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Shoot the Conductor: Too Close to Monteux, Szell, and Ormandy

Description: Anshel Brusilow was born in 1928 and raised in Philadelphia by musical Russian Jewish parents in a neighborhood where practicing your instrument was as normal as hanging out the laundry. By the time he was sixteen, he was appearing as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also met Pierre Monteux at sixteen, when Monteux accepted him into his summer conducting school. Under George Szell, Brusilow was associate concertmaster at the Cleveland Orchestra until Ormandy snatched him away to make him concertmaster in Philadelphia, where he remained from 1959 to 1966. Ormandy and Brusilow had a father-son relationship, but Brusilow could not resist conducting, to Ormandy's great displeasure. By the time he was forty, Brusilow had sold his violin and formed his own chamber orchestra in Philadelphia with more than a hundred performances per year. For three years he was conductor of the Dallas Symphony, until he went on to shape the orchestral programs at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas. Brusilow played with or conducted many top-tier classical musicians, and he has opinions about each and every one. He also made many recordings. Co-written with Robin Underdahl, his memoir is a fascinating and unique view of American classical music during an important era, as well as an inspiring story of a working-class immigrant child making good in a tough arena.
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Date: July 2015
Creator: Brusilow, Anshel & Underdahl, Robin
Partner: UNT Press

A Stylistic Analysis of Liszt's Settings of the Three Petrarchan Sonnets

Description: This is a stylistic study of the four versions of Liszt's Three Petrarchan Sonnets with special emphasis on the revision of poetic settings to the music. The various revisions over four versions from 1838 to 1861 reflect Liszt's artistic development as seen especially in his use of melody, harmony, tonality, color, tone painting, atmosphere, and form. His use of the voice and development of piano technique also play an important part in these sonnets. The sonnets were inexplicably linked with the fateful events in his life and were in a way an image of this most flamboyant and controversial personality. This study suggests Liszt's importance as an innovator, and his influence on later trends should not be underestimated.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Van der Merwe, Johan
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Analysis of the 1915 and 1919 Versions of Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 82 by Jean Sibelius

Description: The initial composition of the Fifth Symphony in E-flat Major, Op. 82 was undertaken as a commission to celebrate the composer's fiftieth birthday. Unhappy with the initial efforts, two revisions were then performed; the first was in 1916 and the final revision in 1919. Despite the larger form of the work seeming to have been changed between the 1915 and 1919 versions, the smaller gestures of thematic expression in both versions remained similar. On the surface, it had appeared that the composer had eliminated a movement, changing the 1919 version into a three movement form. This view was not challenged by the composer at the time, and since the earlier versions had either been withdrawn or destroyed, there was no way to compare the original efforts to the final product until recently. In comparing the 1919 version to the original, a definite strong parallel can be seen between the two - despite the changes to form, rearrangement of melodic material, and the seemingly different number of movements. However, the parallel is enough that the 1915 version can be a guide to classifying the 1919 version, an act that has eluded many scholars since the 1920s. Most importantly, comparing the two versions shows that the 1919 version is not a three movement form at all; it is a four movement form that is obscured by the connection of the first and second movements by a thematic bridge that contains elements from both movements, but is not placed within either structure.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Norine, John Richard, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Nightingale's Flight from Opera to Symphonic Poem: A Comparative Study of The Nightingale and The Song of the Nightingale by Igor Stravinsky

Description: An analysis of the transformation from Stravinsky's opera The Nightingale to The Song of the Nightingale, a symphonic poem by the same composer. The text includes a brief history of Stravinsky's life and the genesis of The Nightingale and The Song of the Nightingale. The bulk of the dissertation discusses actual changes employed by Stravinsky (with score examples). Patterns of modifications are identified and discussed as they relate to the composer's change of attitude in orchestration. The analysis focuses on overall patterns of alteration imposed by Stravinsky and their perceived effectiveness achieving a symphonic aural outcome.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Couturiaux, Clay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Michael Daugherty's Red Cape Tango: A Comparative Study of the Original Version for Symphony Orchestra and its Transcription for Wind Orchestra, with Four Recitals of Selected Works by Beethoven, Dvorák, Verdi, Bartók and Daugherty

