The Stained Glass Island: analytical commentary

Boggio, Paolo (2011) The Stained Glass Island: analytical commentary. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.


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The portfolio of compositions and the present commentary are the fulfilment of my research degree in Composition as a part-time distance learning student from 2004 to 2011 at the Birmingham Conservatoire. My research is entitled The Stained Glass Island and it includes five works for different instrumentations, from large orchestra to solo instrument. The two main works are for large orchestra: The Stained Glass Island I and The Stained Glass Island II. The supporting chamber works are for quintet (Oskar’s Circus), for trio (Oskar’s Dance) and for solo instrument (Oskar’s Dream). A number of musical materials coming from the orchestral works flow into the chamber works and vice versa, with the aim to explore their expressive and musical possibilities through different instrumental forces.

The portfolio also includes a CD with recordings of my works premièred in the US, Spain, Italy and the UK, on the occasion of international composition competitions and concert series.

The initial inspiration for my research comes from The Dreaming Youths (Die träumenden Knaben), eight colour lithographs and a poetic text by Oskar Kokoschka, the expressionist painter and poet. Kokoschka’s narration of a fantastic journey, his use of stylisation, the deformed figures, the emphasis on intense contrasting inner moods and the allusive and hallucinated poetic language impressed me greatly, 4 creating powerful visual and emotional suggestions for the composition of this series of works.

This commentary begins with a short background focusing on a number of compositions by other composers that were particularly influential on my work. The next chapter explains my harmonic technique and how it tries to express in music the main aspects of Kokoschka’s work. After a short analysis of Die traümenden Knaben lithographs and poetic text the following chapters analyse my works in greater detail. The conclusion looks at the motivation of this research, its development and outcomes, in light of the whole work, its performances and achievements during these years.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
May 2011Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 15:19
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54

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