Стравинский. 3 пьесы для кларнета соло. Анализ


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BUT WHAT IS IT
SAYING?
TRANSLATING

THE
MUSICAL
LANGUAGE OF
STRAVINSKY’S




by


Derek Emch







A Research Paper

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

Music Bibliography and Research Class









Department of Music in the Graduate School

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

January 2012

















ii



AN ABSTRACT OF THE
RESEARCH PAPER
OF


Derek Emch
, for the
Music Bibliography and Research class

in
MUSIC
, presented on
20
October, 2011
, at
Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


TITLE:
But What is it Saying? Translating

the
Musical
Language of
Stravinsky’s
Three Pieces
for Clarinet Solo


CLASS

PROFESSOR:
Dr.
Douglas
Worthen


In response to questions of interpretation of his music, Igor Stravinsky has said
simply
to
the notes speak for themselves.
In this paper I will

translate the language of Stravinsky’s
music
in his
Three Pieces for Clarinet
Solo
.

I will
demonstrate the following: how Stravinsky
was able to derive a harmonic structure out of melodic content, thereby creating a two
-
dimensional space; the formal structure of each of the three
Pieces
;
and
relationships between
Three
Pieces and another of Stra
vinsky’s works,
L’Histoire du Soldat.


This analysis will serve
as
m
y

translation of Stravinsky’s musical language
, which

will then be compared

to scholarly
research conducted regarding the
Three Pieces
.




























LIST OF
FIGURES



iii



FIGURE












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2

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3

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Figure

3a

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Figure

4

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5

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6

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7

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Figure

8

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1
1


1


The collection of instrumental compositions from t
he Swiss

period in
Igor
Stravinsky’s
life has been described as being influenced by “German, Irish, French (Breton), Italian, Spanish,
and
even Brazilian sources, in addition to various mongrel types of North American popular
music.”
1

It is against this backdrop that the
Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo

was composed in
1918
.

Despite the vast amount of research on Stravinsky, there is not a s
trong consensus on the
origin and composition of the
Three Pieces
.
Attempts to
answer these questions
ha
ve

been mired
by several contradictory statements by Stravinsky himself and by others associated with him
.
Much evidence today has been gathered throu
gh second
-

and third
-
hand accounts, retold after
several decades
.
The best source of information, however, is the work itself
. Rosario Mazzeo,
former clarinetist with the Boston Symp
hony, related in his column in

The Clarinet

magazine
that
Stravinsky
himself reportedly said

to him,
“whatever [Stravinsky]
had been influenced by
while writing
for
the clarinet was clearly set forth by his music symbols and words.”
2

If the
answers are in the musical language Stravinsky

created, then they only need to be t
ranslated from
what is heard in performance and what is written on the page
.
Translation of this musical
language, then, is the ambition of
the
analysis

set forth below
.
With such a translation

available
,
several questions can be more affirmat
ively answe
red
.
What influenced Stravinsky in his
composition of the
Three Pieces
? What connections are there between each individual piece?





1
.
Richard Taruskin,
Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through Mavra
,
Vol
.
2 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996), 1443.



2


The work was composed for Werner Reinhart, a Swiss philanthropist from Winterthur
,

also an amateur clarinetist,
3

who financed
L’Histoire du Soldat
.
The origins of the
Three Pieces

and
L’Histoire

are

closely

linked
.
The conductor of the premiere of
L’Histoire,
Ernest
Bechet
,
4

gave Stravinsky a “bundle of ragtime music in the form of piano reductions and
instrumental parts, which [he] copied out in score
.
With these pieces before [him] he composed
the
Ragtime

in
Histoire du Soldat
.”
5


Richard
Taruskin calls
Three Pieces

“that charming
appendage to
Histoire du Soldat,
6

and rightly so
.
The
Ragtime

from
L’Histoire

and the
Three
Pieces

share many similarities
.

The clarinet’s role in the
Ragtime

is as an elaborator
, making motivic interjections to the
violin’s melodic line
s
.
One recurring
motive in particular is

similar to a motive found in the
second of the
Three Pieces

(
Figure

1)
.
Stravinsky also utilizes several of the same rhythms in
the
Ragtime

as in the third piece, highlighting their similar source material (
Figure

2).

