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Title: The music for Rameau's memorial services : a study and critical edition of the Messe des morts by Jean Gilles, as performed in 1764
Author: Hammond, John Edward
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis focuses on alterations made in 1764 to the Messe des morts by Jean Gilles for performances at memorial services held in Paris to honour Jean-Philippe Rameau. For this commemoration two extracts from Rameau’s opera Castor et Pollux were set to sacred texts and included in the Messe, and a third addition was made, the source of which has been traced to an aria by the Italian composer Domenico Alberti. The suitability of these contrafacta is discussed both from a musical and a liturgical viewpoint. New parts for muffled drums and for orchestral horns were added to the Messe, and the role of the bassoons was expanded. These and other alterations, such as cuts, rhythmic changes and strengthening of parts, are examined by comparing the 1764 version of the Messe with the published critical edition of an earlier version. A review of extant manuscripts reveals that ideas for some of the alterations in 1764 may have originated in an arrangement of the Introit of the Messe, made by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer, which was first performed in Paris in November 1750. On this occasion only the Introit was performed, and not the complete work, as previously reported. Discovered with two sets of performing parts for the Messe des morts were parts for a setting of the Dies irae by Louis Homet, suggesting that this piece was performed with Gilles’ composition when required. In an attempt to show how widely the Messe was used in France, an appendix containing details of performances has been compiled from various sources. Part II of the thesis contains the first critical edition of the 1764 version of the Messe des morts, together with a section on aspects of performance.
Supervisor: Sadler, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music