Date of this Version
Even though Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960) straddles the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, his Romantic compositional language remains unaffected by his twentieth century contemporaries. The present study will establish Dohnányi’s Romantic heritage by examining his Six Concert Etudes, Op. 28 according to Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics. This study is relevant because these characteristics in conjunction with these etudes have yet to be examined. This demonstration of the Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics in conjunction with these etudes offers a new contribution to the body of scholarly writing.
The document is divided into three chapters and a bibliography. Chapter 1 consists of four parts: a biography, a literature survey, an account of Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics, and historical context of the etudes. The literature survey is arranged by topic: piano solos, biographies, symphonies, and Dohnányi’s music in general. An account of Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics is accomplished by summarizing the Romantic Style, identifying the traits that distinguish each parameter from preceding eras and linking Dohnányi with the Romantic Era. A brief summary of Romantic Period aesthetics precedes this account. The historical context of the etudes places Dohnányi within the trajectory of the piano literature.
Chapter 2 is entitled “Dohnányi’s Romantic language in the Six Concert Etudes, Op. 28,” and examines these etudes according to Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics. The examination is ordered according to common traits and observations, citing occurrences in the etudes, but organized by the parameters of tonal and harmonic language, melody, formal design, rhythm, and texture. The examination concludes by summarizing connections among the etudes.
Chapter 3 concludes the study with a summary of how Dohnányi’s compositional language places him squarely in the trajectory of Romantic composers. This summary reinforces the establishment of Dohnányi’s Romantic heritage by summarizing the Romantic Style musical parameter characteristics and examining the etudes according to these characteristics.
Adviser: Mark K. Clinton