Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Leonard Bernstein has written three sets of dedicatory piano miniatures: Seven Anniversaries (1943), Four Anniversaries (1948), and Five Anniversaries (1949-51). Each piece is in honor of a close friend, relative, or family member of a friend of the composer. The titles bear the names of the respective dedicatees (for example, "For Aaron Copland"); the titles in all but the first set also include the date of birth. The purpose of this monograph is to provide background information about each dedicatee and to analyze each tribute in terms of significant musical features, with brief reference to pedagogical considerations. It has been found that the Anniversaries are well-integrated motivically, yet they come across with seemingly spontaneous turns of melody and rhythm. Harmony is refreshingly elusive but not devoid of tonal orientation. Jazz elements and generally moderate technical demands add to the appeal of the Anniversaries as teaching pieces. Several were incorporated into orchestral works, gaining in the process additional musical and extra-musical associations. Two unpublished Anniversaries (1965) are briefly discussed in the Appendix to this monograph.
Luther, Sigrid, "The Anniversaries for Solo Piano by Leonard Bernstein." (1986). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 4192.