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Anyango Yarbo-Davenport, violin
Alanna Cushing, piano
Dr. Mark Zanter, media
Franz Schubert (1797-1828), is a Romantic period composer who was the inventor and the foremost composer of lieder. He composed more than six hundred lieder in the new Romantic style of vocal chamber music. As a composer of chamber music itself, he produced significant works, including three string quartets based on his famous lied, "Death and Maiden," two piano trios, the piano quintet "Trout" as well as many sonatas and sonatinas for solo piano and violin. Schubert also had a talent for creating pieces for newly invented instruments such as the Arpeggione. Viennese instrument maker Johann Georg Staufer, Schubert's friend, invented the Arpeggione in 1823. This instrument had six strings and frets and it looked very similar to a guitar but had the shape and the size of a cello. Its timbre was less magnificent than the cello tone. The Arpeggione, unfortunately, was not accepted as a major instrument by the European musical society, and was used only for a decade. Staufer wanted Schubert to write a sonata for his new instrument. Schubert composed the sonata in November of 1824, but the work was neglected and was not published until 1871.
Although the Arpeggione is obsolete, the sonata that Schubert wrote for it is a very popular addition to the cello and viola repertoire. Because the 6 string Arpeggione was higher pitched than the cello, the sonata requires the cellist to play in its highest register. Though the Arpeggione has faded into history,
Schubert's work remains popular with cellists because of its beauty and technical challenges.
Schubert's music is known for its lovely melodies and its use of major and minor keys interchangeably. Schubert explored harmonic elements with passion yet melancholy. Early romantic composers expanded upon the musical language of the Classic era exploring new means.
And the first movement of the Arpeggione sonata, though it uses a somewhat classical key scheme, illustrates some of these in its development section, as well as featuring of long, lyrical phrases characteristic of Schubert's compositional style. It begins with a long phrase that is smooth and lyrical. The development section has a taste of romantic style.
The second movement, a song form, begins with a folk-like melody in the tradition of lieder. The general character of the movement is calm and natural. The piano has bell-like rocking chords that complement the arpeggiated solo cello melody.
The third movement is a Rondo in A Major. It has various
melodies with contrasting temperaments which are different than the previous movements. The rondo theme has the character of a lively peasant song that is introduced in a lovely and lyrical melody. The contrasting B and C passages present technical work that challenges the cellist. The finale section explores the main tune a last time and concludes in A minor.
Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) was a prominent Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, philosopher, pedagogue, and linguist. He is universally recognized for his work on the pedagogical method named for him. Along with his fellow Hungarian Bela Bartok, he researched the folk music from the
Eastern European regions. As a result, he created a special musical language that emphasized the dialects and the rhythms of these languages in his musical works. He composed the Duo for Violin and Cell in 1914, during World War I. The work was inspired by
Hungarian folk music. Several sound effects of the folk traditions can be recognized through the employment of the church modes and five-tone scales. The music is characteristic of a story or poem with long phrases that are provided by the solo parts. Kodaly illustrates aspects of Hungarian culture through his musical imitation of his native language. This tradition can also be seen in the work of eastern European composers such as Janacek.
The first movement "Allegro serioso non troppo", is in sonata form. It starts with a passionate cello solo accompanied by exotic chords in the violin part. Then the player change roles with the cello providing bass line in a pizzicato texture while the violin plays the melody. The players frequently exchange the solo line in the manner of a dialogue that sets up a storyline, creating scenes from daily life of ordinary people with ever changing moods and feelings. Overall, the piece is a reflection of a dialogue that retrieves an old traditional elegiac mood. The second movement presents feelings of despair while the third movement presents a lighter tone with its various folk dances. Today's performance will include only the first movement.
Contemporary composer Mark Zanter (b.l964) composed the Cello Suite in 2012. The work was commissioned by Turkish cellist, Ezgi Karakus, and it is a work combining live performance, interactive electronic sound processing, and fixed media within the context of the Baroque dance suite.
The suite with its short contrasting movements served as a vehicle, inspiring the work and giving form to its content, while the title connects the work to a historical model, and gives the player performer insight into its interpretation.
The electronic component of the work accompanies and accentuates the actions of the performer creating textures, harmonies, and imitations of their actions. The fixed media portion of the work and live processing of the cello in performance creates an electronic ensemble around the performer adding depth and breadth to the soloist's sound.
Prelude or improvisational "preluding" is composed in a free form. It is a slow movement and the nature of the material is a more modern interpretation of the stateliness of the introductory music. Sarabande is a slow movement and has many different sound effects including harmonics. It is accompanied by delay lines using long times and constantly changing speeds. The overall effect creates a “halo” around the performer. Intermezzo connects the Sarabande and the Courante using contrasting motives from the first four movements in a whimsical fashion. Courante "Presto- Andante-Presto" is the fastest movement of the suite. Historical rhythmic models of three eighth note patterns were used throughout. The central Andante of the Courante refers back to the Prelude and contrasts the running lines of the Presto sections in this movement. Gigue is the last movement of the suite and utilizes the dotted rhythms as the signature figure.
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a Masters of Fine Arts degree in performance.
Smith Recital Hall
recitals, chamber music, arrangements
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Karakuş, Ezgi, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Master's Recital, Ezgi Karakuş, cello" (2012). All Performances. 100.