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Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963) is regarded as one of the most important Cuban musicians of the twentieth century, and one of the most prolific composers within Latin America. His piano skills were equal to that of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), his popularity compared to George Gershwin (1898-1937) and his compositional output rivaled that of Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Born in Guanabacoa, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, Lecuona began his piano studies at an early age, first with his sister Ernestina and then with Dutch born pianist and composer Hubert de Blanck (1856-1932). He completed his compositional training with Joaquín Nin (1879-1949) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Although Lecuona is known to have composed more than 600 works, very little is known about his art song output. This treatise focuses on his success as acanción(song) composer, highlighting the five art songs that comprise his cycleCinco canciones con versos de Juana de Ibarbourou(Five Songs with Verses by Juana de Ibarbourou). His creative and successful setting of Juana de Ibarbourou's prose and poetry writings within the cycle along with musical characteristics of the German Lied found within the songs, show his abilities as an art song composer. In support of these statements, I compared a sampling of Lecuona's works within his piano, vocal, theatrical and orchestral repertoire and consulted various sources on the composer. These included primarily the book titledErnesto Lecuona: the Genius and his Music; the DissertationThe Life and Music of Ernesto Lecuonaas well a live interview with Ernesto Lecuona's oldest living relative, his nephew Fernando Lecuona.
Canción, Cuba, Ernesto, Ibarbourou, Lecuona, Music
Date of Defense
October 21, 2011.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Stanford Olsen, Professor Directing Treatise; André Thomas, University Representative; Douglas Fisher, Committee Member; Marcía Porter, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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