Innovations And Traditions: Exploring Technical Advances And Musical Influences In Zoltán Kodály’s Sonata, Op. 8 For Solo Cello

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The topic for this paper is Zoltán Kodály’s Sonata, Op. 8 for Solo Cello, with specific reference to its technical advances in cello playing and influences that contributed to Kodály’s realization of the sonata as well as its profound influences on other composers of the twentieth century who wrote solo cello repertoire. Having performed Kodály’s Solo Sonata for many years and had the benefit of studying it with Janos Starker, the cellist whose name became so identified with championing the work, it was fascinating to me how the Op. 8 Sonata opened a new doorway to the understanding of tonal colors and a fresh way of thinking about how advanced cello technique helps to achieve them. This paper will explore the sonata from historical, stylistic, theoretical and instrumental perspectives, proving that its addition to the repertoire inspired a plethora of solo cello compositions written in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Kodály’s compositional style also will be investigated, showing how its manifestation, in a major solo work for the cello, helped to produce significant instrumental, technical and musical traditions for future generations.


National Taiwan University of the Arts International Symposium on Performing Arts (NTUA)


Taipei, Taiwan