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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Unifying elements of John Corigliano’s Etude Fantasy Kuzmas, Janina

Abstract

John Corigliano's Etude Fantasy (1976) is a significant and challenging addition to the late twentieth century piano repertoire. A large-scale work, it occupies a particularly important place in the composer's output of music for piano. The remarkable variety of genres, styles, forms, and techniques in Corigliano's oeuvre as a whole is also evident in his piano music. This profusion of sources and its application to the Etude Fantasy are explored in the introduction, which is a general discussion o f the composer's background and aesthetic stance. The intriguing title of the Etude Fantasy implies the coexistence of two genres and raises the issue of the role of each genre in the thematic and structural organization o f the work. It is this issue which is the principal subject of inquiry in the thesis. Chapter I examines the historical background o f the etude genre, discussing similarities between the pianistic techniques employed in Corigliano's work and those found in specific historical instances of the etude genre over two centuries. Chapter II focuses on the historical background of the fantasia genre, emphasizing contrasting characters, textures, and keys as the main indicators o f a free form, and at the same time drawing attention to thematic transformation as a device of structural unification. Chapter III concentrates on elements that produce structural and formal coherence in John Corigliano's Etude Fantasy. These elements are motivic, intervalic, melodic, and harmonic in nature.

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