«MUSICOLOGICA OLOMUCENSIA VII Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci Olomouc 2005 The present volume was submitted to print on 6 April 2005. Dieser Band ...»
The gradation – Sheets IX to XIII is accomplished not only by gradually increasing the dynamic markings, but also by the density of the sounds, the motives, and by a growth of the width of the available tonal space of the orchestra. Sheets XIV and XV have a dynamically extreme character (the grading of the ostinato in the kettledrum, the grading of the thrice-repeated harmonic block of the orchestra – with the quotation of the motives a2 in brass), and ends by the repetition of the harpsichord motive a1 with the motive of the claves “to disappearance,” Jarmila Doubravová notes that Fišer’s form is “dynamic” or dramatic by its closeness into its form, but also that its maximally thickened gradational parts (as described above) are considerably shorter than exposition and the contrasting middle (Sheets I-IV – 140”; Sheets V-VIII – 160”; gradation of the Sheets IX-XIII – 100”;
Sheets XIV and XV – 95”).8 Fišer’s motives have a similar shape-creating character as the dynamic plan mentioned above, the density of the texture, and movement in the tonal space. They all usually appear either in their original melodically-rhythmic appearance or not at all. Except for the motive of claves and the harpsichord motive a1 (with the only exception in the gradable peak being in Sheet XII. The Sheet is imitated, dynamically descending by the brass; these motives never appear in the same dynamics, position, or instrumentation.
These motives are audibly clearly identiﬁed points whose occurrence directly creates the closure of the form. The motive of the claves and harpsichord a1 are most expressive (concerning melody, rhythm, position, dynamics, and instrumentation are unchangeable) in the Sheets I and IX. But the multiple recurrences of motives a2, b, and the six tone motive of the violins from Sheet VI have the same function. The appearance of these repetitions is regulated in the frame of the work (see ex. 5). If we look at repeated motives such as a and b, groups like a ba are created (we can call this group unit A) and the group bab (group unit B). These units encapsulate, after Sheets I and II and before Sheet XV, the space of 12 Sheets altogether.
Ex. 5. Twice and thrice repeated motives in the frame of the composition Caprichos Fifteen Sheets According to Dürer’s Apocalypse shows the relation to the composition for chamber choir of sixteen people and a cappella mixed choir for forty-eight voices mostly through the use of identical tones.
This relation is further enforced by the shared inspiration for both pieces. This is the visual art of the past, here the graphical cycles of Francisco Goya’s Caprichos.
Similarly, as the modus, the same interval material is used here (the second, seventh, ninth, and fourth/ﬁfth relations) for the melody and harmony as in the Fifteen Sheets.
Jarmila Doubravová, “Čas struktury a struktura času,” Hudební věda 2 (1976): 141.
But there are also major diﬀerences. In contrast to Fifteen Sheets, Caprichos is based on the maximum possibilities of vocal expression. And so here, except for the contrast of the chamber and mixed choir, it is worked with vocal glissandos, shouts, whispering, and other speechlike sounds. The text the choir is singing is drawn from Goya’s original brief commentaries to the separate graphic sheets (in the original Spanish). The rich changeable dynamics therefore have strong timbral results concerning vocal expression.
Each choir has its conductor. The conductor is led by the proportional recommendations for how many seconds each part should last (there are seventeen of them). The other detailed information for the separate time proportions of each part, which is marked throughout the score of Fifteen Sheets without exception, appears in Caprichos only rarely.
The dynamical and motion plan of the work is very complicated. The resonance of diﬀerent movements, dynamics, and the predominant and frequent repetitions of elements with expressive charge maintain a persistent tension. Nevertheless, a clear tectonic wave that divides the composition into three parts with a very short coda that is created by the common whispering of both choirs on the word “caprichos” is noticeable in the composition. The ﬁrst gradable wave grows from the calm introduction of the solo alto until number 5 and then descends to number 7 (pianissimo). Then a rich internal “wrinkled” middle part follows between numbers 8–14, which creates the peak in the very end of the composition (at numbers 8 and 9, the dynamics are strong, very strong; in numbers 10 and 11, they are contrastingly very weak, to allow for the gradation in numbers 12 and 13 – the crescendo from piano to fortissimo is therefore more eﬀective.) The third structurally simpler part, deliminated by the numbers 15–17, works with huge dynamical and expressional contrasts. In number 15 they are, for example, harmonies of the mixed choir at a very strong dynamic (ﬀ), to which the same harmonies of the chamber choir reply at a very weak dynamic (pp). At number 17 the aggressive shouts of the mixed choir contrast to the introductory silent solo alto.
