Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

Scott A Weiss


Ernst Toch (1887-1964) is one of the forgotten composers of the twentieth century. Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, and Kurt Weill were contemporaries, while Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Erich Kleiber championed his early works. Toch lamented his lack of notoriety to Nicolas Slonimsky two years prior to his death. Forgotten or underappreciated were his numerous compositions of art music written in the decades prior to his immigration to the United States and in the final years of his career; remembered only were his lighter works and American film music.

Toch composed one work for military band: Spiel für Blasorchester, Op. 39 (1926), which has been the subject of previous scholarship. This document provides a history and analysis of his remaining works for winds: Miniatur-Ouvertüre, Five Pieces for Wind Instruments and Percussion, Op. 83, and Sinfonietta for Wind Instruments and Percussion, Op. 97. Since these works encompass more than thirty-years of his career, some compositional style development is found; however, Toch's broad treatment of melody, harmony, orchestration, and form are strikingly consistent. Each work is melodically driven and doesn't conform fully to traditional forms. The harmonic flavor of each work is determined by melodic content. Found often are areas of full chromaticism, non-functional triads, and other ambiguous harmonies.

It is hoped that this study will increase the interest in Ernst Toch and his compositions for winds.


© 2013, C. Nicole Gross