Hilding Rosenbergs apokalyps : studier i Johannes uppenbarelse - ett musikverk i stridsutrustning

Translated title of the contribution: Hilding Rosenberg´s apocalyps. Studies of The Revelation of S:t John ­ a work of music in battlearmour.

Björn Martinson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The intention of this dissertation is to provide a portrait of Hilding Rosenberg´s musical work "The Revelation of S:t John" (1940), for a large orchestra, chorus and recitation (recitative), through illuminating the work´s history of origin and basic literary and musical structure. As a composition initially intended for broadcast over the radio, the form and content of "The Revelation of S:t John" was to a great degree determined by the conditions dictated by radio at the time. The origin of the work in itself involved a developmental process from a simple, rule-bound form structure, to an organically worked-through, but considerably more complex, form. The special qualities regarding both the text and the music of "The Revelation of S:t John" which emerged through the composing process are examined in the dissertation. The questions which are actualized in the music itself are primarily tied to the relations within the three basic elements upon which "The Revelation of S:t John" is musically-based in its most elaborate form: orchestral/choral movements,chorales and recitatives. Regarding the first of these elements, the orchestral/choral movements, two questions are addressed: the word/tone relation and harmonics. A personally formulated, triadic-based, "substance affinitive", harmonic technique has in this connection been found to be the most fundamental and characteristic factor. In the chorales a modal harmonizing praxis, which was favoured during the first half of the century, and which Rosenberg applied in "The Revelation of S:t John", has been given notice. Regarding the recitativs, the greatest interest has been directed toward how the movements which were newly composed in 1948 and 1949 were added to the then ten year-old finished composition.
Translated title of the contributionHilding Rosenberg´s apocalyps. Studies of The Revelation of S:t John ­ a work of music in battlearmour.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of Musicology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Mar 6
ISBN (Print)91-86980-50-5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1999-03-06
Time: 10:15
Place: Department of Art History and Musicology

External reviewer(s)

Name: Marschner, Bo
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Musicology


  • The Revelation of S:t John
  • Sweden
  • Twentieth century music
  • apocalyps
  • symphony
  • oratorio
  • a musical play for radio.
  • symphonic oratorio
  • Hilding Rosenberg
  • Musicology
  • Musikvetenskap


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