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The legacy of Chausson's "Poeme"

Laura D Haupt, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The Poème, composed by Ernest Chausson and dedicated to the violinist Eugene Ysaÿe, is an important work in a violinist's repertoire. Although this work is frequently performed, research on it has been limited mainly to biographical sources on the composer and doctoral performance projects. In particular the area of twentieth century performance practice has been neglected. ^ This document presents a detailed investigation of Chausson's Poème through study of the origins of the composition, an analysis of the music, and a consideration of performance practice with regard to the work from its composition in 1896 to the present. The Poème is set in a historical framework by examining the influences on its composition: Chausson's background and friendship with Ysaÿe, the genre of the symphonic poem, the short story Song of Love Triumphant by Turgenev, Ysaÿe's Poème Elegiaque, and Ysaÿe's style of playing. The work is then analyzed from the perspectives of harmony, melody, orchestration and violin writing. After an account of several of Ysaÿe's performances of the Poème, Ysaÿe's performing style is explored through written accounts and an analysis of recordings. Issues related to twentieth century violin performance practice are discussed in light of the development of sound recordings and the changing life of the virtuoso. Specific recordings are analyzed in chapter six, offering a perspective on the performance legacy of the Poème . An appendix is provided listing all known commercial recordings of the Poème. ^

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Haupt, Laura D, "The legacy of Chausson's "Poeme"" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116575.