Master of Music (MM)
Symphony No. 1- A Symphony of the Christ is, in a general sense, a programmatic orchestral work recounting the life of Christ. This is not to say that every musical device or motive represents something explicitly, rather that the music of each movement suggests the overall mood and feeling of its subject matter. The first movement, subtitled “Christ our God to earth descendeth,” corresponds to Christ’s birth. The second movement, subtitled “Dwelt among men, our example is He,” concerns His life and ministry. The third movement, representing His suffering and crucifixion, is subtitled “See, from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.” The fourth movement, subtitled “Christ is risen! He meets our eyes: Savior, teach us so to rise,” corresponds to His resurrection. All of these subtitles were selected from hymnody. The work contains both traditional as well as modern compositional devices. Such techniques as planing, parallelism, unresolved dissonance, abrupt metrical shifts, and cluster chords are employed. Juxtaposed with these modern devices are traditional hymn tunes, which help to evoke the particular mood of the respective movements.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Hellums, III, James White, "Symphony No.1 - a Symphony of the Christ" (2004). LSU Master's Theses. 2138.