Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
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Much has been written and said on how piano works should almost imitate the sounds of an orchestra to be played well. There is a style and musical language that serious pianists must master in order to play with correct voicing, specific tones, and other techniques that make a piano sound like a full orchestra and thus bring it to life.
While there much written about how the piano should imitate the traditional orchestra in the classical and romantic style, what of the big band? In the last century many works have been written for the piano using jazz rhythms, harmonies, and idioms. Nikolai Kapustin is known among other things for melding complex jazz stylings with classical forms. Does Kapustin have a big band in mind when writing music for the piano the same way that Beethoven had the 19th century orchestra in mind when writing his piano sonatas? In this document I will investigate the possible correlations that exist between Kapustin’s Variations Op. 41 and big band sounds. I will then discuss what my findings should mean to a pianist when he/she is making decisions on how to play this and other pieces by Kapustin.
Big-Band; Kapustin; Piano; Variations Op. 41
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kelly, Ryan, "The Big Band and the Piano: Nikolai Kapustin’s Variations Op. 41" (2016). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2871.
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