Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Fritz Bennicke Hart: an introduction to his life and music
    Tregear, Peter John ( 1993)
    This thesis presents a broad study of the life, times and creative output of the English born Australian composer Fritz Bennicke Hart (1874-1949) concentrating on the formative period of Australian cultural history in which he lived and contributed. It examines and evaluates Hart's particular personal achievements, relationships with his contemporaries, and his work for various Melbourne and Hawaiian musical institutions. It argues that the creative output of Hart, particularly that associated with the Celtic revival, reveals much about contemporary perceptions of Australian identity and culture. The thesis includes an introductory contextual examination of Hart's music. A comprehensive cross-referenced catalogue of all known manuscript sources of Hart's music, including a detailed description of the manuscript sources of his operas, is included as an Appendix.
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    A critical study of the life and works of E. J. Moeran
    McNeill, Rhoderick John ( 1982)
    Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950) was the last prominent British folk song collector/composer in the short-lived British ‘Romantic-Nationalist’ tradition. Like his older contemporaries Vaughan Williams and Bax, Moeran was highly susceptible to the influence of his environment. In Moeran’s case, the topography of East Norfolk and County Kerry, as well as the folk songs of both regions, were important influences on his music. Moeran emerges as a warm, unsophisticated personality with the ability to make friends easily. However, he was also prone to periods of deep depression, poor health and impulsive heavy drinking. His lifestyle could be described as wayward and unsettled. Musically, Moeran was a comparatively late developer. His musicfirst came to the attention of the music public during the years 1923-1925. This early reputation was built largely on his songs, piano pieces, chamber works and short orchestral rhapsodies. Later, during the 1930's, he focused his attention on the composition of large scale orchestral works, beginning with the Symphony in G minor. By the time Moeran was 50, he was considered to be amongst the most significant British composers of his period. Rather than being an original innovative composer, it would seem in retrospect that Moeran assimilated many of the idioms of his time into his own personal style. For example, Moeran's stylistic characteristics include modal melodies and harmonies, added-note chords, semitonal voice-leading, complex chromaticism, chords built on superimposed fourths, frequent use of ostinatos, cross relations, parallel harmonic progressions and bitonal chords and passages. His most substantial works, especiallythe Symphony in G minor, the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, the Sinfonietta and some of his chamber music and songs, are notable for their attractive, expressive themes and rich harmonic language. Compared with his better known contemporaries, Moeran emerges as a composer of secondary but, nevertheless, considerable importance. This thesis attempts to :(a) record Moeran's biography in as much detail as possible;(b) examine all of the composer's extant music, including some unpublished pieces.The appendices include a critical edition of over 300 Moeran letters, a Catalogue raisonne, and a section on manuscript sources.