Fartein Valen. Life and music

Kortsen, Bjarne (1965) Fartein Valen. Life and music. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This is the first comprehensive study on Fartein Valen's life and work ever undertaken. It is in four volumes with a biography, a discussion of the music with musical examples and an appendix section providing the reader with texts of songs, motets and poems forming the inspiration for some orchestral pieces and the Second Piano Sonata. Fartein Valen was the only twelve-note composer in Scandinavia at the time when Schoenberg, Berg and Webern were trying out the principles of twelve-note composition. With his First String Quartet, Op. 10, he established a highly personal twelve-note style based on the elaboration of some given motifs or themes rather than a strict rotation of a series. His music is, therefore, freer and perhaps more traditional than the music of the Vienna School (Schoenberg, Berg and Webern). Traditional also is the use of classical forms like, e.g., the sonata form, where the usual 'modulation section (Durchfuhrung) is replaced by a contrast of the original and inverted forms in particular of motifs or themes from the principal section. Valen`s music is described as 'motivic working' of a twelve-note melody where the melody lines meet on dissonances on the strong beat of the bar without being resolved into consonances. In some works, and in particular in the keyboard music, many examples have been detected of a central key-note for a piece. In the conclusion of the biography it was observed that Valen in sill his music was a true romantic artist and that his music could be described as a synthesis of Baroque, Classisism and Romanticism, but stamped with a personal feeling which to a certain extent also reflected his roots in Norwegian nature.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Robin Orr
Keywords: Music history
Date of Award: 1965
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1965-73651
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73651

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