Monday, April 24, 2017

Assignment for Wednesday, April 26

As we discussed in class today, please analyze the fourth movement of Mahler 2, from the beginning (which we did in class) up to rehearsal 3. You can just write Roman numerals on your score; I will go around the room to check your work.

Also, please compare this passage with the bar before rehearsal 6 and rehearsal 6 itself (two bars); the harmony is different in a unique and interesting way. At rehearsal 6, why does the cello part have B double flat and A double flat?

Mahler 2 - analysis of first movement

If you're interested, here is my motivic analysis of the first movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 2; this is in the new notation software Dorico, I'm pretty happy with it!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mahler 2: two performances

Here are two remarkable conductors and orchestras. Claudio Abbado, with Lucerne Festival Orchestra, 2003:

and Simon Rattle, with City of Birmingham Symphony, 1998:

The sound quality is a little better for the first one, but they are both wonderful!

Mahler on Khan Academy

Here is an excellent video presentation from Khan Academy of the first movement of Mahler 2, presented by conductor Gerard Schwartz. I don't agree with all of his formal analysis, but it's great to see this combination of commentary, score following, and live performance. This would be an amazing video final project, but I think it would be pretty difficult to do!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Liszt sonata - complete form sketch

Here is a sketch of a complete formal breakdown of the Liszt, to spur discussion of the larger form.

m. 1 motive X - g minor
m. 8 motive a - b minor? (Leslie Howard says the Exposition starts here; double bar)
m. 14 motive b - definitely b minor
m. 18 sequences, building higher and higher
m. 25 return of a (Eb major)
m. 30 motive b - cadential 6-4 in b minor
m. 32 - Main theme (combining motives a and b)
m. 36 - repeat, iv
m. 40 fragmentation
m. 45 sequence, starting in Eb minor
m. 47 (F major)
m. 49 (Ab major)
m. 51 further fragmented
m. 54 seq is now just one beat
m. 55 motive a, Bb major, in canon
m. 67 repeat, now in Eb major
m. 71 the octave thing (ends w/ dim. 7)
m. 82 X - now on A (dominant of D major) - standing on the dom.
m. 93 scale motive in diminution
m.  105 motive c, D major, Grandioso
m. 120 motive a - recapitulatory, but now soft, transitional
Development? Second Group?
m. 125 motive a, now radically transformed into a lyrical theme - F major, period
m. 141 motive b, transition
m. 153 motive b, now radically transformed into another lyrical theme - D major, sentence
m. 171 motive b, variation
m. 179 motive a, with scale motive in R.H. - 4-bar sequence, rising 3x
[is this a sequence, or a repeat of a larger block?]
m. 191 motive b, 2-bar sequence
m. 197 motive a, very slow - F# major - RH trill; repeats in Eb major
Closing section?
m. 205 Triumphant motive a - C major (rising scale in LH)
m. 209 Rising scale - augmentation of preceding LH triplets
m. 213 Sequence - B major [again, is this a sequence or a repeat of a larger block?]
m. 221 new sequence - motive A, Bb minor, 3x - no longer triumphant; developmental
3rd x (m 225) is B dim7 - fragmentation
m. 239 motive a - D major, vivamente; (scherzando, light, upper register)
m. 247 - repeat; harmonically different
m. 255 - motive b, b minor (!); sequence with fragmentation
m. 263 - repeat
m. 270 - ultra fragmentation
m. 277 - motive X, followed by Scale
m. 297 - motive c, C# minor
m. 301 - recitativo V/C# minor
m. 302 - F minor
m. 303 - recitativo
m. 307 - new material
m. 309 - ascending dim 7 chords (octatonic scale)
m. 310 - motive b and ascending dim 7 chords
m. 315 - motive a fragmented
m. 319 - motive a (augmented) w/ motive b underneath
m. 334 - F# major, Chorale
m. 349 - motive b (sentence)
m. 363 - motive c (F# major)
m. 376 - motive c (g minor)
m. 385 & 389 - Motive a (common tone)
m. 394-396 - Ger aug. 6th
m. 397 - F# major (m. 334)
m. 441-433 - cadential
m. 433 - motive b (F# major)
THIRD MOVEMENT?? or recap?
m. 454 - recap, motive X + scale
m. 460 - motive a, fugue
m. 509 - dotted figure (motive A variation) LH inverted motive a
m. 523 - amplified m. 25
m. 533 - Recapitulation proper
m. 537 ( = m. 36, iv)
m. 541 ( = m. 40, fragmentation)
m. 546 ( = m. 45, Eb minor)
m. 555 X - in chords, not single octaves, with figuration (8th notes) from motive c
- sequence, 3x - Eb maj, E min, Fr. aug. 6th
m. 569 motive a, on the dominant, followed by Scale; sequence, 3x - climbing higher and higher
m. 582 - standing on the dominant, motive a, diminution; sequence -  climbing higher and higher
m. 590 - V9 - return of the octave thing
m. 595 - motive b - with silence! 3x
m. 600 - motive c - now in tonic, B major
m. 615 - transition - cresc. on whole note (!)
m. 616 - transformation (augmentation) of motive b, still in B major ( = m. 153)
m. 634 - variation ( = m. 171) - now the figuration is in 16ths instead of triplets
m. 642 - motive a, with scale motive in R.H. ( = m. 179)
m. 650 - motive b "stretta quasi Presto" ( = m. 255)
m. 665 - ultra fragmentation
m. 682 - motive a, diminution - apotheosis of B major
m. 690 - repeat, now with melody in LH
m. 711 - return of slow movement, now in B major (is this the start of the Coda?)
m. 729 ( = m. 319) - motive b in bass
m. 737 motive a
m. 748 - motive X, with scale
(760 bars total)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Theory journals

