Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Associate Professor Stewart Smith

Abstract

Despite their enduring popularity as concert works, Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies have never won favour with the critics. Played in a literal, score-bound fashion these works can indeed offer little more than fodder for the performing pony. Nevertheless, through performances that successfully capture the spirit of this music—many of which are captured on early recordings—these works are vibrant, powerful, and stirring.

This dissertation explores the performance style associated with these works. At the centre of this study is a comparative analysis of seven recordings of Hungarian Rhapsody No.12 made by the following Liszt pupils: Arthur Friedheim, Arthur de Greef, Alfred Reisenauer, Emil von Sauer, Alexander Siloti, Bernhard Stavenhagen, and Josef Weiss. The findings from this analysis will be discussed alongside written sources concerning Liszt’s approach to performance in general, questioning how that approach might apply to the Hungarian Rhapsodies with their distinct musical language (known as the Style hongrois ).

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