Date of Degree
DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
Marian Wilson Kimber
Violin virtuosos Henryk Wieniawski, Ole Bull, and Pablo de Sarasate each composed short virtuosic works based on their own cultural heritage. This thesis examines the exotic elements incorporated into the character pieces by the three violinists. It draws upon contemporary literature and newspaper reviews of their performances in order to demonstrate the ways in which the violinists and their music were perceived as representative of nineteenth-century exoticism. Wieniawski, whose musical training was primarily French, produced exotic Polish polonaises and mazurkas, which were perceived as evidence of Polish national character, but only in his homeland of Poland. In contrast, Ole Bull's Norwegian heritage was central to his professional persona. His compositions were influenced by Norwegian fiddling and fiddle tunes as well as the pastoral conventions of European art music. Sarasate drew on music from a wide variety of geographical and cultural regions within Spain in his Spanish dances. While his dances were extrememly popular with audiences, critical reception was often dismissive. The individual personas and international receptions of Wieniawski, Bull, and Sarasate were shaped by the musical characteristics of their homelands heard in their works.
Copyright 2012 Gabrielle Annora Harvey
Harvey, Gabrielle Annora. "A piece of the exotic: virtuosic violin compositions and national identity." dissertation, University of Iowa, 2012.