Beyond third stream: Henry Martin's Preludes and Fugues for solo piano

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen M. Rice (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
John Salmon

Abstract: Composed over a ten-year period from 1990 to 2000 and lasting just over two hours, the jazz-tinged Preludes and Fugues of Henry Martin (b. 1950) constitute a significant contribution to the contemporary piano repertoire. Composer, theorist, and pianist Martin, currently on the faculty of Rutgers University, is beginning to attain recognition for his compositions, especially the piano works, through prestigious awards from the National Composers Competition sponsored by the League of Composers-International Society for Contemporary Music competition and the Barlow International Composition Competition, as well as from a growing number of performances of his works by leading pianists. His lifelong history of straddling the worlds of both classical music and jazz has contributed to his creation of twenty-four preludes and fugues--unique types of Third Stream compositions whose structure is indebted to both historical influences and Martin's remarkable innovations. After the status of related research is presented in Chapter I, Chapter II summarizes Martin's education and career, especially relevant to his Preludes and Fugues, which seem to be a capstone of both. Chapter III examines the tradition of the prelude and fugue from Bach and his contemporaries to present-day composers, considering examples of others who have followed in Bach's footsteps by writing complete sets of preludes and fugues in all diatonic keys and thus creating a setting against which to showcase Martin's approach to the genre. Chapter IV covers the compositional context of Martin's Preludes and Fugues, with discussions of Third Stream music, the Lydian mode, the American idiom, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers who have been sources for Martin's musical language. These influences and others are demonstrated with examples in Chapter V. In Chapter VI, Martin's twenty-four Preludes and Fugues are described individually, with note of special contrapuntal, harmonic, or stylistic features. Chapter VII includes critical assessments in reviews and articles. The four Appendices are a summary of the Preludes and Fugues in table format, a list of Martin's compositions, a list of his books and articles, and a list of other composers who have written complete sets of at least twelve preludes and fugues.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Americana, Henry Martin, Jazz, Piano, Preludes and Fugues, Third Stream
Martin, Henry $d 1950-
Piano music (Jazz)
Canons, fugues, etc. (Piano)
Piano music $x Analysis, appreciation.

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