Symphonic Metamorphosis on a Theme of Carl Maria von Weber
Conroy, Thomas Martin
Doctor of Musical Arts
Symphonic Metamorphosis on a theme of Carl Maria von Weber was inspired by Paul Hindemith's work of the same name. While Hindemith's title suggests that the original themes might have gone through transformations, he based his work not on themes, but on entire short pieces and changed very little of Weber's thematic material. I have selected the third piano duet, in F major, from Weber's Huit Pieces, Op. 60 as my source material. Having analyzed the motivic content, I derived new and expanded ideas of several prominent motives to create my work. Linear lines from the Weber have been transformed through means of additive interval expansion. I have also applied additive processes to manipulate the original rhythms. The harmonic content of the piece is largely derived from presenting in vertical fashion various elements that were originally linear. The work is episodic and follows a theme and variations format in four shorter movements that are encased by the introductory material, brass fanfares (Allegro, maestoso ). The characterizations and tempi of the shorter movements fluctuate from mysterious (Allegro, mysterioso), to joyous (Allegro, giocoso), to playful (Largo, scherzando). I have employed several basic compositional devices and processes---repetition, imitation, sequence, inversion, retrograde, diminution, augmentation---and combinations of these to transform and at the same time unify the music.