Matching Items (20)

Delirium

Description

Delirium is a piece for large wind ensemble that synthesizes compositional techniques to generate unique juxtapositions of contrasting musical elements. The piece is about 8:30 long and uses the full complement of winds, brass, and percussion. Although the composition begins

Delirium is a piece for large wind ensemble that synthesizes compositional techniques to generate unique juxtapositions of contrasting musical elements. The piece is about 8:30 long and uses the full complement of winds, brass, and percussion. Although the composition begins tonally, chromatic alterations gradually shift the melodic content outside of the tonal center. In addition to changes in the melody, octatonic, chromatic, and synthetic scales and quartal and quintal harmonies are progressively introduced throughout the piece to add color and create dissonance. Delirium contains four primary sections that are all related by chromatic mediant. The subdivisions of the first part create abrupt transitions between contrasting material, evocative of the symptoms of delirium. As each sub-section progresses, the A minor tonality of the opening gradually gives way to increased chromaticism and dissonance. The next area transitions to C minor and begins to feature octatonic scales, secundal harmonies, and chromatic flourishes more prominently. The full sound of the ensemble then drops to solo instruments in the third section, now in G# minor, where the elements of the previous section are built upon with the addition of synthetic scales and quartal harmonies. The last division, before the recapitulation of the opening material, provides a drastic change in atmosphere as the chromatic elements from before are removed and the tense sound of the quartal harmonies are replaced with quintal sonorities and a more tonal melody. The tonality of this final section is used to return to the opening material. After an incomplete recapitulation, the descending motive that is used throughout the piece, which can be found in measure 61 in the flutes, is inverted and layered by minor 3rds. This inverted figure builds to the same sonority found in measure138, before ending on an F# chord, a minor third away from the A minor tonal center of the opening and where the piece seems like it should end.

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2011

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English folk song influences on the Vaughan Williams Concerto for oboe and strings

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The Concerto for Oboe and String by Ralph Vaughan Williams is often described as a pastoral work without any consideration for what makes that an accurate description. This paper outlines the connections to English folk song that create what are

The Concerto for Oboe and String by Ralph Vaughan Williams is often described as a pastoral work without any consideration for what makes that an accurate description. This paper outlines the connections to English folk song that create what are considered the pastoral qualities in the work. Vaughan Williams' relationship with English folk song, as collector and arranger, is well-documented, as is his advocacy for their use in compositions. By the time he wrote the Oboe Concerto at the end of his career, folk song elements had completely infused his compositional style. The Oboe Concerto shares many stylistic traits with English folk song. These stylistic elements: mode, melodic structure, form, and rhythm and meter are first analyzed in terms of English folk song, then how these features are utilized in the Oboe Concerto. Another connection to English folk song is in the manner of accompanying the Concerto. Vaughan Williams had firm opinions on how to accompany folk songs and wrote many sample accompaniments, which bear a marked resemblance to the accompaniment for the Oboe Concerto. The same is true for the accompaniment he wrote for a specifically folk song-inspired work, the Six Studies in English Folk Song for Violoncello and Pianoforte. Specific examples from both works are compared to the Concerto accompaniment. Finally, several motives and melodic figures found in folk songs included in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, which was edited by Vaughan Williams, are also found in the Oboe Concerto. An understanding of the use of English folk song elements and specific quotes in the Oboe Concerto, as well as the folk song-style treatment in accompaniment provide concrete evidence of the pastoral quality prevalent in many works of Vaughan Williams. Not only can this support a well-informed and more rewarding performance of the Oboe Concerto, but the same analysis can be applied to many of his other works as well, in addition to the works of a generation of English composers whose style he influenced.

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Date Created
2013

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Benjamin Britten: composer as conductor and the art of self interpretation

Description

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from the composer to the listener becomes a direct line and the composer becomes his/her own interpreter. Such is the case with Benjamin Britten. Britten conducted almost his entire repertoire in recordings for Decca (the exceptions being Paul Bunyan, Owen Wingrave, and Death in Venice). A comparative analysis of the recordings of four of Britten's works, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31; Albert Herring, Op. 39; Spring Symphony, Op. 44; and the Nocturne, Op. 60, shows that despite his complaints about performers not following his tempo markings, Britten often deviated from them himself, tending slower. Britten also occasionally added additional rubato, ritardandi, and accelerandi to his works. Additionally, a discrepancy regarding a pitch in the "Prelude" of the Serenade comes to light. Video of Britten conducting the Nocturne in rehearsal with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Vancouver provides additional insight into his methodology. Benjamin Britten succeeded as a composer-conductor, and his catalogue of recordings provides essential primary reference material when studying his works.

