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Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897)

Description: Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who was considered a Wagnerian due to to his past work in Bayreuth and the Wagnerian traits of his Hänsel und Gretel, seems to have believed that to define himself as a composer, he had to engage somehow with that designation, whether through orthodox Wagner imitation or an assertion of his independence from Wagner's musical legacy. The latter kind of engagement can be seen in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897), in which he developed a new kind of declamatory notation within the context of melodrama, thus fulfilling Wagnerian ideals as well as progressing beyond them. The effectiveness of Humperdinck's effort is seen in the ensuing critical reception, in which the realities of being heard as a Wagnerian composer are clarified.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph

Form, Style, Function and Rhetoric in Gottlob Harrer's Sinfonias: A Case Study in the Early History of the Symphony

Description: Gottlob Harrer (1703-1755) composed at least twenty-seven sinfonias for his patron Count Heinrich von Bruhl in Dresden from 1731-1747, placing them among the earliest concert symphonies written. Harrer's mostly autograph sinfonia manuscripts are significant documents that provide us with a more thorough understanding of musical activities in and around Dresden. Several of the works indicate topical references, including dance, march, and hunt allusions, that comment on the Dresden social occasions for which Harrer composed these works. Harrer mixes topical references with other gestures in several of his sinfonias to create what I believe is an unrecognized affective language functioning in instrumental works of the time. An examination of the topical allusions in Harrer's works solidifies their connection to the social milieu for which he wrote them, and therefore better defines the genre of the concert sinfonia of the time. The first part of this study of Harrer's sinfonias addresses evidence about the composer, his patron, Dresden society, and the circumstances surrounding the first performances of several works, musical evidence of the composer's stylistic and formal approach to the genre, and the rhetorical meaning of topical gestures in the scores in ways not yet explored. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that the stylistic and formal characteristics of Harrer's sinfonias were often influenced by the function and context of their premieres. Part Two of the dissertation provides transcriptions of Harrer's sinfonias, making them available for performance and further study in the hope that such a holistic approach will enrich our appreciation of musical life in Dresden in the 1730s.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Rober, Russell Todd

The Most Expressionist of All the Arts: Programs, Politics, and Performance in Critical Discourse about Music and Expressionism, c. 1918-1923

Description: This dissertation investigates how German-language critics articulated and publicly negotiated ideas about music and expressionism in the first five years after World War I. A close reading of largely unexplored primary sources reveals that "musical expressionism" was originally conceived as an intrinsically musical matter rather than as a stylistic analog to expressionism in other art forms, and thus as especially relevant to purely instrumental rather than vocal and stage genres. By focusing on critical reception of an unlikely group of instrumental chamber works, I elucidate how the acts of performing, listening to, and evaluating "expressionist" music were enmeshed in the complexities of a politicized public concert life in the immediate postwar period. The opening chapters establish broad music-aesthetic and sociopolitical contexts for critics' postwar discussions of "musical expressionism." After the first, introductory chapter, Chapter 2 traces how art and literary critics came to position music as the most expressionist of the arts based on nineteenth-century ideas about the apparently unique ontology of music. Chapter 3 considers how this conception of expressionism led progressive-minded music critics to interpret expressionist music as the next step in the historical development of absolute music. These critics strategically—and controversially—portrayed Schoenberg's "atonal" polyphony as a legitimate revival of "linear" polyphony in fugues by Bach and late Beethoven. Chapter 4 then situates critical debates about the musical and cultural value of expressionism within broader struggles to construct narratives that would explain Germany's traumatic defeat in the Great War and abrupt restructuring as a fragile democratic republic. Against this backdrop, the later chapters explore critics' responses to public performances of specific "expressionist" chamber works. Chapter 5 traces reactions to a provocative performance of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, op. 9 (1906) at the Berlin Volksbühne in February 1920. Chapter 6 examines the interplay of musical-aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in critical ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Carrasco, Clare

Opera and Society in Early-Twentieth-Century Argentina: Felipe Boero's El matrero

Description: Premiering at the twilight of the gauchesco era and the dawn of Argentine musical Modernism, El matrero (1929) by Felipe Boero (1884-1958) remains underexplored in terms of its social milieu and artistic heritage. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece, the work retains a place in the local repertory, though it has never been performed internationally. The opera draws on myths of the gaucho and takes further inspiration from the energized intellectual environment surrounding the one-hundred-year anniversary of Argentine Independence. The most influential writers of the Centenary were Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938), Ricardo Rojas (1882-1957), and Manuel Gálvez (1882-1962). Their times were marked by contradictions: xenophobia and the desire for foreign approbation; pride in an imaginary, "barbaric" yet noble ideal wiped out by the "civilizing" ambitions of revered nineteenth-century leaders. Krausism, a system of ideas following the teachings of Karl Friedrich Krause (1781-1832), had an impact on the period as exhibited in the political philosophy of Hipólito Yrigoyen (1852-1933), who served as president from 1916 to 1922 and 1928 to 1930 when he was deposed by a right-wing coup d'état. Uncritical applications of traditional understandings of nationalism have had a negative impact on Latin American music scholarship. A distillation of scholarly conceptions of Argentine nacionalismo, which address the meaning of the word as it was used in the early twentieth century, combined with an examination of major works of important literary figures of the Centenary provide a firmer ground for discussion. Gálvez paints a conservative portrait of a refined, well-traveled dilettante who finds true enlightenment only in his own rural, Argentine culture. A liberal, Rojas understands nationalism as devotion to the development of national institutions and local art. Lugones argues the foundation of national art should be the gaucho, and articulates the hierarchical sociabilities it should articulate. Boero adopts elements of Krausism and ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sauceda, Jonathan

