An Analysis of Musical Style and Cecilian Idealism in the Latin-Texted Motets of Camille Saint-Saëns
AuthorGlysson, Scott Douglas
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.
AbstractThe Cecilian movement was a reactionary movement made up of composers who sought to restore the musical principles of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by placing emphasis back on the liturgy, reviving the idea that the music should be subservient to the text. In his article "The Cecilian Movement in the Nineteenth Century: A Summary of the Movement," Patrick Liebergen introduces the term "Cecilian Ideal" as a means of describing the way in which Franz Liszt and Anton Bruckner incorporated elements of Cecilianism into their compositions. Though the two composers never belonged to the Cäcilien-Verband für Deutschland, analysis of various style features commonly found in their music reveals that they accomplished many of the goals of the Cecilian movement while retaining their own individual compositional styles. Analysis of the Latin-texted choral motets of Camille Saint-Saëns reveals that they share stylistic features that were endorsed by the Cecilian movement. That these features were a result of conscious decisions made by the composer is suggested by the fact that similar style traits were praised by Saint-Saëns in two articles he wrote about liturgical music that were published near the end of his life. Moreover, Patrick Liebergen already has shown that many of the Saint-Saëns' beliefs can be understood through the application of what he terms the "Cecilian Ideal" concept. The Latin-texted choral motets of Camille Saint-Saëns have largely been overlooked by the scholarly community. Perhaps it is the uncomplicated nature of these pieces that has led many to dismiss them as an unremarkable portion of the composer's repertoire. Six of the Latin choral motets which are the most similar in terms of style and function were chosen for this study, as they best represent the consistent compositional features of the composer in this genre. These works span a fifty-eight year time period covering a broad portion of the composer's life and career. By analyzing Saint-Saëns' liturgical music in the light shed by his prose writings on the subject we can better understand both his compositional style and his view of the Cecilian movement.
Degree ProgramGraduate College