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Carmelo Pace (1906-1993): The career and creative achievement of a twentieth-century Maltese composer in social and cultural context

BUTTIGIEG, LYDIA (2014) Carmelo Pace (1906-1993): The career and creative achievement of a twentieth-century Maltese composer in social and cultural context. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis constitutes the first comprehensive study of the life and work of Carmelo Pace (1906-1993), one of the most significant figures in twentieth-century Maltese music. Pace’s extensive output includes contributions to every major genre, including operas, large-scale choral works, symphonies, concertos, and much chamber music. The compositional idiom of some of these works departed radically from the conservative idioms employed by his Maltese predecessors, who mostly confined themselves to writing Catholic liturgical music in a conservative tonal idiom. Working largely in isolation, Pace evolved a complex post-tonal language which evinces similarities with the styles of Schoenberg, Bartók, Hindemith and other leading modernist figures. The opening chapter sketches the social and cultural context in which Pace worked, as well as the development of the art music tradition in Malta into the twentieth century. Chapter 2 assembles such information as is known about Pace’s life and presents an overview of his career. An important subsidiary focus of these chapters is to depict the rather impoverished and culturally marginalised nature of Maltese musical life at this period and describe the challenges that these conditions created for Pace and his contemporaries. The remaining five chapters provides an overview of Pace’s creative contributions to major genres: orchestral and concertante works; chamber music; keyboard works; choral and vocal works; and stage works. The principal focus is on his post-tonal works, which represent his most noteworthy creative achievements. Representative examples of these works, including Piano Sonata No. 2 and String Quartet No. 7, are analysed in depth to illustrate key features of Pace’s post-tonal musical language and approach to formal organization.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Carmelo Pace, post-tonal theory, Catholic liturgical music, Maltese art music, autism, operas, chamber music, sonata, concertos, symphonies, choral and vocal works, Maltese culture
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Dec 2014 09:02

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