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:The genesis and revision of the solo part in Beethoven's Violin Concerto op. 61 in D major
Author(s):Kellenberger, Ned Jacob
Advisor(s):Kinderman, William
Contributor(s):Kinderman, William; Schleicher, Donald; Freivogel, Megan; Lee, Nelson
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Violin concerto
Abstract:Numerous influences can be detected in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto op. 61. The most notable of these stem from Mozart, the Viennese violinist Franz Clement, and the French violinist-composers Giovanni Battista Viotti, Rudolph Kreutzer, and Pierre Rode. French composer Luigi Cherubini was ardently admired by Beethoven and remained a potent influence throughout Beethoven’s middle-period compositions. Time-pressure and hurried preparation for the premiere exerted impact on the genesis of op. 61. Certain difficult passages were omitted by Beethoven before the premiere, and it is possible the lack of preparation time for the soloist (Franz Clement) and the orchestra led to these removals. The last solo violin version is the most idiomatic, but not always artistically superior to the previous versions. Beethoven was not satisfied with the premiere performance, and later revisions of the solo violin part might have responded to shortcomings in this performance. The critics opined that the concerto suffered from monotony, and many of Beethoven’s solo violin revisions appeared to address this complaint through the use of more sophisticated ornamentation and rhythm. The sources for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto op. 61 contain three versions of the solo violin part. Two of these versions are found directly in the autograph manuscript in Beethoven’s hand, now held in a collection in Vienna in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. The first version was used for the premiere on 23 December 1806; the second is a revision from May and June of 1807. The third version is found in the first published edition from Vienna dating from January 1809. These successive revisions reveal aspects of Beethoven’s creative process and elucidate some of his most pressing musical and aesthetic goals for the op. 61 violin concerto. The revisions in the solo violin part focus on enhancing the work through treatment of tessitura, pulse, motivic development, and various techniques such as rhythmic diminution and augmentation. These compositional tactics serve Beethoven’s overriding thrust toward formal expansion, which characterizes many of his middle-period works. After researching the various revisions, I conclude that no single version presents itself as the definitive or authoritative version of the solo violin part. A synthetic approach to the different violin solo revisions may be justified. The concerto is compared with other middle-period works in order to place certain of its characteristics into perspective. These features include thematic uses of the timpani, unifying rhythmic motives, destabilizing harmonic surprises, striking timbres, and dramatic registral contrasts. These comparisons help us understand the meaning and motivation behind the genesis and revisions of the violin solo part.
Issue Date:2018
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Ned Jacob Kellenberger
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-04-19

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