2015 № 1(20)
Distinguished Professor of Music
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
How not to Hear Le Sacre du Printemps?
Schoenberg’s Theories, Leibowitz’s Recording
The 50th anniversary of Le Sacre du Printemps was marked with a recording by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Rene Leibowitz. The interpretation is intriguing because Leibowitz was a deeply devoted Schoenbergian. Convinced of Schoenberg’s outlook on musical performance, as re-formulated and expressed by the composer’s brother-in-law and student Rudolf Kolisch, Leibowitz thus contrived to apply Austro-German musical principles to Stravinsky’s Russian music.
My essay begins with Schoenberg’s understanding of Stravinsky’s early works — the aesthetic and compositional principles by which he praised and criticized them. Leibowitz espoused many of Schoenberg’s beliefs about Stravinsky’s music, and they determined his approach to Le Sacre. Following the performance practices of Kolisch, Leibowitz would interpret Le Sacre with a Schoenbergian analysis in mind. I offer such an analysis of the Introduction to Part I as a case study showing the insights it offers both about the piece and Leibowitz’s reading. Crucially, this analysis considers Le Sacre’s lack of developing variation, which Schoenberg would have deplored, as well as the structuring role of Stravinsky’s orchestration, which he ever held in high regard.
Keywords: Schoenberg, Leibowitz, Kolisch, Erich Itor Kahn, Boulez, Webern, developing variation,
juxtaposition, orchestration, Grundgestalt, polytonal, octatonic, tempo
Distinguished Professor of Music
at Pennsylvania State University
Stravinsky at the Crossroads After The Rite:
Jeu de Rossignol Mecanique
(August 1, 1913)
«He says that he has tried to continue the work in the older style, and that where differences are found they must be taken as the result of unconscious forces which are too strong for him». — Igor Stravinsky (1914).
Soon after the first performance of Le Sacre du printemps (May 29, 1913) at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, Stravinsky resumed work on Le rossignol [The Nightingale] — an opera that he started in 1908 but abandoned in 1910 during his working on The Rite. In 1913, he completed Le rossignol [The Nightingale] — the first performance taking place on May 26, 1914 at the Theatre de l’Opera in Paris.
Evidence that Stravinsky was mediating between the strident nature of The Rite and the mellifluous quality of passages written for The Nightingale before The Rite, is found in a definitive musical sketch (Paul Sacher Stiftung) for Jeu du rossignol mecanique [Performance of the Mechanical Nightingale] where Stravinsky wrote “Очень доволен!” [I am very satisfied!] 19 vii/1 viii 1913 [7/19(8/1)1913]. The essay will show how Stravinsky moved from sketch to score for this passage, in comparison with earlier sketches for The Nightingale some of which are interspersed with those for The Rite.
Keywords: Le sacre du printemps [The Rite of Spring], Le rossignol [The Nightingale],
first performance of May 26, 1914 at the Theatre de l’Opera in Paris,
Alexandre Benois stage settings for The Nightingale,
Jeu du rossignol mecanique [Performance of the Mechanical Nightingale],
Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky- Korsakov’s opera Kaschey bessmertniy [Kaschey the Deathless],
Tamara N. Levaya
Doctor of Fine Arts,
Professor of Nizhniy Novgorod Glinka Conservatory (Academy)
The Rite of Spring
and the Metamorphosis of Russian Scythianism
The article discusses the phenomenon of Russian Scythianism, which originated in the cultural climate of Russia in the early 20th century and has manifested itself in various works of art. The author analyzes the aesthetic, social and psychological roots of this phenomenon, which ideologically aware of itself on the eve of the World War I. The article reveals the link between Russian Scythianism and philosophy of Dionysism, it allows to draw a parallel between the ecstatic images of Stravinsky and Scriabin. In addition, it traces the evolution of the Scythian art sphere in creative activity of younger contemporaries of Stravinsky. This is Prokofiev, who was promoted from the Scythian Suite and the cantata Seven, They are Seven to the urbanistic Second Symphony and The Steel Step, as well as Shostakovich, who trans¬formed the rhythmic motor activity of the Scyphian sphere in sinister “machine of death”.
