AuthorMartin, Christian Thomas
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn the pre-compositional process of my Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, musical characteristics have been adapted from Bela Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Daniel Asia’s Piano Concerto, and Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, among others. I chose to emulate the following characteristics from Bela Bartók’s concerto: 1) Oscillating rhythmic patterns in the violins that create a light texture over which the piano ornaments, followed by a reversal of roles; 2) a retransition with muted brass and tremolo strings; 3) opening the second movement with polyphonic strings, each repeating the same idea, interrupted by a light, elegant, melancholy piano solo; and 4) a neo-classical polyphonic texture featured in the third movement with piano in the foreground moving in fast sixteenths, mostly scalar with some skips. I chose to emulate the following characteristics from Daniel Asia’s concerto: 1) Parallel triadic planing; 2) French clarity of texture; 3) sharp brass choirs featured on their own, usually bridging together opposing sections of music; 4) spatial harmonies sustained by staggered, transposed entrances of an idea similar to a stretto; 5) a melody in the right hand of the piano that is doubled by the flute; and 6) higher dissonance and chromaticism achieved by walking rhythms in the pizzicato low strings under lyrical violins in octaves (a texture reminiscent of Stravinsky). I chose to emulate the following characteristics from Maurice Ravel’s concerto: 1) clusters of notes per attack so the pitches are perceived by the listener as indeterminate; and 2) quickly moving sixteenth-note passages in the final movement, mostly step-wise with the occasional skips, over a pulsating harmony in the accompaniment. The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra is an original musical composition of fifteen and a half minutes in length featuring a piano soloist and orchestra. Driven by melody, it is somewhat traditional in form and orchestration but new in style and harmony. Its spatial, neo-tonal harmonies support the ebb and flow of various gestures; some quite reserved, others ominous and foreboding. This piece introduces and develops themes through melodic fragmentation and transformations such as the transposition, retrograde, and inversion of intervallic patterns. The overall organization of tempos in this three-movement work holds true to the traditional concerto model which features a fast first movement, slow second movement, and fast third movement. The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra continues the rich neo-classical tradition of the early twentieth century through a new, twenty-first-century compositional style.
Degree ProgramGraduate College