The Stabat Mater of Herbert Howells: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Stabat Mater of Herbert Howells: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Childs, Kim J.
Description: Herbert Howells composed three large works for chorus and orchestra: a requiem (Hymnus Paradisi), Latin mass (Missa Sabrinensis) and finally a Stabat Mater. Writings, performances and recordings of the Stabat Mater, however, have been few. As the Stabat Mater is believed to be the culmination of his musical prowess, it is important to bring this major work to light. Chapter 1 begins with a brief introduction to Herbert Howells, then continues as a brief biographical sketch. Howells's life is discussed from birth, as organ scholar, student at the Royal College of Music, his teaching professorship at the same institution, and important compositions by decade until his death. Chapter 2 is an overview of the Hymnus Paradisi and Missa Sabrinensis. The chapter gives historical information on each work, including reasons for commission, dates of composition and performance, orchestration and choral composition, type of soloists, conductor and recordings. Chapter 3 is an in depth study of the Stabat Mater. The chapter includes reasons for the genesis of the work, current and past events that affected the composition, musical influences, and the death of his son Michael Kendrick Howells. A second section to this chapter addresses the text of the Stabat Mater, including ...
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The Influence of Renaissance Music in Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

The Influence of Renaissance Music in Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

Date: May 2011
Creator: Wirths, Jeremy R.
Description: Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae, Opus 68, composed by Ernst Krenek in 1941, is a musical work that is difficult to analyze and classify due to its fusion of contrasting musical styles. The pervasive dissonance of the work shows its modern twelve-tone organization, yet other aspects more closely resemble the sacred music of the early Renaissance. Analysis of Lamentatio solely in terms of the atonal twelve-tone system belies the work's full complexity and range of expression. While the twelve-tone system is the basis for the organization of the work, Krenek radically modifies the system to allow for more possible combinations of tones through an innovative technique he calls "rotation." The primary objective of this study is to consider the influence of early Renaissance sacred music, particularly that of Johannes Ockeghem, on certain aspects of Lamentatio, including the text, pitch organization, form and structure, rhythm and meter, and expressive markings. The study reveals that though the pitch organization is based on the twelve-tone system, Krenek uses the increased flexibility granted by his rotation technique to create implications of the modal system of the Renaissance. In the other aspects considered, the music of Lamentatio also bears clear Renaissance influences. A thorough understanding of these ...
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Choral resonance: Re-examining concepts of tone and unification.

Choral resonance: Re-examining concepts of tone and unification.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Quist, Amanda Renee
Description: Resonant singing creates possibilities with dynamic shading, subtlety of phrasing, and rich vibrant tone that astonishes listeners. Choral singing that employs resonance as a fundamental ensemble virtue yields impressive results that lend themselves well to the varying demands of any choral score. Fortunately, choruses of every level can benefit from an increased understanding of the basic principles of resonance in the singing voice. Research on issues of upper partial energy and the presence of the singer's formant in a choral ensemble has been limited in approach. Many published studies regarding upper partial energy in the choral ensemble are based on what the ensemble is already doing, which is linked to the teaching of that specific director and that specific choir. Research must include a wider range of aesthetic choices with regard to choral unification. Through examining spectrograms that represent the sound of some of the most renowned choirs, it is possible to see that many of these ensembles are producing tone that contains a high level of upper formant energy. Interviews with established conductors reveal approaches and teaching methodologies that reinforce this type of singing. It is possible to teach the individuals in a choir to increase the level of ...
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John Harbison's The Flight into Egypt: An Analysis for Performance

John Harbison's The Flight into Egypt: An Analysis for Performance

Date: May 2008
Creator: Galante, Brian Edward
Description: John Harbison's status as a significant contemporary American composer is confirmed by his numerous appointments, honorary degrees, and awards. He is the recipient of nearly every major composition award, with works performed by major orchestras and in important opera houses spanning the world. This paper examines in detail Harbison's most acclaimed choral work, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flight into Egypt. This study of the score is a "conductor's analysis," offering a musical guide for the conductor who seeks to perform this work. To provide a context for the discussion, Chapter 1 offers a brief biographical sketch of Harbison's life and career. Chapter 2 provides the analysis of the work and includes a history from commission to premier, a discussion of Harbison's selection of text, and an examination of the pitch organization which informs the piece. In Chapter 3, I present important rehearsal and performance implications to consider when undertaking a performance of the work. Interviews with two well-regarded conductors who have performed The Flight into Egypt, David Hoose and Patrick Gardner, and the composer himself, provide valuable insight into this discourse.
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Increasing glottal closure in an untrained male chorus by integrating historical, scientific, and clinical practice into choral voice building exercises

Increasing glottal closure in an untrained male chorus by integrating historical, scientific, and clinical practice into choral voice building exercises

Date: May 2009
Creator: Cottrell, Duane Coles
Description: An examination of the historical treatises of Manuel Garcia II and Giambattista Mancini, scientific studies pertaining to glottal closure, and Vocal Function Exercises used in clinical speech pathology led to an exploratory study that attempted to increase the glottal closure in an untrained university male chorus using only choral voice building exercises. The exploratory study used a single group, pre-test post-test design, and data was recorded using audio recordings of the entire chorus as well as electroglottograph measurements of individual subjects. The data show an increase in glottal closure as measured by closed quotient values, and an increase in energy in the upper partials of the recorded acoustic signal from the chorus.
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Minimalism, Exoticism, and Alternatim in Tarik O’Regan’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and The Ecstasies Above

Minimalism, Exoticism, and Alternatim in Tarik O’Regan’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and The Ecstasies Above

