The influence of the theme and variation of Paganini's "Caprice No.24" from "Twenty-Four Caprices for Solo Violin" on two major piano solo works: Liszt "Grandes etudes de Paganini No.6 in A minor, S.140" and Muczynski "Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations) for piano, Op.48"




Chou, Szu-Ting

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The purpose of this study is to analyze two major solo piano sets of variations on Paganini's theme by nineteenth-century virtuoso Franz Liszt and twentieth-century composer Robert Muczynski. This study focuses specifically on the melodic contour, rhythm, and structure between the sets in order to compare and contrast each composer's manipulation of Paganini's original theme. The introduction provides basic information on the musical form "variation," as well as Paganini's biography and information on the Twenty-Four Caprice, Op. 1. The second section focuses on the Grandes études de Paganini No. 6 in A minor, S. 140 by Franz Liszt, and also provides Liszt's biography, the analysis of Grandes études and a comparison of the variation between Liszt's and Paganini's sets. The third section, Desperate Measures (Paganini Variation), Op. 48, provides Muczynski's biography, composition style, information on Desperate Measures, and examines the differences between Muczynski's and Paganini's sets. The conclusion summarizes the findings from this study and evaluates the differences in compositional style between Liszt and Muczynski.


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Desperate Measures, Grandes Etudes, Liszt, Muczynski, Paganini variations