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Title:An analytical study of selected works for solo clarinet by composers in Wales
Author(s):Murphy, Kevin Lloyd
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Klug, Howard
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Because of its long-standing reputation as a "musical nation," it was felt that Wales might prove to be a worthwhile subject for investigation of works for solo clarinet that may otherwise remain unknown in this country. The purpose of the study was two-fold: firstly, it was hoped that pieces worthy of attention might be brought to light in the U.S.; secondly, a detailed analysis of selected works was carried out to reveal whether or not any common esthetic or compositional questions were being addressed by these composers, and if so, whether any of these could be considered characteristically Welsh.
The following six works were selected for analysis: William Mathias' Clarinet Concerto op. 68 (1975), Alan Hoddinott's Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (1987), Robert Smith's Sonata for clarinet and piano (1959), Timothy Taylor's Sonata for clarinet and piano (1978), Howard Watt's Scenes and Soliloquies for clarinet and piano (1978), and Jeffrey Lewis' Sonante for clarinet and piano (1978). Of the six, only one--the Smith Sonata--revealed any characteristics associated with Welsh folk song. Among these characteristics were modal melodies with passing $\sbsp{3}{6}$ chord accompaniment, pendular thirds, and use of the so-called Scottish snap rhythm. On a more general level, all six works displayed a conservative approach to composition, avoiding any use of extended instrumental techniques, a strict adherence to bar lines with a strong concern for tangible pulse, and a marked predilection for coherent and, most often, lyrical melodic lines.
A brief history of music in Wales revealed that the composition of art music in that region is essentially a twentieth-century phenomenon, having been stifled by English rule and economic adversity. Even so, the medium has come a long way in its short history, though it remains to be seen whether any of Wales' younger composers can carry the torch as brightly as have Hoddinott and Mathias.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Murphy, Kevin Lloyd
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026276
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026276

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