Luigi Dallapiccola's "Il Prigioniero": A musico-dramatic analysis of Scene IV (Italy)
Howard, Jessica Harrison
Master of Music
The purpose of this study is to illustrate several aspects of Dallapiccola's coherent expressionism in Il Prigioniero by focusing upon his approach to symmetrical formal structure in the drama; structural relationships in the twelve-tone sets themselves and in their usage in Scene IV; and specifically how these sets are arranged to form distinct, heirarchical tone-centers corresponding to those that characterize the tertian system. In particular, the arch-form defines the drama in Scene IV as well as the drama of the opera as a whole. Furthermore, the most fundamental level of a reductive level of analysis also suggests an A B C B A structure with regard to the primary tone centers. Dallapiccola's attention to proportion and balance within such a form illustrates a clarity of objective, upon which this study also focuses. The importance of the moral and metaphysical issues proposed in his libretto leads to a greater understanding of the composer as well as his other works.