To Conceal or Reveal: left-hand pianism with particular reference to Ravel's Concerto pour la main gauche and Britten's Diversions

Hammond, C. (2012). To Conceal or Reveal: left-hand pianism with particular reference to Ravel's Concerto pour la main gauche and Britten's Diversions. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Download (25MB) | Preview

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore both compositional and performance techniques associated with music for the left hand and the circumstances of its performance, thereby allowing a much clearer appraisal than has previously been available of canonic works for the medium. Leopold Godowsky's transcriptions of Chopin's Etudes, op. 10 and op. 25, in which the left hand alone persuasively executes music originally written for two hands, offer a starting point for such exploration. Maurice Ravel's Concerto pour la main gauche and Benjamin Britten's Diversions, op. 21 are two major works written specifically for the left-handed pianist; using both received and recontextualised techniques, they reveal quite different approaches to the medium. The commissioner of both was Paul Wittgenstein. His alterations to the pieces reveal both his priorities as a left-handed pianist and his creative and expressive impact on the works. As the artistic identity of the solo performer is so strikingly defined in these works, such a study invites us not only to consider issues related to left-hand pianism but also the contrasting claims of performer and composer, the possible manipulation of works in the formation of a performer's persona and, ultimately, the relationship between the score and performance itself. The impact of research undertaken for this thesis on my performance is investigated using Robert Saxton's Chacony for left hand as a case study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: School of Arts > Department of Creative Practice & Enterprise - Centre for Music Studies
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/11671

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics