Text and Structure in Schoenberg's Op. 50, and an Original Composition, Symphony #1

by Couvillon, Thomas

Abstract (Summary)
Part One of this document provides an analytical study of Schoenberg's final opus, Op. 50, three religious choral works written in the serial style: Driemal Tausend Jahre, Op. 50a (1949), De Profundis, Op. 50b (1950), and Modern Psalm, Op. 50c (1951). This study is divided into five chapters: an introduction, a conclusion, and a chapter of analysis for each of the three pieces. Analysis of these pieces reveals three significant conclusions: 1) Schoenberg consistently incorporates areas of relative consonance and pitch emphasis into his serial structures; 2) these areas of pitch emphasis, together with other musical devices are used to illuminate the text setting; and 3) the three works of Op. 50 represent a unified artistic endeavor on a par with Schoenberg's other large-scale religious works, die Jakobsleiter and Moses und Aron. Part Two of this document is an original composition, Symphony #1, for orchestra with a vocal soloist (baritone). The work consists of four movements, which loosely follow the traditional symphonic model: Overture, Scherzo, Adagio, and Finale. In the tradition of Mahler, a vocal soloist is included in the final movement. The text for this movement is drawn from a Sara Teasdale poem "A Seagull in the City." The primary musical material for all four movements is drawn from two motivic sets (m2+m3) and (M2+m3). A non-literal or hidden program is used to generate elements of the overall form. Musical ideas drawn from the (m2+m3) set correspond to areas of greater tension in the program, while ideas drawn from the (M2+m3) set are used in places of lessening tension. Symphony #1 is generally lyrical in character and is scored for a medium sized orchestra (woodwinds-2/2/2/2, brass-4/3/3/1, percussion, and strings). The two parts of this dissertation are unified by a common artistic heritage in the German Romantic tradition and also through such musical elements as the use of the (m2+m3) motivic set, which appeared frequently in the music of Schoenberg and his school.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Carl Freedman; William Grimes; Stephen Beck; Dinos Constantinides; Jeffrey Perry

School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport

School Location:USA - Louisiana

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:11/08/2002

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