Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Department

Music

Committee Chair

Dr. Maryann Kyle

Committee Chair Department

Music

Committee Member 2

Dr. J. Taylor Hightower

Committee Member 2 Department

Music

Committee Member 3

Dr. Larry Smith

Committee Member 3 Department

Music

Committee Member 4

Dr. Edward Hafer

Committee Member 4 Department

Music

Committee Member 5

Dr. Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 5 Department

Music

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold: to discuss the nationalistic characteristics in Gerald Finzi’s life and in his mature compositional style, and to discuss both the beliefs he held and the struggles he faced during his life, and how these themes are integrated into his work for voice and piano Before and after Summer, op. 16.

Before and after Summer was not conceived as a cycle, but its songs are tied together by similar poetic themes and emotional impact, so despite the fact they were composed as individual entities they form a coherent collection from beginning to end.

Chapter II will discuss British nationalism as a way of life for Finzi, as exhibited in his day-to-day living, his values, and his music. Finzi’s nationalism will be explored in his music through of discussion of the pastoral stylistic tendencies found in his cycle Before and After Summer, a mature work for Finzi, comprised of songs written primarily within the mid to late 1940’s (Finzi died in 1956). His style will be discussed in terms of poetry choice, melody, texture, accompaniment, and atmosphere.

Chapters III, IV, and V will discuss themes of inner conflict that resonated throughout Finzi’s life and are likewise reflected in Before and after Summer. Some of the most salient aspects of Finzi’s identity, these themes include religion and dogma, war and pacifism, and youth versus the passing of time. The events that shaped these themes will be discussed as will the means by which they were translated into artistic terms. The presence of these themes in Before and after Summer will be traced as will the style and compositional techniques Finzi uses to effectively communicate the themes.

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