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The Essence of Jonathan Harvey

Arnold Whittall

Nuove Musiche Numero 3 - 2017, pagine: 13-27
DOI 10.12871/97888333922332 | @ Pisa University Press 2019
Pubblicato: 20 agosto 2019


Harvey’s achievements as a composer won him international recognition, and that internationalism might appear to have been central to his compositional aesthetic, which found its fullest expression in such large-scale compositions as Madonna of Winter and Spring, Speakings and Wagner Dream. Yet the roots of his entire musical personality, and of his compositional techniques, lie in a series of relatively small choral compositions, usually to sacred texts. As this analytical survey shows, working on these pieces did much to convince Harvey of the continuing value of tonal identities and relationships, filtered through processes that brought him into alignment with spectralism, an initiative which Harvey himself defined as “a spiritual breakthrough”.


Sacred music ∙ Choral works ∙ Modernism ∙ Spectralism,

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