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20th

CenturymigrComposersinAmerica

ModuleLeader:DrRobertSholl

Moduletitle:IndependentResearchProject

ModuleCode:MU60036E
StudentName:GeoffreyPearce

StudentNumber:21024694

Contents

Introduction

Bartok

Bartok'smusicandbriefanalysisofwork'sbeforeandafterAmerica19341945

MusicforStrings,PercussionandCelesta

ConcertoforOrchestra

BartkasanmigrComposer

th
Other20
CenturymigrComposersinAmerica

Conclusion

Bibliography

Abbreviations.
MusicforStrings:MusicforStrings,PercussionandCelesta

Introduction
DuringthetwentiethcenturyWesternclassicalmusic'slongstandingrelationshipwithdiatonic
harmonyhadfinallybeenseveredwiththebirthofatonalityandextremechromaticism.Inpart,we
owethismovementtoBelaBartok,ArnoldSchoenbergandIgorStravinsky.Schoenbergwasthe
firstcomposertoembraceentirelyamoveawayfromdiatonicfunctionalharmonywithhissecond
stringquartet(1908).1BelaBartoktooktonalitytoitsutmostlimits,attimesvergingonatonality,
andStravinskyisconsideredgenerally'oneofthemostwidelyperformedandinfluentialcomposers
th
ofthe20thcentury'.2Allcontributedgreatlytotheadvancesanddevelopmentsof20
century

modernisminmusic.Allsharedasimilarfatetoo,aswellaswithmanyotherEuropeancomposers
oftheirtime,theyemigratedtoAmerica(between1930and1940)duringaperiodofutter
internationalpoliticalandsocialturmoiltheextremefascismofNaziGermany,andcommunist
regimeofRussianJosefStalin.ForSchoenberg,beingofJewishdescent,themovetoAmerica
almostcertainlysavedhislife.But,withtheirmovetoAmerica,wastheirmusiceffectedsoonafter,
andifso,towhatextent?Howdeepwerethecomposers'musicalmorals?Weretheytocontinueon
modernisingmusicoradapttotheirnewenvironmentandindoingsocompromiseadegreeoftheir
owncompositionalintegrity?

TherearemanyavenuesofinfluenceAmericamayhavehadonthethree.America'shomegrownart
musicatthetimewasbeginningtoflourishwiththelikesofAaronCoplandandCharlesIves.
Copland,likeBartokstudiedagreatdealofnativefolkmusic,inacenturywhenethnomusicology
flourishedintheWesternworld,likelyowingtoindustrialisationandanethnomusicologist'surgeto
preservemusicalartifacts.

Thethreecomposersemigratedforquitedifferentreasonsandunderdifferentsociocircumstances.
However,attherootofthesereasonswastheoutbreakandbeginningsofWorldWarII.Theextent
towhichthemovetoAmericaeffectedthecomposersandtheirworkshortlyaftermovingto
Americawillbelookeduponanddiscussed.Compositionsareundoubtedlyinfluencedbytheir
creatorsframeofmindatthetimeoftheircreation.Variousaspectsofapiececanbeunderstoodto

MichaelKennedy,'Atonal',(
OxfordMusicOnline
)<http://electroencephalographic/subscriber/article/opr/t237/e617>
accessed9January2011
2
StephenWalsh.'Stravinsky,Igor.'
(GroveMusicOnline.OxfordMusicOnline.)
<http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/52818>accessed
10Jan2011

reflectamoodorconditionofitscreator.Discussingandattemptingtointerpretthestateofmindof
thethreecomposersbytakingintoconsiderationtheirpersonalandfinancialwelfaresbefore,during
andaftertheirmove,onemightdiscoverreflectionsoftheirdispositionintheirmusic.Analysisand
anoverviewofworksbyBartkaroundthetimeofthemovewillinturnhighlightthesepotential
reflections.

Therangeofworkstobeanalysedanddiscussedinfurtherdetailwilldateapproximatelyfiveyears
eithersidesideofthecomposers'emigrationtoAmericacoveringtenyearsworthofcomposition
foreach.Thiswilltakeusupto1945,adateconsideredbymanytobeaturningpointinmodern
music.InPaulGriffithsbook
ModernMusic
,heuses1945asa'convenientstartingpointforastudy
ofrecentmusicalhistory'forpoliticalandartisticreasons,remarkingthat'1945markstheendofone
eraandthebeginningofanother'.3

FortheworkstobestudiedinmoredetailDavidCope'smethodof'vectoralanalysis'4willbeused,
thoughaltered.Thefourth,fifthandsixthanalyticalaspectswillbemergedtoofferamoregeneral
harmonicanalysisCopedescribessevendifferentaspectsofapieceanditscomposer,definingthe
useofthewordvectoral'aswithbothforceanddirection,athreedimensionalanalyticaltechnique
ratherthantwodimensionalformanalysisoronedimensionalharmonicanalysis'.5Thisgeneric
analyticalapproachoffersawayofincorporatingallthreeofthecomposers'works,asitdoesnot
prescribetoanyparticularstyleortechniqueofcomposition.Thefirstaspect'Historical
Background',willbealsobeadaptedfromCope'smethod.Hereitwillbeusedtodescribethe
composer'sdispositionatthetimeofwriting,aswellasanyhistoricalinformationthatmightbeof
particularrelevance.

