An ignored fantasy: An examination of Beethoven's Fantasy for Piano Op. 77
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis document provides a comprehensive examination of Beethoven's Fantasy for Piano Op.77. While most of Beethoven's other works for solo piano have been extensively researched and performed, this work has received very little scholarly or performance attention. The prime objective of this document is to redress this omission and shed some light on a work that contains several intriguing features. After tracing the fantasy tradition from which this work emerged, this document provides an extensive background into the specific origins of the Fantasy Op.77. Amongst the issues that are discussed is this work's relationship to the Choral Fantasy Op.80 and also those piano works by Beethoven that contain fantasy-like elements. The central portion of this document is concerned with the unique structural design that underpins this work. After discussing that small body of research that does address this work, this document puts forward an original analysis that puts this work in a new perspective. This involves a more eclectic analytical approach that embraces elements of Schenkerian as well as more conventional theoretical procedures. A definite connection between the compositional procedures in this fantasy and the late piano sonatas by Beethoven is then established. Ultimately this document reveals the compositional genius of Beethoven in this little known work, specifically in his ability to mask structural unity with the outward appearance of chaos and disorder.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance