As a consequence to Gilbert and Sullivan's famed Carpet Quarrel, two operettas with decidedly "exotic" themes, The Nautch Girl; or, The Rajah of Chutneypore, and Utopia Limited; or, The Flowers of Progress were presented to London audiences. Neither has been accepted as part of the larger Savoy canon. This thesis considers the conspicuous business atmosphere of their originally performed contexts to understand why this situation arose. Critical social theory makes it possible to read the two documents as overt reflections on British imperialism. Examined more closely, however, the operettas reveal a great deal more about the highly introverted nature of exotic representation and the ambiguous dialogue between race and class hierarchies in late nineteenth-century British society.
Georges Kastner's (b Strasbourg 9 March 1810; d Paris 19 December 1867) Traite général d'instrumentation (1837), an important contribution to instrumentation study, is often overlooked because of its chronological proximity to Berlioz's Grand traité d'instrumentation (1843). Kastner's complete and concise treatise discusses the standard orchestral instruments and several obscure and ancient instruments. Intended principally for young composers, it provides the most detailed descriptions of the standard wind instruments of his day and discusses recent developments like the ophicleide and valved brass instruments. After the publication of the Traité, Kastner released a supplement including Aldophe Sax's newest innovations, entitled Cours d'instrumentation, which included musical examples of principals discussed in the Traité. Both the Traité and the Cours were accepted by the Academy and adopted by the Paris Conservatoire.
Robert Schumann's D-minor Symphony endured harsh criticism during the second half of the nineteenth century because of misunderstandings regarding his compositional approach to the genre of the symphony; changes in performance practices amplified the problems, leading to charges that Schumann was an inept orchestrator. Editions published by Clara Schumann and Alfred Dörffel as well as performing editions prepared by Woldemar Bargiel and Gustav Mahler reflect ideals of the late nineteenth century that differ markedly from those Schumann advanced in his 1851 autograph and in the Symphony's first publication in 1853. An examination of the manuscript sources and the editions authorized by Schumann reveals that he imbued the Symphony with what he called a "special meaning" in the form of an implied narrative. Although Schumann provided no written account of this narrative, it is revealed in orchestrational devices, particularly orchestration, dynamics, and articulation, many of which have been either altered or suppressed by later editors. A reconsideration of these devices as they are transmitted through the authorized sources permits a rediscovery of the work's special meaning and rectifies long-standing misperceptions that have become entrenched in the general literature concerning Schumann in general and the D-minor Symphony in particular.
Aaron Copland's music for The Red Pony (1948-49), based on John Steinbeck's story collection, is probably the best known of his film scores. The effectiveness of The Red Pony score stems from Copland's belief that film music should be subordinate to the film it accompanies. Copland composed The Red Pony score using his self-described method of "assembly," augmenting this process with devices to synchronize the music with the picture. Examination of archival sources shows how the score reflects the acknowledged influence of Igor Stravinsky, the needs of the film medium, and the plot of The Red Pony specifically. Despite Copland's modern style characteristics, the music functions much like a conventional Hollywood film score.
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.