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Title:Frank Martin's "golgotha"
Author(s):Melroy, Mardia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ringer, Alexander L.
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Religion, Biblical Studies
Abstract:This thesis examines the Golgotha oratorio, composed by Frank Martin at the height of his creative power. It succeeds Le Vin herbe, in which Martin reached a compositional style that satisfied him, and In Terra Pax, his first oratorio on Biblical texts. Writing immediately following World War II, the composer reflects a reaction to the catastrophe of the war years similar to that of other composers who created a sacred work of major dimensions. Although little known in America, Golgotha deserves a place in the history of the Passion.
Chapter 1 and 2 discuss the life and choral output of Martin while chapter 3 describes Golgotha in detail. The various aspects of its style are analyzed in chapter 4. A consideration of performance matters precedes the concluding chapter. Appendices include information about Martin's choral compositions including a discography and a translation of his article entitled "Le compositeur moderne et les textes sacres."
Martin's eclectic style defies categorization. In Golgotha he employs a limited harmonic vocabulary within an expanded tonality. The work manifests a variety of techniques including sequence, ostinato, chord streams, pedal point, and occasional twelve-tone procedures. Nonfunctional root movement is offset by tonal pillars that have functional relationships. Martin achieves unity by combining cyclic methods with formal structures that are delineated through manipulation of textures. Golgotha displays similarities to the works of J. S. Bach in its architectural features, the initial threefold "Pere", and the juxtaposition of styles. Martin's affinity with Debussy is evident in his nonfunctional harmony, his ability to create sound pictures, and his skill in setting text. He respects the natural flow of the spoken language, and allows the Passion story to be heard with maximum clarity.
Issue Date:1988
Description:314 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908777
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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