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I give her heartfelt thanks and love. KG, Hamburg. TRIO, Op. A portion of the text, namely 2. As in that source, common usage demands that certain exceptions be made to any systematic scheme — these include accepted standard forms such as Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. Strict transliteration is used in bibliographical contexts. For instance: 2R1 refers to two bars before rehearsal mark 1, and R12 refers to two bars after the bar containing rehearsal mark 1. This thesis sets out to explicate his life and works through a select group of compositions: his 17 string quartets.

Weinberg is still a relatively unknown composer, but his rise to prominence since his death has been striking. The volume of scholarly work on his music is slowly increasing, and can potentially provide valuable insight into the wider culture of Soviet music. Sometime during his travels, he met a Moldovan soprano named Sonya. It is quite possible, of course, that one or more of these may have been a stage name during her singing career.

See: Zalmen Zylbercweig ed. Warsaw, Mexico City, and New York: unknown publisher, The Nazi invasion of September put paid to such plans. It was obvious that the young Jewish family would not remain safe in Nazi- occupied Poland, so Weinberg and his sister made preparations to flee and head east to seek sanctuary in the Soviet Union.

Ester gave up after a few hours, apparently since her shoes hurt her feet with walking and she returned home; Weinberg carried on alone. They were murdered, along with thousands of others, in November After an arduous two-week journey through conflict-ridden territory, Weinberg reached the Belorussian border and waited with many others for the order to allow refugees entry.

He studied with Vasily Zolotaryov, a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov, in what was to be his only period of formal instruction in composition. Weinberg was faced with fleeing the Nazi war machine once more, and this time evacuated via train some miles to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

He made a name for himself working at the Tashkent opera house, and it was here that he met and married his first wife, Natalya Vovsi-Mikhoels. Shostakovich was so impressed that he immediately arranged the travel documents for Weinberg and his new family to relocate to Moscow, beginning a lifelong friendship between the two composers see 2. Once in Moscow, Weinberg might have been forgiven for believing that he had escaped the aggressive spectre of anti-Semitism. This would not last, however.

After the war, a growing tide of state-sponsored prejudice initially peaked with the dissolution of the JAFC and the deaths of its most high-profile members, including Solomon Mikhoels in January In an act of cold cynicism, Mikhoels was given a state funeral in Moscow. The secret police began to follow his movements and note his appointments.

Such surveillance continued for five years. Shostakovich was subjected to humiliating questions about his Socialist Realist allegiances, and forced to apologise for his supposed formalist deviations. Weinberg was a changed man after such dramatic events. Having lost his close family in the Holocaust, he strove to commemorate them and depict the evil of fascism through his music. His heavy treatment at the hands of the Soviet authorities appeared not to have diminished his enthusiasm for the country; indeed, he was still emphatic that he owed them, and especially the Red Army, his life.

Outwardly he held no grudge about his imprisonment and his attitude towards the ruling classes seems to have been one of casual indifference albeit with a share of works devoted to the congratulatory praise of the Soviet nation, including The Madonna and Soldier and the cantata The Banners of Peace.

He made a living chiefly through composing for film, and high-profile musicians performed his works, including David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Borodin Quartet. Barely a few months before his death, he underwent a quiet ceremony to convert to the orthodox Christian faith, and he passed away on 26 February There was his status as an outsider in the Soviet Union he retained his striking Polish accent throughout his life.

Once Weinberg had fully confirmed the fate of his parents and sister in the early s, the desire to commemorate became one of his primary concerns for composition. Chief among these works is his opera The Passenger, which he considered to be his masterpiece and which Shostakovich explicitly stated as such. The opera was given an official commission by the Bolshoi Theatre and rehearsals soon started, scheduled for performance in Considering that the Soviet forces collectively lost some 8.

For instance, his Requiem, Op. See: Ibid. Krovisheev ed. Weinberg wrote his Requiem and The Passenger at almost the same time; despite their appeal and brilliance, neither received a performance during his lifetime. Another was his own sense of modesty. He once claimed that: So long as I am writing, the work interests me. Its fate whether ostracisation by the Philharmonic Societies, lack of performances, silence in the press, scorn from the music critics is all the same to me.