Date: December 2011
Creator: Choi, Sangyun
Description: Abstract British composer Tarik Hamilton O’Regan is a significant choral composer of the early twenty-first century. O’Regan’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and The Ecstasies Above exhibit two notable compositional techniques: minimalism influenced by Steve Reich and exoticism representing Balinese gamelan and Andalusian music. Additionally, Reich joins the technique of minimalism with the Renaissance practice of alternatim. The examination of these works will demonstrate the application of these two compositional techniques and how he integrates them into a textural context to evoke specific historical and cultural practices. Furthermore, this study will provide guidelines for researching and performing O’Regan’s choral works by explaining O’Regan’s stylistic characteristics.
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Alberto Grau: The Composer, Selected Works, and Influence upon the Venezuelan and International Choral Community

Alberto Grau: The Composer, Selected Works, and Influence upon the Venezuelan and International Choral Community

Date: August 2007
Creator: Yu, Julie
Description: Alberto Grau is arguably one of the most influential contemporary Venezuelan choral composers and conductors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This thesis explores the synthesis of Venezuelan nationalism with global internationalism found within his works. As a student of the nationalistic generation of composers (Vicente Emilio Sojo, Juan Bautista Plaza, and Ángel Sauce) Grau's works display the distinct characteristics found in Venezuelan music. His output also exhibits international influences, using texts associated with social and environmental events and concerns including literary and musical influences of other nations and cultures. The first section of the thesis traces the lineage of Venezuelan choral composers beginning with the colonial period and the Escuela de Chacao to the nationalistic composers from the Santa Capilla generation. The second section describes Alberto Grau's compositional style as exemplified in his work Kasar mie la gaji (The Earth is Tired). The final section of the document comprises interviews with Alberto Grau and his wife, the Venezuelan choral conductor, María Guinand. Guinand studied piano and conducting with Alberto Grau and was his assistant at the Orfeón Universitario Simón Bolívar and the Schola Cantorum de Caracas. She is the founding conductor of the Cantoría Alberto Grau and the editor ...
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Ancient Musical Ideas Through a Twenty-First Century Lens: An Examination of Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes and Its Relationship to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame

Ancient Musical Ideas Through a Twenty-First Century Lens: An Examination of Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes and Its Relationship to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame

Date: August 2011
Creator: LaBarr, Cameron Frederick
Description: British composer Tarik Hamilton O’Regan (b. 1978, London) is earning a reputation as an important composer of today. The innovative works of O’Regan are entering the spectrum of professional, educational, and community performing organizations across the United States and Europe. Scattered Rhymes’ intricate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic relationships with Messe de Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) make an examination and comparison of the two works significant. Analyzing Scattered Rhymes by tracing its roots to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, results in a renewed interest in this ancient work and brings prominence to Tarik O’Regan’s modern musical interpretation of ancient ideas. Understanding Scattered Rhymes as a work based on ideas from the fourteenth century in fusion with compositional concepts rooted in the modern era promotes Scattered Rhymes as one that is valuable in the current musical landscape.
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The Choral Works of Robert Ward: A View of His Compositional Approach to Text Settings and His Use of Symbols and Allusions

The Choral Works of Robert Ward: A View of His Compositional Approach to Text Settings and His Use of Symbols and Allusions

Date: May 2007
Creator: Tucker, Carlton S.
Description: Robert Eugene Ward's impressive body of work encompasses almost every genre of music. He has composed symphonies, operas, large orchestral pieces, chamber works, solo instrumental pieces, extended choral works, short choral pieces, ceremonial works, a ballet, theatre pieces, and even jazz and swing band pieces. Ward's name is recognized in most musical circles but usually only for his opera The Crucible, a work for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1962. In fact, a survey of all the dissertations, articles, interviews, and books written about Robert Ward shows that the vast majority of these studies focus on his most famous opera. His choral works, though they comprise some of Ward's most expressive work, have received little attention. Ward's works show a deliberate use of symbols and allusions. While this use is far from an innovative concept in composition, Ward distinguishes himself with a consistent and purposeful application of these devices establishing an unmistakable interweaving of text, composition, and context. This study examines several of Ward's short choral compositions as they relate to the composer's use of symbols and allusions. Comparisons are made to Ward's use of these devices in his operatic works as a means of determining the consistency ...
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Chen Yi and Her Choral Music: A Study of the Composer's Ideal of Fusing Chinese Music and Modern Western Choral Traditions

Chen Yi and Her Choral Music: A Study of the Composer's Ideal of Fusing Chinese Music and Modern Western Choral Traditions

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Yeung, Hin-Kei
Description: Chen Yi's music is well accepted and recognized nationally and internationally through an increasing number of commissions and performances. Major symphony orchestras, choruses, institutions and companies request her compositions on many occasions in order to increase understanding and exploration of Chinese influences on western classical idioms. This study provides the first detailed discussion of her compositional mastery and her fusion of Chinese music with the language of western choral traditions. Chen Yi's reputation as a prominent orchestral composer does not restrain her passion to apply instrumental techniques and materials to her quality choral compositions. This study focuses on (1) how hardship and various life experiences during the ten-year Cultural Revolution shaped Chen Yi's musical inspirations; (2) how the influences of major musical genres, such as traditional Chinese folksong, jingju, model play, 19th-20th century nationalism, impressionism, and serialism are consolidated in her kaleidoscopic compositional techniques; and (3) the application of Chinese languages, pedagogical concepts, and extra-musical elements, such as Chinese poems, paintings, and calligraphies, revealed in her original, intelligent and resourceful choral creations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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