Traditional formal structures and 20th century sonorities
MetadataShow full item record
The solo cello sonata setting represents a unique musical intersection of creative ideas between Gyorgy Ligeti, George Crumb, and Halsey Stevens - composers with distinctly different backgrounds whose careers took them on three diverse musical paths. Their sonatas, completed between 1953 and 1958, exemplify the composers' desires to establish a new model of musical expression - one that combines 20th century Neo-clasicism with the emerging ideas of 1960s modernism. This study highlights different approaches adopted by each composer in the treatment and realization of traditional forms as supporting vehicles for a highly chromatic musical language, sometimes devoid of tonal center or tonal organization. The study provides an overview of how pitch class sets, motivic cells, and 20th century musical elements such as octatonic, hexatonic, and whole-tone collections are employed, and their role within the overall form of each composition.