Author: Гервер Лариса Львовна


Abstract: Along with the musical leitmotifs, Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges has important literary leitmotifs. This can be explained by the following. Prokofiev was working on music and libretto practically simultaneously (as he himself put it, “you write a phrase, and there comes a musical idea”). Musical and literary leitmotifs have a very sophisticated interaction and an equal contribution to the dramaturgy. The main literary leitmotif is laughter in all possible forms: the word “laughter”, its derivatives and synonyms in different parts of speech along with the sounds of laughter (“ha-ha”, etc.). The laughter in Prokofiev’s opera has a sacramental meaning. Soviet folklorist V. Propp wrote a study called On the Comic and Laughter, where he points out that laughter in folklore means an entry into life, whereas its absence or taboo represents death. From this point of view, the Prince in The Love for Three Oranges is not only sick—he is actually dead, so the only cure to bring him back to life is laughter. In the second half of the opera the leitmotif of laughter is replaced with the leitmotif of three oranges. That is because the fairytale consists of two independent pieces, and the Prince’s laughter serves as an impetus to launch the main plot of looking for the oranges. Two pieces of the opera form a whole by its key intrigue: a constant confrontation of “the helpers” and “the villains” who, according to their functions (specified by Propp), interfere with the Prince’s fate. Скачать статью


Abstract: The beginnings of opera history are usually associated with Euridice by Ottavio Rinuccini and Jacopo Peri as the first staged and preserved example of the genre. Not many people know that Euridice was by no means the main event during the wedding celebrations in honour of Maria de’ Medici and King Henry IV of France in 1600, to which the opera was timed. The audience was much more drawn to the opera Il rapimento di Cefalo (The Abduction of Cephalus) by Giulio Caccini, a direct rival of Peri. As the music has not completely survived, we know about Il rapimento di Cefalo mainly from the reviews of contemporaries. Historical materials allow us to recreate the genesis of the opera, which is inseparable from the history of opera as a genre. The reported study focuses on personal ambitions, court intrigues, and the rivalry between the Florentines and Emilio de Cavalieri. It also explores similar other factors without which the genre of opera would have taken a different historical path. Besides, the article describes the political and cultural landscape at the court of Ferdinando de’ Medici. The history of Caccini’s opera is analyzed against the general backdrop of Florentine musical art of the last quarter of the 16th century. Download the article


Abstract: The article explores the structure of polyphonic compositions for melodic instruments. The study found that the use of bowed string and wind instruments impacts a composer’s polyphonic technique. Fugues for melodic instruments employ either of the two options: the use of wind instruments, which, as is the case with the human voice, produce only one sound, or the use of bowed string instruments with incomparably greater possibilities. Therefore, polyphonic “kunstücks” for strings are much more common, since the possibility of performing two or more sounds gives way for polyphonic texture. Composing a fugue for a melodic instrument, composers sometimes resort to a special technique that creates the illusion of full-fledged polyphony—the so-called branching of the voice. Branching means that themes and counterpoint are written for different registers rather than for different voices (basically impossible for winds). This leads to the appearance of independent lines within the branched voice. Composing a fugue in such a rigid framework requires compliance with a number of requirements in relation to each of its components: from the theme and counter-theme to interludes and stretches. The analytical part of the report shows typical modifications of the established form and provides examples of the combination of polyphonic and instrumental performing techniques. Download the article


Abstract: The 1860s played a special role in the history of organ music in Belgium and France. This period was marked by the active development of substantive repertory and the establishment of the Franco-Belgian organ school. All the advances of this period could not be possible without the contribution of the Belgian composer, organist and teacher Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens. Brought up on the traditional for Catholic Belgium Gregorian chants and the organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Lemmens managed to organically transfer Bach’s principles of working with Lutheran chant to completely different material of Gregorian hymns. Lemmens is also credited for the foundation of the first educational institution that trained church musicians. The three organ sonatas became the pinnacle of his work and the first examples of the synthesis of liturgical content and a secular form. The article reveals general patterns in the choice of themes from the large-scale corpus of Gregorian chants. The melody of the chorale can also be traced in parts in which no chorale is indicated. It shows a deep connection between Lemmens’s heritage and a thousand-year-old church musical tradition. Download the article