ThefivedimensionsusedforCope's(altered)vectoralanalysisapproachare:6

1.

HistoricalBackground

2.

Overview,StructureandTexture

3.

OrchestrationTechniques

4.

HarmonicLanguage

5.

Style

GriffithsPaul,
Modernmusic:theavantgardesince1945(
NewYork:G.Braziller1981)12
CopeDavid,
Newdirectionsinmusic(
Dubuque,Iowa:W.C.Brown1989)22
5

ibid
6
ibid.Copeoffersamoredetailedsynopsesforeachdimensionofhisanalyticalapproach.
4

Bartok

BeforeanalysingworksbyBartkitisrelevantforthisessaytounderstandandbeawareofBartk's
frameofmindintheyearsleadingtoandafteremigratingtoAmerica,aswellashisgeneralwelfare
andcircumstancesastheseelementsmaybereflectedinhismusicandbecomeapparentduring
analysis.

ThroughoutBartok'scomposinglife,especiallytheyears192939hismusicallanguagewasperhaps
atitsmostmature,coherentlevel,andlifebeforebecominganmigrinAmericahadgenerally
beenquitestable.By1930,Bartk'smusichadbeenperformed,recordedandestablishedoutsideof
Hungary,hisfinanceswerehealthy,havingjointlywonfirstprizeforhisthirdquartetinthe
Musical
FundSocietyofPhiladelphia
competition,withasizeableprizefundofsixthousandUSdollars.7In
2009therelativeworthof$3000dollarsin1928wasapproxi
mat
ely$38,00
0.8 ThethirdSt
ri
n
g
Quartet,isconsideredbyArnoldWhittall'asperhapsthemostimaginativeinformandintensein
expression'ofBartk'soutput.Whittallgoesontostatethatthework'presentsoneofhismost
rigorouslyorganisedargumentsbetweentonalcentres'.9ThisargumentWhittallreferstoisonethat
Bartktoiledwiththroughhiscomposingcareer,remainingloyaltotonalitythroughout.Bartk's
closestencounterswithatonalitytookplace191822wheninfluencedinparticularbythemusicof
SchoenbergandStravinsky,'Bartkseemedtobeapproachinganatonalgoal',thoughhenever
pursuedatonalityinthesamewaySchoenbergorStravinskydid.10In1931Bartkexperiencedthe
oppressionofhisgovernment,witht
hebanningofTheWonde
rfulMandarin.Anoppressionthat
grewinHungarytoaclimaxwiththeoutbreakofthewar.

Bartk'sprofessionallifeflourishedin1934whenwithgreatsatisfactionhetransferredfromthe
BudapestAcademyofMusictotheAcademyofSciences,wherehestudiedanarrayoffolkmusic
forsixyearswithKodly,andateamofresearchersthatheled,'includingGy6rgyKerenyi,Ilona

StevensHalsey,
ThelifeandmusicofBelaBartok
(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress1993)72
FulldetailsofthecalculationcanbefoundatMeasureingWorth
<http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/result.php?use[]=DOLLAR&use[]=GDPDEFLATION&use[]=VCB&use[]=UNSKILLED&use[]=MA
NCOMP&use[]=NOMGDPCP&use[]=NOMINALGDP&year_source=1928&amount=3000&year_result=2010#>accessed9January2011
9
WhittallArnold,
Musicalcompositioninthetwentiethcentury
(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress1999)99
10

MalcolmGillies.'Bartk,Bla.'
(GroveMusicOnline.OxfordMusic)
<http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40686>
accessed5January2011
8

Racz,JenDeutsch,SandorVeressandPeterDomokos'.11Thiswasaposthehelduntilhemovedto
Americain1940.TherelationshipwithKodlydidn'tendparticularlywell,withBartokhaving
completedalargemajorityoftheworkinawayunexpectedbyKodly.

IntheyearsbeforetheleaduptoBartok'semigrationhisfinancialsituationwasstable,withasteady
incomefromtheAcademy,occasionalperformances,royaltiesandcompetitionprizes,hehadvery
littlefinancialconcern.HisrelationshipwithhiswifeDittawashealthytoo,theywouldoftenplayin
concertstogether.EarlyonintheirmarriageBelawrotetohismother,expressinghowpleasedhe
waswithDitta'sduties,asahousewife.

OutsideofHungary,193637wasverysuccessful,withtoursin'Amsterdam,Brussels,Paris,and
Londonforconcertsandbroadcasts'.12 Bartkwasmostdelightedwiththe'extremelyfineorchestra
[and]veryskillfulconductor'attheBrusselsallBartkprogrammedconcert.Thismusthavebeena
timewhenBartkwasfeelingsomewhatgenerallycontent,andconfident.Asignificantworkfrom
thisperiodtobeanalysedhisthe
MusicforStrings,
1936.

However,itwaslaterin1937whenHungarywasonthebrinkofNazicontrolthatBartkbegan
consideringmakingplansforemigrating,demonstratedinaletteraddressedtoMadamAnnie
MiillerWidmann.Hewritesoffeelingadutytoemigrate,butfearinghavingto'toil'attheageof
58,speakingfearfullyofhavingtodependonteaching,hecould'hardlybeartothinkofit'.Also
mentioninghisfearofnotbeingabletodohisproperwork,referringtoethnomusicologicalstudies.
13

FurtheranxietywouldhavebeencausedbytheReichMusicChamberdemandingan

'investigationoftheAryanismofBartk'.14

SoonbeforeleavingforAmericaBartkhadwitnessedthedepartureofaclosecolleagueJeno
Deutschwhohadbeensenttoalabourcamp,as'avictimoftheantiSemiticlaws'(itturnedoutto
beadeathcamp).15 ThismusthavebeendeeplydisturbingforBartk.Indeed1939wastheyear
Bartk'ssixthstringquartetintofruition.AsBayleysuggeststhecomposer'sdepression'is
expressedmostovertlyinthemelancholy,evenmournful,characteroftheopeningMesto'.This
poignanteffectBartkhadinserted,whethersubconsciouslyornot,tellsusthatacurrentframeof
11

YvesLenoir,'TheDestinyofBartk'sEthnomusicologicalResearchImmediatelyPriortoHisStayintheUnitedStates'(1981)Studia
MusicologicaAcademiaeScientiarumHungaricaep.420<http://www.jstor.org/stable/901911>accessed10January2011
12
Stevens(n7)
13
Lenoir(n11)411.
14
Stevens(n7)82.
15
Lenoir(n11)420.

minddoeseffectthecomposing.Thiscannotbeassumedtobethecasewitheverypiecethough.

ItwaswithgreatreluctancethatBartkmovedtoAmerica.Averyearlyassertionofhisprovesof
hiscommitmenttohishomeland,whenhehadtheopportunityofmovingtoViennaheabstained
andremainedinHungarytostudyattheBudapestAcademyofMusic.Thereweretwopowerful
reasonsthatmadeBartk'sdecisiontoleavemostdifficult.Onebeinghismother,heheldavery
strongrelationshipwithher,sowhenshepassedawayin1939thisimmediatelyeffectedhisdecision
tomove.Thesecondreasonwasforhisdevotiontoethnomusicologicalstudies.Hemadeseveral
enquiriestocontactsinAmerica,andaftermanylettersofindecisivenessheeventuallywasoffered
apostatColumbiaUniversitythatwouldsatisfyhisstudies,whichheaccepted.

ThefirstfewyearsinAmericaweretotallycreativelyunproductive,andfilledwithillhealth,
financialconcerns,andstreamsofdreadfulnewsfromEurope.Bartok'sfirstworkthathecompleted
inAmericawas
ConcertoforOrchestra
in1943.Justbeforecomposingthepiece,Bartkhadbeen
extremelyillwithleukemia.Thoughwithmuchsupportfromfriends,ASCAPandHarvard
University,Bartkreceivedtreatmentthatgreatlyimprovedhishealth,enoughforhimwriteand
complete
ConcertoforOrchestra.

Bartok'smusicandbriefanalysisofwork'sbeforeandafterAmerica19341945

Theyearsbetween1934and1940containedperhapswhatcouldbeconsideredtheapexofhis
composingcareer,inallgenres.Bartk'scompositionsheldastrongrelationshipwithfolkmusic.
Anunrelenting,profoundrelationshipthatlastedalmosthisentireworkinglife.Hehadfully
digestedfolkmusic,includingfolkmusicoutsideofHungary,andpriortobordersbecomingharder
tocrosshehadtravelledagreatdealacrossEurope,performingworksofhisownaswellas
absorbingmusicthatheencountered,beingasmuchinfluencedbyartmusicasfolkmusic.
AccordingtoGilliesthemusicwrittenbetween1934and1940

ExhibitagreaterdistancefromanymodelsofBartkscontemporariesthandotheworksof
precedingorfollowingperiods,andarealsolessimmediatelyreflectiveofhisrecentfolkmusic
findingsthanhitherto.TheirhomogeneityofstyleisunparalleledinBartksoutput,andreflectsthe
fullfloweringofthatBachianaesthetictowhichhehadbeengravitatingsince1926.16

16

Gillies(n10)

MusicforStrings
written1936,and
ConcertoforOrchestra
written1934willbeanalysedinfurther
detail.Reasonsforthesepiecestobeanalysedarethattheyareasimilargenreandwerewrittenat
greatlycontrastingtimesforthecomposer.Thepurposeintheseanalysesisnotsomuchfordirect
comparison,butmoretoreflectonthecomposersdispositionatthetimeofwritingthem,andtothen
perhapsdrawcomparisonswhilstbeingcognizantofotherpieceswritteninthesameperiods.

MusicforStrings
1936

1.Bartkwasnotunwellin1936,hisfinanceswerehealthytoo,andhisfolkmusicstudies
auspiciouswithatourofTurkey.AsanindicationofBartok'sreceptionandrelativesuccess
Bluebeard'sCastle
wasrevivedbytheBudapestOpera.
MusicforStrings
formedpartofastringof
commissionsfromoutsideofHungary,aphasewhichbeganin1934.Thisonefromtheconductor
PaulSacherofBasle,Switzerland,fortheBasleChamberOrchestra.

