Poetry as Text in Twentieth Century Vocal Music From Stravinsky to Reich

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This work explores the many aesthetic and theoretical issues that arise when poems are set to music. Is a setting a hybrid form, a support for the text, or simply a piece of music? All such inquiry is an effort to define, and then either integrate or resolve the tension that is the driving force of the musical setting. This explores the differing aesthetic theories and tests them against the practice of modern composers. Topics include: speech rhythms in music; Ezra Pound and music; Shakespeare's Sonnets; Recitations with music - Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Baraka; Stravinsky -- Shakespeare Songs, "In Memoriam Dylan Thomas," Symphony of Psalms; "The Tyger", settings by Britten and Thomson; Emily Dickinson/Aaron Copland; more.


" . . . a well written and researched volume. Notes, sources, and illustrations are ample throughout, and Coroniti uses them effectively to support an intelligent and reasonable study of word-music relations. . . those interested in the problems of setting poetry to music can find this to be a provocative, useful volume for its examination of relevant theory and direct application to certain works that are not generally considered elsewhere." - Ars Lyrica (VIII, 1994)

"Throughout, the book raises a raft of theoretical issues. . . . This is an opened-ended work, posing many questions but unwilling to fix answers in either a historical or a theoretical cement. Instead, it explores possibilities with as open a mind as a working contemporary composer can bring to rumination on the act of creation in which he is currently engaged. And for that alone it is a valuable contribution." - Louis E. Aule, Editor, Ars Lyrica

"His training and expertise enable him to tackle the myriad elements which come into play in the study of song. Active as a composer and performer, he presents a thoughtful consideration of theory and two types of practice in his examination of music and texts. . . . His detailed knowledge of theorists and composers is complemented by his deft command of the musical and poetic elements required for the substantial study he has produced. . . . While his work is rich with ideas and examples, it also compels others interested in this field to wield an appropriate tool in continuing to prepare the ground for future sowing." - Ellen J. Burns

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