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Thematic Economy and Tonal Ambiguity in Late Janacek: A Study of the First Two Movements of the "Sinfonietta" (1926). Misere Op. 116, Concerto For Strings Op. 103, First Horn Quartet Op. 109, and Critical Commentaries on the Above Compositions.

Wiggins, C. D. (1997) Thematic Economy and Tonal Ambiguity in Late Janacek: A Study of the First Two Movements of the "Sinfonietta" (1926). Misere Op. 116, Concerto For Strings Op. 103, First Horn Quartet Op. 109, and Critical Commentaries on the Above Compositions. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Leos Janacek (1854-1928) composed the Sinfonietta in the Spring of 1926 (autographed score, unusually, not dated). The work is in five movements and is scored for four flutes (fourth doubles piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubles cor anglais), 2 clarinets (2nd doubles clarinet in Eb), bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets in F, 9 trumpets in C, 4 trombones, tuba , percussion, 2 tenor tubas in 2 bass trumpets, timpani, harp and strings. The orchestration has in itself been subject to some speculation as different publications of the score give variations such as 3 trombones and tuba (Eulenburg) - more usual in Janacek’s orchestral writing - and viola d'amore (as in the MS but later altered to viola) in the third movement (hence the omission of the instruction "con sordini": the first of these points has some impact on part-writing in the second and third movements. Even now speculation surrounds the speed of certain sections in this same movement - of the five main editions (e.g. Eulenburg , Wiener Urtext 1981) indicate specific metronome marks which differ from others (such as the Wiener Urtext (U.E.) 1930 and 1987) and which in many cases were also omitted by Janacek himself in the MS. It is generally accepted that Janacek did not proofread the original publication very closely in 1927 and that consequently a number of inaccuracies were never corrected until many years after his death, if at all. For the purpose of analysis the version used will be the Universal Edition (U.E.) based on the Urtext of 1930, although references will be made where appropriate to anomalies with others, such as the Eulenburg Edition (1979) and to the MS itself, as one or two of these anomalies are quite significant. The work is often presumed to be a single composition of five movements, each of which contains thematic motivic or rhythmic references to one or more of the other movements: the most obvious of these is the re -introduction of the entire first movement during the latter part of the fifth movement, albeit with the restatement being “accompanied” by the full orchestra (which is not used in the first movement at all) and the re-introduction of the nine trumpets in C three bars from the end (a suggestion of Klemperer’s in a letter to Janacek of 19 Sept, 1927 which Janacek appears to have sanctioned, despite the retention - perhaps an oversight on Janacek’s part - of the instruction "(tacet)”, five bars earlier. Historically, however, the first movement was not initially conceived by Janacek in the context of a multi-movement work at all - the MS title is “Fanfary” for the first movement with the remainder of the work being entitled separately as “Sinfonietta vojenska” with programmatic titles about aspects of contemporary life in Brno where Janacek lived. Indeed, it is possible to tell by looking at the first page of the MS of the second movement that the right hand vertical “I” of “II” was added later - the pen stroke is darker and thicker than the left hand stroke. In addition both the fourth and fifth movements in the MS are labelled as IV. The “Fanfary” was intended to be used in the National Games of 1926 in Brno (hence the large number of trumpets suggesting an outdoor performance) and the remaining four movements were added later in the same year, and not a year later as is suggested in "Janacek - Leaves from his Life" edited and translated by Vilem and Margaret Tausky (Kahe and Averill, London 1980, p 159). Consequently, although there are motivic cells which can be said to be common to the first and second movements, each is best analysed separately and with in different parameters.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Wiggins, C. D.
Date : 1997
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1997.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:43
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:49

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