2.TheuseofsymmetricpalindromicrhythmsfeaturestronglyinthefirstfugalAndantetranquillo
movement,especiallyinthesubjectofthefugue,itcontainsthreerhythmicpalindromes(Ex.1.0&
1.1).Themediumtempohasanunrelentingdriveandmomentum.Bythetimethesecondsubject
nd
hasentered(onthedominant),theoverallrhythmisdrivenperpetuallywithquaversuntilthe52

bar,wherethemusicseizesforadottedcrotchet.Theonlygapinthemusicoccursattheendofthe
th
85/6
bar.Thisaspectaloneisquitehauntingandaddstothedensityofthemovement.

Example1.0
(a)
MusicforStrings,
bars13,firstpartofsubject(b)annotationofthreepalindromicrhythms

ThesubjectcontainsalleightsemitonesthatAtoEencompass.Sowhentheanswerentersonthe
dominant,afterfivenotes,acompletetwelvenotetonerowisformed.An'atonal'twelvenoterow
juxtaposedwithafugal'tonal'featurethathasitsthesecondentryonthedominant,andthefourth
entryadominantfromthesecondatypicalBartkcocktailofultrachromaticismandtonality.

Onefeaturethatstandsoutinparticularhisthattheentiremovementismadeupofthesubject,with
melodicinversionsandmodifiedrhythms.Itdoesnotcontaintheusefulfugaltraitsofa
countersubjectorfreecounterpoint.Insteadelementsofthesubjectarerecycled.Indoingsothe
movementisextremelydense.

ThesecondAllegromovementoffersaverydifferentstyle.Agreatdealofthetextureis
homophonic,bringingasenseofunity,clarityandlightnessofferingabreathafterthedensefirst
movement.Themovementislouderoveralltoo,thelargemajoritybeingforte.Itsstructureisin
sonataform,comprisingofanexposition,developmentandrecapitulation.

ThethirdAdagiomovementtakesonanarchform.Anintriguingelementistherecurringrepeated
FmotifonthexylophoneanattributenotusuallyemployedbyBartkrepeat.Thoughitspurpose
couldbearguedtobeatimbraleffect.Themovementalsoreintroducesthesubjectfromthefirst
movement,itslowlycreepsinatbar19withjusttheinitialfivenotes,itisthenfollowedbythe
hallowingsoundofpianodoubledwithviolinglissandi.

FurtherhomophonictexturesoccurinthefinaleAllegromoltomovement.Advantageofthetwo
stringchoirsistakenwithanabundanceofantiphonalwriting(Ex.2).

Example2MovementIV,antiphonybetweenstringchoirs

3.BartktookfulladvantageofthesomewhatunusualorchestrationthatwasofferedbySacher.
However,itisn'tuntiltheAdagiothatalloftheplayerstakeequallingroles.Onecouldquestionthe
validityofinstrumentsoutsideofthestringchoirsinthefirstmovement.Thetimpanipartinbars
3438isbarelynoticeable.Itaccompaniesthefirsthearingofunmutedstrings.Itcouldbeargued
thatthesenzasordisenoughalonetointensifyanddevelopthemovement.Thesamecouldbegiven
tothecymbaltrillandclashinbars5152.Onewondersiftheywouldhavebeenusedifitwerenot
availableintheorchestralpantry.Thedensityoftheharmonyandexpressivenessaloneisperhaps
fulfillingenough.Aratherchillingtouchofcolouristhecelestaarpeggiosbars7881,invocativeof
Bartk's'naturemusic',17whichisdevelopedfurtherinthefollowingmovements.

Thestringchoirsareusedtofullantiphonaleffectintheallegromovement,which,inlive
performancewouldofferaspectacularstereoeffect.ThroughouttheAllegrouseofthepercussion
(includingpianoandcelesta)issomewhatsporadic.Againonewondersofthevalidityofvarious
momentsbelongingtothoseoutsideofthestringdepartment,andiftheyareoutofcontextperhaps.
Thetimpaniinbars6566againstthestringshasaquirkyeffectofunseriousnessquiteunfoundin
Bartk'srepertoire.Oneoftheonlymomentswherethestringsenrolasthebackground(perhapsto
literallyresttheplayers!)isatbars155166,theyareusedpercussivelyandinstructedto'pluckwith
thefingernailontheextremeupperpartofthestring'.18 Bars186187bearsaglissandoonthe
timpani,whichatthetimewasanunusualandinventivetechnique.Bar190introducesthepianoina
verypercussivemanner,andfor39barsthemovementuses(forBartk)muchostinato,the
obstinaterhythmicandharmonicelementsbeinginthesecondstringchoirandharpwiththefirst
stringholdingthedevelopment.Ostinatosfeatureagreatdealandperhapsrevealaninfluencefrom
Stravinsky.

