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A.J. Potter (1918-1980): The career and creative achievement of an Irish composer in social and cultural context

Zuk, Patrick (2007) A.J. Potter (1918-1980): The career and creative achievement of an Irish composer in social and cultural context. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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A. J. Potter (1918-1980) was one of the most significant composers working in Ireland in the latter part of the twentieth century. This thesis surveys his career and creative achievement, which have not hitherto been subjected to detailed scrutiny. The opening chapter presents a biographical overview: its first part outlines the circumstances of Potter's childhood and early adulthood, including his studies with Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music in London, his period of service in the British Army during World War II and his subsequent three-year sojourn in Africa; the second continues the narrative from 1951, when he settled permanently in Ireland, up to his death in 1980. In addition to detailing events of note in his private and professional life, an important subsidiary focus of this section is to depict the impoverished and culturally marginalised nature of Irish musical life at this period and describe the frustrations that these conditions engendered for the composer and his contemporaries. The remaining chapters are devoted to an examination of Potter's major works. Chapter 2 considers four student compositions that were written or conceived in the late 1930s and were subsequently revised when he resumed composing in 1949 after a creative silence of over a decade. Chapter 3 is divided in two parts: the first delineates the salient features of his mature creative aesthetic, while the second provides an account of his later orchestral works. The remaining chapters explore his choral music and stage works, which, in addition to the scores previously described, constitute his most noteworthy achievements.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:57

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