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The unaccompanied choral music of Pierre Villette: A conductor's analysis

Sean Michael Burton, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The conservative compositional style of French composer Pierre Villette (1926-1998) furthers a lineage through the music of Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Duruflé, and Olivier Messiaen. His output of eighty-one compositions includes small-scale pieces for orchestra, chamber music, and choral works, including fifteen unaccompanied motets. ^ At present, Villette's music remains relatively unknown in the United States and even in his native France. This is surprising and unfortunate as all fifteen of the composer's unaccompanied choral works are commercially recorded and fourteen of the fifteen motets remain available in published editions which enjoy international distribution. ^ Based heavily on primary sources, this study examines all fifteen unaccompanied motets by Pierre Villette and includes documentation of the composer's personal attributes, discussion of text-music relationships, exploration of compositional style, and practical observations for performance. Beauty and accessibility unite in the choral music of Pierre Villette, making his motets relevant to myriad ensembles and a broad audience. ^

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Recommended Citation

Burton, Sean Michael, "The unaccompanied choral music of Pierre Villette: A conductor's analysis" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3297463.