TheAdagiomovementemployswonderfullydelicatetimbresthatfurtherevokeBartk's'nature
music'.Frombars22to31themosteerieofsoundsisconjuredbydoublingpianoandviolin
glissandosthatascendandlandonthepiano'suppernote,inafairlyhighregister,accompaniedby
stringtrillsincloselypitchedproximitytooneanother.Remarkably,thesonorityisakintoan
electronictheremin(Ex.3)!

17

'Naturemusic('generallyreferredtoasnightmusic'):encompassesnotonlythesonoritiesthemselveswhichhe[Bartk]clearlysoloved,butalso
the(rathermedieval)ideaofamathematicallyorderednatureandanintellectuallyperfectcosmicstructure.SeeNickyLosseffinBayleyAmanda
TheCambridgecompaniontoBartk(Cambridgecompanionstomusic.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress2001)125
18
TranslatedbymyselffromFrenchtoEnglish.TheFrenchtext'pizzicatoavecl'ongleauboutextremesuperieurdelacorde,tireaudessousdudoigt
touchant'

Example3MovementIII,bars22to31

Amoststirringmomentthatverynearlybringsaboutvertigotothelisteneristhebeautifullycrafted
glissandos,andarpeggiosthatinterweavebetweencelesta,harpandpiano,bars3543.Afterwhich,
aratherhomophonicmelodramaticsectionappears.

MorefrequentStravinskylikeostinatopatternsoccurintheAllegromoltomovement.Bayley
commentsits'rhythmicvitalityisoccasionallyreminiscentofStravinsky'.19Examplefourillustrates
someostinatopatterns.Thefirstdiscerniblemomentthatthepianostandsinthe'melodic'
foregroundoftheworkoccursfleetinglyatbar74,forfourbars.

Example4Adagiomoltomovement,bars136141

19

Bayley(n17)171

Thetextureinthefinalemovementismuchlighterthanthepreviousmovementsandspansamuch
broaderrangeofregisters.Herethestringstaketheforegroundagain,andthepiano,usedlessasa
percussiveinstrumentcontributestoasenseofclarity,itfeaturesagreatdealcomparedwiththe
movementsprior.Thedarkveilofthepreviousmovementisliftedwiththeabsenceoftheauxiliary
percussionandbrightexhilaratingtriadicpizzicatostrummingofthestringsinopeningbars.

Thepieceismasterfullyorchestrated,thestringwritingextremelyidiomatic,employinganarrayof
colouristiceffectstrills,sulponticello,sultasto,fingersnappizzandharmonics.Therangeof
registersiswellstretchedtoo.Asaresultofvaryingrolesofpercussionormelodygiventothe
piano,celesta,harpandtimpani,Bartkamplifiesthecontrastbetweenmovements.Thestrings
oftentakeonapercussiveroletoo.

4.Bartk'sharmoniclanguagewasandistodayconsideredbyanalysts,awkwardtoapproach.
Owingtohiseclecticharmoniclanguageofatonality,greekmodesanddiatonicharmony.Thegreat
attributetoBartkhisthewayinwhichhemeldsthesedifferentlanguagestocreateaverylucid,
coherentsoundbank.Theworkbeginshighlychromatic,vergingonbeingatonal,butasBartk
pointsouthimself,highlightingthetonality


nd
T
he2
entryappearsafifthhigherthe4thagainafifthhigherthanthe2ndthe6th,8th,andso

on,againafifthhigherthantheprecedingone.The3rd,5th,7th,andsoon,ontheotherhand,eachenter
afifthlower.AftertheremotestkeyEflathasbeenreachedtheclimaxofthemovement)thefollowing
entriesrenderthethemeincontrarymotionuntilthefundamentalkeyAisagainreached,afterwhicha
shortcodafollows.20

ThispatternofentriescreatesaclearpatternofsymmetryaroundA(Ex5).Bartk'sfurtherpursues
hiskeeninterestinsymmetrywiththeplacementof'keys'thatthemovementsappear.Thefirst
movementinA,thesecondC,thethirdinFsharpandthefinaleinA.Bartk'sgeneralrelationship
withsymmetricalpatternswillbediscussedfurther,inthenextchapter.

Example5subjectentriesinmovementIbars127.

Builtlargelyoftertian(especiallydiminishedchords)andwholetonerelationships,theAllegro
movementisanimmediatestepawayfromthehighlyconcentratedchromaticismoftheAndante
tranquillo.Thethirdmovementdarkensconsiderablywithstrongershadesofchromaticism,seeing
inpartareturnofthefirstmovement'ssubject,developed.Thefinaleisthemostdiatonicofthefour
movements,withlessjuxtapositionofmodesandchromaticism.AsBartokexplains'themaintheme
ofMovementIisextended,bydiatonicexpansionoftheoriginalchromaticform'.21

5.
MusicforStrings
isaclearamalgamandanapexofinfluences,especiallysoofBartok's
ethnomusicologicalresearchandvastexposuretoanassortmentofartmusic.
MusicforStrings
is
extremelycomplex,demonstratingagreatknowledgeofinstrumentcapabilities,timbrequalities,
andsuperlativequasitonalharmoniclanguage.Themusicclearlybeginsverychromaticallywitha
focusonA,andendswithatonalshowdownfinishingonA.Thecontrastandarticulatefusionof
differentharmoniclanguagesonasmallscaleandlargestructuralscaleisquintessentiallyBartk.
20
21

