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      时间:2017-10-01 来源:英语广场

        George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931), born in Massachusetts, was a leading figure of the Second School of New England composers. Highly regarded in his lifetime as a composer, he was also largely responsible for the effective reorganization of the New England Conservatory and was one of the most influential teachers in American music. During the time when he directed the New England Conservatory, he composed a bunch of outstanding American pieces which made him remarkable in history. In this paper, I would like to examine his String Quartet No.4 to figure out the reason that he has been recognized as a “Yankee composer”, and how his composing features are embodied in this piece. Through the analysis of the composition itself, we can realize his aesthetic attitude of the American music style that is rooted in European genres in order to express American sensibility.
        Chadwick’s String Quartet No.4 premiere was in 1896, just after Antonio Dvorak’s String Quartet in F Ops.96. Both of their first performances were done by the same ensemble: the Kneisel String Quartet in Boston. It is said that Dvorak’s work “seems to have directly inspired Chadwick’s Fourth Quartet”. Is there a connection that exists between these two pieces or not? I think we need to turn our attention outside of the music to the historical and social background.
        “Several of the Boston composers were also skilled performers, chiefly pianists or organists, and their compositions were heard regularly in Boston on the programs of such local ensembles as the Boston Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1881), the Kneisel String Quartet, and the Handel and Haydn Society.” The one institute I want to point out is the Kneisel String Quartet, which played both of Chadwick and Dvorak’s string quartets. Besides regular performances in Boston, it is involved in university activities actively, at the celebration of the formal opening of the Rice Institute, the Kneisel Quartet rendered the programs. Other than that, in 1905, Kneisel and his fellow quartet members joined the faculty of the Institute of Musical Art, Juilliard's predecessor institution. It is an active ensemble of promoting advanced American classical music era.
        When Chadwick composed the String Quartet NO.4, he was a faculty in the New England Conservatory (NEC), and became a director later in 1897. This occupation is more than just a composition/organ/piano teacher. Through the civil war (1861-1865), people in America, especially the middle-class turned their attention to develop their country through changing their daily life. In the cultural area they were pursuing a new identification since there was a new U.S.A. In Boston, one of the centers of American classical music, new institutions like the New England Conservatory (NEC) allowed Americans to study classical music in their own country. The NEC was founded in 1867 as the first independent music school in this country. Moreover, NEC is the only music school in the United States designated as a National Historic Landmark. I assume that the establishment of NEC was a sign for Americans that they could learn the advancing music skills in their hometown instead of having to go abroad (Europe) to study. In my view, it has inspired the American composers to search for their way to write music.