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Matthew James, DMA student, saxophone James Riggs, Major Professor January 15, 2006 Analysis of Quartett, Op.

22, mvt. I, for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone and Piano by Anton Webern The five-measure introduction to the first movement of Anton Weberns Quartett, Op. 22 (1930) contains elements which, projected across the entire movement, provide it with a deep level of organization. The use of a tone row which emphasizes the tritone, trichordal segmentation, canon, generating motives, and the integration of rhythm, color and articulation are all established in the introduction, and play out in remarkable fashion over the span of the movement. The importance of the tritone to this movement is immediately apparent when comparing first and last notes of the tone row in any of its forms, as shown in the tone row matrix, Figure 1. Within the movement, Webern creates elided row statements in m. 10 (where the G in saxophone elides I1 and I7), m. 22 (where the C in violin and piano elide RI0-P0 and R0-I0), and m. 32 (where the G - this time in violin - again elides I1 and I7). The elision of rows results in closed statements that begin and end on the same note. In addition, there are five instances where adjacent rows share beginning/ending tones. These occur in mm. 5-6, 11-12, 27-28, 33-34, and 37b. In all, fifteen row forms are used. No row is used more than once in each of the major

sections of the movement.

Figure 1 Tone Row Matrix for Op. 22

C# E F D D# B Bb A G# F# C G A# C# D B C G# G F# F Eb A E A C C# A# B G F# F E D G# Eb C Eb E C# D Bb A G# G F B F# B D Eb C C# A G# G F# E Bb F D# F# G E F C# C B Bb G# D A E G G# F F# D C# C B A Eb Bb F G# A F# G Eb D C# C Bb E B F# A Bb G G# E D# D C# B F C G# B C A Bb F# F E D# C# G D D F F# Eb E C B Bb A G C# G# G Bb B Ab A F E Eb D C F# C#

The F#-C tritone is also used in this movement to create structure through invariance. Webern bases the entire two-voice canon (discussed below) on paired rows that share the F# and C under inversion. Figure 2 shows that, in six of the paired rows, F# and C represent the fourth and ninth notes of the row, creating a palindromic sense of unisons. In the eight remaining row forms, F# and C occupy other positions in the paired rows. Figure 2 Invariance Under Inversion Between All Rows Used by Canonic Voices
P1 I11 I5 P7 R1 RI11 RI0 R0 P0 I0 C# B F G G F F# F# C C A# D G# E D Bb B C# A Eb A Eb A Eb G# E F G G# E C C F#` F# F# F# G F B C# B C# G F F G G# E Bb D D# A Eb A E G# A Eb D Bb E G# D Bb Eb A Bb D Eb A F G C# B B C# D Bb E G# F# F# C C C C C# B F G G# E Bb D A Eb E G# G F D Bb E G# A# D Eb A C# B G F B C# C# B C C F# F#

P10 I2 I1 P11

Bb D C# B

G F E G#

F# F# F G

A Eb D Bb

G# E D# A

C C B C#

C# B Bb D

D Bb A Eb

D# A G# E

F G F# F#

B C# C C

E G# G F

The introduction foreshadows the significance that the invariant tones will have in the movement. In m. 4, both P1 and I11 converge to share the clarinets F#, interrupting the pattern of imitation between the two voices (see Example 1). This is one of only three instances in the movement where voices converge upon a unison. In the second instance after the introduction, the two canonic rows converge on the C in violin, m. 10. Finally, at the climax of the movement in m. 22, the C in violin represents an elision between RI0 and P0, and the C in the right hand of the piano represents an elision between R0 and I0. The Cs in m. 22 represent the highest and lowest notes of the movement, lending additional impact to that climactic measure.

Example 1 Convergence Upon F# in Introduction, m. 4

Even when rows do not converge in unison upon F# or C, Webern places these notes in close proximity to their invariant counterparts. The notes are found in different voices, but are

4 often in the same octave, often separated by a sixteenth note, but never separated by more than an eighth note. One finds adjacent F#s or adjacent Cs in mm. 3, 7, 17, 22, 25, 29, 32-33, 35, 36, 38 and 39. Also important is the setting of the F#-C tritone in succession as a motive. Both F# and C are adjacent tones in rows I1 and I7, and each time they are used (mm. 10, 13, 21, 32, and 3536), Webern sets the tritone off as a rhythmically exposed motive. Weberns use of these five tritone motives is palindromic: in all but m. 21 the tritone uses rhythmic motive a (see Example 5). Additionally, in all but m. 21 he presents the tritone motive in the third, noncanonic voice of the ensemble (described below). None of these tritone motives are heard in the piano. Example 2 shows the tritone as it appears in m. 32. Example 2 Tritone Motive in m. 32

