Paul Hindemith's sonatas for viola and piano

Lansdown, Louise (2004-03)

Thesis (MMus) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation is an account of Paul Hindemith's life between 1919 and 1939 with special reference to his compositional development through the three sonatas for viola and piano. The introduction to the dissertation initially provides a list of Hindemith's vast output for the viola followed by insight into the reason and need for undertaking this research, literary sources used and their function in the context of this study and the conclusion that there is a lack of extant research on the three sonatas for viola and piano. This is followed by comments on Hindemith as a viola player and composer, supported by opinions of scholars and performers. An overview of the contents and aim of the dissertation completes the introduction. This first of the two comprehensive chapters briefly discusses Hindemith's character traits as viewed by a number of scholars and continues by introducing the political, social and financial circumstances in Germany in 1919. The chapter progresses into a division of the period 1919-1939 into six sub-sections of dates within this time span. Each section focuses on the political, financial and musical circumstances in Hindemith's life, with special attention given to the periods of greatest change and conflict. Included in this chapter are also the specific circumstances surrounding the composition, first performances and publication of the three sonatas for viola and piano, alongside mention of other works written at the same time. This is supported by references and quotations from correspondence between Hindemith and his wife, colleagues and friends, as well as translations of newspaper articles, letters and articles which thus far have not been translated into English. Special attention is given to possible reasons for the late publication of op.25 no.4 in 1977. Chapter 2 looks deeper into the significance, success and development of Hindemith through these three works. His stylistic development beginning with the influences of Debussy and Reger, his identification with the 'Neue Sachlichkeit' until the beginning of his later conservatism can be seen clearly in these three works. The aim of the study is to assimilate the available information into an accurate and coherent picture of the composer's life and stylistic development between 1919 and 1939 in a way that has not been presented before. It is my intention through this work that the unique style of the sonatas as well as their important place in the viola repertoire is apparent, and consequently of interest to other viola players, hopefully encouraging them to play the works themselves.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie tesis word Paul Hindemith se lewe tussen 1919 en 1939 beskryf, met spesiale verwysing na sy ontwikkeling as komponis soos dit waargeneem kan word in die drie sonates vir altviool en klavier. Die inleiding tot die tesis verskaf 'n lys van Hindemith se omvangryke oeuvre vir die altviool, gevolg deur 'n motivering waarom hierdie studie onderneem word. Die omvattende literatuurstudie dui daarop dat daar tot op datum baie min navorsing oor die drie altvioolsonates gedoen is. Vervolgens word kommentaar gelewer op Hindemith as altviolis en komponis, ondersteun deur opinies van uitvoerende kunstenaars en musikoloë. 'n Oorsig oor die inhoud en die doelstellings van die tesis sluit die inleiding af. Die eerste van die twee omvattende hoofstukke begin met 'n bespreking van Hindemith se karakter, gevolg deur 'n oorsig oor die politieke, sosiale en ekonomiese omstandighede in Duitsland rondom 1919. Die tydperk 1919-1939 word dan in ses onderafdelings verdeel. Elke onderafdeling plaas die fokus op spesifieke politieke, finansiële en musikale omstandighede in Hindemith se lewe. Die jare waarin konflik en verandering op besondere wyse na vore tree word meer omvattend bespreek. Teen die agtergrond van ander werke uit hierdie tyd word die spesifieke omstandighede rondom die komposisie, eerste uitvoering en publikasie van die drie altvioolsonates in detail beskryf. Dit word aangevul deur verwysings na en aanhalings uit korrespondensie tussen Hindemith en sy vrou, kollegas en vriende, sowel as deur vertalings van koerantartikels en briewe wat tot dusver nog nie in Engels beskikbaar was nie. Hoofstuk 2 plaas die klem op Hindemith se stilistiese ontwikkeling, soos dit in the drie sonates waargeneem word. Die sonates illustreer Hindemith se ontwikkeling vanaf sy bewondering vir Debussy en Reger, oor sy vereenselwiging met die ideale van die 'Neue Sachlichkeit' tot by die meer konservatiewe benadering wat hy later gevolg het. Hierdeur word gepoog om die unieke waarde van die sonates, asook die belangrike plek wat hulle in die algemene altvioolrepertorium beklee, te beskryf. Hopelik sal die studie die belangstelling van altvioliste wek en hulle aanmoedig om die werke ook self te speel. Die doel van die studie is dus om die beskikbare inligting tot 'n samehangende en akkurate beeld van die komponis se lewe en stilistiese ontwikkeling tussen 1919 en 1939 te voeg op 'n wyse wat nog nie voorheen gedoen is nie. Hierdeur word gepoog om die unieke waarde van die sonates asook die belangrike plek wat hulle in die algemene altvioolrepertorium beklee, te beskryf. Hopelik sal die studie die belangstelling van altvioliste wek en hulle aanmoedig om die werke ook self te speel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50056
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