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 ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
An Analysis of Selected Choral Works by Kirke Mechem: Music-Textual Relationships in Settings of Poetry of Sara Teasdale

An Analysis of Selected Choral Works by Kirke Mechem: Music-Textual Relationships in Settings of Poetry of Sara Teasdale

Date: August 2003
Creator: Bierschenk, Jerome Michael
Description: Kirke Mechem (b. 1925), American composer, has a musical output which includes a variety of genres, the most prolific being choral music. This document examines selected choral works by Mechem that are set to the poetry of Sara Teasdale (b. 1884, d. 1933). Included are biographical sketches of Mechem and Teasdale. Selected choral works examined include Christmas Carol (1969) SATB and guitar, The Winds of May, five movement choral cycle (1965) SATB, Birds at Dusk, from the choral cycle Winging Wildly (1998) SATB, and Barter (1995) SA, trumpet, piano 4-hands. Analysis of the poetry involved as well as musical attributes and compositional techniques, including meter, form, harmonic structures, wordpainting, rhythmic treatment and melodic characteristics are included in the discussion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries