Motive and form in Lowell Liebermann's four Sonatas for violoncello and piano

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

This manuscript explores the four sonatas for cello and piano by Lowell Liebermann, and is accompanied by my recording of the works, in collaboration with pianist Kevin Chance. These works were composed between 1978 and 2008, but are not yet part of the standard repertoire. Given the lack of well-known sonatas for cello and piano since the mid-20th century, there is a distinct need to promote high-quality new music of this genre. Not only do Liebermann’s sonatas fill a void, but with more exposure, they would appeal to a majority of performers and listeners alike. In this manuscript, I will focus my analysis on Liebermann’s use of sectional forms and simple motives in the sonatas. I will also explore the marked difference between the atonal first sonata and the tonal, lyrical later ones that reflect a much more mature composer, able to fuse highly sectional forms with his own unique sense of style. As only one recording of the sonatas, featuring cellist Dmitri Atapine and pianist Hyeyeon Park, has been publicly released, our new recording will present the works to a wider audience and will offer a different interpretation based on observations developed in the manuscript. My hope is that, in consequence of this project, these sonatas will become more widely performed and recorded, and will form a significant addition to the cello and piano repertoire.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation