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5 - Amy Beach’s Keyboard Music

from Part II - Profiles of the Music

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

E. Douglas Bomberger
Affiliation:
Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

Amy Beach was a prolific composer for the piano and an accomplished concert pianist. This chapter explores her works for solo piano, encompassing her lifespan: from those composed as a young child to her Improvisations, op. 148, written in her late sixties. Beach wrote fluidly for the piano, with her intimate knowledge of the instrument coupled with her secure compositional skills culminating in a fantastic repertoire for piano. Her pieces include simple, pedagogic works; intricate character pieces; works in generic forms; and virtuosic works requiring advanced piano technique. This chapter sets out Beach’s prodigious oeuvre for solo piano chronologically, in the context of Beach’s life, exploring how her personal circumstances symbiotically influenced her compositional output. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of her few pieces for organ, piano duet, and two pianos.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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