Daniel Edwards asks an excellent question regarding theory journals to search for good articles about your subject. Here are some that I have found useful:

Music Theory Online - convenient, because it's a web journal
Music Theory Spectrum - also on JSTOR
Journal of Music Theory - also on JSTOR
19th Century Music - on JSTOR; a little more on the musicological side but lots of good stuff here

These four are probably the most prominent; but there are others, and excellent work can be found in all of them.

In Theory Only - University of Michigan graduate student journal, no longer published
Indiana Theory Review - from Indiana University
Int├ęgral - from Eastman

Don't forget to ask your friendly reference librarian for help!

Leslie Howard on the Liszt Sonata

Here is the video Zhi Ru and I were talking about in class today; an informed and opinionated discussion (in other words, what I want for your final project) of Liszt's Sonata by Leslie Howard. Very interesting!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Liszt Sonata - analysis

1 x, g minor (Phrygian)
5 x, g harmonic minor (raised 4th)
8 x', motive a - B minor, vii°
14 motive b
18 sequential, cresc. (3x, extension on the 3rd x)
25 motive a, ff
30 motive b, cadential 6/4
32 motive a (RH), motive b (LH)
36 (repeat on iv)
40 ctd7 on e, then ctd7 on b
45 sequence, rising (sim. to 18)
55 motive a, Bb major, in canon
61 '', g minor
67 ", Eb major
73, brilliant octave passage
81 x, V of D
105, Grandioso, motive C (chorale) D major
120 a (p), b minor (but it's going to modulate to....
125 F major, motive a, dolce con grazia (radical transformation of character)
141 motive b, key=?
153 motive b, D major (radical transformation of character) cantando express.
171 motive b reprise, D major
179 motive a, fragment (E min/Bb maj), sequence
191 motive b, fragment and sequence
197 motive a, cad. 6/4, F# major; repeats in Eb major (little cadenza)
205 motive a, C major, big arrival point, ff; repeat in B major
221 motive a in LH, fragmented; big sequence, evaporates into:
239 motive a, scherzando, D major; repeats 8vb
255 incalzando; motive b fragment (V of B minor; sequences)
277 motive x, g minor; scale motive; sequence
297 motive c, 3/2, C# minor
301 Recitativo
302 motive c, F minor; another recitativo
SLOW MOVEMENT - development????
334 motive d, F# major

Assignment for Wednesday, April 5

Please listen to the Liszt B minor sonata, if you haven't done so already, and number all the bars in your Dover score. For Wednesday, as a comment to this post, please give a short answer (two or three sentences) about the form of the piece, which is famously controversial. The comment to the video below (Krystian Zimerman's recording) is illuminating, and gives us all a good starting point.