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Title:The Choral Music of Edwin R. Fissinger (Illinois, North Dakota)
Author(s):Logan, P. Bradley
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Music
Abstract:The focus of this study is to explore the components which create Edwin Fissinger's compositional style and to examine in detail a few of his original compositions. The choral music of Fissinger exhibits a style that is readily recognizable by those who are familiar with his works. One need only reflect upon the individual qualities of the music to understand his important contribution to the choral art.
Edwin Fissinger was a student of the eminent American composer Leo Sowerby. He has had an active career as conductor/composer for thirty-seven years. His teaching career includes the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago (1947-1954), University of Illinois, Chicago Circle (1957-1967), and North Dakota State University (1967-1985). Primarily because of his involvement in university education, his compositional focus is on concert choral literature, for the most part a cappella works or those with limited accompanimental forces. Fissinger's contribution of quality literature to this medium is substantial.
Chapter one contains Fissinger's biography. The second chapter, "Compositional Style," is the principle focus of this study. The various components that create his musical signature are discussed as they pertain to four general areas: harmony, textures and voicings, text orientation, and structural devices. Chapter three consists of a discussion of three of Fissinger's most substantive works: "Something Has Spoken To Me In The Night" (1978), "To Everything There Is A Season" (1976), and "Lux Aeterna" (1982). Included in this chapter are the complete performance scores of these pieces. Chapter four examines various influences on Fissinger's style, in particular, Leo Sowerby and jazz. Chapter five deals with aspects of notation which may be ambiguous or problematic to the uninitiated performer, such as cutoffs on tied eighth notes and the composer's intent concerning the equal division of forces within a six to eight part vocal texture. An appendix contains a chronological catalogue of his choral music, original compositions and arrangements. The list also indicates the voicing and solos; accompaniment; source of text; publisher and date of copyright; and the dedication or commission.
Fissinger's choral music has enjoyed a dramatic increase in appreciation and exposure since the mid-1970's. A period of recognition has begun, and it is hoped that his place will be firmly established as a composer of significance.
Issue Date:1987
Description:307 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711829
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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