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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian rhapsodies Francey, Dana Charlene


Hungarian Rhapsodies which will lead to a better understanding of Liszt’s stylistic development in relation to this unique genre of his own creation. The works will be approached and classified according to three main topics: explore the circumstances under which Liszt compo earlier Magyar pieces to the Hungarian Rhapsodies will be illustrated, showing Liszt’s revision of the formal structure when transferring selected A second categorization will then be made, based on the evolution of compositional style in the Hungarian Rhapsodies, exemplified by the improvisatory, virtuosic writing in Hungarian Rhapsody Nos. 1—15 as compared of this compositional technique will be illustrated through the analysis of several of his paraphrase pieces. Analyses of Liszt’s use of the paraphrase technique in the Hungarian Rhapsodies and parallel Macwar Dallok or Macwar Rhapszodiák pieces will show that, in fact, both sets contain similar techniques of paraphrase, and thus, the relationship between the two sets can be seen as one being a variant of the other. These analyses will also demonstrate a similarilty between the Hungarian Rhapsodies and Liszt’s other paraphrases regarding the degree to which the paraphrase technique is applied, ranging from subtle to extensive. In chapter four conclusions will be drawn concerning the aesthetic value of the Hungarian Rhapsodies. It is common is music criticism to infer that because the Hungarian Rhapsodies do not present the conflictual, developmental working out of themes specific to other nineteenth—century genres, but, instead, are comprised of simple tunes repeated with increasing elaboration in a virtuosic style, they therefore are works of lesser value. In this final chapter I will suggest reasoning to the contrary in an attempt to give Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies the esteemed recognition they deserved the Hungarian Rhapsodies, and consider his possible motivations, including direct and indirect influences which may have played an important role in the creation and development of his ideas. Letters and other testimonies will also help to answer questions such as: where, when and for whom were these works composed (as revealed by the dedications); and where, when and for whom were these works performed during Liszt’s life. The second chapter of the thesis will describe the relationship of the Hungarian Rhapsodies with the original collections of Hungarian folk tunes on which they are based (Macwar Dallok and Macwar Rhapszodiák pieces), and subsequently will use the relationship with this pre-existing material as the foundation for grouping them into categories, e.g., Hungarian Rhapsody Nos. 1-2 (based on folk tunes not found in the Magyar collection); Hungarian Rhapsody Nos. 3-15 (based on folk tunes found in the Magyar collection); Hungarian Rhapsody Nos. 16-18 (not based on any pre—existing material —- all original works); and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 19 (based entirely on Csárdás nobles by Abrányi, an Hungarian composer). An evolution of form from the

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