Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
School of Music
J. Daniel Jenkins
Delighting audiences and attracting attention from pianists and fusion composers the world over, Kapustin's distinct and imaginative unification of classical construction and jazz idiom is inspiring and a “breath of fresh air” to traditional repertoire. Kapustin's piano etudes, in particular, are a considerable contribution to standard etude repertoire that remains understudied. Kapustin's etudes are innovative and noteworthy in that his fusion of classical form with modern idioms of jazz and rock, combined with the technical demands expected of a standard study, have not been previously characteristic of the genre. The lack of thorough research and related literature on his works, combined with the difficulty of obtaining his compositions in the West, make this study relevant and a pertinent start to shed more light on the composer and make his works more approachable for contemporary pianists and jazz connoisseurs alike.
The two sets of etudes included in this study are Kapustin's Eight Concert Etudes, op. 40 (1984) andFive Etudes in Different Intervals, op. 68 (1992). These two sets of etudes, representative of Kapustin's unique style, will be examined as a novel, and hopefully accessible, addition to the pianist's etude repertoire. This analysis is a limited, and by no means exhaustive survey of Kapustin's etudes for piano. The purpose of this study is to facilitate further understanding of Kapustin's works and his mature writing style, and to discuss how these etudes contribute to the existing piano etude repertoire, thus promoting their future accessibility and performance. With the positive reception of Kapustin's music of late, public awareness of his eclectic and original compositional style—the musical marriage of classical formal structures and jazz-based melodic and rhythmic idioms within the Russian pianistic tradition—has greatly increased. Hopefully, as the reputation of his etudes grows, these newfound treasures will only help encourage and expedite the publishing of more of Kapustin's works, introducing more people to his music and establishing him more as a mainstream composer. His compositional brilliance is a profound addition to piano literature and deserves to be fully recognized and preserved for the future.
Wang, R.(2014). Fusion of Classical Virtuosity and Jazz Techniques in the Etudes of Nikolai Kapustin: Eight Concert Etudes, OP. 40, and Five Etudes in Different Intervals, OP. 68. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/2696