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Title: Reactive originality, conflict and co-operation, and virtuosity : defining the contemporary concerto
Author: Birch, Chris
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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An attempt to define the facets of contemporary concerto composition: a practical exploration of modelling that investigates the roles of contrast (concerto) and cooperation (concertante) aesthetics and virtuosity. Chapter 1 outlines what is meant by the term “reactive originality”, some thoughts regarding the use and presentation of virtuosity in music and outlines the difficulties of defining the facets of a modern concerto. Chapter 2 charts the creative process behind the solo piano music, Scorpio, Aeon and Solilodrama. Taking each Bagatelle in turn, technical analyses are used to highlight the role of the Piano Bagatelles as miniature studies, discussing the compositional process behind them and their influence upon subsequent pieces. The final section covers how the Capriccio was conceived and how it can be seen as a culmination of the creative work up to this point. Chapter 3 covers the composition of Introduction and Allegro, noting the shift in focus from a single soloist to examining the ensemble as a virtuosic entity. Brief analyses are used to cover its influences and creative processes and to outline how these pieces demonstrate a new focus on thematic unity. In chapter 4, I demonstrate how The Death of Stars and ... a white haze through which the moonbeams passed ... use the lessons learnt in previous pieces to attempt to conclude the investigations into concerto and concertante idioms. Chapter 5 discusses any conclusions that can be drawn from the completed work and reflects on the impact that the project has had on my thinking, technique and artistic development as a composer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available