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Performing Duruflé’s 'Veni creator' Op. 4: Influences, issues and ideals

Price, Gareth Idwal John 2018. Performing Duruflé’s 'Veni creator' Op. 4: Influences, issues and ideals. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Historically informed performance of French organ music from the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries can be a difficult thing to achieve on a non-French instrument. Discrepancies in general organ character and specific stop timbre, the organ’s location within the building, and issues of console management are all areas which need addressing when playing on an instrument which is not of the style and layout of a typical Cavaillé-Coll organ. This study will explore the issues connected with the realisation of an historically informed performance of such a work on a modern British instrument. Connected with explicit issues such as registration, adapted tempi and educated amendments to the score, areas including the underlying influences composers were exposed to are considered. Included amongst these are the renaissance in interest and use of plainchant at the time, the striving for a corpus of French organ works to rival that of the German Baroque, and the impact the orgue symphonique had upon a generation of composers starting with César Franck, passing through Charles-Marie Widor and Louis Vierne, and moving on to the next generation seen in composers such as Maurice Duruflé and Olivier Messiaen. As an example of how these elements can be addressed and integrated within a specific piece, Duruflé’s Prélude, adagio et choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni creator’ Op. 4 is explored. In addition to the issues outlined above, this work’s role within his early recital programming and how it reflects his musical genealogy and influences is examined. Contrasting performances of the work (including Duruflé’s own and one on a typical British organ) are scrutinised and used to support points discussed. Finally, the outcomes of this study are used to inform a performance of this work as part of the recital element of this study. The full programme is a recreation of one Duruflé gave in Louviers in 1926. Central to this was a performance of his recently composed Variations sur le Veni creator, the first performed incarnation of what was to become his Op. 4. The original programme further enlightens a study of the influences Duruflé was exposed to not least as it includes works by his immediate French forebears, as well as music by composers of the French and German Baroque.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2019
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 01:34

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