Last Wave Reached and Register, Harmony, and Phrase Design in Webern's Op. 24 and Op. 27
Last Wave Reached:
Last Wave Reached is a setting of poems by Kay Ryan , U.S. poet laureate, 2008 - 2010, for three female singers and large chamber ensemble. Ryan writes compact, intricate miniatures full of unexpected rhymes and alliterations, odd meters, playful word choices, and penetrating imagery. In this spirit, Last Wave Reached unfolds as a series of distinct musical vignettes, each one evoking a single world of sound. The language is succinct, and instrumentation varies widely from movement to movement. Overall, the piece explores themes of repetition, return, finality and (im)permanence.
Register, Harmony, and Phrase Design in Webern's Op. 24 and Op. 27:
Many analyses of Webern's mature music have considered pitch-class relations in depth, but few authors have explored Webern's rich use of registral pitch space. Furthermore, little has been written about the design of individual Webernian phrases. In "Register, Harmony, and Phrase Design in Webern's Op. 24 and Op. 27," I make steps towards filling both gaps. In section 1, I focus on the first movement of the Op. 24 Concerto, show how Webern groups row forms by trichordal and hexachordal invariance, and demonstrate that invariant harmony interacts meaningfully with register to shape the global form of the movement. In section 2, I broaden my scope to demonstrate that register also plays a crucial role in shaping phrases and creating cadences throughout Opp. 24 and 27. In addition to intrinsic, pitch-based approaches, I show that we must consider extrinsic factors like rhythm, tempo, and articulation to arrive at a full understanding of Webern's phrasal technique.
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