Trio texture in choral arrangements and polyclavier organ of Southern Germany in the first third of the 16th century

Abstract: The article is an attempt to establish a relationship between the structure of large South German church organs of the first third of the 16th century and the compositional features of the then-contemporary organ works. The historical boundaries of the Renaissance in German architecture and music do not coincide, while an organ may be viewed as an architectural element. This contradiction presents a certain difficulty. In the indicated period, the late Gothic architectural style, which preceded the Renaissance, played a leading role. As we see it, the organ music of this time, usually attributed to the Renaissance, reflected the transition from the late Gothic to the Renaissance. This complex repertoire is marked by the coexistence and interaction of three general trends. Among them are archaic polymelodic polyphony as well as new techniques: the method of coloring that spread in Southern Germany and imitation borrowed from the European North. A polyclavier organ, which we take as the standard of the South German instrument, is called a late Gothic spaltsatz organ (spätgotische Spaltsatz-Orgel) in German musicology. The trio texture found in choral arrangements, in our opinion, most fully and accurately reflects the polyclavier structure and timbre richness of the large church organs of South Germany. Download the article


Abstract: Our study investigates madrigal settings of sestinas, sonnets and ballata with highly structured forms. They are, to a varying degree, unambiguously attributed to fixed poetic forms (formes fixes). In particular, the study explores the correspondence of the musical form to a specific fixed poetic form (rather than text-music correspondences of the most general nature, as is the case with the analysis of musico-poetic lines). A number of publications focusing on madrigal settings of texts in certain poetic forms (most often ballads) show that “the poetry precedes and influences the music” (Anthony Newcomb). This understanding is somewhat different from our observations, which have revealed two complementary descriptions. The first affirms the idea of precedence of the poetic form and its influence on the musical form; the key word for the second is “reformatting”: it describes the transformation of sestina stanzas, sonnets and ballata as they are set to music. Thus, we witness a certain tectonic shift: • the displacement of boundaries of the poetic form, • a change in the number of structural elements, • the violation of original proportions, • the replacement of the equality of poetic constructions with the equality of musical constructions, etc. These and other similar signs of the refusal to simply follow the structure of the text are also the signs of a symmetrical metrotectonic construction produced exclusively by musical means. This occurs beyond the direct interaction of music with the word—in the sphere where the beauty of the numerical structure of the musical form becomes manifest (Georgi Conus, Alexey Losev). Download the article

Fugues for chorus and soloist ensemble in Joseph Haydn’s late masses

Abstract: Fugues from Haydn’s late masses are marked by similarity achieved through the repetition of techniques and musical material. Most of the fugues are built on a two-part thematic formula with a particular rhythmic and melodic pattern. Choral fugues in late masses are small in size and generally follow the rules of “strict style”. These rules are only violated in the ensemble cadenza of soloists before the final choral tutti, thus becoming the secret of the form. Ensemble cadenzas are characterized by the transparency and relief of the vocalized texture as well as lighter counterpoint with parallel thirds and sixths and the alternating solos of duets and trios. Musical syntax is homophonic. It repeats two-measure structural units or a period divided into two phrases, etc. Fugues with the ensemble cadenza of soloists are not limited to late masses only. They are also found in the end of Haydn’s “The Creation”. However, the attempts to find other examples of this form—in Haydn’s works or beyond—have so far been unsuccessful. Haydn’s choral fugues with the ensemble cadenza of soloists are quite in line with the 18th century Viennese concerted mass and the special role the mass played in the lavish annual autumn celebrations in Esterházy. Download the article  