Bartk,
StructureofMusicforStrings,PercussionandCelesta
(1937),inBlaBartkEssays,ed.BenjaminSuchoff(London,1976)416
ibid

Intriguingly,althoughsymmetryisemployedinmanyguisesthroughoutthework,theoverall
structureisnotsymmetrical.
MusicforStrings
asGriffithsobservesis'amiddlegroundbetweenthe
verydiatonic
SecondPianoConcerto
andthemoreblisteringFifthQuartet'.22

ConcertoforOrchestra
1943

1.DuringaperiodofrelativelyimprovedhealthfromhisterribleillnessofleukemiaBartk

1.

composedthe
Concerto,
commissionedbyKoussevitskyFoundation.Itwascomposedinjusttwo
th
th
monthsbetweenAugust15
andOctober8
.Hisimprovedhealthwaslargelythankstoamassof

supportfromfriends,ASCAP(associationofAmericancomposers)andHarvarduniversitythat
helpedfinancehistreatments.Aswellasbeingwellenoughtocompose,thissupportmayhave
enlightenedBartk'sopinionofsocietyandprovidedhimtheimpetustowriteafterathreeyearvoid
ofcomposing.

st
2.InBartk'sprogrammenoteforthefirstperformanceinBoston1
December1944he

referstothepieceasbeing'symphonylike'.23Itdoesindeedresemblesomethingsymphony
like,butofamucholder,Classicalperiodstyle.IntheprogrammenoteBartkalso
summarisesthework:

Thegeneralmoodoftheworkrepresentsapartfromthejestingsecondmovementagradual
transitionofthefirstmovementandthelugubriousdeathsongofthethird,tothelifeassertionofthe
lastone.24

ApatternthatperhapsappearsquiteofteninBartk'sworks.Itcertainlyresemblestheframe
ofthe
MusicforStrings.

Thefivemovementsthatmakeupthe
Concerto
aresomewhatabsentofanyspecific
unifyinglargescalelinks.Oneofthefewtenuousmotiviclinksisbetweenthe'GiuocoDell
coppie'andthe'IntermezzonInterroto',bothofwhichareallegrettos,butverydifferentin
tone.25Thefirstmovementtakesonasonataallegroformandisfilledwithfugatopassages
makingitthemostcontrapuntalofthefivemovements.

22

Griffiths(n3)156

23
24

Stevens(n7)280

ibid
25
Griffiths(n3)178


Thesecondmovemententitled'GiuocoDellcoppie',orinsomescores'presentandole
coppie',isquiteliterallya'gameofpairs',examplesixillustrateswhentheseentriesof
themesoccur:

Example6MovementIIfrom
ConcertoforOrchestra

Onecannotbeentirelysureofhowthegameofpairstakesplace.Theinstrumentsappearto
lineupinquiteanorderlyfashion.Thesectionsarethematicallyverydifferent,andhavean
A,B,C,D,Estructurefollowedbyabridgeconsistingofbrassandsnare(bars120165),
afterwhichthefivesectionsarerecapitulated.AccordingtoGillies26
Bartkimitatesthe
twopartparallelDalmatianstylefoundinParryscollection.TheDalmatianstylefrom
Croatiaentails
narrowintervalsanduntemperedsinging[at]themost
primitivephaseofCroatianmusic.27
Thesnaremotifappears(mostlikelynotby
coincidence)veryneartothecenterofthemovement,frombar120somefurther
symmetricaltechniquethinkingperhaps.

3.NaturallyforBartk,themusicopenswiththestringsection.Aswith
MusicforStrings,
thereare
veryfewmomentswherethestringchoirisnotpresent,revealingagreatdependenceonthechoir.
Acuriousburstoftheharpoccursinbar438,withinstructionstotheharpisttoplay'nearthe
soundboardwithanappropriatelyshapedstick'oneofthefew(perhapsonly)modernist
26
27

Gillies(n10)
Jerko(
StilovifolklorneglazbeuJugoslaviji
1981)
<http://www.scribd.com/doc/9654096/JoskoCaletaTrendsandProcessesintheMusicCultureoftheDalmatianHinterlandBezic>accessed
13January2011

approachesofthoughttowardsorchestrationinthepiece.Insomerespectitscontextcouldbeplaced
asamoderntechniqueforvoiceleadingwithtimbre.

Thesnaredruminthesecondmovementevokesastrongfeelingofsolitude,whencomparedwith
theremainderofthemovementwhichleavesnootherinstrumentsbythemselves,thesnarepartis
literallysolitary.Anotherstarkinstanceofsolitudeisevokedbythepiccolointhethirdmovement.
Itisseeminglyunaffectedbyotherinstruments,actingalifeofitsown,protrudingthroughthe
orchestralcolour,changingverylittlemelodicallyorrhythmically,italsoendsthemovement,alone.
Thethirdmovement(similarto
MusicforStrings)
bringstomindBartk'sterm'nightmusic'.The
piccolo,couldwellbealonelycreatureofthenight.Inthedarkermomentofthemovement,the
upperstringstrillintheirlowerregister,flutesandclarinetseemtoshudderinrapidmelodicarches.
Throughouttheworkthemesareevenlydistributedamongstthechoirs,appeasingthepiece'stitle.

