Suid-Afrikaanse musiek vir tjello en orkes

Grove, Stefan Henry (2006-04)

Thesis (M.Mus.)-- University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study represents a contribution to the literature on South African cello concertos. The term encompasses works created locally by composers who were visibly involved in the promotion of music in South Africa over a significant period. It appears that between the years 1893 and 2004 about 56 South African composers delivered a (provisional) total of 95 works in various genres for the medium. This study refers specifically to five concerto-type works, viz. those of Richard Cherry (1942), Bernard Langley (1965), Peter Klatzow (1972), Roelof Temmingh (1992) and Allan Stephenson (2004). The research method comprised facets such as background data, historical perspectives and complete technical descriptions of each work, and entails comments on the artistic and specifically “cellistic” attributes of each. This process led to the conclusion that the era of emergence (1942-2004) amply informs the style of each selected work, and that each allows a particular perspective regarding the personal stylistic conviction of the composer. Although Richard Cherry's Concertino is hardly significant in terms of its stature within cello literature, it nevertheless bears testimony to natural and proficient musicianship. Cherry’s own instrument, the bassoon, and his preferred genre, viz. ballet and incidental music, seem to have had a role in the creation of this piece. Allan Stephenson's Concerto – the only multi-movement work – appears even more archaic in some respects than that of Cherry: His preferred “classicist” style allows a cello approach reminiscent of classical masters like Boccherini and Haydn, featuring also a harmonic style aligned to English “pseudo-modality” and pentatonicism, with elements of 20th century entertainment music. The melancholy, lyrical Concerto of autodidact Bernard Langley represents a special and unusual addition to the genre. Stylistically the work pays homage to the English lyricism of composers such as Delius. The lack of inventiveness and skill apparent in the thematic treatment and orchestration renders the work somewhat cumbersome and static. Both Peter Klatzow's "pointillist” The Temptation of St. Anthony, after Hieronymus Bosch, and Roelof Temmingh's Concerto can be classified amongst the most worthy South African music to date. While Klatzow's work bears the stylistic stamp of the European avant-garde of the post-war era, thus placing it in his early middle period, that of Temmingh's discloses the mature, experienced artist in his later, more audience- friendly approach. These works are distinguished also by the nature of their artistic cast. Klatzow addresses primarily the artistic challenge of melody vs. sound effect, rather than attempting a “programmatic” evocation of the painting. The cello idiom is startlingly varied and expressive; the cello's difficult higher register is applied with riveting effect. By contrast, cellistic effects are clearly of secondary importance to Temmingh, who emphasises strong lyrical, but also sombre and humoristic moments. On occasion the octotonic basis suggests tonality, and the work is structured ingenuously with the inventive use of motivic ideas which evolve as themes (including two passacaglias).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie lewer ‘n bydrae tot die literatuur oor Suid-Afrikaanse tjello-concerto’s. Daaronder word werke verstaan wat hier te lande ontstaan het, deur komponiste wat oor ’n beduidende tydperk heen sigbaar betrokke is of was by die bevordering van musiek in Suid-Afrika. Dit blyk dat daar tussen die jare 1893 en 2004 sowat 56 Suid-Afrikaanse komponiste ’n (voorlopige) totaal van 95 werke in verskillende genres vir die medium geskryf het, waarvan vyf konsertmatige werke in aanmerking gekom het vir dié studie. Hulle is dié van Richard Cherry (1942), Bernard Langley (1965), Peter Klatzow (1972), Roelof Temmingh (1992) en Allan Stephenson (2004). Die navorsingsmetode behels fasette soos agtergrondgegewens, historiese perspektiewe en volledige tegniese bekrywings van elke werk, terwyl ook kommentaar gelewer word oor die artistieke en spesifiek “tjellistiese” ingesteldheid van elk. In dié proses is tot die slotsom gekom dat die tydperk van ontstaan (1942-2004) in ’n ruim mate gereflekteer word in die styl van die gekose werke, en dat elk ’n heel bepaalde perspektief toelaat ten opsigte van die komponis se persoonlike stylbenadering. Richard Cherry se Concertino is weliswaar nie noemenswaardig in terme van tjellistiek nie, maar getuig nietemin van ’n deurleefde musikaliteit en musikale vakmanskap. Cherry se eie instrument, die fagot, en sy bevoorkeurde genre, nl. ballet- en bykomstige musiek skyn ook ’n rol te gespeel het in die wording van dié werkie. Allan Stephenson se Concerto – die enigste meerdelige werk – is in bepaalde opsigte selfs meer argaïes as dié van Cherry: Sy bevoorkeurde “klassisistiese” styl maak ruim voorsiening vir ’n tjellistiese benadering wat herinner aan dié van klassieke meesters soos Boccherini en Haydn, terwyl sy harmoniese styl die Engelse “pseudo-modaliteit” en pentatoniek beklemtoon, en ook 20ste-eeuse vermaaklikheidselemente nie afwesig is nie. Outodidak Bernard Langley verteenwoordig met sy somber-liriese Concerto ’n spesiale – en sonderlinge – bydrae tot die genre. Die werk is stilisties ’n hulde aan die Engelse liriek van bv. Delius. Deur die skynbare gebrek aan genoegsame vindingrykheid in sowel tematiek as orkestrasie-vaardighede kom die werk voor as moeisaam en staties. Beide Peter Klatzow se “pointillistiese” The Temptation of St. Anthony, after Hieronymus Bosch, en Roelof Temmingh se Concerto kan geld as die mees verdienstelike Suid-Afrikaanse werke tot op hede. Waar Klatzow se werk stilisties tekens dra van die Europese avant-garde van die na-oorlogse tyd, en dus behoort tot die komponis se vroeë middeljare, is Temmingh s’n dié van die ryper en ervare kunstenaar, verteenwoordigend van die komponis se latere, meer gehoorsvriendelike benadering. Wat die werke verder van mekaar onderskei is die aard van die artistieke stempel: In Klatzow se werk gaan dit primêr om die artistieke skeppingsuitdaging van melodie vs. klankeffek, eerder as om ’n “programmatiese” uitbeelding van die skildery. Die tjello-idioom is verrassend-veelsydig en ekspressief; dit is veral die tjello se veeleisende hoogste register wat gepas aandoen. Vir Temmingh, daarenteen, is tjellistiese effekte duidelik ’n bysaak, met die klem op sterk liriese, by tye ook sombere en humorvolle momente. Die oktotoniese grondslag maak selfs by geleentheid voorsiening vir tonale allures, en die struktuur van die werk is oorspronklik in die vindingryke gebruik van motiwiese kiemselle wat mettertyd ontvou as temas (waaronder twee passacaglias).

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17370
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