The character pieces for solo piano by Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965)
MetadataShow full item record
Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965) is the first internationally recognized composer in the history of modern Japanese music. He wrote over 1600 works which cover a wide variety of styles and genres. His oeuvre includes opera, ballets, choral music, orchestra music, chamber music, art songs, folk songs, and music for various solo instruments. In Japan he is widely known for his folk music and childrenÕs songs. His piano music, however, generally tend to be overlooked, even though he was one of the first Japanese composer to write for the piano. His piano works total fifty-two in number comprises programmatic suites, variations, nocturnes, sonatas, a sonatine, and piano arrangements. For the most part they are short and technically undemanding, and these lie the reason for their neglects and some of the pieces are merits the lack of attention. However, a group of these, what I call character pieces, are of high artistic value. They are every bit a representative of YamadaÕs general style as his lager works in other genres, for they demonstrate his unique fusion of Japanese and Western classical music. The purpose of this study is to call attention to these character pieces through the detailed examination of them. The first character pieces Yamada composed was a suite Po 1: sie und er, which also stands as the first piano suite written by Japanese composer. He called the suite a series of po This suite illustrates YamadaÕs new compositional direction; it indicates that he was moving in an entirely new interpretive directions. Starting this suite, he almost completely abandoned his early dependence on classical structure. This study consists of five chapters. The first presents a biography of Kosaku Yamada. The second gives the overview of his piano music. The third chapter describes his character pieces, except for ÒPo sie und er (1914), which is discussed in detail in chapter four. An entire chapter is devoted to sie und er, because this work is pivotal in YamadaÕs development as a composer. The fifth chapter presents the conclusion. A list of the complete piano works is provided in the appendix.