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Thesis 1

THESIS DETAILS
Thesis Title: Irish Cello Sonatas-The Process of Performance
Degree Type: DMus
Degree Specialism: Performance
Supervisor(s): Dr. Denise Neary
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: 2010
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Royal Irish Academy of Music
THESIS CONTENT
Persons / Composers: Irish Contemporary Composers
Genres / Musical Instruments: Cello
Key Issues / Concepts: Interpretation and performance
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on all the sonatas for cello and piano by Irish composers in the second half of the twentieth century. The sonatas, seven in total, were composed between 1968 and 1996 and show little similarity to each other. For the performer, challenges are presented in preparing these works for performance. Apart from the premiere performance only one of these sonatas was subsequently performed and five of the scores are unpublished. There are almost no readily available recordings which could serve as a guide. Therefore the performer needs to rely on a variety of interpretative skills to create a valid realisation of these sonatas.

The interpretative skills required are based on three different approaches: the cognitive, the physical and the intuitive. Solo performers face both technical and musical challenges in the process of preparing a work for public performance. Although a musical interpretation of a particular work may be formed prior to the initial performance, it is only within performance that further knowledge is gained, which then informs subsequent performances. This dissertation discusses the cognitive, the physical and the intuitive aspects of performance preparation within the framework of the cello sonatas, with examples drawn from these works to illustrate performance decisions. A performer’s commentary is included and, where possible, collaboration with the composers is integrated in the discussion. This will provide a resource for those who wish to carry out further research or to perform this repertoire.

Contact Details

Current Institution Affiliation: RIAM
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