Dissertation Index

Author: Douw, Andre, M.

Title: The Construction of Order and Direction in Igor Stravinsky's In Memoriam Dylan Thomas, Canticum Sacrum, and Threni

Institution: Utrecht University

Begun: July 1989

Completed: March 1995


This study presents complete analyses of In Memoriam Dylan Thomas, Canticum Sacrum and Threni. In the material tables of the period, the original set is connected with its inversed reversion in In Memoriam Dylan Thomas and Canticum Sacrum, and with its inversion in Threni. Numbered zero, this original double set is transposed by falling fifths, and the transpositions are numbered 1 to 11. While the transposition sceme is traced back to Webern's Variations for Orchestra, the additional technical idea of double sets is taken from Schoenberg, as is the structural idea of equivalence. Enriched with the Stravinskyan concept of implication, the technique enabled the composer to create connections between remote parts of the compositions. This method was also used to create two layers of organisation in Canticum Sacrum and three in Threni.

A motivation is proposed which explains the great number of non-serial irregularities in the scores. They constitute another system of organization next to the first. A comparison is made with compositions from earlier periods of Stravinsky's creative life where styles and techniques of other composers were 'Stravinskyfied' by means of changes in the text. The hypothesis is that this system was developed simultaneously with the development of the serial technique and that both techniques reached their apogee in Threni.

The suggestion is made to regard the scores as written texts rather than as scripts for a performance. The notation of accidentals, measure numbers and double barrings refer to 'deeper' levels of organisation. This is increasingly the case in the course of the research period and probably thereafter. The notation of accidentals points at a consciousness of late Renaissance problems of equal temperament while the notation of double barrings in Threni refer to the existence of several layers of organization and to the message encoded by those levels.

Keywords: Stravinsky, serialism, equivalence, implication, constructionism, order, direction


CHAPTER I: Technical Background

1 Introduction

2 Change of style
a. The traditional approach
b. Some new proposals

3 Technique
a. The original sets
b. The material charts
c. Equivalence and implication

4 Text and subtext
a. Two examples
b. Two levels of organisation
c. Stasis

5 Inconsistencies
a. The traditional approach
b. A new approach
c. Rotations

6 Visualisation
a. Accidentals
b. Measure numberings
c. Crosses

7 Conclusion
a. Survey
b. Conclusions

CHAPTER II: In Memoriam Dylan Thomas

1 Introduction

2 Technique
a. The traditional approach
b. A proposal for a new approach
c. Set and material tables - 1

3 Analysis
a. Dirge-Canons
b. Song: ritornelli
c. Song: the even forms
d. Song: the odd forms
e. Serial inconsistencies
f. Notation
g. Construction

4 Conclusions
a. Use of numbers
b. Set and material tables - 2
c. Stravinsky, Thomas and Webern

CHAPTER III: Canticum Sacrum ad Honorem Sancti
Marci Nominis

1 Introduction

2 Level I: Analysis
a. Dedicatio
b. Movement I: Euntes in Mundum
c. Movement II: Surge, Aquilo
d. Movement III:De Tres Virtutes Hortationes
e. Movement IV: Brevis Motus Cantilenae
f. Movement V: Illi


Andre M. Douw
Sweelinck Conservatory
van Baerlestraat 27
1071 AN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
telephone: 020 - 6647641
telefax: 020 - 6761506

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