UBC Theses and Dissertations
Copland’s clarinet concerto : a performance perspective Yeo, Lisa Lorraine Gartrell
Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto was written for jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman. The work's incorporation of popular elements, particularly jazz, has led to the perception that it is a "lightweight" representative of Copland's output. However, the concerto shares many characteristics with French neoclassical works of the 1920's and SCfs, and demonstrates a highly skilled construction that belies this label. The neoclassical aspect of the concerto raises important questions as to whether the jazz elements in the piece are really central to its expressive essence, or whether they merely reflect a choice of materials common to Copland and to other neoclassical composers. This dissertation is directed to the potential performer who wishes to have a better knowledge of the concerto's performance issues. It discusses the influence of neoclassicism on Copland's compositional style, gives the historical background to the Clarinet Concerto's composition, and outlines its general stylistic characteristics. The concerto's structure is examined in detail, and then applied to the work's performance issues, as the document investigates the performance practice of the piece through the study of recordings. The purpose of this dissertation is not to burden performers with a detailed set of instructions to be followed in performing the concerto. Rather, it aims to equip them with the techniques necessary to developing an individual, personal interpretation, based on a thorough understanding of the piece.
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