Figure

1

Similar melodic material








3.
Vera Stravinsky and Robert Craft,
Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents

(New York: Simon and
Schuster), 624
.
“In a letter… Ansermet says that in a performance of the
Firebird
Suite that he conducted in
Winterthur, Reinhart played the bass clarinet.”

4.
Ern
est Ansermet, “A ‘Serious’ Musician Takes Jazz Seriously,” in
Keeping Time:
Readings in Jazz
History
, ed
.
Robert Walser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 9

11.

5
.
Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft,
Dialogues and A Diary

(London: Faber and Faber, 19
68), 54.

6
.
Taruskin, Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions, Vol
.
2, 1483.,

3


Figure

2

Similar rhythmic material


The
first piece

is marked “
Molto tranquillo
.”
Much of the
performer’s work in portraying this affective marking has already been completed by
Stravinsky
through his use of register and dynamic markings
.
The pi
ece does not reach higher than
second
space
A
.
By coupling the A clarinet’s distinctive chalumeau register with a
sempre piano

dynamic throughout, the affective character has been appropr
.

The overall form of the first piece is best described as ABA’ with a short coda, the first
section ending m
.
9; the second in m
.
21; and

the third lasting until measure 28
.
The principal
motive
, a
m
,

can be described as

made of

the pitch
es A

G


F♯

E.
Interestingly,
St
ravinsky does not initially reveal

a
m
in

its entirety
.
Instead, he slowly develops
it
throughout
the first section of the piece.

Figure

3

First Piece, mm
.
1

9



As shown in
Figure

3,

Stravinsky traces the melody downward,
from the
A

acciaccatura

down to
the
F♯
.
Missing is the bottom E
.
The melody
is repeated to no avail, and then
develop
ed further, this time reaching F

.
Finally, at the last cadence of the section, in m
.
8, the
E

4


i
s attained
.
Only in the B section is

a
m

is revealed in its entirety
.
A’ has a decorated version of
the opening line, this time completing a
m

within the first phrase
.
The rest of A’

follows in what
can almost be considered an abridged version
.
What
Stravinsky accomplished in nine measures
previously, he now contains within four and a half
.


(for the most part)

a

melodic instrument, compound melodies
and
arpeggiations
become very important when writin
g unaccompanied
works

for
it
.
Stravinsky
utilizes this technique brilliantly
.
Here is
Figure

3

again
, this time with lines drawn to indicate
the separate melodic ideas
.

Figure

3a

First Piece compound me
lodies

in mm
.
1

9



Note in the first two measures the clear wedge shape emanating from the
A
.
The
repetition of the phrase in mm
.
4

5 shows the

wedge shape even more clearly
.
Lines
have been
drawn to indicate the two separate melodic lines created by the wedge. O
ther impl
ied melodic
lines

are also

labeled
.
An arpeggiation occurs in mm
.
9

10
.
By separating other possible
melodies from the work, further
important pitches

come to
be revealed
.
Return to
Figure

3
a
.
The first two pitches to which Stravinsky assigns legato m
arkings are C♯ and D♯ in m
.
6
.
Following line

4 after the breath mark, C♯ and D♯ are, excepting the F♯, the only pitches

5


contained within that line
.
Some o
ther instances of these pitches occurring in the same
compo
und line are given in
Figure
s 4
a

c
.

Figure

4a

First Piece C♯/D♯ moments




Figure

4b

First Piece C♯/D♯ moments


Figure

4c

First Piece Further C♯/D♯ moments



Of the three pieces, the first is surrounded by the most controversy concerning its or
i
gins
.
Conflicting firs
thand accounts, anecdotal evidence, and historical research all reveal different
conclusions
.
Robert Craft, in an appendix to volume one of his
Stravinsky: Selected
Correspondence
,
7

Lied ohne Name
.
When
Three Pieces
was
compose
d in 1918, it was just a sketch, and Stravinsky “expanded this music in a song that
apparently became the source of the first of the Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
.”
8


Crystal Hearne
Reinoso, professor of music at Buffalo State University of New York, addr
essed Craft’s
assertion in

a two part

analytical article
, “Sources and Inspirations for Stravinsky’s
Three Pieces
for Clarinet Solo,


written for
The Clarinet

magazine

in 1996
.
9


She
proposes

that Craft’s theory



7.
Robert Craft ed.,
Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence
, vol
.
1

(New York: Alfred A
.
Knopf, 1982),
409

410.