5 As established in the introduction, a prime form of the series is always heard with an inverted form, resulting in an index number that is always 0. As a result, there are only seven different pitch-class dyads between canonic rows in the movement, as shown in Figure 3. These dyads result in only four different interval classes (0, 2, 4 and 6). However, since the two canonic rows are always slightly rhythmically displaced (except for the unisons in mm. 4 and 10), these dyads are not heard as simultaneities. Rather, dyads based on odd-numbered interval classes are heard simultaneously. Figure 3 Seven Different Pitch-class Dyads Between Canonic Rows
1 B C# Interval Class 2 2 E G# 4 3 F G 2 4 D Bb 4 5 Eb A 6 6 F# F# 0 7 C C 0

The introduction is based upon trichordal segmentation of the row. Figure 4 shows the substructure of the row, consisting of adjacent trichords belonging to three different set classes. Figure 5 shows the instruments assigned to each trichord of the introduction. Example 3 shows the trichordal organization of the introduction.

Figure 4 Trichordal Analysis of Op.22 Tone Row P1

Figure 5 Trichordal Instrumentation of Introduction

Example 3 Trichordal Organization of the Introduction

With only a few exceptions throughout the movement, Webern maintains the technique of assigning each dyad and trichord to a different voice, as established in the introduction. However, the order of voice entries from the introduction is not followed in the rest of the movement. One exception is found in mm. 6-15, where the non-canonic voice (discussed below) gives full statements of I1 and I7, and is found entirely in the saxophone. Another exception is m. 28, where individual tones of I5 and P7 momentarily cross between the left and right hands of the piano. While the introduction uses trichordal segmentation, both dyadic and trichordal motives are employed throughout the movement. The canonic voices feature dyadic organization in mm. 6-11, and 28-33, which represent the first measures of each A section.

8 A study of the hexachordal qualities of the row, illustrated in Figure 6, reveals two selfcomplementary hexachords. Additionally, Figure 7 illustrates that the hexachords are combinatorial under inversion. Figure 6 Hexachordal Analysis of Tone Row P1

Figure 7 Cominatoriality Between P1 and I4

The introduction immediately reveals Weberns preference for scoring disjunct leaps of at least a major 7th or minor 9th, rather than using conjunct minor seconds. Examples can be found in both the tenor saxophone and violin, whose initial motives in the introduction include leaps of a minor 9th. These disjunct motives serve a unifying role in the movement, and are found throughout. While an analysis of the row for Op. 22 reveals Weberns preference for interval class 1 between adjacent tones (see Figure 8), the minor second interval is used only four times in the movement (mm. 4, 10, 25 and 38). Figure 8

9 Interval Class Analysis of Op.22 Tone Row P1

Row P1: IC:

C# 3

A# 1

A 3

C 1

B 4

D# 1

E 1

F 1

F# 2

G# 6

D 5

The overall form is a large-scale palindrome, with an ABA form flanked by an introduction and coda. While the existence of two large repeated sections initially suggests binary form, the presence of a fermata at m. 28, the contrasting dynamics and rhythmic nature of mm. 16-27, and the landscape of the tone rows lead to this conclusion. Figure 9 indicates the form of mvt. I. Figure 9 Form of Op. 22/i
Section Measures Rows Introduction 1-5 P1, I11 A 6-15 I1, P7, I5, I7, P1, I11 B 16-27 P10, I2, I1, P11, RI0, R0, P0, I0, R1, RI11 A 28-37b I1, I5, P7, I7, P1, I11 Coda 38-41 RI11, R1

The introduction establishes two rows, P1 and I11, that are employed in the coda in retrograde, creating a mirror image of the notes of the introduction. Also, P1 and I11 take on the structural role of closing out the A sections of the movement. This is done in similar fashion each time in mm. 5 (close of introduction), 15 and 37b (close of A sections), with fp closing trichordal motives based on rhythmic motive b (see Example 5). These closing motives are always on pitches 10, 11 and 12 of P1 and I11, although found in a different octave each time.