The boundaries between individual parts of Caprichos are noticeable mainly in the beginning where they have a relatively non-complicated structure. Numbers 1 and 2 are created always by a separate block of singing, numbers 3 and 4 by two blocks, and number 5 has three blocks. In relation to aforementioned ﬁrst wave, which culminates expressively (rhythmic speech appears here for the ﬁrst time) also dynamically in number 5 and then it has a descending character toward number 7, the number of blocks also diminishes.
In number 6, there are two blocks, and in number 7, one. In the following parts, a more diﬃcult structure with penetrations to diﬀerent blocks predominates (e.g., in number 12 or in number 15 of the ﬁnal part) or the ostinato of the block through several parts.
It functions this way at the peak of the composition between numbers 11 and 13, where the constantly ampliﬁed block of rhythmic speech of the mixed choir is heard (there was a similar situation at the peak of the compositions Fifteen Sheets according to Dürer’s Apocalypse between Sheets XII and XIII).
Similarly as in Fifteen Sheets, here the motives have an important form-creating function that directly creates the closure of the form – the introduction and central parts are the clearest examples. While there are only few motives used in Fifteen Sheets – descending-ascending a1, a2 (using the tones of both trichords), and motive b (in the frame of the trichord B–C–C-sharp), the motivic plan of Caprichos is much more complicated.
Caprichos begins and ends with a rhythmically arranged quotation of the motive b1 from Fifteen Sheets. In numbers 2, 3, and 7, there are homophonic blocks whose particular voices are always moving in the frame of only one trichord (the rough scheme of harmonies which are created in these blocks must therefore be always either 1, if it is a dyad, or 11 if it is trichord, but in the block of the mixed choir in number 3 every voice moves in a diﬀerent trichord, and the result is a symmetric tetrachord 151). In number 4 there is a quotation in the four-voice block of the chamber choir (soprano, alto), a quotation of motive a2 from Fifteen Sheets, whose particular tones are divided among diﬀerent voices as it was done in Sheet XIV, where the tones of the motive were re-divided into groups of four trombones. In the following four-voiced block of the chamber choir (tenor, bass) there is the descending-ascending part of the motive a1 in number 5 from Fifteen Sheets. In number 7, the motive is created by harmonies of the tones of the trichord F–F-sharp–G.
The interval between numbers 8 and 14 is literally charged with new shapes of motives which, thanks to the interval material mentioned above, sometimes reminds one of the previous motives (the inversion of motive a2 in number 12 is most expressive); that means that they also show mutual contamination relations.9 All these motives, nine altogether for the chamber choir and the rhythmically spoken motive (mixed choir) are then quoted simultaneously in no 13 – as it was in the climax of Sheets XII and XIII, where nearly all the elements of the ﬁrst composition were quoted. The middle part in no. 14 is closed by the motive from no 7 (in contrast to the motive from no. 7, it is created by the tones of the trichord B–C–C-sharp; it is nevertheless generically the same harmony 11).
In no 16, the chamber choir again creates a homophonic block whose particular voices are moving in the frame of one trichord. However every voice, similarly as in the block no 3, moves in a diﬀerent trichord. The resulting harmony is the total of Fišer’s six-tone set 11411. The whole composition is closed, as has been said, by a rhythmically arranged (and always in three repetitions, by reducing of the tones that are rhythmically further arranged) quotation of motive b.
Also, the usage of diﬀerent kinds of harmonies roughly corresponds to the previously sketched outlines of the form. The introductory part, for example, begins in number 2 by the dyad 1, in numbers 3, 4, and 5 by the tetrachord 151, and in numbers 6 and 7 by the trichord 11.
In the middle part, numbers 8 and 9 again feature the tetrachord 151; at numbers 10 and 11 in accordance with the falling dynamics, the harmonies also fall – in number 10 it is trichord 11, and then there is none. In the connection with the crescendo in numbers 12 and 13, the hexachord of the whole mode 11411 appears for the ﬁrst time. It will According to Jarmil Burghauser, “contamination relations” are transitions from one theme or motive through a row of his equally valuable derivations, variants to even other, very diﬀerent shape. See Ctirad Kohoutek, Hudební kompozice z hlediska skladatele (Prague: Editio Supraphon, 1989), 331.
appear one more time before the end of the composition at no. 16 (in no.15 it was again the tetrachord 151).
