In this dissertation two solo violin compositions Nelle Mani d’Amduscias (1996) and Luamerava(2000) by the South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr are analysed regarding the programmatic, compositional and idiomatic content. The Luamerava uses an adapted African legend that is inscribed at the beginning and according to the composer imitates the African mbira or finger piano. The Eurocentric Nelle Mani d’Amduscias is Italian for “into the hands of the (medieval) devil”. Both pieces are analysed under the headings form, melody and motives, rhythm, harmonies and violinistic aspects, always connecting to the programmatic content of the titles. Described by the composer as a pre-sketch to Raptus, some similarities with Nelle Mani d’Amduscias are noted. Mythes by Szymanowski provided a source of inspiration for Nelle Mani d’Amduscias and similar compositional techniques are observed. The title Nelle Mani d’Amduscias is musically illustrated with symbolic elements. These include the tritone, or Diabolus in Musica, the use of which was discouraged by religious medieval theorists, the trill, which is reminiscent of the Devil.s Trill Sonata by Tartini, and a difficulty level that is reminiscent of a Paganini Caprice. This further links to rumours surrounding the violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini of being in league with the devil, due to his unprecedented performing brilliance. Medieval elements are also considered. The use of mirror image interval patterns and the use of the octatonic scale are discussed as themes. The use of the vertical 2:3 rhythm, an unusual technique on the solo violin, is noted. Luamerava is analysed in connection with the characteristics of mbira music and African music. African and mbira compositional devices that are noted include call and response, melodic shape, mbira counterpoint and the use of ostinato, hocket, canon, hemiola, additive rhythms and African dancing in the Danzante. The chord sequence of mbira music of the Shona of Zimbabwe is compared to the harmonies used in the Danzante. The performance of the Western tradition is compared to that of the African mbira tradition. A short comparison noting the similarities and differences of the two works is provided in the conclusion. Copyright
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2006.