Dissertation Index

Author: Schubert, Joseph E.

Title: The Solo Organ Works of Jean-Jacques Grunenwald:
Style Analysis and Context within the Twentieth-century French Organ Culture

Institution: Claremont Graduate University

Begun: April 2012

Completed: October 2018


The career of French organist Jean-Jacques Grunenwald (1911-1982) encompassed church work, concertizing, recording, teaching, and composing. His compositional career began in his mid-twenties, and was given a boost by his winning of the Second Grand Prix de Rome in 1939. His compositions included piano music, organ music, two piano concerti, an organ concerto, symphonic and other orchestral pieces, works for chorus and orchestra, music for French television and cinema, and an opera.

It is to his solo organ works that this dissertation is dedicated. It will be shown that Grunenwald’s musical language is derived mainly from techniques and vocabularies that had their lineage in late Romanticism, French Impressionism, and cantus, and were influenced by the liturgical requirements and customs of pre-Vatican II French Catholicism, the capabilities of the French symphonic organs of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and instruments of the neo-classical revival exemplified in new organs and re-builds by Victor Gonzalez.

Analyses of Grunenwald’s solo organ works will utilize precepts of Jan LaRue, triad and seventh-chord transformation theory as described by Richard Cohn, scale networks as theorized by Dmitri Tymoczko—including the use of modes and synthetic scales, especially the octatonic scale—and harmonic relationships and voice-leading pathways exemplified on W. A. Mathieu’s chord lattice. Harmonic relationships and color will be quantified by the author’s original methodology, which applies a Cartesian coordinate system to Mathieu’s lattice and Tymoczko’s scale networks, and employs matrix subtraction.

Keywords: triadic transformations, Tonnetz, positional analysis, parsimonious voice-leading, scale networks, cantus, pipe organ, Grunenwald, modes, octatonic


Chapter One—Introduction
Chapter Two—Biography of Jean-Jacques Grunenwald
Chapter Three—Overview and Explanation of Analytical Procedures
Chapter Four—The First Published Organ Compositions
Chapter Five—Liturgical Works
Chapter Six—Miscellaneous Free Works
Chapter Seven—Radical Departures: Commissions for Festival and Concours
Chapter Eight—Conclusions: Grunenwald in Summary and Context


Joseph Schubert

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