Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



Crime and Punishment: One Act Ballet is a ballet for full orchestra and soloists based on the novel Crime and Punishment by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. The form of the piece is based on the form of the novel, but as the means of literature are different of the means of music, an adaptation of the plot of the novel was revealed necessary. Only the most significant happenings in the plot of the novel are present in the piece. All passages in which a description of psychological characteristics of the main characters is presented in the novel were translated into musical images. Crime and Punishment: One Act Ballet is orchestrated to full orchestra and soloists. The soloists represent the main characters which also are represented by the soloist dancers. So, each of the main characters are represented in two ways exactly like it happens in Igor Stravinsky’s Le Noces. The piece is divided in three scenes. In the first scene the main character, Rodion Raskolnikov, is presented in his many different facets. In the second scene Raskolnikov goes to see the pawnbroker Aliona Ivanovna. He has a long dialog with her and ends up killing her. In the third scene Raskolnikov meets Marmeladov and after takes him home where he meets Sonia, Marmeladov’s daughter. After a while he decides to tell Sonia about the murder and to turn himself in. He goes to the prison in Siberia where the story comes to an end. Although the piece is meant to be staged as a ballet it can be played in a concert hall as concert music. Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe; Claude Debussy’s Prelude of an Afternoon of a Faun; Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Petroushka and Les Noces; are the ballets that mainly influenced the composition process of this piece. The main compositional techniques are octatonic scales, functional harmony and chord superpositions, polytonality, clusters, leitmotivs and twelve-tone. The orchestration style and polytonality are influences from Stravinsky. Twelve-tone is an influence from the Second Viennese School and the use of clusters an influence from Ligeti and Penderecki.



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Committee Chair

Dinos Constantinides



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