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Title: L'Amour de loin and the Vocal Works of Kaija Saariaho
Authors: Lambright, Spencer N.
Issue Date: 2-May-2008
Abstract: Part II of this dissertation examines the vocal work of Kaija Saariaho, culminating in an overview and analysis of Acts I and II of her first opera L?Amour de loin. While now known as a composer of highly successful operas, Saariaho developed a style in the 1980s based on dynamic oppositions where harmony and texture were used to serve as a replacement for functional harmony. The works from the 1980s are modernist in sound and rarely make use of the human voice or conventional melody. In the 1990s vocal works gradually began to dominate Saariaho?s output, featuring modal melodies that function similar to tonal music. The accompaniment operates in much the same way as the music of the 1980s, however, creating a new style that is a synthesis of her prior abstract style and conventional vocal techniques. This paper, after a preliminary overview of basic techniques pertinent to Saariaho?s musical language, examines her development as a composer of vocal works, leading to an analysis of her first opera.
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