Reading Handel: A Textual and Musical Analysis of Handel's Acis and Galatea (1708, 1718)

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold: one is to analyze the narratives of Acis and Galatea written by Ovid, and the two libretti by Handel's librettists including Nicola Giuvo (1708) and John Gay (1718) with John Hughes and Alexander Pope; the other is to correlate this textual analysis within the musical languages. A 1732 pastiche version is excluded because its bilingual texts are not suitable for the study of relationships between meaning and words. For this purpose, the study uses the structural theory- -mainly that of Gérard Genette--as a theoretical framework for the analysis of the texts. Narrative analysis of Acis and Galatea proves that the creative process of writing the libretto is a product of a conscious acknowledgement of its structure by composer and librettists. They put the major events of the story into recitative and ensemble. By examining the texts of both Handel's work, I explore several structural layers from the libretti: the change of the characterization to accommodate a specific occasion and the composer's response to contemporary English demand for pastoral drama with parodistic elements, alluding to the low and high class of society. Further, Polyphemus is examined in terms of relationships with culture corresponding to his recurrent pattern of appearance.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Chang, Young-Shim

Reconsidering the Lament: Form, Content, and Genre in Italian Chamber Recitative Laments: 1600-1640

Description: Scholars have considered Italian chamber recitative laments only a transitional phenomenon between madrigal laments and laments organized on the descending tetrachord bass. However, the recitative lament is distinguished from them by its characteristic attitude toward the relationship between music and text. Composer of Italian chamber recitative laments attempted to express more subtle, refined and sometimes complicated emotion in their music. For that purpose, they intentionally created discrepancies between text and music. Sometimes they even destroy the original structure of text in order to clearly deliver the composer's own voice. The basic syntactic structure is deconstructed and reconstructed along with their reading and according to their intention. The discrepancy between text and music is, however, expectable and natural phenomena since text cannot be completely translated or transformed to music and vice versa. The composers of Italian chamber recitative laments utilized their innate heterogeneity between two materials (music and text) as a metaphor that represents the semantic essence of the genre, the conflict. In this context, Italian chamber recitative laments were a real embodiment of the so-called seconda prattica and through the study of them, finally, we more fully able to understand how the spirit of late Renaissance flourished in Italy in the first four decade of the seventeenth century.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Chung, Kyung-Young

Selected Lute Music from Paris, Rés. Vmd. Ms. 27 from the Bibliothèque Nationale: Reconstruction, Edition, and Commentary

Description: Paris . Rés. Vmd. Ms. 27, known as Tl.1, or the Thibault Manuscript, is one of the earliest extant sources of lute music, containing twenty-four solos and eighty-six accompaniments for vocal compositions. The manuscript was copied in Italian lute tablature lacking rhythm signs, which makes it inaccessible for modern performance. Each selection contains a full score of the four-part vocal concordance, and the reconstructed lute part in both the original notation and keyboard transcription. The introductory study elaborates upon the creation dates for Tl.1 (ca. 1502-1512) through its relationship with the sources of the time and with the older unwritten tradition of Italian secular music that is apparent in the formal treatment of the music.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Sequera, Héctor J.

Still life in black and white: An intertextual interpretation of William Grant Still's "symphonic trilogy."

Description: William Grant Still's musical achievements are legion. Because he was the first African American to break the color line in America's concert halls, Still earned the sobriquet "Dean of Negro Composers." Paradoxically, Still's reception suffers from this list of "firsts." The unintended consequence of cataloging his achievements venerates his position as an iconoclast while detracting critical attention from his music. Conversely, if we ignore the social context in which Still produced his music, we risk misinterpreting his compositional choices or trivializing the significance of his accomplishments prior to the Civil Rights Movement in America. Still's so-called symphonic trilogy-Africa, Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), and Symphony No. 2 ("Song of a New Race")-is the subject of an intertextual analysis that demonstrates how extra-musical concerns, such as race, and musical elements can be brought into alignment. Chapter one discusses black music scholarship in general and Still scholarship in particular by tracing the development of black music historiography. The second chapter explores one of the various modes of inquiry used to study black music-intertextuality. The context for Still's self-titled racial and universal periods is the subject of chapter three. For the first time, arguments from both sides of the racial divide are reconsidered in the debate about what constitutes American music. The fourth chapter is devoted to an intertextual interpretation of Still's symphonic trilogy. Each work is subjected to an anterior, interior, and posterior intertextual reading. An anterior reading takes into account how context determines perception. The interior reading examines the inter-play of topics and texts that are created as the work is experienced. The posterior reading is concerned with the relationship between the work and its audiences and any new texts that are generated from this interaction. The final chapter challenges the notion that the three works discussed form a trilogy. In the ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Lamb, Earnest