Debussy in His Dialogues with Bach and Wagner
Debussy’s published statements about Bach and Wagner are analyzed in the article. The juxtaposition of these two German composers suggested by Debussy allows to touch upon some issues underlying the French innovator’s oeuvre: namely, his specific feeling of musical time both in purely musical genres and in synthetic musical-dramatic genres. Also, the notion of an arabesque, which Debussy applies to Bach’s oeuvre and which expresses his ideal of musical development, is analyzed as opposed to Wagner’s composition technique.
Keywords: Debussy, J. S. Bach, Wagner, arabesque, opera, leitmotif, development, musical time
Henri Bergson: «…the Music of Debussy
is the Music of “la durée”»
Among Debussy’s contemporaries, who were interested in his music, Henri Bergson holds a special place. By approving the rights of psychological time, the philosopher reflected the general tendencies of the epoch of the late 19th to early 20th century era. These tendencies were embodied both in philosophy and in science and art. Poets and painters of Symbolizm were in search not only of eternity, but time and of life time of the mind — this time is equivalent to the phenomenon of Bergson’s duration (la durée). However, the philosopher chooses the music of Debussy as a sounding incarnation of la durée. In this article the author attempts to identify the possible reasons for such a comparison, appealing to the characteristics of Debussy’s sound world.
Keywords: Claude Debussy, Henri Bergson, la durée, time of the work of art, world outlook period, perceiving consciousness, the concept of «correspondences» (correspondances)
Inexpressibility and its Arabesques: Debussy,
Mallarmé, the Context of Symbolism
The article aims at showing that Debussy’s creativity, establishing a fundamentally new system of musical expressivity, bears much in common with Mallarmé’s revolutionary poetic work. The stylistic and poetological features shared by Debussy and Mallarmé are considered in the larger framework of French Symbolism and its aesthetics. The author focuses attention on such immanent artistic metaphors and concepts of Symbolism as Inexpressibility, Mystery, the unfathomable Idea. According to the Symbolist notion of creation, spiritual «truths» and the «ideas» of the existence are concealed by the sheer visibility of concrete facts, but they can be expressed by the use of Suggestion and Hint, as well as by means of abstract Arabesques, the Symbolists’ allegory of pure art. The comparative analysis brings out an analogy between Debussy’s Piano Preludes, Mallarmé’s late poetry, and their theoretical works and letters. This article’s main assumptions are based both on current research and on the conceptions and metaphorical parallels drawn by other artists of the same epoch (among them P. Verlaine, M. Maeterlinck, O. Redon, J. M. Whistler). Many of the sources are quoted in Russian for the first time.
Keywords: Debussy, Mallarmé, French Symbolism, Symbolism in music, arabesque
Debussy: Between Life and Death (Psychoanalytic Fantasy)
The paper represents an attempt of applying psychoanalytic approach to a musical composition. By means of analysis of vocal piece by Debussy the author shows the presence of the principles and indications of dream, as they are set forth in S. Freud’s theory, in the work of art. In the course of study the mechanisms of dream-work (such as condensation, displacement and so on) are revealed in the piece under consideration and an attempt is made to penetrate its concealed content.
Keywords: Debussy, Freud, Nativity, dream, displacement, condensation, fulfilment of repressed wishes
On False Marker-Pointers: Musical Strategies
in Films by Tarantino
The language of music in its cognitive specifics is the main conceptual object of this paper. Soundtracks from Tarantino’s films have been chosen as the basic material for this research which may be considered as a new aspect of investigation on Tarantino’s creative works. The core of this paper is based on intersection of music-theoretical, social-cultural, and psychological approaches to the problem. The concept of marker-pointer as communicative and psychotechnical method has been introduced by the author. The specific points of application of such a method to classical and contemporary sound dramaturgy have been disclosed. Issues of stereotypes, usage of quotations and allusions, ethnic stylization and the film director’s message are considered in the context of Tarantino’s films. The musical expressive effects of the poly-pitch sound have been exposed and analyzed on the basis of the practical experiments carried out by the author.
