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Chapter 20: The Twentieth Century: Early Modernism Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 20: The Twentieth Century: Early Modernism Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 20: The Twentieth Century: Early Modernism Stravinsky: The Primacy of Rhythm

2 Key Terms Ballet Fauve Ostinato

3 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

4 Igor Stravinsky ( ) 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.

5 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

6 The Rite of Spring Introduction “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

7 The Rite of Spring Dance of the Adolescents (1) Dancers entered with accented chords 32 repetitions of dissonant chord with heavy, irregular accents played by 8 French horns … Chords alternate with 4-note ostinato

8 The Rite of Spring Dance 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

9 The Rite of Spring The 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

10 The Rite of Spring Round 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

11 The Rite of Spring Round 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

12 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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