Weinberg did, however, enjoy a measure of success during his lifetime. It is impossible to say whether Weinberg suspected that such praise during the s was part of a wider tactic to marginalise the avant-gardists. The most prominent members of the younger generation emigrated to Europe, thanks to their friends and contacts there.

Weinberg had no such connections, and was in any case too ill to travel such distances. Weinberg survived just long enough to witness this early success, with several of the first new albums made and released. The series, running to some 17 volumes, made its mark. In particular, Valentin Berlinsky, cellist of the Borodin Quartet, promoted Weinberg to his pupils and colleagues, including the Quatuor Danel.

They performed a complete cycle of the quartets in Manchester in November , having given world premieres for several of the quartets previously. They span his career more than any other genre, including the symphony or the song cycle. The First Quartet is his Op. Almost every style from his compositional output can be found in the cycle. The quartets anticipate trends found in his symphonies and operas and their 28 This quote comes from an interview with Valentin Berlinsky.

See Fig. Opus number Dedication 1 Op. They also suggest different possible groupings of the quartets. Across his output, Weinberg dedicated only three works to Shostakovich: the Sonatina, Op. The events of suggest one reason for avoiding chamber music during this period: the reassertion of the doctrine of Socialist Realism.

Chamber music, traditionally associated with smaller audiences of connoisseurs was the antithesis of Socialist Realism, almost by definition. The other lengthy interval here is between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Quartets, with an interval of seven years. There are more practical reasons to explain this break from the quartet since Weinberg focused his efforts during this period on his new-found enthusiasm for stage works.

Weinberg relied on film and circus scores to make a living during this time, since official concerts and commissions became steadily more infrequent. Perhaps he resurrected these previously unheard works primarily with an eye to new performances the Chamber Symphonies were particularly widely celebrated — they were named as the principal works for his State Prize of the USSR in There is no single overarching approach that unites the analytical chapters; rather, each deals with a broad topic of musical language.

The second part of the chapter then discusses assorted important quartet composers from the Soviet era, all now sadly neglected. This chapter deals extensively with concepts from musical semiotics and long-standing debates about music and meaning. The Russian perspective is provided with insights from Boris Asafiev, one of the most influential Soviet theorists.

He drew heavily on self-quotation, explored in the third chapter of this thesis. It is this musical friendship that I address initially in the following chapter, preceded by a few words on Socialist Realism. CONTEXTS The notion that the string quartet genre is primarily for subjectivity and private reflection, somehow reserved for connoisseurs, has been held for many years.

Or rather, into several contexts. Those reflected upon here include Berg and Britten. Alongside these, several important Soviet cycles also deserve to be taken into consideration. All of their quartets have been neglected to some extent in concerts and recordings. Myaskovsky and Shebalin, in particular, were celebrated as examples of successful quartet writing, and thus held aloft as suitable models for composers.

Almost all of these come from Soviet-Russian publications, as hardly any of the quartets were performed in the West until recent years. I was a student at the Belorussian Conservatoire and was earning a little bit extra by performing the parts of these instruments on the piano. And so this was the first time that I became acquainted with music by Dmitry Dmitriyevich… I remember how, sitting at the piano in the orchestra, I was staggered by every phrase, every musical idea, as if a thousand electrical charges were piercing me.

Weinberg moved into an apartment around the corner from Shostakovich and the two quickly became friends. When Weinberg was eventually released, they reportedly burned the adoption papers at a family dinner. Always when he had finished a new work. Anything: a symphony or a quartet.

Even when it still was just in manuscript. Shostakovich also helped to secure the premiere of The Madonna and Soldier and, despite his own ill health, travelled to St. Petersburg to attend rehearsals. His First Quartet is his Op. The first is that of initial mutual influence. The early quartets of both composers offer several tantalising similarities, suggesting a reciprocal exchange of ideas. The material on pages is adapted from this publication.

Influence is an extremely nebulous aspect of any criticism, but especially so in music. Without direct quotation or unequivocal documentation, we can only compare similarities and draw tentative conclusions about the creation of works. That said, I shall indulge in a few comparisons below.

