Recent Research by Don Franklin

Though he retired in 2009, Don Franklin (Professor of Music, Emeritus) continues to keep up a busy schedule of research and publication. This April, Franklin presented a paper in a Mozart Colloquium held at the Harvard University Music Library.  He was one of 12 participants representing current areas of research in Mozart studies.

His paper,  "Time, Proportion and Dramatic Action in the Act I Finale of Don Giovanni," was dedicated to the memory of renowned Mozart scholar Wendy Allanbrook.

In his paper, Franklin extends his study of the notational practices of Bach and his contemporaries to those of Mozart, focusing on the Finales of the Da Ponte operas. Viewing the finales in terms of 18th-century notational practice reveals a temporal schema for each of the finales that, in a manner similar to their tonal schema, sheds light on our understanding of Mozart’s compositional procedures. In the case of the Act I Finale of Don Giovanni, Franklin illustrates how Mozart, drawing on 18th-century notational conventions, achieves a series of proportional tempo relationships between the eight successive sections that directly reflects the dramatic action.

In other recent activity, Franklin published an article in a volume of essays honoring Martin Petzoldt, President of the Neue Bachgesellshaft, who recently retired as Professor or Theology at the University of Leipzig. "Viewing the poetic texts in Bach's Matthew Passion from a new perspective," was published in Im Klang der Wirklichkeit: Musik und Theologie, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt (Leipzig, 2011).  Franklin’s article is the second in a series of essays that focuses on the musical-theological structure of the libretto of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.