A Lost Gothic Musical Form: The Harmonic Labyrinth
The paper springs from the following assumption: if a musical work is an auditory labyrinth, it could also be a visual labyrinth. In other words, the study proceeds from the premise that the musical form of labyrinth implies the visual form of labyrinth. In this respect, the analysis tries to discover the map of the Bach’s Harmonic labyrinth for organ. In order to find the key for realising the translation from the auditory to the visual, the research unveils a system of analogies between harmony and the visual space of the labyrinth. As a last discovery of the research, one can mention the fact that harmonic density decides the gothic character of a musical work.
Stravinsky and the Modern Ballet
40 years after his death, Stravinsky’s name maintains its remarkable force in the musical field of the 20th century. His ballet music represents one of the mirrors of the composer’s style, the different manners in which he uses the sound material in direct connection with a permanent searching state of mind. The relationship of the composer with the stage defines his artistic vision by the necessity of completing the musical discourse with image and movement. At the same time, these works outline a certain musical positioning among the more general tendencies of the time when they were produced. Not only “pure” ballet works, but other titles in connection with other musical genres like cantata or opera are surveyed in the study case of Stravinsky’s mastership of interweaving music and choreography.
Between The Firebird and Agon, an entire history of the modern style emerges through the metamorphosis of the same composer. If the beginning of this original history was marked by the attachment to the folklore in the manner of citing folk tunes or inventing in the manner of the folk music, Stravinsky’s return to the past in neoclassical shape meant neither composition exercises, nor virtuosity demonstrations of the score writing, nor copies after famous musical „pictures”, but true originals, holding the composer’s own mark. The jumps from one style to another, from the one stylizing musical archetypes of folk origin to the resurrection of a past deposited in the imaginary museum of the universal culture do not represent ephemeral caprices, but rather the persuasive quest, the sustained effort in finding the adequate formulas for a genre with a double implication, musical and choreographic. These important evolutions in musical language required also changes in the mentalities and taste in modern era: The Rite of Spring is the perfect example of a scandal turned into a huge success. Of the same significance is the decisive role of Stravinsky’s ballet creation to the establishment of the modern choreographic performance. The whole series of the works offered the possibility of imagining some different performances that revolutionized the concept about Terpsichore’s art in the first half of the 20th century.
Mihail Jora’s Ballets
This paper brings into discussion one of Mihail Jora’s favorite musical genres: the ballet. Between 1928 and 1966, the Romanian composer wrote six such works: La piaţă (At the Market), Demoazela Măriuţa (Miss Mary), Curtea veche (The Old Court), Când strugurii se coc (When Grapes are Ripe), Întoarcerea din adâncuri (Return from the Deep), Hanul Dulcineea (Dulcineea Inn). From one ballet to the other, one can notice changes in conception, content, aesthetics or even ideology, sometimes outright surprising, that are not disassociated with certain shifts in the composer’s biography, inevitably influenced by the socio-political events that have left a mark on Romania’s history – the two World Wars and the installment of the communist regime. Aspects like creation and biographical interfaces; characters; sonic sources; harmonic conception; rhythm and orchestration offer a perspective on Jora’s ballets.
Music is a complex phenomenon that is not only reducibleto sound; the notation preserves the memory of musical work, the virtuality of its indefinite reiteration in time. The musical text prefigures the action of the formation of the musical work in a global manner, without circumscribing it. We will see to what extent the denotative, i.e., quantitative aspect of the musical sign supposes a number of subjective qualities. They refer to the behaviour, the global expression, to the personalization of musical communication, in which ponderables and imponderables are involved. Alongside with the so-called "materiality" of such components, as sounds and silence, both underlain by duration and objectifiable to a certain extent, in the act of musical communication, there are forces and experiences that are telepathically transmitted, in intersubjective ways. The awareness, and especially the explanation concerning them remain an open problem, and every score will solve it in its own way. There is a perpetual dialectic between the relativity of the signs proposed by the musical text, and the absolute of the performance, of its projection in time. Therefore, any musical text appears to us as a metaphor of a continuous work, in indefinite progress, as a matrix for unique solutions.
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