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Durham e-Theses
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The choral music of Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924 and the press c.1875-1925

Smith, Peter John (2008) The choral music of Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924 and the press c.1875-1925. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

This detailed survey of Stanford's choral music is divided into two parts. Part One outlines those influences in the composer's family background and career path that encouraged him to produce so much music for choirs, both sacred and secular, and seeks to contextualise the British cultural environment in which he lived and worked. The sight-singing movement of the 1840s and the rapid spread of choral singing, the development of parish church choirs, choral societies and musical festivals, the slower improvement of musical standards in cathedrals and college chapels, and the growth of music publishing are each examined in turn, with frequent reference to Stanford himself. A complete chapter is devoted to the rapid expansion of the press and the steady evolution of musical journalism during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Part Two contains a chronological examination of Stanford's choral output with particular emphasis on the reception of individual works by critics and the general public, making direct and extensive reference to critical articles in more than forty different newspapers and journals. From this evidence attempts are made to identify the most and least successful of the composer's choral works. A concluding chapter refers to the English Musical Renaissance and Stanford's recognised status as one of its chief protagonists, and also examines the concept of academicism (or 'cleverness') and its impact upon critical appraisal of the composer's works, especially from Shaw and his disciples. Three appendices provide statistical and factual information on Stanford's choral output, and include some material not previously available in published writings on the composer.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Music
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:33

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