The documented close friendship and professional exchange between the two composers lends credence to parallels in their early quartets, more frequently originating from the younger man. London: Pimlico, Instead, it would appear that Weinberg absorbed smaller elements that are associated with Jewish modes and assimilated them into his own style. These musical elements arguably came from the Yiddish tradition in the theatre melodies that Weinberg grew up with, rather than from religious music found in the synagogues Weinberg was Jewish-secular throughout his life; that is, he was never an actively-practicing member of the Jewish faith.

These facts are meant to prove the following assertion: The interest Shostakovich showed in the Jewish subjects was highly aroused by his acquaintance with Weinberg. Still more parallels can be found in the comparison of three works dating from Examples Ex. In all three, similar textures are evident, as well as certain shared elements of pitch organisation.

In the Shostakovich, the opening idea is restated with alterations that transform it into a phrase covering all twelve pitch classes, from R The opening passage from the Weinberg Quintet is considerably longer, stretching to some eight bars, but also covers the chromatic gamut.

The dense chromaticism of the Quintet as a whole is further grounds for arguing that Shostakovich picked up on suggestions and took influence from an earlier piece. It moves away from its G major tonality, only to return abruptly at the final cadence Ex.

Through its lack of imagination, [it] exposes the arbitrariness of its conventional usage. Thus, as marked material, the cadence puts on display the emptiness behind the constructed musical system it represents, exposing the crisis of the end. It is not unreasonable to suppose that Weinberg would have shown his earlier compositions to his friend and mentor, given that these must have been among the few possessions that Weinberg was able to take with him when he fled Warsaw and then Minsk.

Abram Ashkenazy recalled: Whenever his work was concerned, he was very tough. He never made concessions. Shostakovich never corrected his compositions, never listened to advice. The single exception known to me concerns the Fourth Quartet. Dmitri Dmitrievich had the score and played through the complete quartet… Leafing through the score, I saw some clippings. Anthony Phillips London: Faber, Weinberg never mentioned him in any surviving document, and no Soviet critics seem to have noted any specific resemblance.

See: Nikitina, Simfonii M. Vaynberga, Shostakovich noted that he was unimpressed with the Fourth Quartet, but liked the Sixth. Therefore, Morawski could perhaps be forgiven that, in his classes, composition seemed to have come to a halt with Scriabin, Ravel, Dukas, Falla, and Respighi. There were, in addition, other notable influences whose significance for Weinberg shifted over time.

The sheer quantity of extensive examples made the book sought after by young composers desperate to find out more about such forbidden music. See: Schmelz, Such Freedom, if only Musical, See: E. His familiarity with their works is again uncertain, and their wider reception in the Soviet Union is difficult to pinpoint, but they stand as important benchmarks for the string quartet in the twentieth century.

The figures concerned are Berg and Britten. The third movement presents an angular melody punctuated by double-stopped chords. These include such luminaries as Milhaud, Hindemith, Tippett, and many others. Before his quartets can be fully introduced, however, there is another avenue of the twentieth-century string quartet that has been largely neglected by most histories of the genre: the status and reception of the string quartet within the Soviet Union.

The string quartet as a genre was of little apparent use to the State, typically being performed for small audiences, and usually with non-programmatic content. In these circumstances, chamber music was not necessarily looked down upon, but it was never lionised to the same extent as song, opera, or symphonic works. If the genre in itself is accepted by modern critics to have been subversive in some way, the sheer number of string quartets written in the Soviet Union would suggest a tidal wave of dissent, which was clearly not the case.

Those celebrated are as follows: Shebalin, Quartet No. Other chamber music genres appear more frequently in the prize lists, especially the song cycle. Raymond Clarke London: Pimlico, In the following subsections, the works of several of the leading Soviet quartet composers other than Shostakovich are surveyed Fig. Older than Prokofiev and Shostakovich, he was raised in the Tsarist era. Myaskovsky is today celebrated principally for his 27 symphonies, despite having written a huge amount of music besides.

