RBM 26/1

Sense, style and idiomaticism




     
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This issue proposes the theme “Sense, style and idiomaticism”, and discusses the construction of meaning with emphasis on various stylistic approaches embodied by an idiomatic performing style of musical instruments effectively used or evoked, as well as the appropriation of stylistic idioms from diverse musical traditions. The articles that make up this issue offer a diverse cultural and historical horizon, covering a large chronological range from the eighteenth century to the present, in musical locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

The first three articles address the European repertoire, discussing canonical composers of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including a composer who left his mark on virtuoso pianism, but currently appears only scarcely in the repertoire of concert halls. The following three articles are dedicated to Brazilian music: one seeking nationalist traits; another, revealing cultural relations between Brazil and Japan; and another proposing a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding a contemporary musical style dissociated from nationalism. The last article, but certainly not the least, offers an analytical approach to a musical work of a contemporary American composer, proposing a theoretical perspective for understanding an individual musical style which reveals the confluence of diverse styles from art and popular music traditions.

The opening article by Guillermo Scarabino (Catholic University of Argentina) proposes a hermeneutic analysis of three musical works of different historical periods but dealing with the same theme, death; also, all these works are based on the same interval relation associated with the opening phrase of a Lutheran choral, giving, however, different meanings for the same existential question. Subsequent articles deal with idiomatic instrumental style – understood as musical patterns, sonorities, and performing conventions associated with the characteristics of a specific instrument or musical ensemble – as a junction of compositional techniques and appropriation of musical styles: Jacob Herzog (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and Giulio Draghi (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) approach the nineteenth-century pianism associated, respectively, with exoticism and virtuosity; and Priscila Araújo Farias (National Symphony Orchestra of the Federal University Fluminense) addresses a regionalist expression of nationalism. Yuka de Almeida Prado (University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto) discusses the aesthetic congruity between East and West, concrete poetry and ideograms of Japanese poetry which led to the formulation of the space-time theory, and some approaches to the theme of nature. Kheng K. Koay (National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan) analytically addresses the fragmentation implied in the fusion of different musical styles and compositional techniques endowing with a sense of past and present, interruption and advance, moment by moment, end, ambiguity as well as a non-traditional sense of tonality and conventional forms, and unique combination of textures and layers.

In the Memory section, Myrian Dauelsberg (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) offers a fascinating story about her experiences in Paris with great Soviet orchestras and soloists, and the opportunity to rescue a valuable collection of contemporary recordings through a series of mastered CDs. This issue’s interview, conducted by Rubens Russomanno Ricciardi (University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto) and Clotilde Perez (University of São Paulo), is dedicated to the composer Gilberto Mendes, who celebrates his 91st birthday by sharing some reflections on his musical career and his time, and offering an assessment of the proposal, repercussion, and recontextualization the New Music Manifesto, which is now 50 years. old The composer also discusses the relationship of the New Music Movement and the Noigandres group of concrete poetry, the festivals of Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and the New Music Festival itself, and the symbolic meaning of the 1922 events.

In the Brazilian Music Archive section, André Cardoso (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Brazilian Academy of Music) presents an introduction to the edition here published of Henrique Oswald’s En Rêve (version for orchestra), whose manuscript is found in the Alberto Nepomuceno Library

 

EDITORIAL

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ARTICLES


Bach, Berg, Britten y algunos significados de Es ist genug

Guillermo Scarabino

Abstract

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata BWV 60 “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (1723), Alban Berg’s Concerto for violin and orchestra (1935), and Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1962) have some features in common from which one may draw some relations among those three works: their subject is death, and the augmented tetrachord associated with the initial choral phrase Es ist genug. The purpose of this study is to explore the possible signification of the choral in each one of those musical works, and identify which other features would deepen their relations.

Keywords

Musical hermeneutics – musical analysis – music and literature – 18th century – 20th century.

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Brahms and the style hongrois

Jacob Herzog

Abstract

The focus of this essay is Brahms’s use of the so-called style hongrois in his piano music. Style hongrois is a problematic concept, because the real practitioners of the style were not ethnic Hungarians but rather Hungarians Gypsies. The style hongrois denotes both a repertory and a performance tradition, wherein Gypsy musicians freely incorporated outside influences into their own music. Moreover, composers such as Brahms adapted features of the style to their own creative ends. In order to better define Brahms’s style hongrois, then, I shall compare it with that of earlier composers – such as Schubert and Liszt – and offer biographical and analytical evidence for such a definition.

Keywords

Exoticism – Nineteenth-century – Romanticism – piano music – Johannes Brahms

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Carl Tausig’s pianism and compositions

Giulio Draghi

Abstract

This article proposes an analysis of some innovations and recurrent characteristics of Tausig’s piano style (pianism) and compositions. Among those recurrent patterns are the chromatic glissando (who made his first appearance in the history of the piano and caused even Liszt some trouble); his predilections for double notes, which he extended to the point to use them in single passages in Chopin’s compositions and transcriptions; his large use of interlocking octaves together with single notes who gives the performer more brilliance, clearness and allows literally a flow of overtones; also Tausig’s use of the whole-tone scale in the midst of the 19th century, when he was barely 17 years old, is noteworthy.

