Stylistic Development and Compositional Techniques in the Piano works of Charles T. Griffes
Keywordslecture recital document
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson, 1884-1920--Criticism and interpretation.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn the Fall of 1919, the Boston Symphony, under Pierre Monteaux, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Stokowski, premiered works cf Charles T. Griffes. The performances met with phenomenal success. A reviewer in the Boston Globe found Griffes' music to exhibit "genuine originality and power of a sort that entitles its composer to be judged by the same standard as men like Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, not by that usually applied to..works by unfamiliar Americans." The following Spring Griffes died at the age of thirty-five. Most sources agree that American composition suffered a great loss in the early death of Charles Griffes. His music has gained critical prestige and has won a small but significant position in the orchestral and solo repertoire in the concert hall as well as in the teaching studio. Griffes' creative life spans the first two decades of the twentieth century. He was a pianist and over half of his compositions were for solo piano. In addition, many of his orchestral works are transcriptions of piano pieces. And yet, except for The White Peacock and the Sonata, his piano works are almost unknown and rarely performed. This study seeks to trace the influences contributing to Griffes' general style, and explore the technical components characteristic of that style as they relate to his piano music. Its purpose is to create an interest in the study and performance of this important source of twentieth century American piano music.
Degree ProgramGraduate College