|dc.description.abstract||This thesis is a study of the music of Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) and how present it was within the music traditions of colonial New Zealand. Chaminade was a French composer who enjoyed considerable success in North America and Europe during her lifetime, and the original premise of this study was to establish whether she had a similar presence as a composer in New Zealand. Drawing mainly from newspapers and archived programmes, a list of over four hundred concerts featuring her piano music and her songs has been compiled. It has revealed that a great percentage of her piano music performed in New Zealand actually occurred in student concerts, an aspect of music teaching neglected in most studies of music history. This list also indicates how well placed Chaminade’s songs were, in the repertoire of the singers of the day, both international and local, professional and amateur.
Divided into two distinct chapters, the first chapter traces, for the first time, the origins of concerts specifically staged for music pupils, as well as discussing the practices of prominent music teachers throughout New Zealand, and how the present the music of Chaminade was in the repertoire, particularly that of piano ensembles (many hands, many pianos). There is also a discussion of the British examination systems and the Performing Arts Competitions, their choices of repertoire, and their relevance to the development of New Zealand’s young musicians of the time.
The second chapter looks at songs of Chaminade and where they were sung. Considered art songs rather than ballads, her songs were very popular with many celebrated international ballad singers of the time. The chapter begins with addressing the international singers along with the actual concerts, the programmes and repertoire performed, followed by a comparison of Chaminade’s songs to popular ballads of the day. The final section of the chapter introduces some of the New Zealand singers who, though well known throughout New Zealand in colonial times, have been little documented in any historical studies today, coming to light in this thesis essentially because songs of Chaminade were highly placed in their repertoire.||