||Tyzen Hsiao (1938- ) is one of the prominent Taiwanese composers of recent years. His compositions include many different musical genres. Among them, choral music is the category of the majority. There are more than eighty choral pieces in all, some sacred and some secular. The Prodigal Son, completed in 2000, is Hsiao’s principle sacred composition. It is written for five soloists, mixed chorus, and piano accompaniment. The text of the work comes from the Bible. The music is divided into eleven parts: a piano introduction, two solo and eight choral sections. All solos, choral and piano parts are constructed in a very thoughtful way; and it demonstrates good compositional techniques, originality, and correlation of text and music; therefore it is a well-composed piece.|
This thesis consists of five chapters. Chapter One introduces the material. Chapter Two is the background of Tyzen Hsiao: Part one is a biographic sketch of Hsiao’s life; Part two generally describes Hsiao’s compositional development ; Part three explains the style and feature of Hsiao’s musical works; Part four introduces Hsiao’s choral compositions. Chapter Three focuses on analysis of The Prodigal Son, consisting of four sections. The first section is about why and how this work became a reality. The second section discusses the origin of the text. The third section is about the borrowed melody, and the last contains the musical analysis of the work. Chapter Four supplies a rehearsal technique and a teaching suggestion for the director of a performance The Prodigal Son. Chapter Five provides the writer’s conclusion from the study. In the end of this thesis is an appendix which gives a phonetic transcription of The Prodigal Son in Roman letters. Hopefully it can be a helpful diction reference for conductors and singers.