The Unaccompanied Choral Works of Richard Rodney Bennett: A Conductor's Guide

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195081
Title:
The Unaccompanied Choral Works of Richard Rodney Bennett: A Conductor's Guide
Author:
Walters, Norene Ann
Issue Date:
2008
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:
As one of Great Britain's leading composers, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (b. 1936) is prolific in a wide range of media, idioms, and genres, including concert and stage music, jazz, and film scores and has to his credit an extensive discography. He excels in solo vocal, instrumental, and chamber music composition and has a significant but lesser known corpus of choral music. A classically trained pianist, Bennett enjoys a parallel performing career as a jazz musician and cabaret singer. He has lived in New York since 1979.Bennett is one of a group of twentieth-century British composers who have cultivated distinctly English styles of composition. Like his near contemporaries Kenneth Leighton (1929-88), William Mathias (1934-92), and Paul Patterson (b. 1947), Bennett borrows from ancient and modern English traditions and from twentieth-century techniques to create an individual style.This study provides an historical context for English choral tradition, traced from its medieval roots through a twentieth-century musical renaissance, then identifies and examines a wide array of eclectic traits in Bennett's unaccompanied choral compositions for mixed voices. A component of the study is a literature survey to aid the choral conductor's preparation of these works for performance.This investigation revealed Bennett's affinity for English poetry and his desire to communicate the emotional content of his chosen texts through musical expression. Salient features of his compositional method are fluent linear part-writing within a contrapuntal texture, skillful textural manipulation, refined rhythmic control, and structural symmetry and balance. Other style traits emerged, including modality, pitch cross-relations, canonic imitation, word-painting, cross-rhythms, metric shifts, harmonic shifts, tone clusters, driving repetitive rhythms, extended vocal techniques, and use of the octatonic scale. Collectively, these suggest the composer was influenced by Tudor polyphony (possibly subconsciously), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), William Walton (1902-83), Olivier Messiaen (1908-92), and Benjamin Britten (1913-76).
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
choral; choir; Bennett; England; British; twentieth century
Degree Name:
DMA
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Music; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Chamberlain, Bruce B.
Committee Chair:
Chamberlain, Bruce B.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Unaccompanied Choral Works of Richard Rodney Bennett: A Conductor's Guideen_US
dc.creatorWalters, Norene Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorWalters, Norene Annen_US
dc.date.issued2008en_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.abstractAs one of Great Britain's leading composers, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (b. 1936) is prolific in a wide range of media, idioms, and genres, including concert and stage music, jazz, and film scores and has to his credit an extensive discography. He excels in solo vocal, instrumental, and chamber music composition and has a significant but lesser known corpus of choral music. A classically trained pianist, Bennett enjoys a parallel performing career as a jazz musician and cabaret singer. He has lived in New York since 1979.Bennett is one of a group of twentieth-century British composers who have cultivated distinctly English styles of composition. Like his near contemporaries Kenneth Leighton (1929-88), William Mathias (1934-92), and Paul Patterson (b. 1947), Bennett borrows from ancient and modern English traditions and from twentieth-century techniques to create an individual style.This study provides an historical context for English choral tradition, traced from its medieval roots through a twentieth-century musical renaissance, then identifies and examines a wide array of eclectic traits in Bennett's unaccompanied choral compositions for mixed voices. A component of the study is a literature survey to aid the choral conductor's preparation of these works for performance.This investigation revealed Bennett's affinity for English poetry and his desire to communicate the emotional content of his chosen texts through musical expression. Salient features of his compositional method are fluent linear part-writing within a contrapuntal texture, skillful textural manipulation, refined rhythmic control, and structural symmetry and balance. Other style traits emerged, including modality, pitch cross-relations, canonic imitation, word-painting, cross-rhythms, metric shifts, harmonic shifts, tone clusters, driving repetitive rhythms, extended vocal techniques, and use of the octatonic scale. Collectively, these suggest the composer was influenced by Tudor polyphony (possibly subconsciously), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), William Walton (1902-83), Olivier Messiaen (1908-92), and Benjamin Britten (1913-76).en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectchoralen_US
dc.subjectchoiren_US
dc.subjectBennetten_US
dc.subjectEnglanden_US
dc.subjectBritishen_US
dc.subjecttwentieth centuryen_US
thesis.degree.nameDMAen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineMusicen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorChamberlain, Bruce B.en_US
dc.contributor.chairChamberlain, Bruce B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSchauer, Elizabethen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBrobeck, Johnen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2827en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659750529en_US
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