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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOver a career spanning seven decades, John Joubert (1927–2019) wrote operas, symphonies, concertos, oratorios, and other instrumental works for large forces, chamber ensembles, and soloists. Running as a thread through his output is an extensive body of work for chorus, which is at once varied—sacred and secular, sprightly and contemplative—and yet unified by the composer’s set of signature stylistic traits. This body of work draws upon influences and techniques used by composers in both traditional and avant garde camps (though these terms are laden with subtext and connotation, this study will use them because they were the most commonly used terms by Joubert). While the divide between these composers grew in the post-World War II era, and attention and funds increasingly flowed to composers firmly in one idiom or the other, Joubert followed Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) and other composers who did not embrace either extremity but sought a middle path. Later in Joubert’s career, changing taste in art music culture was met with a correlative increase in interest in and recordings of his work. This study explores Joubert’s works for chorus, puts them in context musically and historically, and provides a resource and guide for those who perform them. Given the depth and breadth of this body of work, it is necessary to narrow the scope to his choral works that are unaccompanied, or accompanied only by a keyboard instrument. This omits many longer works, including some like the English Requiem (2010) that are intriguing both for their musical content and their connections to tradition, but these compositions may serve as subjects of future study.
Degree ProgramGraduate College