Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

School of Music

Sub-Department

Piano Pedagogy

First Advisor

Scott Price

Abstract

Henri Dutilleux (b. 1916) is critically acclaimed as one of France's preeminent composers of contemporary music. He is unique among contemporary French composers of the post-Second World War generation for his singular affiliation to the development of his own personal style, notably at the avoidance of serialist-influenced compositional processes and resistance to categorization as a member of any aesthetic movement including Jeune France and Zodiaque.

Although Dutilleux is primarily known as an orchestral composer, of particular interest in this study is the stylistic development of Dutilleux's works in the solo piano genre. As evidenced throughout his compositional oeuvre, Dutilleux wrote and published solo piano works in each decade from the 1940s to the 1990s. However, no critical studies exist that examines the stylistic development of Dutilleux's solo piano works from the Piano Sonata, Op. 1 of 1947 - 1948 to the 3 Préludes of 1994 that also accounts for the five didactic pieces Dutilleux wrote between the years 1950 to 1984. Furthermore, no critical studies exist in regards to the stylistic relationships between the Piano Sonata and Dutilleux's two earliest surviving works for solo piano, Bergerie (1946) and the piano suite Au gré des ondes (1946), which Dutilleux has repudiated along with virtually all of his other compositions written prior to 1947.

The purpose of this document is to provide a stylistic analysis of the solo piano works of Henri Dutilleux which includes the following pieces in chronological order: Au gré des ondes; Bergerie; Piano Sonata, Op. 1; Blackbird; Tous les chemins... mènent à Rome; Résonnances; Mini-prélude en éventail; Petit air à dormir debout; and the 3 Préludes: D'ombre et de silence, Sur un même accord and Le jeu des contraires. Examination of the use of form, rhythm, harmony, keyboard layout and texture in each of Dutilleux's solo piano works is discussed, as well as observations into the development of Dutilleux's compositional style in the solo piano genre. Additional biographical information is presented along with brief historical information regarding the composition of each of the aforementioned works.

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