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Dean Pauley, cello
collaborated with Dr. Henning Vauth, piano
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a Master of Fine Arts degree in performance.
The cello sonata by Prokofiev is a creation of composer's late period when he befriended the young cello virtuoso Mstislav Rostropovich. After hearing Miaskovsky's second cello sonata, also performed by Rostropovich, Prokofiev was profoundly impressed by his tone that he was determined to write a sonata for him. Along with this sonata Prokofiev also dedicated two cello concertos and several other chamber works for him. The sonata received its debut in 1950 by Rostropovich and celebrated pianist Sviatsoslav Richter. The first movement, marked Andante grave, opens with a resounding tune on the lower register of the cello, followed by a call-and-response style folk melody in between the instruments. The second theme enters unexpectedly with more mechanical feel. As the movement concludes, the cello ends with a harmonic cadence. The second movement, a playful Scherzo and Trio, begins with a playful pizzicato introduction which then merges into a complacent romantic section (trio). The finale Allegro ma non tanto remains timid, with melodies and chordal structure based heavily on Russian folk music. The movement sounds undecided, yet each climax, rather than developing in timbre and expressive nature, actually becomes simpler such as reducing the texture down to a single note in the piano line. The coda recounts the opening resonant notes of the cello in a grand duo statement, marking a turbulent and virtuosic conclusion.
Johann Sebastian Bach's Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are some of the most recognizable solo compositions ever written for the instrument. The exact date of the suites is still unknown, but these works were most likely composed in between 1717 and 1723. It is during this time that Bach was serving as Kapellmeister or 'director of music' in Cöthen, Germany. These suites were not widely performed until the 1900s when Pablo Casals discovered an edition in Barcelona, Spain. That was the edition of famous Romantic era German cellist Friedrich Grützmacher. A Baroque style suite consists of four dance movements with each dance stylized to imitate its country of origin: The Allemande is s stately German dance in 4/4, a Courante is a slow French dance in 3/4, the Sarabande is a slow Spanish dance in 3/4 with its emphasis on the second beat, and the Gigue is an upbeat and lively dance in a compound meter. In addition to the standard Baroque dance suite, Bach added two additional movements to this cello suite: the Prelude which beings with a brilliant C major scale that mimics the tone of a church organ. In its second half, there is a G pedal section that features harmonic progression with temporary dissonance. In these dance movements the player accomplishes many contrasting rhythmic figures, arpeggios, scales, chords, string crossings with pedal tones, and multiple voicing; and the Bourée, a moderately paced dance in 2/2 meter. Although these movements are described as 'dances' they do not have specific moves tailored to the dance itself. Since the Suites were composed long before any recording technology was available, this leaves the performance open to a wide variety of interpretations for the work.
Robert Schumann's popular Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (1849) was originally conceived as a work for horn and piano. It was his contribution to the repertoire of the Ventilhorn, or valve horn which was better developed in earlier years. The Adagio begins with an earnest, plaintive musical melody drawn out gently by the cello and answered by the piano. During this Romantic era composers were defined by their use of elaborate melodic lines, expanded on the previous Classical era formal structure, and introduced more adventurous modulations and harmonies. Additionally the use 'extra-musical' content such as poems, literary works, and expressive titles was common. By using this extra-musical content composers were able to better describe what the listener is expected to imagine as they hear the work. These sudden changes in mood are common in Schumann's music and they reflect on his dual personalities which interfere between the calm and vigorous modes. In this work the calm is the "Adagio" and the vigorous is the "Allegro". After a tender and expressive first movement, the Allege described as 'quick and with fire' introduces a passionate tune in heroic character that repeats several times. Schumann switches to contrasting temperament in between the heroic tune. He pushes the technical ability of the players to their limits in the coda section where he marked the score with "schneller und schneller" (faster and faster). The work then concludes with a very triumphant and victorious ending.
Program Notes by Dean Pauley
Smith Recital Hall
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Pauley, Dean, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Master's Recital, Dean Pauley, cello" (2015). All Performances. 699.