Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Hankuy Lim



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts





Committee Chair

Pu-Qi Jiang

Committee Member

Kenneth Kreitner

Committee Member

Robyn Jones

Committee Member

Lawrence Edwards


This dissertation studies and examines various facets that a conductor must consider when rehearsing and performing Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. This dissertation may aid a conductor in making knowledgeable decisions by observing the conductor’s interpretation versus the compositional intent in the tempo of the piece, the treatment, suggested rehearsal practice techniques, and performance considerations of the vocal and orchestral parts and their own associated issues. Several conductors’ and orchestras’ recordings and arrangements of the Requiem were analyzed in order to establish the best practices and choices regarding tempo selections and spans. Several of the conductors that were studied for input in this dissertation include Toscanini, Serafin, Ormandy, Shaw, Abbado, and Gardiner. Verdi’s own personal input is also quoted and utilized from several texts to give specific reference towards the composer’s intents and dramatic choices. Rehearsal and performance details for precise recommendations in regards to the orchestra, choir, and soloists are also examined from several published dissertations and interviews. Several vital choices stemming from specific details are discussed, including brass and brass and percussion performance, bowing, and tonguing, as well as diction, vowel modification, tone blending, and selection and coordination of soloists. Due to the large amount of musicians called in for the Requiem, the balance between the instrumentalists and singers is also a point of consideration. The dissertation also addresses conductor’s choices and techniques, especially in regard to how to conduct the Requiem when one is used to only conducting choirs or orchestras. The conductor must learn how to deal with many potential problems, as well as taking the right steps to building a great performance. A large amount of knowledge that is needed to rehearse and perform is broken down into several necessary requirements, making them easier to process and understand. A great deal of this emphasizes tempo selection and span for each movement, focusing on Verdi’s strong suggestions for performances of his work. Because Verdi wrote the Requiem to be a very dramatic work, many specific decisions must be made by the conductor in order to have a successful performance. This dissertation looks to assist and inform about these many decisions.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.