4.Frombar155ofthefirstmovementtheoboecarriesaverydistinctiveEastEuropeanfolksong
melody,thesongbecomesaprominentlydevelopedthemethroughoutthemovement.Theopening
movementuptoaroundbar35isbuiltlargelyofquartalandquintalharmonies(outsideofthe
melodicmaterial),whenat51theintervalsbegintoclosetobecomeminorthirdrelationships,
lastingpastthebeginningoftheTranquillosectionatbar155(wherethethemechanges)uptobar
170whereaglimpsedmajortriadappears,thenreappearsmorefrequentlyfrombar177,reinforcing
diatonicharmony.Themajorityoftheworkisbuiltoftonalharmony,itopenswithperfectintervals
andtheverylastchordendstheworkstridentlyonachordofFMajor.Therearevirtuallyno
dissonancesleftunresolvedthroughouttheentirework.Focusingoneofthemorechromatic
passagesinthemusic,bars57to60,thepiccolorollsinsemitonesovertritonesuptoitslastnoteof
Cwhichresolvesitspassage(Ex.7).

1.

5.Stevens'ssummaryoftheworkappliestoa1944audienceaswellasofaudiencestoday

'forthelistenerunsympathetictocontemporarymusic,the
ConcertoforOrchestra
offersan
admirableintroduction'.28TheharmonyisagreatdealmorediatonicthanmanyofBartk'sprevious
works,andwhencomparedwiththemodernoutputfromothercomposersofthetime.Aswellasthe
harmony,thetunesaremoreaccessiblebeingeasiertomemorise.

28

Stevens(n7)283

rd
Example7
ConcertoforOrchestra
3
movement,resolvingpiccolo

2.

BartkasanmigrComposer

Bartk'smatureperiodofcompositionisgenerallyconsideredtobefrom1934,thenarguablyupto
1940beforeheemigrated,asGilliespolitelyremarksthatthe'Americanyearsare'
probablybest

seenascompositionaladdendatothesepowerfullyintegratedcreativestatements'.29 Thiswould
placetwo(excludingthe
scarcely
incomplete
ViolaConcerto
and
PianoConcertono.3
)largescale
worksintoGilliesbasketofaddenda,
ConcertoforOrchestra
and
SonataforViolin
.Asmentioned
byStevensinthepreviouschapterregardingtheaccessibilityofthethe
Concerto
withoutsuch
music,peoplewhomayhaveotherwisebeenavertedataglancedhearingof
MusicforStrings,
after
exposuretotheConcertoforOrchestra,wouldnothavebeen.

ConcertoforOrchestra
illustrates
ashiftinBartk'scomposingstyle,whencomparedwithhis
earliermatureworks,especiallythatof
MusicforStrings.
Theshiftinstyleleansawayfroma
progressivemodernism.ThemostsignificantfactorbeingBartk'sharmoniclanguage.Thoughit
maintainsaslucidandsophisticatedthroughouthismatureworks,hedelineatesawayfrom
developingchromaticism.Thedelineationbeganwiththelargerscaleworks
ViolinConcertono.2
(193738)composedoneyearlaterfrom
MusicforStrings,
and
DivertimentoforStrings
(1939)
.
However,Bartk'schamberworksmaintainedhismodernisms,anditcouldberegardedthat
String
Quartetno.6
(1939)reachedtheheightofBartk'smodernism.TherearefewpiecesofBartk'sthat
endtonallyunresolvedinhismatureoutput,but
StringQuartetno.6'
doesnotconcludewithan
absolutelyexplicittonalemphasis'.30 Couldthisbe(orhavebeen)asteptofurthermodernismto
laterworkshadBartknotemigratedtoAmerica?Oneaspectinparticularregularlyappearsintext
istheAmericanorchestraanditsstyleofplaying.

ConcertoforOrchestra
wasimmediatelywellreceivedinAmerica,thereceptionamongstthe
dodecaphonistsinEuropewasnotsowarm.Issuesofmodernistcompromisewereraised.Itcould
bearguedthatBartk'sartisticcoursedevelopedregardlessoflocation.Itiscuriousthoughthat
Bartkhadn'ttakenmoreadvantageofAmerica'sartisticfreedom,especiallywhenoneconsiders
thatmostofentirecareer'sworkwhilstinEuropehadoftencomeundergreatscrutiny,andinsome
circumstancesbeenbannedfromtheairwaves.Bartkwasperhapsmoreconcernedwith
communicatingwithhisnewimmediateaudience.Bartkmusthaveknownverywellwhichgenres
andstyleswerepopularinAmerica,andsoonewondersiftheconcertowasfororchestra,orfor
orchestraandAmerica?Bartkcertainlymaintainshisintegrityasacomposer,thelevelof
coherencein
ConcertoforOrchestra
ismasterful,andremainsgroundedinhisnativecountry'sfolk
music.