In contrast to Fifteen Sheets, where the hexachord was present in all the sheets with the exception of the Sheet VII, the diﬀerently-used harmonies have a hidden form-creating function in Caprichos. In both compositions Fišer creates symmetrical trichords 11 (this trichord does not appear in Fifteen Sheets), tetrachords 151 (this tetrachord can be found in Fifteen Sheets despite the fact that the hexachord is always present; this is achieved by the simultaneous sounding of the two tetrachords 151, e.g., the harmony of the tones B–C–F–F- sharp and C–C-sharp–F-sharp–G) and of course the hexachord 41411. Although the set makes it possible, Fišer never uses a pentachord. He also never uses antisymmetrical trichords 15, 51, 14, or 41 that the set allows, e.g., between the tones B–C–F, F-sharp–B–C, G–B–C, C–C-sharp–F, C–C-sharp–F-sharp, or G–C–C-sharp. Also, the non-symmetrical tetrachords that the set allows, e.g., 114, 411, or 115 between the tones F–F-sharp–G–B, F–F-sharp–G–C or C-sharp–F–F-sharp–G, do not appear here.
The reason is Fišer’s eﬀort to suppress any hints of tonality through the preference of tritone and semitone intervals10 next to a semi tone (e.g., the harmony of the trichord F–F- sharp–G) and with the harmony 15111 of semitone meeting with tritones (it is always harmony of the ﬁrst, second, and third tones of both trichords – e.g., B–C–F-sharp or C–C-sharp–F–F-sharp–G). The hexachord 11411 then joins both the harmonies 11 and 66 because it contains a semitone meeting other semitones as well as a semitone meeting tritones.
Relations between the Graphic Cycles of Albrecht Dürer and Francisco Goya and Luboš Fišer’s Fifteen Sheets According to Dürer’s Apocalypse and Caprichos Fifteen Sheets According to Dürer’s Apocalypse Concerning Fišer’s inspiration by the graphic cycle of Albrecht Dürer, the author characterized it in the preface of the score of his work this way: “Apocalypses cum ﬁgures must not be introductory for the interpretation of the work. Its inﬂuence projects to the work only as a source of association. This is shown in the inner organism of the composition, that means by the sound strictness, classical instrumentation, and by certain order they correspond with the graphical clarity of Dürer’s manuscript.”12 An old friend of Fišer, František Maxián, thinks that although this statement is truthful, it purposely tells little The interval of the semitone and, of course, of the major second (even though that is not so important in the composition) is highly melodic. A melody progressing in these intervals gives the impression of ﬂuency. In contrast to this, harmonic groups made up of these intervals hide the eventual harmonic quality of a chord.
Karel Janeček recommends this harmony to be denoted as 66. The sign 66 cannot mean any orientation scheme (66=6, it is the only tritone), misunderstanding cannot occur. The orientation scheme 151 he considers to be too diﬃcult and it is not very clear that the tritones take an important part in it. See Karel Janeček, Základy moderní harmonie (Prague: Academia, 1965), 61.
See the preface to the score.
about the nature of the inspiration. This can be done by the fact that the author could have been, somewhat against his will (it is well-known that Fišer is often unwilling to discuss his compositions), put into a situation when, after his composition had achieved success, he had to express himself about it. He did so in a very ambiguous manner.
One can hardly resist the strong feelings when looking at Dürer’s graphic cycle while listening to Fišer’s urgent music. Among the aforementioned compositions by Fišer, we can ﬁnd a few relations of shared character (mostly parallels). Both artists, Dürer and Fišer, were roughly 30 years old when they created their works, which at the time of their creation were the major works of their careers. Dürer’s graphic manuscript matured in Apocalypses cum ﬁgures, here the author made use of all the possibilities of the current development of art as he recognized it on his journeys in Italy, and he simultaneously based the foundation of the development on the free picture graphic. Also, Fišer’s personal style matured in Fifteen Sheets and like Dürer he also created within the contemporary development of music art, the so-called New Music.