8.
Ibid.

9.
Crystal Hearne Reinoso,
“Sources and Inspirations for Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo: Part
2,”

23, no
.
4 (1996):26

29.

6


is not supported by the evidence he gives,
o
r

by much else, and concludes that while he is
most
likely
wrong, h
is theory

does “reinforce the notion that the first movement … is less influenced
by jazz.”
10


There are, however, some relationships which Reinoso
neglected to mention

in her
treatment
.
One area in
Three Pieces

cited by Craft as being inspired by
Lied

is mm
.
2

3

and 7

9
.
Reinoso claims it is difficult to ma
ke the connection, but
Figure

5

should show otherwise
, in
which the melody, a descending major second followed by ascending major se
cond, is compared
with a possible corresponding location in
Lied
.
In mm
.
2

3, the first appearance of the melodic
fragment from
Lied

maintains
nearly
the same rhythmic proportions
.
The second appearance is
found in the upper line of the compound melody.

Figure

5

First piece, mm
.
2

3


First Piece
mm
.
7

9


Lied

mm
.
5

7



There is another possibility
suggested

by Reinoso
.
Known only through secondhand
accounts is the theory that Stravinsky was listening to a touring jazz band and “between sets, the
g
roup’s clarinetist remained onstage alone, playing a ‘blues lament’ or the ‘bluest clarinet



10.
Ibid, 28.

7


recitative.’”
11


This clarinetist either played what would become the first piece, or inspired
Stravinsky to write it
.
This is an attractive possibility, because
of

the affective qualities created
in the first piece
.

Returning to
Figure

3
, note the generally downward motion of the phrases.

Much of the piece continues in this fashion.

Downward trending phrases have been commonly
used to impart
negative emotions.


T
his theory is discredited, however, by the fact that

Stravinsky has made no mention in writing of having heard a jazz band before 1919.

The second piece is

described by a contemporary of Stravinsky’
s, Boris Asaf’yev, as
beginning with a “thematic ribbon.”
12


This ribbon motive

spans three octaves of D, an
d
cadences on a G (see
Figure

6
).

Figure

6

Ribbon motive



Note also in the ribbon motive Stravinsky’s alternating use of
A

/A


and B

/B

.

The
“simultaneous” sounding of two chromatic inflections of the
same pitch

will become important
in the analysis of the third movement
.
They are related to Stravinsky’s use of the octatonic scale
and the bimodality that can result.
13


The

elasticity of the


of the
second piece
.
In the second statement of the
ribbon
motive, Stravinsky shifts the beam



11.
Ibid, 26.

12.
Boris Asaf’yev,
A Book about Stravinsky
, trans
.
Richard F
.
French (Ann Arbor: University of
Michigan

Press, 1982), 251.

13.
For a full treatment of Stravinsky and his use of the

The
Music of Igor Stravinsky

(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983).

8


configuration of the triplets to the left by one sixteenth note
.
While visually the implication is
that different pitches will be accented, aurally the result
is exactly the same as the fir
st statement
.
Taruskin describes

this phenomenon best by

stating that “in the absence of even an irregularly
felt pulsation, the only unit of ‘grouping’ available to the listener is the total phrase.”
14


Indeed,
upon listening
, the only indication of any rhythmic grouping is the presence of articulation,
which appears in nearly all cases only at the beginning of a phrase.

The second half of the second piece introduces a
drastic

character change characterized
by short “hoppy” bu
rs
ts (
Figure

7
a
)
.
This section has several motives similar to those found in
the first piece, suggesting a compositional relationship
.
The first motive, E

D


E

, can be

respelled enharmonically as E

C♯

D♯
.
These pitches

appear

together

(often d
i
sguised
)

several
times

in the first piece
: at mm
.
8

9; in m
.
25, the last time E appears it is surrounded by C♯ and
D♯
.

