Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Yasser, Joseph. "Dies Irae: The Famous Medieval Chant." Musical Courier (6 October 1927): 6, 39.

One main reason for the Dies Irae sequence's acquired fame as a leitmotif of death is its "catchy" and easily recognizable melody. Brief discussions of works using the chant note the setting and models. The polyphonic treatment illustrated by Asola and Pitoni's Requiems is traced in Liszt's Totentanz. The dance-like rhythmic treatment in Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique is applied by Saint-Saëns in his Danse Macabre. Tchaikovsky, the first Russian composer to use the Dies Irae, uses a contrapuntal device, applied before in Totentanz and later in Rachmaninoff's Toteninsel. Other works mentioned are Glazunov's Moyen Age, Miaskovsky's Sixth Symphony, Schelling's Impressions from an Artist's Life, Loeffler's Ode for One Who Fell in Battle, and Simond's unpublished Elaboration for organ.

Works: Asola: Requiem (6); Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (6); Glazunov: Moyen Age, Op. 79 (6); Liszt: Totentanz (6); Loeffler: Ode for One Who Fell in Battle (39); Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 6 (6); Pitoni: Requiem (6); Rachmaninoff: Toteninsel (6); Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre (6); Schelling: Impressions from an Artist's Life (39); Simonds: Elaboration of Dies Irae for Organ (unpublished) (39); Tchaikovsky Modern Greek Song, Op. 16, No. 6 (In Dark Hell).

Index Classifications: 1500s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Jean Pang

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