OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Choral Monuments: Studies of Eleven Choral Masterworks

ISBN : 9780190469023

Price(incl.tax): 
¥19,250
Author: 
Dennis Shrock
Pages
464 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Aug 2017
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Choral Monuments provides extensive material about eleven epoch-making choral masterworks that span the history of Western culture. Included are: Missa Pange lingua (Josquin Desprez); Missa Papae Marcelli (G. P. da Palestrina); B Minor Mass (J. S. Bach); Messiah (G. F. Handel); The Creation (Joseph Haydn); Symphony #9 (Ludwig van Beethoven); St. Paul (Felix Mendelssohn); Ein deutsches Requiem (Johannes Brahms); Messa da Requiem (Giuseppe Verdi); Mass (Igor Stravinsky); and War Requiem (Benjamin Britten). The works are presented in separate chapters, with each chapter divided into three basic sections-history, analysis, and performance practice. Discussions of history are focused on relevancies-the genesis of the designated work in reference to the composer's total choral output, the work's place within the musical environment and social climate of its time, and essential features of the work that make it noteworthy. In addition, the compositional history addresses three other factors: the work's public reception and critical response, both at the time of its composition and in ensuing years; the history of score publications, detailing the various differences between editions; and the texts of the composition. The material regarding textual treatment, which often includes the complete texts of the works being discussed, concentrates on primary concerns of the text's usage; also included in the discussion are noteworthy aspects of texts separate from the music as well as biographical details of librettists and poets, if appropriate. The analysis section of each chapter outlines and describes musical forms and other types of compositional organization, including parody technique, mirror structures, and motto repetitions, as well as salient compositional characteristics that directly relate and contribute to the work's artistic stature. Numerous charts and musical examples illustrate the discussions. The discussion of performance practices includes primary source quotations about a wide range of topics, from performing forces, tempo, and phrasing of each work to specific issues such as tactus, text underlay, musica ficta, metric accentuation, and ornamentation.

Index: 

Acknowledgements
Introduction

CHAPTER ONE
Josquin Desprez - Missa Pange Lingua
Biographical and Compositional Overview
Salient Compositional Characteristics
Imitation
Ostinatos
The Missa Pange lingua
Structure and Parody Technique
Performance Practice Considerations
Performing Forces
Meter, Tactus, and Tempo
Text Underlay
Musica Ficta and Musica Recta
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER TWO
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Missa Papae Marcelli
Biographical and Compositional Overview
The Papacy and the Counter-Reformation
The Missa Papae Marcelli
Musical Characteristics
Legacy
Performance Practice Considerations
Pitch and Performing Forces
Meter and Tactus
Oratorical Phrasing
Tempo
Musica Ficta
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER THREE
Johann Sebastian Bach - B Minor Mass
Biographical and Compositional Overview
Bach's Lutheran Masses
Parody Technique
The B Minor Mass
Parodies
Compositional Rationale
Manuscripts, Editions, and Performances
Formal and Musical Structures
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Agnus Dei
Summary
Performance Practice Considerations
Performing Forces
Meter and Tempo
Rhythmic Alteration
Ornamentation
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER FOUR
George Frideric Handel - Messiah
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Handel's Compositional Process
Speed of Writing, Parody Technique, and Revision of Works
The Libretto of Messiah
Formal and Musical Structures
Instrumental Movements
Recitatives
Solo Vocal Movements
Choruses
Performance Practice Considerations
Performing Forces and Stage Setup
Volume, Timbre, Pitch, and Vibrato
Metric Accentuation
Rhythmic Alteration
Recitative
Ornamentation
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER FIVE
Joseph Haydn - The Creation
Introduction
Genesis and Historical Perspective
The Text of The Creation
Musical Expression
Formal and Musical Structures
Performance Practice Considerations
Editions
Performing Forces and Stage Setup
Meter and Tempo
Metric Accentuation
Recitative
Ornamentation
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER SIX
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony #9
Introduction
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Schiller's An die Freude
Formal and Musical Structures
Expression
Performance Practice Considerations
Tempo
Metric Accentuation
Orchestration
Stage Setup
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER SEVEN
Felix Mendelssohn - St. Paul
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Reception of St. Paul
Compositional Historicism
The Text of St. Paul
Formal and Musical Structures
Recitatives
Turba Choruses
Arias
Choruses
Performance Practice Considerations
Introduction
Performance in German or English
Performing Forces and Stage Setup
Fermatas
Recitatives
Recommendations
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER EIGHT
Johannes Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Reception of the Requiem
Texts Set by Brahms Related to Those of the Requiem
The Texts Brahms Chose for the Requiem
Musical and Formal Structures
Performance Practice Considerations
Instrumentation, Timbre, and Vibrato
Metric Accentuation
Stage Setup
Tempo Fluctuation
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER NINE
Giuseppe Verdi - Messa da Requiem
Introduction
Genesis and Historical Perspective
The Text of the Requiem
Formal and Musical Structures
Structures Exhibited in Scoring
Structures of Individual Movements
Structures Related to Melodic Design
Performance Practice Considerations
Rhythm and Expressive Markings
Tempo
Performing Forces and Stage Setup
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER TEN
Igor Stravinsky - Mass
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Masses Based on Historic Models
The Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century
Stravinsky and Musical Styles of the Past
Oedipus rex and Babel
Symphony of Psalms and Canticum sacrum
Mass and Cantata
Formal and Musical Structures of the Mass
Kyrie and Agnus Dei
Gloria and Sanctus
Credo
Summary
Performance Practice Considerations
Text Setting
Performing Forces and Stage Setup
Summary
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Benjamin Britten - War Requiem
Introduction
Genesis and Historical Perspective
Wilfred Owen and his Poetry in the War Requiem
Musical Symbolism
Structural Symbolism
Movement 1 - Requiem Aeternam
Movement 2 - Dies Irae
Movement 3 - Offertorium
Movement 6 - Libera Me
Supplementary Structures
Performance Practice Considerations
Performing Forces
Stage Setup
Nationalities of the Vocal Soloists and Their Vocal Timbres
Acoustics
Addendum
Selected Bibliography
Appendix
Score Data

About the author: 

Dennis Shrock is widely acclaimed as a master teacher, scholar, and performer of choral music, being noted for his commitment to performance practices and being hailed for performances characterized for their technical precision, stylistic faithfulness, and musical expression. He has held numerous university residencies and is author of several books on choral music and performance practice, including Choral Repertoire (OUP 2009) and Choral Scores (OUP 2015).

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