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

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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 ... continued below

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Wirths, Jeremy R. May 2011.

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  • Wirths, Jeremy R.

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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 earlier influences in Lamentatio will influence both future performances and written characterizations of this enigmatic work.

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  • May 2011

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  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:44 a.m.

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  • Aug. 13, 2013, 12:45 p.m.

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Wirths, Jeremy R. The Influence of Renaissance Music in Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae, dissertation, May 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68063/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .