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Publication Date

Fall 11-8-2014

Year of Release



Angela Scoulas, violin

Assisted by: Dr. Henning Vauth, piano

This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Performance. Ms. Scoulas is a violin student in the studio of Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith.

Program Notes

Grieg's Sonata in G major, composed in the traditional three-movement sonata form, is the second of his three violin sonatas. The first movement is in a fast tempo, the second movement is slow, and the third movement is fast again. Although the sonata is in G major, the beginning section is in G minor. The first movement begins in a Lento (slow) tempo. The piano, equal in importance to the violin in this work, sustains gentle chords with the left hand and plays moving notes with the right. The violin then opens with a dramatic cadenza. The key then moves to G major and the tempo changes to Allegro Vivace (lively and brisk). The piano introduces the main theme of the movement. This theme recurs throughout the first movement in the solo violin as well as the piano in various ways. In this movement, triplets and dotted rhythms are prominent in both instruments. The solo violin has beautiful melodic passages coupled with energetic, articulate ones.

The second movement, marked Allegretto Tranquillo (fairly brisk mid calm), begins with the statement of the theme in the piano, which is then passed along to the solo violin. Although this movement is marked Tranquillo, there are passages that exude temperamental passion and angst. These passages have quick runs, crescendos, articulations, and accents in the solo. The second theme is a dolce (sweet) E major melody. This movement is an ABA' form. The only difference in the A' is a short solo cadenza, bringing the movement to a close with a final E major chord.

The final movement of this sonata has an Allegretto Animato (fast and animated, lively) tempo and in a 3 / 4 time. It is a very spirited, happy theme with prominent triplets in both instruments. The "A" section is heavy with various accents and sforzandos, quick dynamic changes, and pizzicatos in the solo. The second theme, marked Tranquillo with a beautiful, soft melody in E flat major, is dramatically different. There is then an agitated, modulating change back to the first theme in G major. The A section returns, but incorporates the B theme into a grandiose, sustained final statement. The movement finishes with a Presto (fast) for the last fourteen measures and ends triumphantly in G major.

The first of two Rhapsodies composed by Bartók, Rhapsody No. 1 was originally written for violin and piano mid was later arranged for solo violin with orchestral accompaniment. The "Prima Parte" ("Lassu") (Slow] is hi ABA' form and is significantly influenced by Bartók's Hungarian heritage with emphasis on folk and gypsy tunes. The main motive is an ascending dotted rhythm scale. Many of the rhythms in part one are embellished with grace notes and accents, emphasizing the "gypsy'' character.

The Seconda Parte (“Friss") [Lively] is made up of five vibrant, independent dance melodies, all varying in tempo and material with each movement being attacca (no pauses in between). "Friss" begins with a sweet, child-like melody with quick dynamics, double stops, and pizzicato. The next melody is full of ornaments, accents, trills, and harmonics. The third melody is charming and short with ornaments in every measure. The soloist applies a mute to the instrument to dampen the sound. There is a variation of this melody where the soloist playing the theme with harmonics and fingered notes. Melody four is a vigorous, energetic section full of double stops and dissonances. The fifth and final melody keeps the same energy as the preceding one with a quick Agitato (in an agitated manner) section that transitions to the ending. The ending brings back the first theme from the "Seconda Parte", this time in E major. The piece finishes aggressively at a thrilling pace with exciting runs, fast register changes, and double stops in the violin solo.

Derived from Dvořák's F minior string quartet, Op. 12 (1873), the Romance in F minor resembles the second lyrical movement from the quartet. Dvořák, who favored the second movement, decided to create this Romance as a separate piece for violin and piano, He later arranged it for violin with orchestral accompaniment. Dvořák was very proud of his heritage and always implemented aspects of the folk music from Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), his birthplace. The beauty and simplicity of the Czech countryside can be imagined as one listens to the main theme in this Romance, which is first introduced by the piano and taken over by the solo violin. While the violin soars with a tender, song-like melody, the piano sustains steady eighth notes and chords underneath. In contrast to the opening, the middle section is stormy, utilizing dramatic accents, frequent key modulations, and striking runs. However, this mood is very brief and quickly returns to die main theme adding slight embellishments in the solo. Finally, the piece modulates to F major (the parallel major of the tonic key) reintroducing previously stated themes, and finishes peacefully.

Piazzolla initially composed this tango for solo cello with piano accompaniment. Since then it has been transcribed and arranged for many different instruments, including solo violin. This particular version was arranged by Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina (b.1931). Gubaidulina was known for experimenting with alternative tunings, non-traditional harmonies, electronic sounds, and special improvisational techniques. She composed several film scores as well as orchestral, chamber, and vocal pieces. Written in 1982, Le Grand Tango encompasses the style of "Nuevo Tango" (new tango) with the use of traditional tango rhythms mixed with jazz style syncopations. The piano part has a very thick texture with difficult rhythmic passages throughout the piece and uses the entlre range of the instrument. Although Le Grand Tango was composed as one piece, it has three distinct sections. The first section "Tempo di Tango" includes very apparent tango rhythms, accents, distinct dynamics, and slides in the violin part. The second section allows the violinist to have more freedom to be expressive and is less active than the first section. It is marked "libero e cantabile" (free and singing), and has very smooth, connected phrases, in contrast to the first and last sections of the piece. The final part of Le Grand Tango is quite exciting and energetic. This last section features many double-stops, octaves, runs, and double-stop glissandos for the violin while the piano plays a very dense accompaniment. ~notes by Angela Scoulas


Smith Recital Hall


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Recital, Angela Scoulas, violin