Keywords: The Rite of Spring, Russian Scythianism, eurasianism, Dionysism, urbanism,“machine of death”
Alla A. Baeva
Doctor of Fine Arts,
Professor of Russian University of Theatre Arts,
Leading Researcher of State Institute of Art Studies
The Rite of Spring:
Study for a Portrait of Stravinsky as Stage Director
The article examines the phenomenon of The Rite of Spring through the space of Stravinsky’s theatre, parallels being drawn with the composer’s other musical stage works analyzed in terms of their stage production. Stravinsky’s intentions as a stage director can be spotted on almost all levels of his work — in the script and libretto, in the dramatic concept, in particular mise-en-scene treatment, in the selection of means of musical expressiveness, in explanations of various kinds existent in the composer’s literary and epistolary heritage.
Keywords: Stravinsky, musical theatre, composer as stage director
Margarita N. Timofeeva
Teacher of Novgorod Regional Sergey Rachmaninov
College of Arts
On the “Instrumentation”
in Skomorokhs’ Fairy-Tales
from the Collection of G. Naumenko
This paper deals with the art of skomorokhs — professional Russian folk musicians and actors. The texts from the collection of G. Naumenko, in which skomorokhs speak about themselves from the first person, are considered as a special kind of documents which can give an idea of skomorokhs’ world “from within”. This type of narrative is the first reliable criterion by which one can recognize skomorokhs’ folklore. The second criterion is associated with the genre of fairy-tale with songs, in the genesis of which there is a triple syncretism: narrative, singing, and instrumental playing which accompanied songs or dances. In the light of the theory of influence of instrumental playing on narrative and song melody the author tries to reveal some elements of instrumental thinking in verbal texts and song melodies of the spoken fairy-tales. The discreteness of syntax, overcoming of melodiousness, predominance of motoric even-accentual dance rhythm denote the influence of accompanying instruments. Examples of melodies having the character of improvisation indicate the influence of virtuoso forms of instrumental playing. The instrumentation of verse, verbal picturesqueness, kinetic art, onomatopoeia (of nature voices and instrumental timbres), syllabic imitation of instrumental sounds, examples of implementation of fairy-tale plots in song melodies — all these features demonstrate the specific type of thinking which the author of the paper calls “instrumentation-thinking”. “Figurative instrumentation” of the text (“speaking string”, “psaltery is my thought”) also belongs to its characteristic features.
Keywords: skomorokhs’ fairy-tales with tunes, instrumentation of the verse, complex of plot and style,
triple syncretism, instrumentation mindset
Yury K. Zakharov
Ph. D.; Assistant Professor of the Subdepartment
of Music History and Theory
of Victor Popov Academy of Choral Art
Towards New Methods of Tonal Melody Analysis
(F. Schubert’s Songs)
The article concerns the elaboration and practical application of a new method of melody analysis, based on the transformation and development of H. Schenker’s theory. The ideas of this Austrian musicologist began to spread within Russian music theory only recently owing to works by Yu. Kholopov and B. Plotnikov, the latter had not only translated “Der freie Satz” into Russian, but had also demonstrated the application of Schenker’s methods to his own analytical studies. While reducing the music to the strict harmonic four-part texture and tracing behind it foreground, middleground and background pitch-lines, melody is regarded in the present paper as a specific line which moves between different voices and interacts with the schenkerian linear progressions. In addition, new means of representation of a melody form using schemes combining notation and graphic elements are offered in the article. The introduced concepts “dynamic triangle”, “melodic ambitus” and “steady kernel” reflect the motion of a melody within a mode.
