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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: The development of symphonic sonata form from Mahler to Shostakovich
Degree Type: PhD
Degree Specialism: Other
Supervisor(s): Professor Julian Horton
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: April 2011
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: University College Dublin
Persons / Composers: Mahler, Schoenberg, Sibelius, Nielsen, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Prokofiev, Shostakovich
Genres / Musical Instruments: The 19th and 20th century symphony
Related Places: Austria/Germany, Scandinavia, England, Soviet Russia
Time Frame: Late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Key Issues / Concepts: A critical assessment of sonata form in symphonic structures of the late nineteeth and early twentieth centuries.
Abstract: It is the aim of this thesis to scrutinise the progression of the symphony from Austro-German hegemony in the nineteenth century, to multi-national diversification in the first half of the twentieth century, using first-movement sonata forms of representative works as developmental indicators. The central argument will address these formal matters, and also concepts of both nationalism and modernism; conscious of the plurality of these paradigms I do propose a model of a single definitive ‘modernist’ symphony, but rather explore a selection of symphonic modernisms from an analytical perspective, with a view to discovering whether these developments can be recognised as revitalising the symphony in the twentieth century, as individual symphonic modernisms, or whether they are only synthetic representations of an Austro-German tradition that remains in the past.

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Current Institution Affiliation: University College Dublin
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