29
30

Gillies(n10)
Whittall(n9)110.

th
Other20
CenturymigrComposersinAmerica

BythetimeSchoenberghadmovedtoAmericainOctober1933,hehadwellestablishedhis
twelvetonelanguage,whichhadbegunwithhisfirstfreelyatonalwork
StringQuartetno.2
in1908,
31

thenfirmlyrootedwhenintheearly1920shehad'laiddownthebasicprinciplesofdodecaphonic

technique'.32 Potentiallysurprisingly,isthefactSchoenbergsporadicallywrotetonalmusicaswell
asarrangetonalmusic(Bach)duringwhatisconsideredhisatonalperiod.Thiswouldindicatethat
Schoenbergwasstillsearchingforsomethingindiatonicstructuresthatmightofferfurther
enhancementstohisownmusicallanguage.InitiallythenewAmericanenvironmenteffected
Schoenberg'shealthquitedrastically,soinSeptember1934Schoenbergandhisfamilymovedto
LosAngelesforthebetterclimate.Asarefugee,hefoundAmericaalienating,andwasfrustrated
thathisteachinglevelscouldn'tberaised.Therewasofcourseastreamofterriblenewsfrom
Europetoo.Nevertheless,Schoenbergsawthemusicallyilleducatedasanopportunity,which
becamefulfilledwhenin1934'BernsteininformedSchoenbergofthenumerousstudentorchestras
atcollegesanduniversitiesandtheirneedforasuitablerepertoire'.33Schoenbergimmediatelytook
onhimselftocreateasuitablerepertoireandcomposedthe
Suite,
fordidacticpurposes.Schoenberg
wentontocomposeotherdidacticpieces.Indoingso,andhavingtoreachamusicallylesseducated
audience,Schoenberghadtoconsiderthisinhiswriting.Schoenbergoftenseemedveryproudofhis
ownwork,demonstratingagreatconfidenceinhisendeavours.

In1940AmericabecamehomeforStravinsky.StravinskyhademigratedfromhisRussian
homelandin1920toParis,andbeforesettlinginAmericahadcompletedthreeAmericantours.So
StravinskywaswellaccustomedtoAmericanlife.NeverthelessforyearshemovedinRussian
circles,amongstfellowimmigrants,including'musicianslikeSzigeti,RubinsteinandRachmaninoff,
Mahler'swidow,Alma,andherhusband,FranzWerfel,ThomasMann,theRussianpainterEugene
Berman'.34UnlikeBartkorSchoenberg,Stravinskydidnottakeonanacademicrole,insteadhe
pursuedcommerciallinks,ofwhichtherewemany,withBroadwayandHollywood.Thisledtoalot
ofhisoutputbeing,'madetoorder'.Sotheyearsaroundthetimeofemigratingholdaneclecticbag
ofstylesthatdon'tpursueanypathtofurthermodernism.Thenextmoderniststepoccursin1951
withtheprotoserial
TheRake'sProgress.

31

Theterm'freelyatonal'isderivedfromBailey,WalterB.1998.
TheArnoldSchoenbergcompanion
.Westport,Conn:GreenwoodPress.
ibid177.
33
ibid182
34
Walsh(n2)
32


Conclusion

InanarticlebyErnstKrenekwhowashimselfanmigrcomposer,hestrikinglyremarks
'yes,thelandofunlimitedpossibilitiestaughtustobemoreattentivetoreality.Yetitwas
reservedfortheoldcontinentoflimitedrealitytoawakeninusanewthedesireforthe
impossible.'35 WiththeexceptionofStravinsky,neitherBartknotSchoenbergmadeany
discernibleefforttofurthermodernisemusic.ItisacuriousfactthatStravinskywasthe
onlyoneofthethreethatalthoughintouchwiththeacademicworld,hedidn'tfollowan
academiccareer.Anassumptioncannotbemadethatworkinginanacademicinstitution
stiflesanartistscreativity,butperhapswhereasBartkdevotedhisentireprofessionallifeto
researchingfolkmusic,Stravinskyledamuchmorevariedlifestyle.PerhapsifBartkhad
livedanothertenyearswemayhaveseenmoreexperimentalwriting.Regardlessof
location,Bartk'sillnesswouldhavepursued,andwouldhaveeffectedhiswriting.
ConcertoforOrchestra
doesappearwheninthecontextofhisothermatureworkstobea
naturalcreativeavenue.Eventhoughhehadsufferedgreatlyfromhisillness,hadhadfor
sometimeongoingfinancialconcerns,andoftenfoundAmericaalienating,Bartkhadtwo
verystrongelementstohiswelfarethatdidn'tsubsidehismarriagewithDitta,andhis
ethnomusicologicalstudiesofCroatianfolkmusic,whichtookupagreatdealofBartk's
everydaylife.AroutinethatfollowedonfromhisworkbackinHungary,aroutinewhich
alonemightwellhavebeenenoughtoreinforceBartk'screativeavenue,whetherittonalor
atonal.

35

ErnstKrenekandDonHarran,'America'sInfluenceonItsmigrComposersAuthor(s)'(1970)PerspectivesofNewMusic,Vol.8,No.2pp.
112117<http://www.jstor.org/stable/832448>accessed11January2011