Keywords

19th century piano – piano technique – piano transcriptions – virtuoso pianist and composer.

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Idiomatic writing from the fiddle to the violin: Guerra-Peixe and the Brazilian Northeastern sonority

Priscila Araújo Farias 

Abstract

The Concertino for Violin and Chamber Orchestra (1970-1972), by César Guerra-Peixe, was composed under inspiration of the Armorial Movement, and was based on field research undertaken by the composer in the Brazilian Northeast. One of the most important features of such composition is the idiomatic writing created by the composer, where the solo violin plays the role of a Northeastern fiddle and the orchestra plays like a regional ensemble. The idiomatic instrumental analysis seeks to understand how the composer explored the folk instruments sonorities in the European orchestra instruments, and specifically, how the composer carried the technique from the fiddle to the violin. The comparative analysis between the techniques of typical Brazilian Northeastern folk instruments and European instruments identified the types of characteristics of Brazilian Northeastern music sonorities and technical resources to carry out the instrumental sonorities of the Brazilian Northeastern music in classical orchestral. Concludes that the composer did not stick to the technical limitations of the folk instruments to rebuild the Brazilian Northeast sound universe, but coined it with a large array of technical resources of the European orchestra instruments. The identification and classification of sonorities and technical-instrumental resources aims to provide parameters for the performance, as well as similar pieces of the Brazilian nationalist repertoire.

Keywords

Brazilian music – 20th century – nationalism – idiomatic writing – musical style.

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The Suzu sea in the theory of time-space by Luiz Carlos Lessa Vinholes: concrete poetry, chance music, and cultural dialogues between Brazil and Japan

Yuka de Almeida Prado

Abstract

Nature has metaphorical meanings expressing all human feelings in poetic compositions of Japanese culture, specially because there are veneration, respect and religion allied to a narrow interrelation of man and nature. The traditional Japanese arts have, therefore, strong bonds in nature, including writing based on ideograms. It is in this context that the concrete poetry movement emerged also inspired from ideograms of Japanese poetry which leaded to the tempo-espaço theory of Luiz Carlos Lessa Vinholes. Suzu is a city in Ishikawa Province in Japan whose primary school anthem Ôtani Shôgakkô was composed by Vinholes with lyrics by the poet Shuzo Iwamoto in 1962. According to the composer, its melody blends the plasticity of the Japanese expression with some reference to the syncopated rhythm which is characteristic of Brazilian oral cultures. This little anthem, without borders and pentatonisms seems to portray the “emptiness” of the Zen garden, crossing continental boundaries.

Keywords

Brazilian music – 20th century – Brazil and Japan – concrete poetry – chance music.

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Poesilúdio nº 4 by Almeida Prado: dimensions of time and pitch as a tool of subversion and broadening concept of form

Edson Hansen Sant’Ana

Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate the formal possibilities descendants of asymmetric interactions between time and time Almeida Prado performs the Poesilúdio n. 4. Demonstrates how the elements are expanded and contracted, from a logic that does not exclude dialogue with traditional tonal formal theory, but that reuses that common sense to structure his musical gesture in his atonal composition. The analysis of this piece is informed by theoretical concepts of Schoenberg (1967), Dunsby and Whittall (1988), within a critical and technical review of theory and analysis, taking also into consideration the basic conceptual model of time proposed by Dahmen (2007). The positioning of Mann (1995) and the postmodern critique of temporality Jameson (2010) offer a theoretical basis for interpreting the analytical results of musical materials, whose function “time” results in the expansion and subversion towards the microform.

Keywords

Brazilian music – 20th century – musical analysis – atonal music – musical form.

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The Structural Fragmentation in Zwilich’s Millennium Fantasy

Kheng K. Koay

Abstract

This study explores Zwilich’s Millennium Fantasy (2000), which not only exemplifies the nature of Zwilich’s personal creativity, but also reveals different musical influences on the composer. In her music Zwilich employs a variety of techniques to promote different playful impressions and surprises. The continuous playing of tricks on listeners throughout the two movements is one of the musical characters of the piece. In most cases, the sense of fragmentation created in the composition also results from Zwilich’s playful musical construction. In addition, jazz, popular and traditional idioms are nicely and evenly treated in the composition; the composition is not confined to one musical style. This piece might serve as a model of the perfect balance which Zwilich strikes between traditional and popular styles.

Keywords

20th century – American music – woman composer – contemporary music – musical analysis – musical style.

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MEMORY

Russian Archive: the recovery of a historical collection

Myrian Dauelsberg

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INTERVIEW

The composer Gilberto Mendes and the 50th anniversary of the New Music Manifesto

Rubens Russomano Ricciardi and Clotilde Perez

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BRAZILIAN MUSIC ARCHIVE

Introductory notes to En Rêve by Henrique Oswald

André Cardoso

Abstract

Introductory notes to the work En Rêve by Henrique Oswald (1852-1931), and the edition made from handwritten copy belonging to the collection of the Alberto Nepomuceno Library of the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Keywords

Henrique Oswald – Brazilian music – musical Romanticism – music edition.

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En Rêve (version for orchestra; edition by André Cardoso)

Henrique Oswald

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