Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Department

Music

First Advisor

Richard Kaplan

Abstract

The music of George Enescu (1881-1955) is today associated primarily with the world of violin playing. Much like his famous predecessors--Corelli, Vivaldi, Paganini, Spohr--Enescu also left behind an impressive number of compositions. But unlike those of his predecessors, Enescu's compositions are virtually unknown in the West. The lack of scores, the lack of literature in English or any other western European language, and also the critics' inability to place his music in any of the known compositional schools, contributed to an almost total neglect of his music. This paper attempts to shed some light on one of Enescu's early chamber works, the Second Sonata for Piano and Violin, Op. 6. Written when he was only seventeen, this sonata occupies a pivotal place in Enescu's compositional career. Most of his later works bear the stamp of this Second Sonata in terms of harmony, counterpoint and form. The paper consists of three chapters. Chapter One presents an overview of Enescu's life and work, discussing the most important events of his career. This chapter also surveys his most important compositions. Chapter Two is an analysis that treats many significant facets of Enescu's Second Violin Sonata, focusing on the influences that shaped his musical thinking: Franck and the cyclic sonata, Brahms and polyphonic instrumental texture, French impressionism and especially Romanian folklore, which haunted Enescu throughout his compositional career and which adds a unique flavor to his music. Chapter Three compares Enescu's later works such as the Octet for Strings, op. 7, the First Orchestral Suite, op. 9, the Third Violin Sonata, op. 25, etc. to his Second Violin Sonata. Similar compositional techniques that appear in his mature pieces underline the vital importance of this early masterwork.

Pages

40

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