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CALIFORNIA STATE UNNERSITY, NORTIIRIDGE
ABSTRACT
OF
GRADUATE RECITAL
by
Scott Francis Roper
December 1992
The Abstract of Scott Francis Roper is approved:
David W~ Scott
Judith,.Scott
Linda Stones, Chair-
California State University, Northridge
ii
In
the songs of John Dowland,
the transparent texture of the
guitar's polyphonic accompaniment together with the poetic lyricism
of the
vocal line
make an excellent intimate beginning set in
recital.
In contrast, Bellini's bel canto
developed vocal
melodies have much more
lines than those of earlier periods such
Dowland's. Along with Donizetti,
as
Bellini is instrumental in the
expansion of the vocal repertoire which reached a culminating point
in the operas of Verdi. He is known for his long melancholy legato
phrases with very little repetition of motives. Though the three
Italian songs presented in the recital are not part of his operatic
output, they are an excellent representation of the individual style
of his cantabile vocal writing.
Because of the extensive corrections
and emendations in his autographed scores, it is believed by some
that he was, more than his contemporaries, dedicated to the perfect
union of words and music.
Berlioz' Melodies lrlandaises. Opus 2 is considered to be the
first group of melodies.
Although the genre was not fully developed
until the publication of Schubert's Lieder in France,
these pieces
have a personal charm and are stylistically comparable to the
famous French song form.
In the music of
Jules Massenet , one may see the traits of
earlier French composers such as Monsigny, Thomas and Gounod. His
melodies have been described as lyrical, tender,
penetrating,
sweetly sensuous, rounded in contours, sentimental, and often
melancholy. He excelled in the depiction of passionate love which
1
explains the popularity of the beautiful and touching aria,
"En
fermant les yeux", from Manon.
Although
Benjamin
Britten
never fully embraced twentieth
century trends, such as twelve-tone technics and serialism, some of
his works such as Sinfonjetta and The Turn of the Screw
bear the
influence of Schoenberg and Berg. He reacted to 'modern' trends in a
way that is referred to as neo-classic. His phrase structures are
often
diatonically constructed, vocal in origin, and based on triadic
harmonies, however, he also used multi-tonality and tonal ambiguity
as tools of expression.
At times these elements present the singer
with a difficult challenge in the execution of rhythms and melodies.
Britten's
instrumental
personal
timbres
style
and
he
was
often
particularly
experimented
sensitive
with
to
unusual
combinations of instruments such as his use of French horn and
tenor voice in the Serenade.
Moreover, Britten's setting of Classical
poetry provides a vivid musical depiction of
fears.
2
nocturnal fantasies and