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Aspects of the Historical Development of Repertoire for the Guitar: A Case Study of Hans Werner Henze’s Royal Winter Music, Sonatas on Shakespearean Characters Open Access


Other title
Royal Winter Music
Guitar repertoire
Hans Werner Henze
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Orszulik, Marek D J
Supervisor and department
Gramit, David (Music)
Examining committee member and department
Gier, Christina (Music)
Ingraham, Mary (Music
Department of Music

Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Master of Arts
Degree level
This thesis thoroughly examines the contributions Hans Werner Henze has made to the twentieth century repertoire for the classical guitar with the two sonatas that make up Royal Winter Music. The background of guitarist Julian Bream’s commissioning of the work is discussed in the introduction, taking into consideration both the performer’s and composer’s interests and circumstances. The first main chapter then gives an overview of the guitar repertoire, starting with its origins in the Classical era, and highlights issues that are particularly pertinent to an investigation of Royal Winter Music. The nature of these works of Henze — sonatas based on Shakespearean characters — warrants the in-depth focus on both sonatas and character pieces in the guitar repertoire. In both cases, pre- and post-twentieth century examples are considered separately, given the different approaches of guitarist-composers of earlier eras, and composers since the 1920s dominated by non-guitarists. Of particular importance are issues of shortcomings of both genres, as guitar repertoire has struggled to keep abreast of that which has been available to other instrumentalists. The following chapter then examines each sonata of Royal Winter Music and scrutinises the means by which Henze accommodates each work within the genre. A summary of the normative parameters of the sonata is given, followed by an exploration of how Henze utilises and expands these boundaries in each work. For the third and final chapter, a similar approach is taken with regards to music of literary inspiration, starting with an overview of the practice as a nineteenth century phenomenon. The musical content of each movement is then discussed in terms of the character or theatrical episode that Henze had chosen to represent. In considering the overview of guitar repertoire and understanding Royal Winter Music from two these two perspectives, Henze’s remarkable contribution to the guitar repertoire can be appreciated. It is argued that whilst previous guitarists and composers had done much to advance the status of the guitar, there were vital areas of repertoire that still lagged behind other instruments. In providing these two substantial works that straddle genre boundaries, Henze was able to offer something that would go a long way to fill the void.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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