- Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses
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ItemFanny Hensel and virtuosityGoldsworthy, Anna Louise ( 2002)Fanny Hensel occupied a unique position in the history of music. She received an exceptional music education, and revealed a rare ability as performer and composer. In the early years of her life, she was often compared favourably to her brother, Felix Mendelssohn. However, Hensel was discouraged by her father, and later by her brother, Felix Mendelssohn, from practising her art in public, as composer or performer. Most of her musical life was enacted in the 'semi-public' space of her Sonntagsmusiken, the series of concerts she staged in the Mendelssohn family home. The thesis examines the results of these restrictions on Hensel's musical life, as performer and composer. It situates Hensel in relation to various public/private dichotomies: 'virtuosity' versus 'accomplishment'; 'public' versus 'private' genres of music; and the published as opposed to the amateur composer. Chapter 1 provides a background of the life of Fanny Hensel. Chapter 2 seeks a definition of 'virtuosity', and explores Fanny Hensel as a pianist in relation to this concept. It draws on contemporary records of her playing and her performance history, and explores her deep-seated ambivalence about virtuosity. It concludes that Fanny Hensel can indeed by labelled a 'virtuoso', albeit a conflicted one. Chapter 3 explores Fanny Hensel as a composer, and Felix Mendelssohn's impact on her compositional life. Felix Mendelssohn urged her to write, but discouraged publication: a restriction she was only able to overcome in the last year of her life. The effect of Hensel's enforced privacy on her compositions is explored. The last chapter takes Fanny Hensel's piano trio in D minor as a specific focus, and tabulates its virtuoso textures. Hensel's trio is situated in the context of its genre, which highlights the originality of her choices. This chapter draws on my own experience as pianist, as I examine the way the trio both celebrates and suppresses virtuosity.
ItemSilent Spring: eight original music compositions by Mark Clement PollardPOLLARD, MARK CLEMENT ( 2012)This folio contains the following eight original music compositions: The Flames, The Tears, The Stones, for percussion duo; Under Simple Stars, for alto flute and electronics; Dusting off Roses for guitar duo; All Fired Up for brass and percussion; Colouring in the Sky, for bass clarinet and orchestra; Beating the Rusty Nail for violin and piano; The Forty-seventh Theorem for piano solo and Silent Spring for full orchestra. These works are a sample of the author’s creative output between 1987 and 2012 and are indicative of the author’s stylistic changes and artistic influences. They are evidence of an eclectic compositional style and representative of works for solo, duo, large ensemble and orchestra. Notably, The Flames, The Tears, The stones (1987) explores the timbre of metal and is based on long serially derived note patterns that move in large cycles. Under Simple Stars (1989) is a free atonal work exploring electronic audio enhancement, the ritual of performance and the nature of melody as pitch and timbre. Dusting off Roses (1995) is based on the cyclic and interlocking processes of Javanese Gamelan and realised within a diatonic environment. All Fired Up (2000) incorporates aspects of the big band sound and the process of firing up a groove. Colouring in the Sky (2003) is influenced by the transforming dot painting process of the indigenous people of the Utopia region of the Northern Territory. The Forty-seventh Theorem (2005) deconstructs aspects of Chopin’s piano Sonata Op 35 (no.2) and rebuilds them through a series, textural, timbral, rhythmic, harmonic and melodic development processes. Beating the Rusty Nail (2006) blends Taiko drumming rhythms and basic funk patterns. Silent Spring (2012) is written to fulfil the Doctor of Music requirement for a new major work. It is inspired by the Rachel Carson book of the same name and is a collection of environmental sound images using five approaches to diatonicism. The folio works have a total duration of approximately 152 minutes and are submitted in three volumes both as notated scores and audio recordings.
ItemGeorge Enescu: the complete musician: a study of violin virtuosity in Enescu's third sonata for piano and violinAYRES, HELEN KATHARINE ( 2006)While preparing George Enescu's third violin sonata (1926) for performance, I was struck by what I considered a completely distinctive musical language. Enescu's music exploits the tactile joys of being a violinist at the same time as exploring a structurally sophisticated form. After my initial impression of its Romanian folk character, there emerged elements of Brahms and also blues-style portamenti similar to those found in Ravel's violin sonata, composed in the same year. I was inspired to learn more about George Enescu's attitude towards violin virtuosity in his time, and how it challenged or aided his composing. The primary focus of this thesis is to explore the notion of Enescu as the 'complete musician' by examining the link between violin virtuosity and composition in his works. I will examine the history of the definition of the term 'virtuoso' and discuss the conflict inherent in the roles of performer, teacher, conductor and composer in the first half of the twentieth century. The thesis focuses on the Enescu's third violin sonata, the most outstanding example of Enescu's idiomatic writing for violin. Equally a virtuoso piece as well as a composition in the neoclassical mould, it encapsulates the synthesis of roles evident in Enescu' s career.