|dc.description.abstract||Astrid Kvalbein’s Ph D project explores the work of Pauline Hall (1890-1969) as classical composer, theatre woman and leader of Ny Musikk, the Norwegian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). Hall’s work is explored and discussed in relation to different conceptions of modernization, modernity and modernism through a combination of biographical, performance and discourse-oriented appoaches.
The main chapters 3, 5 and 6 consist of three parts: a biographical outline, a discussion of possible modern aspects of Hall’s work in relation to the different “roles” - as classical composer, theatre woman and leader of Ny Musikk - and a concert performance by Kvalbein and co-musicians documented in writing and on enclosed CDs. Chapter 3 presents Hall’s family background, her studies - partly in Paris - and her early career as a composer, from the debut in 1917 until the premiere of her major orchestral work, the Verlaine-suite, in 1929. The artistic exploration of Hall as a classical composer is a “reconstruction” of her debut concert, which included solo pieces for piano, a violin sonata and several songs. The final part of the chapter discusses the reception of Hall’s early works, focusing on how supposedly feminine and “modern” French-impressionstic features are commented on.
Chapter 4 briefly discusses some possible reasons for Hall’s “shift of roles” from classical composer to theatre woman and music critic. While some reasons for this may be economical, Kvalbein also suggests that Hall’s years as correspondent for the daily paper Dagbladet in Berlin in 1926-32 gave her artistic inspiration.
Chapter 5 explores Hall’s reports and reviews from the city’s theatres and opera houses, in which she clearly reveals interests in modern(ist) expressions other than the early French. She writes entusiastically about Piscator’s political theatre, Brecht and Weill’s “Zeitoper,” and new operas by e. g. Berg and Milhaud. In 1930 Hall translated, conducted, and directed The Threepenny Opera in its Oslo premiere, and her version was played seve ral times until 1955.
In the 1930s the direction of her own work as a composer also shifted toward the stage. From around 1935 to 1965 she completed between 30 and 40 scores for theatre, ballet and film. This work, as well as Hall’s statements about jazz and “exotic music”, are discussed as possible components of a vernacular modernism as well as what in Scandinavian countries is called “cultural radicalism”, a liberal, partly left-wing movement which had it champions less in the musical field than in the theatres and in Dagbladet. A concert consisting of Hall’s “Berlin songs” – in which inspiration from Weill is audible - as well as songs she wrote for cabarets and settings of American poetry, influenced by spirituals and ragtime, documented the performing investigation of Hall as a woman of the theatre.
In 1938 Hall founded the Norwegian Section of ISCM, where she held the position as chair until 1961. Chapter 6 explores her work in the organization from two main perspectives: establishing and running the operation in Norway - through many challenges - and her efforts in ISCM internationally, which culminated with the success of the world music days in Oslo in 1953. In 2011, Kvalbein sang and presented a few representative works from this era in Ny Musikk and ISCM - from Anton Webern through Fartein Valen and Matyas Seiber - at a lecture-performance, which also included her interpretation of Hall’s neoclassical-theatrical Fire tosserier for soprano and winds. Hall’s reports to Dagbladet from fifteen ISCM festivals between 1938 and 1959 are discussed in a separate section, in order to extract some characteristics of her views on the different modern(ist) music presented.
Theoretical and methodological outlines of Kvalbein’s research as biographical, artistic/performing and discourse oriented, are given in chapter 2, and chapters 1 and 7 respectively introduce and sum up the presentation of Hall’s modern life.||no_NO