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A Music Theory Talk by guest Kurt Nelson

Event Date: 
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 1:00pm
Subject: Tadeusz Baird’s “Erotyki” and the Poetics of Musical Synthesis TIME & LOCATION: 1:25-2:15pm, Room 44, Music Wing, Fine Arts Center SPEAKER: Kurt C. Nelson holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree from Florida State University School of Music. He received the “Kozertexamen” in composition, the highest graduate certificate awarded by German music academies, for his studies at the Music Academy in Cologne, Germany. He is pursuing the PhD in music composition and theory at New York University, with support from the Kosciuszko Foundation and Fulbright Commission for his ongoing research in Poland on the music of Tadeusz Baird. TOPIC: Tadeusz Baird’s Erotyki for soprano and symphony orchestra of 1961 based on the poems of Małgorzata Hillar marks a point of unprecedented rigor in the composer’s stylistic evolution. The present analysis uncovers the underlying logic of this work as an austere interplay between elements of dodecaphony and sonorism. The principle sonoristic element in Erotyki is its use of sound masses that are formed by recurring groups of orchestral color. By and large, these sonorities are shaped by the staggered entry of individual pitches that almost always form chords of twelve distinct pitch-classes. However, an analysis of the melodic content of the entire work reveals four distinct 12-note series that bear little or no motivic relationship to the ordering principles that build the vertical sonorities. A comparison of the pitch structure of the vertical domain with that of the horizontal suggests that Baird deliberately maintained them as distinct elements of the piece. This analysis argues that Erotyki is based on a dialectical process whereby the organizing principle of the linear, melodic aspect of the work (dodecaphony) is juxtaposed to its vertical, sonoristic structures in a relationship of thesis and antithesis that ultimately concludes in synthesis. THIS EVENT IS FREE AND THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ATTEND.