Piet Swerts: Imitatio et aemulatio

"Imitatio et aemulatio". De "L’homme armé"-traditie in heden en verleden als inspiratiebron voor een vernieuwde toonspraak, renaissance van de polyfonie?

Piet Swerts

  • Research Unit Music & Drama
  • Research Group Performance Practice & Composition

How does a contemporary composer intercommunicate with music from the past? To what extent can polyphonic compositional techniques of the renaissance be applicated into the personal musical language? Five "L'’homme armé"-Masses (Josquin (2), de la Rue> (2), Compère (1)) were utilized in this comparative study as case studies for the sake of their many-sided counterpointical treatment of this famous melody. Furthermore, analysis, interviews and profound study of secundary literature are the means of this comparative research of the 20th and 21rst century works which were also inspired by the same melody: it concerns the "Missa Quinque super l'’homme armé" (Manneke, Vermeeren, D’Hollander, De Ley, Van Reyn, 2004), Peter Maxwell Davies’ "Missa super L’'homme armé" (1968-1971), Karl Jenkins’ "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace" (1999) and Christopher Marshall’s "L'’homme armé Variations" (2003).The completion of an artistic portfolio with five new compositions stands for the musical reflection upon this study. They are the symbiosis of all acquired insights and formulate a final answer with regard to the question of finding an alternative model for a longer piece of music. The process of these findings are stated in this extended dissertation.

Artistic portfolio: an oratorio ("Heilige Seelenlust",— 2007-2008), a work for fanfare ("Antifona",— 2009), a work for ensemble ("Ma fin est mon commencement",— 2009), a work for four voices and four instruments ("Agnus Dei",— 2010) and a great pianocycle ("24 emulations upon L’'homme armé",— 2011).

  • Supervisor: David Burn
  • Co-Supervisor: Dirk Snellings
  • Supervising Comittee: Eugeen Schreurs
  • Duration: completed 2011
  • E-mail: piet.swerts@lemmens.wenk.be

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