Figure

7a

Second Piece
hoppy motive



Figure

7b

Second Piece

a
m




Figure

7
c

Second Piece a
m







14.
Taruskin,
Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions
,
Vol
.
2,
14
83.

9


Recall the motive
a
m

from
the first movement with pitch members A

G


F


E
.
This

introduced inverted and transposed

in the second piece
.
Figure

7b shows the first
iteration, 7
c the second

and third
.
In each
figure

.

Out of

the

.
After a final cadence

on G

at the end of the ribbon, the second piece ends with a coda
.
Tellingly,
the third piece does not have a coda like the first two, nor doe
s it contain
intimate compositional
relations

to the first two pieces (as will be apparent in the coming analysis)
.

This evidence points to the theory that the first two pieces share a similar genesis
.
Reinoso adds to this theory, citing a third
-
hand
account that states that “Stravinsky is said to
have described the first two movements not as portraits of jazz, but as depictions of personal
feelings or imaginative scenes.”
15


The ribbon motive becomes representative of birds and the
contrasting section
representative of a cat stalking the birds
.
The birds, unconcerned, fly away in
the end
.
Such a theory is further
supported

by a story from Mazzeo
.
16

In his story of the time

he
and Stravinsky spoke at length about the
Three Pieces
,

Stravinsky mentioned
that the first piece
is a “personal and private reflective set of sounds.”
17


This theory is not completely unyielding
, however
, when it is compared to writings
attributed to Stravinsky
.
In his
Poetics of Music
, for example
, Stravinsky asks “do we not, in
truth, ask the impossible of music when we expect it to express feelings, to translate dramatic



15.
Reinoso,
Sources and Inspirations for Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
, 26.

16.

17.
Ibid.

10


situations, even to imitate nature?”
18

To ascribe the image of birds and cats to a work of
Stravinsky’s, even to suggest they we
re inspirati
ons goes contrary to his writings
.
Unfortunately,
this would not be the first time there have been conflicting accounts.
19

It remains a possibility,
then, that such imagery can be associated with the second of the
Three Pieces
, though

nothing
c
an be substantiated
.

What can be substantiated is that the first and second of the
Three Pieces

have both a st
rong compositional relationship and a st
rong oppositional relationship. The first
piece is slow and introspective while the second piece is quic
k and extroverted.

The third of the
Three Pieces

makes a departure from the first two pieces
.
While the first
two pieces

are opposites of each other, introverted and extroverted, the
third piece
, played on B



is constant and driving
.
Stravinsky writes at the beginning of
the piece “Forte d’un bout à l’autre (forte from beginning to end)
.
Stravinsky’s interests in
ragtime also distinguish the third piece from the first two
.
Motives specific to ragtime can be

found throughout.

Figure

2 illustrates a common ragtime rhythm used in the third piece.

The piece begins with
the insistent repetition and oscillation

of two pitches, A

/
B

.
In
mm
.
2

3, he shifts the pitches up by half
-
step to A

/B

, and continues the
oscillation
.
Measures
6

9 see the pitches shift up yet again to A♯/B♯
.
The phrase then
descends

by outlining chords
.

These out
lined chords, shown in
Figure

8
a
, illustrate a bimodality found in Stravinsky’s
other music
.
The first chord is D major
.
The

next chords are a minor/A major and g minor/G
major
.
Such an event o
ccurs later (
Figure

8
b), again at a similar structural point in the music




18
.
Igor Stravinsky,

in the Form of Six Lessons
, trans
.
Arthur Knodel and Ingolf Dahl
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), 99

101.

19
.
For
further

treatment of these discrepancies, see Barbara Heyman, “Stravinsky and Ragtime”
The
Musical Quarterly
68, no
.
4 (Oct
.
1982), 543

562.

11


(that structural point being transitional material between phrases)
, at mm
.
25

29, and sti
ll later
at mm
.
50

5
1 (
Figure

8
c)
.

