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Download Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok: by Elliott Antokoletz, Juana Canabal Antokoletz PDF

By Elliott Antokoletz, Juana Canabal Antokoletz

Early twentieth-century operas -- Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande (1902) and Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's fortress (1911) -- remodeled the normal major/minor scale procedure right into a new musical language. This new language was once established nearly solely on interactions among folks modalities and their extra summary symmetrical ameliorations. Elliott Antokoletz finds not just the hot musical language of those operas, but in addition the best way they proportion a profound correspondence with the transforming into symbolist literary circulate as mirrored of their libretti. within the symbolist literary flow, authors reacted to the realism of nineteenth-century theatre by way of conveying that means through advice, instead of direct assertion. The symbolist notion incorporated a brand new curiosity in mental motivation and recognition manifested itself in metaphor, ambiguity, and symbol.In this groundbreaking examine, Antokoletz hyperlinks the hot musical language of those operas with this symbolist notion and divulges an instantaneous connection among the Debussy and Bartok operas. He indicates how the opposing harmonic extremes function a foundation for the dramatic polarity among real-life beings and emblems of destiny. He additionally explores how the libretti by way of Franco-Belgian poet Maurice Maeterlinck (Pelleas et Melisande) and his Hungarian disciple Bela Balazs (Duke Bluebeard's citadel) rework the interior proposal of unconscious motivation into an exterior one, one within which destiny controls human feelings and actions.Using a pioneering method of theoretical research, Antokoletz, explores the recent musico-dramatic family inside their greater old, social mental, philosophical, and aesthetic contexts.

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Extra resources for Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok: Trauma, Gender, and the Unfolding of the Unconscious

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In the octatonic set, this “whole-tone” cell appears in four transpositions (B b –D–E, C # –F–G, E–G # –B b, and G –B –C #) as well as its four inversions (B – C # – F, D – E– G #, F– G – B, and G # –B b –D). ) The joining of the latter cell (B b – D– E) with its overlapping inversion (D– E– G #) produces the larger, symmetrical French sixth chord (B b – D–E–G #), which is one of two equivalent tetrachordal partitions (B b – D – E – G # and C # –F– G – B) of the octatonic collection (B b – B – C # –D – E – F – G– G #).

The harmonic analyses deal largely with the different ways in which these pitch-set interactions can occur, how they are identified with specific dramatic events, and how they shape certain leitmotivic transformations throughout the work. These processes are similar in both operas to the extent that, in spite of their stylistic differences, there seems to be no doubt of the influence of the Debussy opera on that of Bartók in terms of musical intention, technique, and even basic pitch-set relations.

Maeterlinck suggests that women “are more largely swayed by destiny than us. ” The privileged position of the man is shown by his ability to invoke a social dictum that transforms his act of rage and jealousy into an act of duty. Melisande, instead, must be punished because she has failed to behave as a possession. There is no social sanction for a woman’s desire. The abuse of power of the strong versus the weak takes place at different levels in the play. In his first encounter with Mélisande, Golaud commands her to leave the forest with him in spite of her protests.

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