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Title: Agency, physicality, space : analytical approaches to contemporary Nordic concertos
Author: Munk, James N.
ISNI:       0000 0003 6794 9061
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The concerto enjoys a position of centrality within the oeuvres of many contemporary Nordic composers: the genre often functions as a vehicle for the exploration of advanced compositional techniques and aesthetic preoccupations, and the resulting works are well-represented on recordings and in the concert hall. Yet this repertory has largely been neglected in scholarship. Through detailed analysis of works by Per Nørgård, Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, this thesis develops analytical technologies for a genre which has received less musicological attention than it deserves. Placing a particular emphasis on the theatrical aspects of concerto performance, the project explores the application of three lines of enquiry, each of which has been theorised in some detail: agency (Cone, Maus, Cumming), physicality (Clarke, Cox, Larson), and space (Brower, Williams). Each of these lines of enquiry has been directed at the concerto sporadically, if at all – even though concertos make particularly compelling and potentially enriching case studies for the theoretical models in question. This thesis represents the first sustained attempt to explore the concerto with reference to these bodies of literature. The analytical models developed have wider applicability, to concertos both within and without the Nordic arena. I draw attention at numerous points to ways in which they can illuminate works by Ligeti, Birtwistle, Musgrave, Berio, and Lutosƚawski, among others. The project also has wider implications for our understandings of Nordic identity, virtuosity, and musical modernism at the turn of the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Grimley, Daniel M. Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music ; 20th Century music ; 21st Century music ; Performance