The Prominence of Hebrew Syntax in Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms"
AuthorFinch, Scott Matthew
AdvisorChamberlain, Bruce B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractLeonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918-October 14, 1990) had a fascination with language that was clear to his family from his childhood. He was raised in a Jewish home with parents who fostered an understanding of the Hebrew language as well as musical artistry. By the time he was commissioned to compose Chichester Psalms for the Chichester Cathedral in 1965, his understanding of Hebrew poetry was considerable. Bernstein’s compositional approach in this work was influenced not only by his musical training but also by his heritage and culture, including his literary knowledge. Scholars have explored the diversity of styles and text-painting in the Chichester Psalms. This author’s intent is to provide analysis of Bernstein’s use of Hebrew poetic forms to organize his composition. His understanding of Hebrew syntax is apparent in his sequencing and arrangement of the texts. In his careful and creative approach to setting these texts, Bernstein is able to highlight the themes of peace and unity that are the focus of the chosen verses in their original form.
Degree ProgramGraduate College