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Crossroads: An Examination of the French Sonatas for Violin and Piano Written During the First World War


The First World War affected the musical landscape of France in immeasurable ways. Composers from three distinct musical movements—Gabriel Fauré, representing French Romanticism; Claude Debussy, associated with musical Impressionism; and Darius Milhaud and Arthur Honegger, who would soon form Les Six—all composed masterful sonatas for violin and piano in the final years of the war. This document examines these works’ stylistic, harmonic, and formal characteristics, influences, and interinfluences; the intricacies and challenges the pieces demand of their performers; and the marks of the Great War on the sonatas.

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