Description: Michael Daugherty has created his niche in the music world by composing works inspired by icons of American popular culture. Red Cape Tango is the final movement of his Metropolis Symphony, a work inspired by the life and times of the comic book character Superman. This movement in particular deals with the death of the superhero through the use of musical elements, most notably the Latin Sequence of the Mass for the Dead, Dies irae. Daugherty's ingenuity in blending profoundly dark subjects with humor is particularly evident in this work. Death is personified as a temptress and lures Superman through the power of a seductive tango. This study concentrates on Daugherty's compositional style and its impact in musical circles. A transcription for wind orchestra was created by another composer/conductor precisely because of the need to bring such an important work to another medium, thus making it accessible to a wider audience. In addition, this study looks at the changes in instrumentation necessary to create a second, equally formidable version of the work.
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Date: May 2002
Creator: Ortega, Arturo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Two European Traditions of Tuba Playing as Evidenced in the Solo Tuba Compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Paul Hindemith, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of W. Ross, R. Beasley, A. Russell, V. Persichetti, W.S. Hartley, N.K. Brown, J.S. Bach, and Others

Description: The lecture recital was given on June 16, 1980. The Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba and the Paul Hindemith Sonate for Tuba and Piano were performed following a lecture on the historical evolution of the tuba in Europe. The lecture included a history of the predecessors of the tuba and their influence on the development of tuba playing traditions. Tuba performance practices in Europe developed around two playing traditions, one in France and England, and a second in Germany. The ophicleide enjoyed tremendous popularity in France and England during the early nineteenth century. Because this instrument was a major competitor of the tuba in these countries, the tuba was viewed as an ophicleide replacement. Tubists in Europe and England had to develop facility and sound quality equivalent to that of the older instrument. In Germany the tuba's main competitor was the Russian bassoon, a form of upright serpent. At this same time the serpent and its related forms were in decline. This lack of popularity with the older instruments provided an opportunity for the quick adoption of the tuba in Germany.
Date: August 1980
Creator: Schulz, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Orchestral Accompaniment in the Vocal Works of Hector Berlioz

Description: Recent Berlioz studies tend to stress the significance of the French tradition for a balanced understanding of Berlioz's music. Such is necessary because the customary emphasis on purely musical structure inclines to stress the influence of German masters to the neglect of vocal and therefore rhetorical character of this tradition. The present study, through a fresh examination of Berlioz's vocal-orchestral scores, sets forth the various orchestrational patterns and the rationales that lay behind them.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Lee, Namjai
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Critical Study of Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Transcription of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde

Description: Toward the end of his life, from 1908 to 1909, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) composed Das Lied von der Erde (The song of the earth). This piece is a cycle of six song movements based on seven poems selected from Die chinesische Flötem - Nachdichtungen chinesischer Lyrik (The Chinese flute - free adaptation of Chinese lyric poetry) by Hans Bethge. The Chinese verse was written by Li-Po (numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5), Tchang-Tsi (number 2), and Mong-Kao-Jen and Wang-Wei (combined in number 6). Subsequently, in 1921, Arnold Schoenberg reduced the work to a simple chamber version transcription from Mahler's original massive score for full orchestra, a version completed in 1983 by Rainer Riehn. While the main melodic material in the vocal parts was maintained, the orchestral parts underwent substantial changes. This dissertation explores Mahler's reconfiguration of textual material and the setting of these texts in the orchestral medium. After consulting the various textual editions, I establish misreading and translational differences from the original Chinese through its various Western European incarnations; how and why Mahler chose the Bethge edition; what influenced his specific selection of poetry; and how these poems inform one another and the work as a whole. I also explore the crucial role of instrumentation and orchestration in text setting, and how his instrumentation of these translated "exotic" texts stands in dialogue with the nineteenth-century tradition and emergent frames of nationality. This dissertation also focuses on Schoenberg's instrumentation, arrangement, and orchestration as re-conceptualized and restructured from Mahler's original six movements. While the dissertation synthesizes the views of various scholars, many original observations will be offered, as few articles substantively consider this transcription of one of the most revered and reviled composers of the late-nineteenth century by one of the most revered and reviled composers of the twentieth-century. The transcript ...
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Sun, Ai-Kuang
Partner: UNT Libraries