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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Form in Frank Bridge's three phantasies
by Hsu, Hui-pin, D.M.A., City University of New York, 2013, 247; 3561222
Abstract (Summary)

From 1905 to the mid-1930s, British music (chamber music in particular) enjoyed the enlightened patronage of Walter Willson Cobbett (1847-1937), who supported and sponsored competitions for short, one-movement, chamber works titled "phantasy." There are opposing views as to what forms these phantasies exemplify. On the one hand, Charles Villiers Stanford and J.A. Fuller-Maitland claimed that these twentieth-century phantasies exemplify one specific form, although their descriptions of that form are not completely compatible with each other. On the other hand, Ernest Walker and David Maw have argued that modern British phantasies display a variety of forms.

This dissertation examines the forms of the three phantasies composed by Frank Bridge (1879-1941): the Phantasie String Quartet (1905), the award-winning Phantasie Piano Trio (1907), and the Phantasy Piano Quartet (1910). Bridge, who taught Benjamin Britten, is unarguably one of the most important composers of modern British phantasies. I argue here that Bridge applies three different formal models in his three phantasies: the Phantasy String Quartet is a super-sonata in which the first and third parts constitute a mirror-form sonata, while the second part is ternary; the Phantasie Piano Trio is subject to two equally valid readings: a two-dimensional sonata form and an ABCBA arch form; and the Phantasy Piano Quartet is an ABCBA arch. My findings thus lend credence to those such as Walker and Maw who deny that there is a single formal type for the British phantasy. Nevertheless, although Bridge's three phantasies differ in form, they each exhibit the use of arch-like structures. The evolution of form in Bridge's three phantasies suggests that the symmetry of the arch became more useful to him compositionally than conventional sonata or rondo forms. The preference for symmetrical design continues into Bridge's later works.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carey, Norman
Commitee: Atlas, Allan, Rothstein, William
School: City University of New York
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Arch form, English music, Reversed recapitulation, Rotation, Super-sonata form, Two-dimensional sonata form
Publication Number: 3561222
ISBN: 978-1-303-08200-9
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