Projects

ORNAMENTING MOZART

In addition to my activities as a performer, I am writing a PhD on ornamentation in Mozart. My work encompasses two parallel projects:
1. An exhaustive study of Mozart's notated melodic embellishments. I am compiling a catalogue in which all notated ornamental figures are sorted according to underlying rhythmic gesture, embellished interval, and melodic context. Because Mozart's melodies and ornamentation share so many features (i.e. pervasive chromaticism, rhythmic variety, harmonic acceleration), this lexicon is not just a list of ornaments, but, incidentally, a study of Mozart's melodic vocabulary and structural technique. It is also of great potential use to performers.
2. A trenchant examination of the philosophy of historical performance. My dissertation deals with the following topics, which are all (broadly speaking) scaffolding necessary for dealing with Mozart's ornamentation: the intersection of compositional and performative evidence; the effect of performance experience on compositional technique; the role of treatises and other textual sources in understanding past performance styles; intention, intentionality, and meaning in music; Popperian knowledge-creation and the fallacy of induction; memetic theory.
 

BACH EXPLORED

During the 2014-2015 season, Dorian Komanoff Bandy and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa will present recital-series "BACH EXPLORED". Each program will focus on a different aesthetic facet of Bach's musical language, surveying its roots in music of his contemporaries and forebears.

Bach’s works for violin and harpsichord are the only sonatas of their vintage to have entered the standard repertoire. Despite modern-day popularity, they were composed as humble essays in an already rich and thriving tradition – a tradition stretching back three generations before Bach’s birth. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the violin sonata was Germany’s primary outlet for instrumental experimentation, expression, and virtuosity, and its exponents redefined the violin’s technical and musical boundaries.

The first concert, “Bach the Dionysian,” celebrates violinist-composers who indulged in the pleasures of virtuosity: this program features flighty, mercurial fantasias and scherzos of the 17th century, and sensuous, indulgent sonatas of the 18th century. “Dark Visions,” the second program, probes the deepest reaches of artistic expression, from musical ars moriendi to violinistic depictions of grief and despair. Finally, “Bach the Apollonian” closes the series on an exalted note, with grand, heavenly sonatas by two generations of composers.

Composers featured:
Johann Sebastian Bach
Anonymous (3)
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
Georg Friedrich Händel
Johann Christian Hertel
Johann Mattheson
Jacobus Nozemann
Johann Georg Pisendel
Johannes Schenck
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Georg Philipp Telemann
Johann Jakob Walther
Johann Paul Westhoff