Twelve New Etudes of William Bolcom
AuthorLee, Ji Sun
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe first etudes, written in the seventeenth century, were study pieces created for the development of a particular aspect of performing technique. Chopin and Liszt are acknowledged to be the major figures in the later development of the concert etude. These contain not only the expected studies of various matters of technique but also deal with musicianship, including cantabile playing and the projection of the composer's poetic intentions. William Bolcom's Twelve New Etudes, like those of Chopin, are studies in style synthesis as well as in pianism. The uniqueness of these two composers' etudes consist in combining the technical innovations of their contemporaries and mixing their "classical" style with lighter elements, including programmatic ideas and bel canto style. This document will consist of a discussion of twentieth-century piano techniques utilized in each of Bolcom's Twelve New Etudes and also a discussion of how these techniques and compositional styles enhance the poetic quality of these works. This will be preceded by a brief history of the development of the concert etude, a discussion of the Chopin Etudes and the poetic elements of Debussy's Preludes , and other important influences on Bolcom's works. In addition, some parallels and contrasts will be drawn between the Bolcom etudes and those of Chopin.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance