Holy Sonnets: La Corona of Louise Talma: Selected Elements of Texture, Technique, and Text

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura McDonald Moore (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Welborn Young

Abstract: Louise Talma (1906-1996) was a respected American composer of the mid-twentieth century with a substantial musical oeuvre in a variety of genres including keyboard music, instrumental works for large and small ensembles, solo vocal and choral works, and opera. While other compositions, most notably her piano works, have received moderate attention in terms of scholarly discussion, performance, and publication, her choral and vocal works remain virtually unexplored. This document examines Talma's seven-movement choral cycle Holy Sonnets: La Corona, composed in 1954-55 on poetry of John Donne. This cycle was the first choral work composed by Talma that incorporated serial techniques into her existing neoclassical style. By studying selected elements of texture, serial technique, and text in this work, scholars and performers can gain a greater understanding of her compositional style, and be motivated to explore, study, and perform other choral works of Louise Talma. Chapter I presents the current state of research on Talma, her style and compositions. A biography of Talma, a summary of her general compositional characteristics, and information on the commissioning and composition of the choral cycle La Corona are included in Chapter II. Chapter III provides a brief biography of John Donne, with commentary on his literary style and particular emphasis on the structure and language of the sonnet cycle "La Corona." Chapter IV is an analysis of selected examples of texture, serial technique, and text-setting in La Corona. Chapter V discusses specific performance challenges found in the work. Five appendices complete this study. Appendix A presents Holy Sonnets: La Corona in an engraved edition which uses Sibelius music software and includes a piano reduction and brief commentary on the editorial approach. Appendix B contains the text of "La Corona" by John Donne. Reproductions of original tone row materials from the Talma Collection at the Library of Congress are included in Appendix C. Appendix D lists Louise Talma's choral works in order by date, and provides title, date, text sources, performing forces, publication information, and location and availability of holographic materials. Appendix E is a letter from The MacDowell Colony granting permission to use La Corona materials in this document.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Holy Sonnets: La Corona, Louise Talma, secular chorus, John Donne, sonnets
Talma, Louise, $d 1906-1996. $t Corona
Donne, John, $d 1572-1631 $v Musical settings.
Choruses, Secular.
Talma, Louise, $d 1906-1996.
Composers $z united states $y twentieth century.

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