His symphonic cycle displays considerable variety of means, including a symphony scored for brass band No. Weinberg and Myaskovsky were good friends,91 Weinberg having first met the older composer during his time studying in Minsk. When I was leaving, he suddenly picked up my coat and helped me put it on. Myaskovsky happened to be on the panel, owing to his senior position in Soviet musical life. See: Olga P. Weinberg is, for its emotional intensity and technical completeness, not inferior to his own excellent Fourth Quartet; even more clear are the inherent intonational features created by the young composer, which makes this quartet particularly valuable.

The musical images and techniques of the quartet are complex, but clear and expressive. I think that this quartet must be recommended for performance. He kept a photograph of Myaskovsky on his bedside table throughout his life. His Second Quartet has already been compared to Shostakovich, but it is in its final bars that it demonstrates parallels with Myaskovsky in its original version, at least. The ending features successive flurries around G, before chromatically-descending lines lead to three G major chords, one per bar.

Petersburg; quoted in Semyon Shlifshteyn ed. Myaskovsky: Sobranie materialov [N. Myaskovsky: Collected materials], vol. Alexei Ikonnikov writes: [in his quartets] the composer gives full play to his outstanding talents, to his constant tendency to think in instrumental terms and his masterly symphonic technique. At certain stages of his development, Myaskovsky led the trend of all the works of Soviet composers. He could, however present a collage of styles and characteristics. The cryptograms were first identified by Ikonnikov.

Despite a lack of international recognition, his quartets were held in comparable regard to his symphonies in the Soviet Union. This is a modally-inflected presto, with rapid variations on the theme. His slower movements often evoke a pastoral-type mood, with exploitations of parallel- minor effects for expression, though he also portrays a dignified melancholy in his later works. Antonina W. Blois New York: Alfred A.

Knopf, Shebalin, Shostakovich, and Weinberg were part of a group of friends who would meet to discuss their music and recent concerts, as well as for birthdays and similar celebrations. At 4R1 there is a bar of augmented triads, creating another whole-tone chord, with the same effect repeated three bars later.

The Shebalin example shows an even stronger resemblance to Ravel from R1 see Ex. The work opens with sinister triplet quavers in the cello, which become a central motif for the entire work see Ex. The example is similar to the Myaskovsky quartet illustrated above, see Ex. II, Shebalin], In an even closer parallel, both works recapitulate their opening theme with a striking textural resemblance seen here in the bars leading from the development into the full recapitulation in the Shebalin example — see Ex.

However, Shebalin was not always so esteemed; in the aftermath of the Zhdanov affair of he was fired from the Moscow Conservatoire, not being reinstated until The Seventh features a noticeably stripped-back style in terms of harmonic adventurousness and even in difficulty for performers, as was noted by at least one contemporaneous critic in the West. In this period, he wrote no quartets but revised several of his earlier works.

His Eighth Quartet started a final burst of activity in the last three years of his life, which saw his last symphony No. He finished the quartet just months before his death in which is remarkable, considering that a series of strokes had debilitated him so badly that he was left unable to speak. The Eighth and Ninth Quartets present a return to the Francophile explorations of the first four quartets, but tinged with a sombre melancholy that approaches mournfulness.

Myaskovsky represents an older generation, while Shebalin was a conservative compared to Shostakovich, despite only being four years older. Their position as respected composers and teachers ensured the transfer of their values to the next generation, and, indeed, a group of younger composers continued their support for classical templates accordingly.

Shebalin ed. Shebalin: Years of life and creativity] Moscow: Sovetskiy kompozitor, Shlifsteyn ed. Myaskovsky: Sobranie materialov, Vol. Weinberg dedicated two of his quartets to Levitin, namely the Seventh and Fourteenth , though Levitin had honoured Weinberg first with his Sixth Quartet Levitin had studied with Shostakovich at the Leningrad Conservatoire and moved to Tashkent after the siege of Leningrad began in late In Tashkent, Levitin managed the affairs of the Tashkent theatre, a role which put him in direct contact with Weinberg.

