The German Romantic Style of Paul Hindemith's Piano Sonata no. 1 "Der Main"
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPaul Hindemith (1896–1963) composed extensively for the piano throughout his life. His compositional style varied throughout his career and ranges from satirical to formulaic in function. Despite the diverse scope of compositional style, he is primarily associated with the traits of Neo-Classicism. However, this association is only applicable to a portion of Hindemith’s oeuvre and has resulted in an insufficient categorization of his music. The three piano sonatas composed in 1936 are perhaps the greatest examples of Hindemith’s stylistic eclecticism within the piano repertoire due to the unique approach to the form, texture, and genre of each sonata. Piano Sonata no. 1 “Der Main” is the most stylistically unusual and exhibits qualities associated with German Romanticism: poetic inspiration, themes of travel and landscape, and deviation from conventional form. This document provides a novel stylistic interpretation of Piano Sonata no. 1 “Der Main” that surveys the inspirations and traits that informed Paul Hindemith’s compositional process. The first chapter provides an overview some of the most significant piano works by Hindemith. The second chapter defines the traits of Neo-Classical composition and how they manifest in Hindemith’s Piano Sonata no. 2 and Piano Sonata no. 3. The third chapter examines the traits of German Romanticism as they appear in the piano literature, and the fourth chapter examines the German Romantic traits within Piano Sonata no. 1 “Der Main.” By examining the compositional approach and relationship with Piano Sonata no. 2 and Piano Sonata no. 3, it will be demonstrated that Hindemith is not solely a Neo-Classical composer, but an eclectic one who draws from many styles including German Romanticism.
Degree ProgramGraduate College