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2014

Windy City Opera's La Bohème: a case study of producing micro-opera in Chicago

Description

This research paper recounts the work done in founding an opera company and putting on its inaugural show. It also provides some of the insights acquired during the process, which may be helpful for other future opera producers in creating

This research paper recounts the work done in founding an opera company and putting on its inaugural show. It also provides some of the insights acquired during the process, which may be helpful for other future opera producers in creating a framework and guideposts for starting their own companies. The paper consists of two main sections followed by several short appendices.

The first section methodically reconstructs the process by which Windy City Opera's La Bohème was brought to the stage. It covers the background experiences that prompted the author to found her own company, the research and decisions involved, and the interplay between the company's overall goals and the resources available for a first production. The business, casting, rehearsing, and marketing aspects are reviewed in detail, as well as several mistakes that were made during the process that afforded valuable learning opportunities.

The second section follows up on these and other opportunities by sketching an ideal plan that opera startups might follow; the principal topics are timeline, budgeting, fundraising, venue selection, personnel selection, and marketing.

The appendices consist of worksheets and materials meant to illustrate and supplement this written how-to guide, as well as a video of the Windy City Opera production of La Bohème.

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2016

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New editions of G. P. Telemann's Sonata in F minor TWV 41:f1 and N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov's Concerto for trombone

Description

Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone and Military Band and Georg Philipp Telemann’s Sonata in F minor TWV 41:f1 are two works from contrasting periods written by well-known composers. International Music Company first published the Sonata in 1968 for trombone,

Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone and Military Band and Georg Philipp Telemann’s Sonata in F minor TWV 41:f1 are two works from contrasting periods written by well-known composers. International Music Company first published the Sonata in 1968 for trombone, edited by Allen Ostrander. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone was first published in the United States by Leeds Music Corporation in 1952, edited by Davis Shuman. Both of these compositions contain editorial concerns that detract from each composer’s original music.

In most modern editions, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto is accompanied by a piano reduction made by Nikolay Sergeyevich Fedoseyev. Although this reduction is the most commonly used accompaniment today, it is overly difficult for the pianist. The reduction also alters musical gestures within the accompaniment written by Rimsky-Korsakov.

This project contrasts modern editions of each composition with their oldest known manuscript. For Telemann’s Sonata, this is the first publication in Der Getreue Music-Meister, published by the composer in 1728-29. For Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto, this is a copyist’s manuscript that is currently housed at the library of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic. The centerpiece of this project is the preparation of new solo parts for each work and a new piano reduction for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto that restores the composer’s original intentions and makes clear editorial changes and suggestions.

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2016

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They called me an alien: Hanns Eisler's American years, 1935-1948

Description

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had risen to prominence as a significant composer during the Weimar

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had risen to prominence as a significant composer during the Weimar era was among them. A Jew, an ardent Marxist and composer devoted to musical modernism, he had established himself as a writer of film music and Kampflieder, fighting songs, for the European workers' movement. After two visits of the United States in the mid-1930s, Eisler settled in America where he spent a decade (1938-1948), composed a considerable number of musical works, including important film scores, instrumental music and songs, and, in collaboration with Theodor W. Adorno, penned the influential treatise Composing for the Films. Yet despite his substantial contributions to American culture American scholarship on Eisler has remained sparse, perhaps due to his reputation as the "Karl Marx in Music." In this study I examine Eisler's American exile and argue that Eisler, through his roles as a musician and a teacher, actively sought to enrich American culture. I will present background for his exile years, a detailed overview of his American career as well as analyses and close readings of several of his American works, including three of his American film scores, Pete Roleum and His Cousins (1939), Hangmen Also Die (1943), and None But the Lonely Heart (1944), and the String Quartet (1940), Third Piano Sonata (1943), Woodbury Liederbüchlein (1941), and Hollywood Songbook (1942-7). This thesis builds upon unpublished correspondence and documents available only in special collections at the University of Southern California (USC), as well as film scores in archives at USC and the University of California, Los Angeles. It also draws on Eisler studies by such European scholars as Albrecht Betz, Jürgen Schebera, and Horst Weber, as well as on research of film music scholars Sally Bick and Claudia Gorbman. As there is little written on the particulars of Eisler's American years, this thesis presents new facts and new perspectives and aims at a better understanding of the artistic achievements of this composer.

