The Dramatic Symphony
Robert Tallant Laudon
In the long decade of 1839-1851 we meet symphonies of many names-пїЅdramatic symphonies,,characteristic symphonies,program symphonies,poetic symphonies, oriental symphonies, symphony-cantatas, symphonic odes, concert dramas, hunting symphonies, historical symphonies, concert ballades, choral symphonies, and others, a fair number of which are hybrid types using choral forces to combine purely musical elements with subject matter that is extra-musical. I have chosen to call this type of symphony the dramatic symphony not simply because Berlioz gave that name to his RomпїЅo et Juliette but because “dramatic symphony” suggests the active nature of the musicпїЅa style in which the ultimate goal is not determined solely by musical considerations but by those and by concurrent drama. . . .
Robert Tallant Laudon:
Robert Tallant Laudon (1920 – ) of the пїЅGreatest Generation,пїЅ Prof. Emeritus of Musicology and Harpsichord, Univ. of MN, had his studies in science, psychology, and music interrupted by the Great Depression and World War Two. His cycle of poems, Among the Displaced, (Artichoke Press, now sold out) covers the war years in England. After returning from service, he studied music history with Donald N. Ferguson whose text, A History of Musical Thought was standard in the USA. Concerned by an insufficient article on the sixteenth-century chanson, he transcribed three books of chansons and wrote a masterпїЅs thesis, пїЅPoetry and Music of the Polyphonic Chanson, circa 1520-1535,пїЅ the size and content of a dissertation: He studied keyboards with Earl Rymer and Rosalyn Tureck. Work toward the Ph.D. at the University of Illinois with Dragan Plamenac and Alexander Ringer culminated in his dissertation, Sources of the Wagnerian Synthesis, recommended by Carl Dahlhaus for publication in Munich. LaudonпїЅs recent book, a study of the пїЅfine artsпїЅ as formulated by BatteuxпїЅThe Era after the Baroque, Music and the Fine Arts, 1750-1900 (Pendragon), illustrated by prints of the age, covers the time period of the industrial revolution. A series of essays, Minnesota Musicians of the Cultured Generation became part of local historical studies. Bob Laudon never expected to be publishing a book at age ninety but is thankful for a long life and for the opportunity to enjoy and study the arts.