Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:A stylistic analysis of piano sonatas by Lowell Liebermann
Author(s):Lin, Meng-Hua
Advisor(s):Taube, Heinrich
Contributor(s):Professor Ian Hobson; Moersch, Charlotte Mattax; Kinderman, William A.
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:The goal of this project is to provide an overview of three piano sonatas by one of the most distinguished American composers, Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961). Considered intimately related to the Classical-Romantic traditions, Liebermann’s music has been premiered and performed by numerous musicians including Stephen Hough, James Galway, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi. 

 Liebermann considers piano to be his principal instrument, and nearly one third of Liebermann’s compositions are written for piano, including solo piano, two pianos, and piano concertos. These works not only reflect the composer’s understanding of the instrument but also show strongly the influences of nineteenth-century traditions. 

 Among Liebermann’s piano works, the three piano sonatas: Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1 (1977), Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 10 (1983), and Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 82 (2002), represent the most notable, large-scale solo piano works over the past thirty-four years. These works well illustrate the evolution and maturation of the composer’s style. This project is divided into four chapters. The first chapter serves as an introduction, containing statement of purpose and composer’s background. The second chapter provides stylistic characteristics in Liebermann’s music: (1) consonance with semitonal adjacency, (2) traditional textures, (3) constant development, and (4) flowing surface and perpetual motion. The third chapter provides a detailed analysis of Piano Sonata No. 3, Liebermann’s most recent piano sonata in a large-scale single movement. The fourth chapter provides a conclusion, summarizing stylistic characteristics in three piano sonatas.
Issue Date:2015-05
Publisher:University of Illinois
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-30

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