12 Preludes by Edward R. Nelson: Compositional and Interpretative Analysis

Date
2023-12
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Abstract

This document is a musical analysis of 12 Piano Preludes by Edward Robert Nelson, a contemporary American living composer. The scope of this analysis includes compositional devices of the piece (such as harmony, counterpoint devices, thematic treatment and formal considerations) as well as an interpretative guide for the pianist. I will link the latter to the former since, in addition to possessing an individual artistic vision of a piece, the performer should succeed in showing the different musical aspects inherent to it. In relation to the analysis, I will provide an interview with Dr. Alex Bui, a pianist who has performed Nelson’s music and is currently studying the 12 Preludes. I have established a relation between the chosen pieces and romantic pianism; therefore the document includes a brief chapter studying the romantic piano prelude as a genre. I will also include a biography of Mr. Nelson, together with the history behind the composition of these preludes. As far as the analysis concerns, I will show aspects pertinent to the preludes both individually and as a set, including a study of the inter-relation between the first and the last piece, an intentional device by the composer.

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Keywords
Composition, Preludes, Piano, Music, Edward Nelson, Compositional, Analysis, Interpretive
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