10 The tone rows and rhythm used in the two A sections are identical, except for instrumentation and contour. The first A section features the tenor saxophone as the third, noncanonic voice (discussed below), surrounded by the canon. In the second A section, the third, non-canonic voice appears in violin, clarinet and saxophone entirely above the canon, found here in the piano. Each note of the second A section moves in opposite contour when compared to its counterpart in the first A section. The B section includes a palindrome around the climax of the movement, m. 22. Example 3 shows the palindrome, which features an escalation in the number of instruments, rhythmic activity, and dynamics. Rows RI0/R0 and I0/P0 move outward in both directions from m. 22. The Cs in the violin (highest note of the movement) and piano (lowest note of the movement) serve as the axis of this palindrome, with the outer ends at mm. 21-24. These fortissimo Cs represent the loudest dynamic in the movement. Rhythm is integrated into the palindrome as well: a consistent stream of eight sixteenth-notes moves out from the axis, culminating in slurred motives in the piano, saxophone and clarinet. Example 3 Use of Palindrome in B Section, mm. 21-24


The two-voice canon established in the introduction continues to the end of the movement. The two inverted lines are offset and use duplicate rhythms, but the rests between imitative entrances are not always identical. The rhythmic separation between dux and comes is usually a sixteenth-note, but alternates and can be as long as two eighth-notes. As a result, when taking this rhythmic inconsistency into consideration, this is not a strict canon. As set forth in the introduction, the canons roles of dux and comes alternate, but no consistent pattern plays out in the movement. Figure 10 shows the palindromic pattern established in the introduction, however this pattern is not found elsewhere. After being shared by clarinet, violin and piano in the first A section, the canon is found only in the piano for the second A section. The climactic B section involves each voice in presenting the canon. Figure 10 Palindromic Pattern of Canonic Entrances in Introduction
Measure m. 1-2 m. 3 m. 3-4 m. 5

Dux Comes P1 I11 I11 P1 I11 P1 P1 I11

In each A section, a third voice is added which does not participate in the canon. This third, non-canonic voice first appears in the rhythmically contrasting saxophone part, which clearly presents I1 and I7 from mm. 6-15. This is shown in Example 4. The scoring for saxophone is unique, in that its greater rhythmic activity separates the color of the instrument from its surroundings. The non-canonic voice returns in mm. 28-37a, but is this time shared by the violin, clarinet and saxophone, again performing I1 and I7, and duplicating the rhythm of mm. 6-15. The B section does not feature the third, non-canonic voice, providing further justification for mm. 16-27 as a separate section. Example 4 Third, Non-Canonic Voice in Saxophone, mm. 6-15

The appearances of the third, non-canonic voice in the A sections are dissimilar in another regard. While the non-canonic voice in each instance uses identical rows, the motion of

13 each canonic voice is inverted when compared to its counterpart. The only exceptions are the final notes of I1 in m. 32, and the final notes of I7 in mm. 35-36, which duplicate the direction of their counterparts in the first A section. The third, non-canonic voice is also rhythmically unique. Vertically separated from the canonic voices, it is given rhythmic independence in the style of a hocket. As stated earlier, Webern sets the tritone off as a rhythmically exposed motive. The F# of that interval always occurs on the downbeat of a measure (mm. 10, 14, 32 and 36a/b). The introduction sets forth four distinct generating motives that supply motivic material for all voices throughout the movement. These are labeled as motives a, b, c and c in Example 5. These motives are not consistently paired with dynamic markings, articulation, pitch, or instrumentation. (One exception is that the piano part does not use motive a anywhere in the movement.) The canon uses no more than three of these short motives in any one statement of a tone row. In m. 6, the third, non-canonic voice begins with a portion of motive a, but adds two new rhythms, a and c, closely related to motives a and c from the introduction. Motive a reverses the order of the eighth and sixteenth from motive a, and augments the final eighth note into a quarter note. Motive c repeats the rhythm of the dyad found in motive c.


