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Nielsen Concerto for Clarinet

Nielsen Concerto for Clarinet



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Published by professoraloha
Professional article by Douglas Monroe on the Nielsen Concerto for Bb Clarinet
Professional article by Douglas Monroe on the Nielsen Concerto for Bb Clarinet

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Published by: professoraloha on Oct 30, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 DMA DOCUMENTPresented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements forthe Degree Doctor of Musical Arts in the GraduateSchool of The Ohio State UniversityByDouglas Monroe, B.M., M.M.*****The Ohio State University2008D.M.A. Document Committee: Approved by:Professor James Pyne, co-Advisor_______________________Professor Danielle Fosler-Lussier, co-Advisor Co-AdvisorProfessor Richard Blatti_______________________Professor Robert Sorton Co-AdvisorMusic Graduate Program
 iiABSTRACTCarl Nielsen wrote his
Concerto for Clarinet, Op. 57 
in 1928 for Danishclarinetist Aage Oxenvad. In ascribing meaning to the piece, most Nielsen authoritiesdescribe it as a caricature of Oxenvad. Certainly Oxenvad had substantial influence onNielsen, and many aspects of Oxenvad’s moody and tempestuous personality arecaptured in the Concerto. Nonetheless, the music has more to do with Nielsen’s life thanwith Aage Oxenvad’s personality.In 1926, Nielsen suffered a massive heart attack. Until the time of his death in1931, he suffered many more cardiac incidents. By 1928, Nielsen was facing the last fewyears of his life without promise of a successful remedy for his heart disease. Nielsen’sConcerto for Clarinet and its inherent conflict have more to do with his internal strugglesthan with any external influence. The Concerto is the only large-scale work Nielsencomposed during the last five years of his life and it is filled with conflict that neverresolves.After the introductory chapter, the five chapters that follow document fiveelements of conflict within the Concerto. Tonal conflict concerns the struggle betweenthe piece’s two main key centers, F and E. Their presence together creates unrelentingstress. An equally significant aspect of tonal conflict is the absence of Nielsen’s lifelongpractice of “progressive tonality.” To dramatize growth and arrival in his large-scale

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