Download Full Text (1.6 MB)
Rachel Ward, MUS303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music
Inspired by the celebrated Dylan Thomas poem, Elliot Del Borgo's (1938-2013) tone poem for symphonic band, Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night (1978) utilizes twentieth-century compositional techniques to portray the memory of two of the composer's own students who died tragically in a car accident. Not quite a direct interpretation of the poem, Del Borgo uses techniques like polytonality, thematic and rhythmic motives, instrumentation grouping, and motivic layering to develop his theme of the human soul's persistence and refusal to “go gentle.” Del Borgo was born in Port Chester, New York and spent most of his career teaching at SUNY-Potsdam's Crane School of Music, where he had earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Del Borgo received a Master of Education degree at Temple University and a Master of Music at the Philadelphia Conservatory, where he studied music theory and composition under Vincent Persichetti, a well-known twentieth-century American composer and teacher. Throughout this piece, stylistic techniques from composers like his former professor, Persichetti, Charles Ives, and Paul Hindemith can be heard as well to further develop the overall theme of the piece. In my project, I analyze excerpts from the piece and directives from Persichetti's book Twentieth-Century Harmony to demonstrate Del Borgo's use of these techniques to develop the “essence” of the poem.
Ward, Rachel, "Do Not Go Gentle: Elliot Del Borgo's Symphonic Poem" (2021). Arts. 12.