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J.S. Bach was the master of keyboard music in the Baroque Period. His death in 1750 marks the end of the Baroque Period. Approximately half of his 1,100 compositions were written for the keyboard, whether organ, harpsichord, or fortepiano.
The Italian Concerto, BWV 971 is one of two pieces from the second collection of works in the Clavier-Übung, or "Keyboard Practice." BWV 971 is a model of the Italian style concerto grosso where there are contrasts of the full instrumentation and moments of solo passages. Originally written for the double-manual harpsichord, these contrasts are achieved by using different registrations of both keyboards. The first movement is without tempo marking, followed by a slower andante, and concluding with the last movement that features brisk, energetic scalar passages that highlight the technical ability of the musician.
Franz Schubert is considered, along with Beethoven, one of the first Romantic composers. His output of music during his short life, almost
32 years, is astonishing, including over 600 works for voice. He composed in many genres of classical music; his most notable keyboard works are the sonatas. There remain discrepancies to the approximate number of sonatas because of other versions that have been discovered.
The Sonata in C Major, D. 840 is the last of Schubert's unfinished sonatas. It was posthumously given the nickname "relic" because it was left abandoned with only the first two movements complete out of the four. While there have been attempts to finish the third and fourth movements, the first two movements are able to stand on their own in performance. The first movement is rather melancholy with moments of happiness culminating in attainment. The second movement could be interpreted as Schubert's yearning for peace as it was written in 1825 after the composer began suffering from numerous periods of depression.
The "Arpeggione” sonata was written for Piano and Arpeggione, an instrument comparable to a six-string guitar, but played with a bow. Transition to the four-string cello proves a challenge for the player because there are fewer strings and the cello does not have frets to guide the soloist. This sonata also depicts the composer's unpredictable moods caused by depression and illness. Following a pensive opening movement, the second movement is captivating with long phrases in the solo line. The final movement has many changes of mood, but always returns to the main theme giving the piece satisfying closure.
George Gershwin was influenced by the Tin Pan Alley, which involved the popular song composers and publishers of the United States in New York City. His popularity as an American composer made him famous all over the world. His compositions span across genres of orchestral works, operas, film scores and Broadway musicals. Branding himself as a successful Broadway composer, he composed 16 musicals. In his collection, The Gershwin Songbook, songs from his musicals have been recreated as transcription arrangements for the piano.
"The Man I Love" was originally written for the musical Lady, Be Good! in 1925. The song lacked success and was pulled from the production. The song later appeared in Strike Up the Band, a musical-comedy written in 1927. This format proved key to the song's success, and it began to grow in popularity in and out of the theater. This transcription creates a reflection on the thoughts of the character as heard in the chorus of the song. Adele Astaire, with her younger brother Fred along side, would have played this role.
Some day he'll come along, the man I love;
And he'll be big and strong, the man I love;
And when he comes my way, I'll do my best to make him say.
He'll look at me and smile –I’ll understand;
And in a little while he'll take my hand;
And though it seems absurd, I know we both won't say a word.
Maybe I shall meet him Sunday, maybe Monday- maybe not;
Still I'm sure to meet him one day -
Maybe Tuesday will be my good news day.
He'll build a little home just meant for two;
From which I'll never roam- Who would? Would you?
And so all else above, I'm waiting for the man I love.
"I Got Rhythm" debuted in the musical-comedy Girl Crazy in 1930 by the incomparable Broadway staple Ethel Merman. Her roles always find the happiness and satisfaction of someone who loves them. This transcription also highlights the chorus of the song and varies the melody in both hands.
I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man
who could ask for anything more?
I got daisies in green pastures, I got my man -
who could ask for anything more?
Old Man Trouble, I don't mind him -
You won't find him 'round my door
I got starlight, I got sweet dreams, I got my man -
Who could ask for anything more-
Who could ask for anything more?
Frederic Chopin was a Polish born composer who spent much of his life in Paris where he died in 1849. Most of his compositions are for keyboard: his instantly recognizable etudes, preludes, nocturnes and mazurkas provide much of the repertoire for keyboard literature. In all, there are three main groups of etudes or studies to perfect certain techniques on one's instrument. The two larger collections are better known than the third that was composed as part of a method book published in Paris. These etudes are used in performance to accentuate the range of the keyboard and the technical faculties of the pianist.
The Etude Op. 25, no. 12 in c minor is the last of the opus. Because of this, it is one of the more challenging of Chopin's etudes. Both hands are given arpeggiated figures throughout the entire piece with the melody woven into a turbulent sea of broken chords, giving it the posthumous title of "The Ocean" etude. It is as if waves are crashing against the coastline, and one can imagine the grueling wind and rain amongst the frequent harmonic changes. The piece ends triumphantly with the return of the parallel major key and a dramatic build to the final cadence.
William Murphy, a native of western Kentucky, is an MA Piano Performance candidate at Marshall University. He is working in the areas of accompanying and chamber music. As a Graduate Assistant, he is the director of the MU Choral Union, Opera Workshop pianist and coach; he accompanies students in the vocal and instrumental areas and co-teaches the class piano lab. He was a finalist for the MU Competition of Soloists performing with the MU Orchestra in April 2012. Will also received second prize at the WVMTA Mountain State competition for piano in October 2012. He has also been a staff accompanist for the NATS KY State and Mid-South Regional competitions.
He is an alumnus of Morehead State University where he received his B.M. in voice Performance. He has studied in Salzburg, Austria as a student and as a staff accompanist for the participants as part of the KIIS program; a study abroad program from a consortium of colleges and universities in and around Kentucky.
In addition to his studies at MU, he is the organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Huntington, West Virginia. He is also the accompanist for the West Virginia Symphony Chorus in Charleston, WV, which have performed works of Charpentier, C. Pachelbel, Haydn, Beethoven, Block and Handel. He is an alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, a Life Loyal Sinfonian, and holds membership in the Huntington chapter AGO, ACDA and MTNA.
Special thanks to Ezgi Karakuş for your help in making this recital possible! There will be a reception following the recital in the atrium of Smith Hall. Thank you to all who have prepared refreshments.
I would also like to thank my parents and family for their continued support of my education and my growing career as a musician. Thanks a bunch!
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a Master of Fine Arts degree in piano performance.
Smith Recital Hall
recitals, piano music, arrangements
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Murphy, William, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Graduate Degree Recital: William Murphy, piano" (2012). All Performances. 103.