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Chapter 20: The Twentieth Century: Early Modernism. Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm. Ballet Fauve Ostinato. Key Terms. Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm. Stravinsky began as Russian nationalist Influenced by his mentor, kuchka member Rimsky-Korsakov

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chapter 20 the twentieth century early modernism

Chapter 20:The Twentieth Century: Early Modernism

Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm

key terms
Ballet

Fauve

Ostinato

Key Terms
stravinsky the primacy of rhythm
Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm
  • Stravinsky began as Russian nationalist
    • Influenced by his mentor, kuchka member Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Three famous early ballets for Paris
    • Steady progress from nationalism to a powerful, hard-edged avant-garde style
    • More & more abstract use of folk material
    • The Firebird – beautifully colored folk music
    • Petrushka – hard, satirical portrait of carnival barker & his puppets with folk & pop tunes
    • Rite of Spring – pagan rites brutally depicted
igor stravinsky 1882 1971
Igor Stravinsky(1882-1971)
  • Influence of mentor Rimsky-Korsakov
  • First success with Ballets Russes in Paris
    • The Firebird, Petrushka, & Rite of Spring
    • Wrote many ballets – Pulcinella, Agon, etc.
  • Leading Neoclassical composer after 1920
    • Symphony of Psalms, Rake’s Progress, etc.
  • Moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s
    • Assisted by Robert Craft from 1950s to death
  • Remarkable group of late 12-tone works!
    • Requiem Canticles, Threni, etc.
stravinsky the rite of spring
Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring
  • Used a deliberately barbaric style
    • To depict primitive rites & ritual sacrifice
    • Crude use of folk-tune fragments
    • “Unemotional,” grindingly dissonant music
    • Draws remarkable colors from huge orchestra
  • Rhythm is the lifeblood of this work
    • Visceral, unpredictable rhythms
  • First performance caused a riot
    • Provocative, non-balletic choreography
    • Violent, brutal, dissonant sounds
the rite of spring introduction
The Rite of SpringIntroduction
  • “Fanfare” for bassoon in very high range
    • Extreme registers exploited for new tone colors
  • Many short melodic fragments
    • Fanfares for oboe, piccolo & bass clarinet
    • Frequently repeated, but never the same twice
    • Piled on top of each other to create dissonant climax of activity
  • Bassoon “fanfare” returns at the end
the rite of spring dance of the adolescents 1
The Rite of SpringDance of the Adolescents (1)
  • Dancers entered with accented chords
    • 32 repetitions of dissonant chord with heavy, irregular accents played by 8 French horns
    • 12 3 412 3 4 5121 2 3 4 5 61 2 31 2 3 412 3 4 5…
    • Chords alternate with 4-note ostinato
the rite of spring dance of the adolescents 2
The Rite of SpringDance of the Adolescents (2)
  • Folk song motives are laid over rhythm
    • Motives repeat, & new ones pile on top of old
    • Different length & rhythm for each repetition – an irregular ostinato
    • Creates climax by piling more & more motives, ostinatos, & rhythms on top of each other
the rite of spring the game of abduction
The Rite of SpringThe Game of Abduction
  • Brutal, violent rhythms here
    • Asymmetric, with frequently changing meter
    • LOUD – heavy brass, sliding horn calls, & frantic pounding on the timpani
    • Alternation between scurrying figures & heavy booming ones
the rite of spring round dances of spring 1
The Rite of SpringRound Dances of Spring (1)
  • Desolate, empty feeling in introduction
    • Piccolo clarinet & alto flute two octaves apart
  • Slow, dragging dance follows
    • Hypnotic meter created by heavy downbeat & added or skipped beats
    • Uses folk tune fragment from earlier section
the rite of spring round dances of spring 2
The Rite of SpringRound Dances of Spring (2)
  • Relentless buildup to overpowering climax
    • Trombone glissandos with gong, cymbals, & bass drum
    • Sudden, fast coda with violent interjections
    • Brief return of p bassoon fanfare
conclusions
Conclusions
  • New language based on rhythm
    • Exhilarating, irregular rhythms & meter
    • Complex textures pile up rhythms & motives
  • Strong reaction against Romanticism
    • Tough, precise, barbaric music with no Romantic sentiment or emotionalism
    • Melody reduced to motives & fragments
    • Frequent dissonance as motives pile up
    • Tonality anchored by ostinato & pedal tones, not by diatonic scales
  • Extraordinary ear for new colors
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