Keywords: melody, linear-harmonic analysis, mode,
ambitus, H. Schenker, F. Schubert
Sergey N. Lebedev
Ph. D., Associate Professor,
Leading Researcher of the Research Center
for Methodology of Historical Musicology
of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory
Epistola by Guido: a Familiar Text on an Unfamiliar Cantus
Epistola de ignoto cantu by Guido of Arezzo is one of the most renown medieval texts on music. Here Guido introduced solmization syllables ut re mi fa sol la which are still used by musicians. Strangely enough, until recently the original had to be studied after the unreliable and fragmentary Martin Gerbert edition of the 18th century (“Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra potissimum”). This new Russian translation of the Epistola is based on critical editions of Dolores Pesce (1999) and Angelo Rusconi (2008). Besides the revised original text (with some crucial enhancements) these editions contain a dozen of music examples which previously have not been taken into account by scholars — their transcriptions are included in the current translation. Besides, it includes extensive commentary written with intention to clarify the original loci obscuri. Three annotated color facsimiles from Guidonian manuscripts are attached in the Appendix. The translation is preceded by the Introduction where the author selects some typically Guidonian terms found in Epistola (with emphasis on polysemantic examples) and also outlines his approach to rendering of complicated music terminology to the Russian language. The Introduction also includes a brief survey of the most important topics of Guido’s theory, with an attempt to separate its stereotyped transmission from genuine contribution of the Italian musician.
Keywords: Guido of Arezzo, history of Western music theory, harmony, terminology of music
Anna V. Bulycheva
Ph. D., Assistant to the Artistic Director
Associate Professor of the Foreign Music History Subdepartment
of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory
Can Popevkas Be by Borodin?
On the Appropriateness of Use of the Term Popevka
Regarding the Music by Composers of the Modern Era
The author examines the application of the Old Russian term popevka to the music of different epochs and traditions — such as plainchant, musical folklore and the Russian music of the 19th century. The term came back into use in the 1840s thanks to the researchers of Znamenny Chant. In 1904, Stepan Smolensky substantiated the application of the Old Russian theory of popevkas to folk songs. His idea of “melodic patterns” (in other words, thesaurus of musical intonations) was evolved by ethnomusicologists during the 20th century. From the middle of the century, the term popevka was often applied by musicologists to works by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov and especially Borodin, in spite of the absence of any fundamental theory that could be used for studying “popevka thinking” of Russian composers, any methodology of research work, any means of discovering of popevkas in this or that work. The given article contains the definition of such melodic patterns, following both Old Russian music theory and music folkloristics. These patterns are anonymous and derived from an oral tradition, so there is a finite quantity of such patterns. Several examples are specially chosen from Borodin’s music to demonstrate how could popevkas function inside an alien musical style: in the conditions of homophonic texture, harmonic tonality, and measured rhythm. As it becomes clear, so called “popevka thinking” could be simulated by using of “wandering mode”, harmonic varying, changing and mixed meters, melodic phrases composed of invariable “nucleuses” and changeable “prefixes”. The thematic material is usually adopted (of folklore), or stylized. Evidently, the aforementioned system is relevant to the Russian music of the second half of the 19th century. In the music of other styles and art movements, both the sources of borrowed melodic patterns and means of simulating the context (musical texture, harmony and meter) are most likely different.
Keywords: popevka, melodic formula, Borodin, Smolensky,
Asafiev, vocabulary of intonations, eclecticism
Olga P. Saigushkina
of St.-Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory
Schumann and Liszt: Two Versions of the Paganini’s Sixth Caprice
The article considers the problems of piano transcription on the example of etudes after Pa¬ganini’s Caprices by Schumann and Liszt, provides a comparative analysis of etudes on Caprice No. 6, g-moll according to the following parameters: structure, texture, piano techniques, tempo-rhythmic organization, dynamics, articulation, fingering, pedalisation.
Keywords: caprices, transcription, etudes after Paganini’s
Caprices by Schumann and Liszt