A study of two Biblical choral symphonies with an original composition

by Klug, Gregory, D.A., UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO, 2012, 149 pages; 3523435


The choral symphony is a hybrid genre. A symphony may be defined as an orchestral work that balances musical variety with an overarching unity, and creates the sense of a journey. Formal cohesion and a sense of inevitability are integral. These ends may be achieved without adherence to Classical symphonic structure. Franz Liszt's Dante Symphony and Hilding Rosenberg's Revelation of St. John are choral symphonies that use text from the Bible, and merit close analysis. They both serve as models in various ways to an original composition, the Symphony of Creation. Analysis of all three of these works shows the use of rhetorical formal structures, and demonstrates the explanatory power of a theory about the meaning of music: it is a language in which musical phenomena are recognized as metaphors for extra-musical phenomena. All the parameters of music—pitch, rhythm, timbre, harmony, dynamics, and range—collaborate to generate metaphors for such ideas as height and depth, light and dark, malevolence and benevolence, pain and pleasure, violence and gentleness.

AdvisersRobert C. Ehle; Jonathan Bellman
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsReligion; Music
Publication Number3523435

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