Опера «Игрок» в дневнике Сергея Прокофьева

Аннотация: Статья посвящена некоторым литературным особенностям дневника Прокофьева,  с наибольшей определенностью проявившимся в записях об опере «Игрок». Основные приемы, заметные в дневниковых записях Прокофьева, связаны с фигурами переосмысления – тропами. Использование тропа метонимия приводит к остроумным сокращениям текста («оркестровать Бабуленьку» вместо «оркестровать сцену появления Бабуленьки», «Рулетка идёт хорошо» вместо «Сцена рулетки из оперы “Игрок” идет хорошо»). Такие сокращения сопоставлены в статье с приверженностью композитора к пропускам гласных (консонантное письмо): метонимия давала ему возможность выпускать не только буквы, но и слова. Слова «Рулетка» и «Бабуленька» приобретают значение лейтмотивов, которые иногда могут замещать название оперы «Игрок» (вариант метонимии, где часть замещает целое: pars pro toto). Посредством столь же частого в дневниковых записях тропа персонификация Прокофьев наделял сочинение или его часть свойствами человека (например, назвать оперу «Игрочёночком», уподобляя «ребёночку») и даже боролся с сочинением не на жизнь, а на смерть, как следует из его записей по поводу «Огненного ангела»: «…кончил увертюру. Пора было её задушить, а то она сама меня душила». Внимательное вчитывание в дневниковые записи Прокофьева позволяет задаться вопросом о возможной корреляции между стилем дневника и музыкальным стилем Прокофьева и получить некие дополнительные представления о психологическом портрете композитора. Abstract: The article is devoted to some literary features of Prokofiev’s diary, which clearly showed themselves in the diary records about the opera «The Gambler». The general rhetorical devices in Prokofiev’s diary records belong to tropes. Using the metonymy trope leads to witty reductions of the text: «to orchestrate Babulenka (Grandma)» instead of «to orchestrate the stage of the appearance of Babulenka», «Roulette is going well» instead of «The roulette scene from the opera “the Gambler” is going well»). Such reductions are compared with the Prokofiev’s consonant writing (the omission of vowels): metonymy gave him the opportunity to omit not only letters, but also words. The words «Roulette» and «Babulenka» acquire the meaning of leitmotives, which can sometimes replace the name of the opera «Gambler» (the type of metonymy, when the part replaces the whole: pars pro toto). Using the personification trope Prokofiev gave to musical compositions the human properties. He calls the opera «Gambler» «Igrochyonochek» (Child gambler) and even fights to outrance against his composition, as it appears from Prokofiev’s diary records about «The Fiery angel»: «…finished the Overture. It was time to strangle her, otherwise  she would strangle me». Careful reading of Prokofiev’s diary records provides an opportunity to make wonder of a possible correlation between the style of the diary and Prokofiev’s musical style in order to get some additional ideas about the psychological portrait of the composer. Скачать статью

Повороты темы свое / чужое применительно к циклу «Афоризмы» и Трем фугам (1934) Шостаковича

Аннотация: Оппозиция свое / чужое в сочинениях Шостаковича проявляется различно.  В «Афоризмах» чужое предстает в виде музыкальных топосов, соответствующих названиям пьес: 1. Речитатив, 2. Серенада, 3. Ноктюрн и т.д. На свое указывают слова Шостаковича о том, что «Афоризмы» «охвачены одной идеей». Как показано в статье, это постепенно складывающаяся от пьесы к пьесе гамма до мажор – первичный материал музыки в сочинении со сложным гармоническим языком. Три фуги готовятся к изданию в Новом собрании сочинений Шостаковича (издательство DSCH). Композитор писал эти, по его словам, «скучные-прескучные фуги» «для набития руки», «вместо упражнений пианиста или тромбониста». В статье Три фуги 1934 года трактуются как примеры меняющегося  отношения Шостаковича к фуге, которая была своей в период обучения в консерватории, «чужой» после ее окончания и вновь стала «своей» в процессе сочинения Трех фуг. Abstract: The opposition self / other’s appears in different ways in Schostakovich’s pieces. In the «Aphorisms»  the other’s  appears in the form of musical topoi corresponding to the names of the pieces: 1. Recitative, 2. Serenade, 3. Nocturne etc.   The self is shown by Shostakovich’s words about «Aphorisms» that «they are covered by one idea». As shown in this article, this is the C major scale gradually comprising from piece to piece — the  fundamental element of music in composition  with the  complex  harmony  language. Three Fugues are in process of publication in the New collected works by Shostakovich (DSCH Publishers). According to composer’s words he was writing these «extremely boring fugues» «to carry out some technical exercises», «like exercises of a pianist or trombonist». In the paper Three fugues are treated as examples of a changing Shostakovich’s  attitude  to the fugue, which was the self  during the period of study in Conservatory, the other’s after graduation and become the self again when he composed  Three fugues. Скачать статью