THE CHORALE CANTATAS OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY: AN EXAMINATION OF MENDELSSOHN'S TRANSLATION OF J.S. BACH'S MUSICAL SYNTAX AND FORM.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194182
Title:
THE CHORALE CANTATAS OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY: AN EXAMINATION OF MENDELSSOHN'S TRANSLATION OF J.S. BACH'S MUSICAL SYNTAX AND FORM.
Author:
Nelson, Lee David
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In this study I examine the genesis and compositional purpose of Mendelssohn's seven chorale cantatas which include "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" (1827); "Jesu, meine Freude" (1828); "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (1829); "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" (1830); "Vom Himmel hoch" (1831); "Wir Glauben all an einem Gott" (1831); and "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh’ darein" (1832). I also re-examine the widely held belief that Mendelssohn's chorale cantatas were juvenilia, functioning only as compositional exercises to better learn the style of J.S. Bach. My examination includes a stylistic analysis of each cantata that shows a direct deviation from an imitation of Bach's musical syntax and form to a re-creation of the chorale cantata genre using nineteenth-century idioms. My approach to analysis is modeled after that of James Garratt, who has done a great deal of research on Mendelssohn's psalm settings. These works, like the chorale cantatas, have also been criticized for being compositional exercises that imitate Palestrina's musical syntax and form. Garratt believes that by using a literary method called translation theory, one can gain an unbiased assessment and evaluation of compositions that are based on pre-existent models. I have applied the tenets of translation theory as the foundation for my analysis to determine if the chorale cantatas were imitations of Bach's model or re-creations of the genre. This approach provides, as Garratt states, "a means of differentiating between the degree of affinity that links the works of Mendelssohn...and [his] models." The stylistic analysis also illustrates how the chorale cantatas are exemplars of Mendelssohn's compositional style. Unique characteristics such as Mendelssohn's frank religious convictions; his perceptive and creative treatment of chorales; his understanding of Baroque forms and styles; and his remarkable contrapuntal prowess are all beautifully exemplified in the chorale cantatas. I conclude that instead of being regarded as archaic, compositional exercises, Mendelssohn's chorale cantatas can and should be viewed as seminal works in his sacred choral-orchestral output.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Chorale Cantatas; Felix Mendelssohn; J.S. Bach; Translation Theory
Degree Name:
D.M.A.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Music; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Chamberlain, Bruce

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleTHE CHORALE CANTATAS OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY: AN EXAMINATION OF MENDELSSOHN'S TRANSLATION OF J.S. BACH'S MUSICAL SYNTAX AND FORM.en_US
dc.creatorNelson, Lee Daviden_US
dc.contributor.authorNelson, Lee Daviden_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn this study I examine the genesis and compositional purpose of Mendelssohn's seven chorale cantatas which include "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" (1827); "Jesu, meine Freude" (1828); "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (1829); "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" (1830); "Vom Himmel hoch" (1831); "Wir Glauben all an einem Gott" (1831); and "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh’ darein" (1832). I also re-examine the widely held belief that Mendelssohn's chorale cantatas were juvenilia, functioning only as compositional exercises to better learn the style of J.S. Bach. My examination includes a stylistic analysis of each cantata that shows a direct deviation from an imitation of Bach's musical syntax and form to a re-creation of the chorale cantata genre using nineteenth-century idioms. My approach to analysis is modeled after that of James Garratt, who has done a great deal of research on Mendelssohn's psalm settings. These works, like the chorale cantatas, have also been criticized for being compositional exercises that imitate Palestrina's musical syntax and form. Garratt believes that by using a literary method called translation theory, one can gain an unbiased assessment and evaluation of compositions that are based on pre-existent models. I have applied the tenets of translation theory as the foundation for my analysis to determine if the chorale cantatas were imitations of Bach's model or re-creations of the genre. This approach provides, as Garratt states, "a means of differentiating between the degree of affinity that links the works of Mendelssohn...and [his] models." The stylistic analysis also illustrates how the chorale cantatas are exemplars of Mendelssohn's compositional style. Unique characteristics such as Mendelssohn's frank religious convictions; his perceptive and creative treatment of chorales; his understanding of Baroque forms and styles; and his remarkable contrapuntal prowess are all beautifully exemplified in the chorale cantatas. I conclude that instead of being regarded as archaic, compositional exercises, Mendelssohn's chorale cantatas can and should be viewed as seminal works in his sacred choral-orchestral output.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectChorale Cantatasen_US
dc.subjectFelix Mendelssohnen_US
dc.subjectJ.S. Bachen_US
dc.subjectTranslation Theoryen_US
thesis.degree.nameD.M.A.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineMusicen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorChamberlain, Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWoods, Rexen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSchauer, Elizabethen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKnott, Josefen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10571en_US
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