The chamber music of George Whitefield Chadwick
George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) was an American composer of the Second New England School who, along with his contemporaries, gave shape to an "American" musical style. Although his symphonic music and stage works are beginning to be recorded and valued for the integrity of their construction and pioneering spirit they occupy in the history of American music, this is not true of his body of chamber music. While the number of chamber pieces is not large, their quality is high. They are certainly among the best which the New Englanders produced, yet they have been largely ignored.
Chadwick's chamber works include five string quartets, one piano quintet, and two short pieces scored for 'cello (or violin) and piano. It is the purpose of this dissertation to discuss this music against the backdrop of the other composers writing chamber music in the Boston-New England area at the turn of the century, to analyze its form and structure from a theoretical perspective, to discuss the prominent techniques used by Chadwick in the composition of his music, to analyze what musical influences shaped the style of Chadwick, and to look at his role as a music educator in America.
This dissertation will also analyze the place which Chadwick occupies in the movement toward a truly American style, free from the subservience to European music, which occurred later in the twentieth century.
0522: Music education
0520: Education history