Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Chris Goertzen

Advisor Department



This thesis investigates Sergei Rachmaninoff’s use of a musical theme, the Dies Irae chant, in his choral symphony Kolokola. I briefly introduce the Dies Irae theme, then examine how Rachmaninoff uses it to unify his choral work. I consider textual themes found in Edgar Allan Poe’s poems “The Bells” as well as how those themes are augmented in Konstantin Demetrievich Balmont’s Russian re-imagining of Poe’s poetry, the form set in Kolokola. The changes of the original poetry in the Russian translation are explored, with emphasis on how Rachmaninoff’s use of the Dies Irae emphasizes how conceptions of death permeate Balmont’s re-imagining of Poe’s poetry.

Included in

Music Commons