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2013

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An analytical overview of Dominick Argento's Evensong, of love and angels

Description

Many of the works of Dominick Argento have been researched and analyzed, but his choral work Evensong: Of Love and Angels s has received limited attention thus far. Written in memoriam for his wife Carolyn Bailey Argento, Evensong draws its

Many of the works of Dominick Argento have been researched and analyzed, but his choral work Evensong: Of Love and Angels s has received limited attention thus far. Written in memoriam for his wife Carolyn Bailey Argento, Evensong draws its musical material from her initials C.B.A. These letters, translated into note names, form a conspicuous head motive that is present in each movement of the work, and it serves multiple functions: as a melodic feature, as the foundation for a twelve-tone row, and as a harmonic base. This paper provides an overview of the work's conception with specific relation to Argento's biographical details, compositional style, and work habits; a brief review of the critical reception of the work; and a succinct analysis of the form and cyclical materials found in each movement.

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2011

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Everyday arias: for soprano and orchestra

Description

Everyday Arias for soprano and orchestra was composed largely in Arizona and completed in February 2011. The text was taken from a small collection of the composer's own poetry referencing her memories of life in rural Mississippi. Everyday Arias endeavors

Everyday Arias for soprano and orchestra was composed largely in Arizona and completed in February 2011. The text was taken from a small collection of the composer's own poetry referencing her memories of life in rural Mississippi. Everyday Arias endeavors to elevate these prosaic experiences and settings to art, expressing the everyday as beautiful and worthy of artistic treatment. The primary compositional model for this work was Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, but other influences included Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten, and Dominick Argento. Barber's and Argento's musical treatment of prose style seemed particularly appropriate to the goals of Everyday Arias. Ives and Copland used hymn tunes both to evoke certain associations of worship and as sources of interesting material. The vocal writing of all five composers was influential, but the orchestration techniques for winds are largely a product of studying Ives and Argento, while many string gestures are more obviously tied to Britten and - more historically - Debussy.The primary motive that weaves through the work features an ascending major second followed by a descending perfect fourth, in a long-short-long rhythmic pattern. As a melodic fragment, the motive is often inverted to a descending-ascending pattern, or distorted slightly by expanding the second interval to a perfect fifth, or used in retrograde. The motive was derived from the first measure of the melody "Toplady" (1830) by Thomas Hastings, better known as the hymn "Rock of Ages." In the first movement, the motive is used most frequently in sequences. The second movement treats the motive as a melodic element and as a unit in ostinati. The final movement humorously transforms it into a syncopated gesture to evoke ragtime.

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2011

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Instrumental vibrato: an annotated bibliography of historical writings before 1940

Description

The use of instrumental vibrato in certain periods of classical music performances has become a highly debated and often fiery topic. The scholars of yesterday had only a few sources with which to gain a better understanding of the definition,

The use of instrumental vibrato in certain periods of classical music performances has become a highly debated and often fiery topic. The scholars of yesterday had only a few sources with which to gain a better understanding of the definition, mechanics, employment, and prevalent attitudes of those coming before them. This project aims to develop the foundation to a better understanding of instrumental vibrato by compiling primary source material written before 1940 and secondary source material relevant to that period into an annotated bibliography. The source materials in this study were mainly comprised of treatises, tutors, method books, newspaper articles, and dictionaries. The instruments covered in this study included the violin family and relatives (viols, etc...), woodwinds (including recorder), members of the brass family, organ, other keyboard instruments, guitar/banjo/lute, theremin, and prototype
iche instruments (such as player pianos). This project investigated 309 historical documents, finding 258 contained writings about instrumental vibrato. Of those, 157 were presented as bibliographic annotations. The author found no consensus at any time in the history of Western art music between 1550-1940 that vibrato is wholly acceptable or wholly unacceptable.

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Date Created
2012

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A conductor's guide to Myroslav Skoryk's Carpathian concerto

Description

This study presents a conductor's guide to the Carpathian Concerto by Myroslav Skoryk. As a Deputy Head of the National Composers Association of Ukraine, a professor at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music and the Music Artistic Director of the

This study presents a conductor's guide to the Carpathian Concerto by Myroslav Skoryk. As a Deputy Head of the National Composers Association of Ukraine, a professor at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music and the Music Artistic Director of the National Opera of Ukraine, Skoryk continues to be active as a composer, teacher, and conductor. The Carpathian Concerto was composed in 1972 and was inspired by the culture and folklore of the west region of Ukraine, the Carpathian Mountains. Over the years the Carpathian Concerto has become standard repertoire for many symphony orchestras in the Ukraine. The author, himself from the Ukraine, performed this work in 2002, as a member of the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, with the composer present. That experience was the inspiration for this study. This guide is intended as a score study supplementary from a conductor to a conductor, to aid in preparing a performance of the paper. The commentary focuses on issue of conducting, suggestions for score study, suggestions for interpretation and instructions to performers in connection with the rhythm, intonation, balance and orchestra placement. Programming ideas conclude this project, with short program notes provided for each program, in which Carpathian Concerto would contribute toward building a "theme" concert.

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2012