Example 5 Generating Motives from Introduction and Related Motives from Third Non-Canonic Voice

The B section is the most rhythmically active, with all four instruments used in close proximity around mm. 22-23, based on motives a, c and c. This rhythmic energy is integrated with palindrome, dynamics, and extreme range to make m. 22 a unique, climactic moment in the movement. The combination of all the instruments creates a new color which contrasts with the sparse, economic instrumentation found elsewhere in the movement. While Webern does not consistently tie instrumentation to the use of the row in a serial manner, he does integrate the use of instrumentation into the form of the movement. In the similar introduction and coda, each instrument is heard separately, playing minimal material with only periodic overlapping. As discussed earlier, the first A section features an active saxophone part as the non-canonic voice, surrounded by the canon. This is the only instance where an

15 instrument is featured in such a way, and supplies this section with a color not repeated elsewhere in the movement. The second A section shares the same material, however each noncanonic motive is spread among violin, clarinet and saxophone, with the canon placed solely in the piano. The introduction also serves to introduce each instrument of the ensemble. All four instruments are capable of a wide spectrum of tone colors and dynamics. In particular, the violin part includes consistent alternation between pizzicato and arco throughout the movement, along with the use of a mute. Additionally, the saxophone and clarinet are capable of a wide dynamic range. Finally, Weberns treatment of the piano is unique: successive entrances of the left and right hands almost always present notes from different tone rows, treating each hand separately, rather than as a single unit. Across the movement, the relationship between the left and right hands is rhythmically close, with entrances of the two hands usually no more than an eighth-note apart. As early as the first two measures, one hears the ability of the wind instruments to blend with other members of the ensemble. Despite the potential for great contrast, this blending lends a homogeneous sound to the work. Webern elides instrumental colors by rhythmically connecting one instruments motives with notes that are very close in register to another instrument. While the vertical combination of voices may somewhat obscure aural identification of the trichordal organization, the overlapping of voices combines contrasting timbres of the ensemble to generate a linear rhythmic momentum. In mm. 1-2, for example, the saxophone

16 completes its motive only a whole-step under the beginning of the violins figure, thereby creating a rhythmic and coloristic connection between the first two trichords of the movement. This is shown in Example 6. A few additional examples of this effect include mm. 9, 13, 16, and 17.

Example 6 Elision of Saxophone and Violin Colors, mm. 1-2

The major 7th and minor 9th intervals, first heard in the introduction but found throughout, create rapid changes of timbre within single voices. These timbre changes are periodically emphasized by the fp dynamic, creating further contrast in the span of only two to three notes. Both rhythm and instrumental color are further integrated through the use of hocket. The use of hocket technique to link voices results in longer, connected passages. Measures 6-8, 2021, 22-23, 29-30 and 35-36 all feature displaced rests which serve to link the music together for

17 measures at a time. Also, as noted earlier, the non-canonic voice in each A section creates a hocket with the canon. Another compositional element established in the introduction is the sharing of identical dynamic markings between each paired dyad or trichord between the two canonic voices. This consistent sharing of dynamic markings continues throughout the movement, with the exception of m. 16. The matched dynamics serve to intertwine voices and further the linear momentum and elision of instrumental colors discussed earlier. The five different dynamic markings, including pp, p, f, ff and fp, are not consistently tied to statements of the row. Nor are they consistently tied to articulation or rhythmic motives. However, Webern does match dynamic markings to the large-scale palindromic form. The introduction and first A section use only p, pp and fp, as do the final A section and coda. The climactic B section adds f and ff to build intensity. As introduced in the introduction, every note of the movement is written with a precise articulation marking. Webern employs legato, staccato, accents and pizzicato markings to increase the variety of instrumental colors already at his disposal. But articulation is not consistently paired with pitch, dynamics, or rhythmic motives. To illustrate, Example 7 shows the various articulation styles assigned to motive b. Example 7 Articulation Markings Assigned to Motive b in mm. 3, 17 and 20


Articulation plays a role in conjoining the canonic voices in the introduction and throughout the movement. Their articulation markings are identical, except for m. 21, 25-27, 39, and 40-41. Also, each presentation of the non-canonic voice uses identical articulation, despite the change in instrumentation. Finally, when comparing the A sections, the second A section begins by duplicating the articulation of the first A section, but soon (by m. 31) ceases that duplication. In summary, numerous compositional elements are set forth in the introduction to mvt. I of Weberns Op. 22 which give the movement a high degree of organization and cohesion. Canon, emphasis on the F#-C tritone and invariant tones, hocket, palindrome, dyadic and trichordal segmentation and elision of instrumental colors were some of the techniques uncovered in this movement. The identification of these elements provides fascinating insight into the intricate inner workings of Weberns compositional technique, and gives further impetus to explore additional works by this 20th-century composer.