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Durham e-Theses
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Elgar as post-Wagnerian: a study of Elgar's assimilation of Wagner’s music and methodology

Meadows, Laura Α. (2008) Elgar as post-Wagnerian: a study of Elgar's assimilation of Wagner’s music and methodology. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In this thesis I examine the relationship between the compositional method of Elgar and that of Wagner.. To some, this is a discourse that has always had an obvious answer: Elgar is a post-Wagnerian composer. However, this seems an inadequate response, for there has been very little analysis of exactly how Elgar was post-Wagnerian. It is this question ― of how Elgar was post-Wagnerian - with which this thesis is primarily concerned. Evidence is presented that Elgar was, firstly, profoundly influenced by Wagner from an early age and this influence gradually infiltrated his compositional thoughts. Elgar’s Wagnerism affected almost every facet of his compositional life and in this thesis three of these areas are dissected in detail: leitmotif manipulation, harmony and orchestration. In addition to this, the background to Elgar’s Wagnerism is closely examined - how the movement became so influential in England in the 1880s, the level of contact Elgar had with Wagner's music during his most impressionable years and why Elgar succeeded in absorbing Wagner's musical language, when so many other British composers attempted to emulate his style and process yet fundamentally misunderstood it.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:29

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