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Title:A Study of Selected Chorale-Based Organ Works of Siegfried Reda
Author(s):Bernthal, John Paul
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Siegfried Reda (1916-1968) is an important figure in the history of German church music of the twentieth century. Reda's concern that church music be truly contemporary lead him to address current stylistic developments of composers such as Hindemith, Stravinsky, Schonberg, Berg, and Webern. As a culmination of his stylistic development, Reda applied serial techniques to the composition of chorale-based music.
A basic theoretical problem is inherent in a synthesis of serial techniques and chorale-based materials. The latter are strongly rooted in a tonal and modal context and would seem to be out of place in a serial work employing chromatic, atonal language. The author attempts to discover the means employed in achieving such a synthesis and the relative success of the endeavor. A secondary issue concerns Reda's stylistic development leading up to his late period serial works.
Three chorale-based organ works were chosen for study: Choralkonzert III: Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam from the early period (1938-49), Vorspiele zu den Psalmliedern des E.K.G. from the middle period (1951-57), and Choralfantasie: Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr from the late period (1960-68). Topics explored include the manner of presentation of the chorale cantus firmus and the relationship of accompanying voices to it, the function of the chorale cantus firmus, and the structural elements employed in a work.
Chorale-based organ works from Reda's early period demonstrate the stylistic influence of Hugo Distler, his teacher. Cantus firmus techniques in the Choralkonzert III include the use of a cantus planus as well as fore-imitation, internal expansion, and motivic extension of chorale phrases.
Reda's emerging style is clearly shown in organ works from his middle period. The preferred method of chorale presentation in the Vorspiele is the cantus firmus paraphrase, in which the chorale serves as a Grundgestalt (basic shape) for the formation of motives and phrases.
In the late period works Reda's mature style is shown in the distillation of materials and the free adaptation of serial techniques. In the Choralfantasie the chorale cantus firmus is an autonomous element coexisting with other important elements. Chorale-based materials and serial techniques are combined in two ways: the chorale cantus firmus is juxtaposed with the surrounding atonal polyphony or chorale melody notes are included in set-forms or twelve-tone collections.
Issue Date:1982
Description:217 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209546
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1982

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