Figure

8a

Third Piece mm
.
11

13


Figure

8b

Third piece mm
.
25

29


Figure

8c

Third piece mm
.
50

51



At m
.
14, Stravinsky begins again at A

/B

.
This time, where
he
first wrote C♯, he
writes C

.
This keeps the line from rising
again past the A

/B


mark, as it did before
.
In
measure 23, C♯ finally makes an appearance, but it is too late for the chromatic progression
.
The
phrase comes to an end a measure and a half later
.

This brings the piece to
a development section in which

Stravinsky expounds upon the
half step


/C (mm
.
30

31), then between A♯/B (mm
.
33

34), and later
between F

/F♯ (mm
.
49

50)
.
He also
i
ncludes a four measure phrase in which he
takes advantage of the ragtime rhythm of

three superimposed on to four

(mm
.
37

40)
.

At m
.

/F and
E

/F♯
.
This time the theme is abbreviated, lasting only four measures, whereas before
Stravinsky spent as many as eleven
measures developing it
.
Additionally, the phrase does not
end on any meaningful cadence
.
Instead, Stravinsky builds until the end of measure 56,
12


repeating the motive D

E


F


three times
.
The next phrase, therefore, even though it is new
material, should

not be considered a coda
.
The final phrase cadences on a B

.

Three Pieces

and the scholarship that surrounds it present an interesting case study that
addresses a larger issue than the work itself

attri
buted to him. Stravinsky has contradicted himself more than once, due to the fault of others
or his own.
The contradiction most important to the current argument
conversational speech and his polemical

writings. An example of such a contradiction was
discussed earlier. In his
Poetics
, Stravinsky questioned the legitimacy of diagetic music
, though
in conversation has said that the first two pieces are personal and private reflections.

When left
with suc
h contradictory language, i
t must

inevitably

be the music that validates or invalidates a
statement. Put another way, musical language is king.

What the musical language suggests is that the first piece is a private (read: introspective)
reflection.

The s
trong compositional relationship between the first and second piece
, and a lack
of any
direct

is demonstrative of a
deeper connection.

If the first piece is personal, then the second is also p
ersonal
. The second and
third
are

related, however, through
L’Histoire
.

As demonstrated earlier, Stravinsky borrowed
from similar source material to compose the ragtime in
L’Histoire
and
the

third
Piece
.

Also
illustrated was the similar motivic material
within the second
Piece

and
L’Histoire
’s ragtime.

Therefore,
t
hough it is faint, jazz influences are evident in the second
Piece
.


Such a line of
reasoning becomes possible only when allowing the musical language to speak for itself, as
Stravinsky
suggested to Mazzeo.

The answers are always plainly given by composers. It is only
a matter of knowing what to listen for.



13


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Ansermet, Ernest
.
“A ‘Serious’ Musician Takes Jazz Seriously,” in Keeping Time: Readings in
Jazz History, ed
.
Rob
ert Walser
.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.


Asaf’yev, Boris
.
A Book about Stravinsky
.
Translated by Richard F
.
French
.
Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Research Press, 1982.


Craft, Robert, ed
.
Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence
.
Vol
.
1
.

New York: Alfred A
.
Knopf,
1982.


Mazzeo, Rosario
.
Mazzeo Musings
.
.
3
.
May/June 1991.


Reinoso, Crystal Hearne
.
“Sources and Inspirations for Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet
Solo, Part 2
.”
.
4 (1996):
26

29.


Stravinsky, Igor
.
L’Histoire du Soldat
.
London: Chester Music, 1920.


Stravinsky, Igor
.
Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons
.
Translated by Arthur Knodel and
Ingolf Dahl
.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970.


Stravinsky, Igor
.
Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
.
London: Chester Music, 1920.


Stravinsky, Igor and Robert Craft
.
Dialogues and A Diary
.
London: Faber and Faber, 1968.


Stravinsky, Igor and Robert Craft
.
Memories and Commentaries
.
London: Faber and Faber,
2002.


Strav
insky, Vera and Robert Craft
.
Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents
.
New York: Simon
and Schuster: 1978.


Taruskin, Richard
.
Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through
Mavra
.
Vol 2
.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of C
alifornia Press, 1996.


Walser, Robert, ed
.
Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History
.
Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1999.


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