Keywords: film music, poly-pitch, music stylization, marker-pointer
4D-Model of the Hollywood Film Music
The established practice of producing film music in the USA has a number of distinctive features related both to the specificity of a composer’s (and his collaborators’) work in the system of commercial cinema and to the diversity of film music as such. In this paper the author consecutively analyses the four forms of existence of film music: film score, soundtrack, component of mediatext and concert arrangement. Composer’s sketches, orchestrations and arrangements of certain themes are compared; the concert «fortunes» of some film scores and the present state of the sources of film music are reported.
Keywords: Hollywood, film music, film score, soundtrack, mediatext, film composer, orchestration, arrangement, sources, temporary track, music supervisor, music editor,
Arnold Schoenberg, Miklos Rozsa, Alex North, Jerry Goldsmith,
John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Remote Control Productions
Hearing Sound as Music:
on New Directions in Film Studies
The author of this paper suggests a new concept of perception of the film «sound space» — as a systematized «noise score», a kind of musique concrète. Logicality of proportions and general appropriateness of progress which are characteristic of such «noise score» can be considered as a result of well thought-out creative work. The detailed analysis of «Days of Heaven» by Terrence Malick approves the idea that John Cage’s concept of «organization of sound» is entirely suitable for film soundtracks — in such cases when the conversations recede to the background.
Keywords: film music, musique concrète, soundtrack, Golden ratio, «Days of Heaven»,
Terrence Malick, Camille Saint-Saëns, John Cage
P. I. Tchaikovsky and Grand Duke
Konstantin Nikolaevich of Russia.
The History of Relationship
The paper is devoted to the personal and creative relationship between P. I. Tchaikovsky and one of the members of the Romanov royal dynasty, the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich of Russia (1827–1892) — the President of the Russian Musical Society (1873–1892), active musician-amateur, the initiator of musical reforms. The creative history of such works by Tchaikovsky as the Second Symphony, the Second string quartet, operas «The Oprichnik», «Vakula the Smith», «Eugene Onegin» considered in the context of these initiatives, have acquired a new dimension. The relationship of the composer and the Grand Duke is observed sequentially since the middle of 1860s until the end of the 1880s. The Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich was the first august patron of Tchaikovsky, who provided the necessary and timely support in the most important concern for the composer — actually spreading his music during the period when Tchaikovsky began to acquire a reputation (1870s). Aforementioned operas of Moscow period were created in parallel with the «operatic project» of Konstantin Nikolaevich. In this context it is important to review «Vakula the Smith» and «Eugene Onegin» which were written for Russian Musical Society. Tchaikovsky’s relationship with the family of Grand Duke marked the beginning of creative contacts with his son, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (who was a poet writing under the pen name «K. R.»). This article was prepared on the basis of previously unknown archival documents.
Keywords: P. I. Tchaikovsky, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich of Russia, N. G. Rubinstein, E. F. Napravnik, Russian Musical Society, august patronage, the Romanov Dynasty, the musical life of St. Petersburg, the musical life of Moscow, the court musical culture, Marble Palace, Moscow Conservatory
The Art of Music and Vanitas
In this article the words from the Book of Ecclesiastes about «vanity of vanities» (vanitas) are interpreted as one of the important sacred subjects of the European art of the 16th–18th centuries. The reflections on the subject unified artists and musicians, Protestants and Catholics, Italians and inhabitants of northern European countries. The emblematic of pictorial canvas is explained and the range of subjects associated with the idea of frailty of life is outlined. Special attention is focused on the canons set to the text Vanitas Vanitatum by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: the drastic pessimism of the Biblical book’s author was not congenial to the great composer — his faith in the saving power of music which deliver man from vanity of this world justified the musician’s work and gave meaning to it in the master’s own opinion as well as in the opinion of his numerous pupils.
Keywords: vanitas, the Book of Ecclesiastes, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,
still life, Jan van Eyck, Matthias Withoos, Jan Bruegel de Jonge,
Benedetto Pamphili, Doria Pamphilj Gallery,
«Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disingannо»