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The development of the French violin sonata (1860-1910)
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 06:27 authored by Le Guen, DR
This doctoral research was conducted primarily to develop my expertise in performance and interpretation through the contextual study and performance of the violin sonatas written by French composers between 1860 and 1910. The outcomes of this research are a series of recorded recitals and an accompanying exegesis that examines the stylistic characteristics of the violin sonatas written in France during that period. The primary research culminated in the performances of sonatas by Faure, Saint-Sa‚àö¬¥ns and Franck, that are considered to be the cornerstone of the French violin repertoire, as well as lesser known works by Guillaume Lekeu, Maurice Ravel, ‚àöv¢douard Lalo and Paul Le Flem that are rarely played in Australia. The exegesis examines the effect that the political and cultural scene of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century had on the revival of the violin sonata in France and whether the Societe Nationale de Musique was the sole driving force behind this revival. Reasons for the paucity of French violin compositions during the first three quarters of the nineteenth century are proposed. Stylistic characteristics of the violin sonatas written prior to 1860 are briefly analysed and a more detailed stylistic analysis of twenty-one French violin sonatas written between 1860 and 1910 forms a major part of the exegesis. It was determined that the Societe Nationale, during its first twenty years of existence, was without a doubt the only organisation that aided French composers of the late nineteenth century in the development of the violin sonata as a genre. It was only after 1890, with the revival of the violin sonata fueled by the popularity of the sonatas written by Faure, Saint-Sa‚àö¬¥ns and Franck, that composers not affiliated with the Societe Nationale began to write violin sonatas. That resulted in the composition of over 70 violin sonatas written by French composers between 1860 and 1910.
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