Levitin returned to Moscow in Levitin was a moderately successful composer in his own time and place his quartets received mixed critical reactions but in later years he was better known as a respected music critic. This is an original fusion, in which the music flows along familiar formal lines, where the embodiment of dramaturgy does not present difficulties, while the content is full of unexpected, unheard of beauties and turns of phrase that demand unfailing attention.

These are quartets of a mature master, who has something to say and who speaks in an original, lapidary, accessible voice. However, this comes to an abrupt head towards its conclusion. Meanwhile the notation strongly resembles that of Krzysztof Penderecki, whose aleatoric works where hugely popular among the younger generation of Soviet composers in the late 60s. However, its successor can lay reasonable claim to consistent mastery.

This movement presents a dramaturgy in contrast to the rest of the work, following from the twelve-note first movement. Of all the Soviet composers briefly surveyed here, Levitin is the most neglected in the present day and arguably the closest to Weinberg stylistically. Though it is See: Anon. For this reason his music carries natural conviction. He was a Shostakovich pupil, studying under him at the Moscow conservatoire Chaykovsky composed six quartets, which can be seen to represent his style overall, beginning with a Shebalin-like lyrical style, before producing more experimental works, including forays into serialist approaches.

The single-movement work relies heavily on triplet accompaniments, with chromatically-expanded modality in the melodic figures. Jarring cluster chords interrupt this flow, with an otherwise straightforward motion towards a climax around two thirds of the way through.

In the example above, the overall tonal framework can be seen, with an obvious F major ending. At its best it has an apocalyptic power to rank alongside the more epic statements of his most important teacher, Dmitri Shostakovich; at its weakest, it dissolves into mere gesture — more of a danger in his later period, when he had pared down his musical language to the essential. Since such masterpieces, not just in Russian music but in classical music worldwide, are seldom born… [works like] his Theme and Eight Variations, the violin, Cello and Piano concertos, and the Lyrics on Pushkin.

They are united, however, by a common interest in classical forms and traditional discourse, though with different approaches for adapting these. Despite the admiration and respect of Weinberg and Shostakovich, both Chaykovsky and Levitin have little representation in contemporary programming.

With the backgrounds of Soviet and twentieth-century quartets outlined above, a sense of the general context of critical discourse in which Weinberg was composing will emerge. I begin with contemporaneous Russian sources, before surveying modern-day texts from Russian, German, and English sources. My thanks to Bret Werb for providing a copy of this text.

The next quartet review in the Soviet press comes only in , from the critic and composer Aleksey Nikolayev. Weinberg, Quartet No. However, with such a profusion of references, she has little room to interpret any of her examples analytically. The quartet performs a dramatic twist in the first movement; the second is a Toccata — a picture of the enemy invasion; part 3 — requiem; part 4 — the image of a happy childhood.

But childhood is always a symbol of life, and thus, it is the general idea of the work as it takes on the hidden meaning of contrasting pictures of misery, destruction and death: a picture of life in a violent flowering of the light and joy of its spring awakening. In particular, there was a tendency to read themes of war into works composed during the war years, and this can certainly be found in later criticism of the Fourth Quartet.

The second movement of the work is especially rich in them, as if to convey a state of creative anticipation — it is a state of waiting. Premonitions of some new images are retained in the subsequent movements: full of slow and laconic thoughts in the third movement and in the finale. However, this creates a certain reticence. But for the lyrical heroism in the work, one has to listen to the development of the composer's thought.

This includes her monograph Simfonii M. Vaynberga, loosely based on her candidate dissertation equivalent to PhD , completed at the Moscow Conservatoire. This is in the second movement of the Quartet — the scherzo. But Weinberg managed to rethink the dramatic reception to give it a special flavour.

The composer saturates almost the entirety of the second movement with minor seconds and intonations similar to Jewish folk music e. The result is an eerie slow dance, calling up images of Nazi ghettos. Nikitina, Simfonii M. Vaynberga [The Symphonies of M. This is in line with a particularly Soviet branch of analysis, identifying Intonatsia in music see Chapter 3, p. As is well known, the use of foreign elements may have different objectives: to impersonate a timeless aesthetic ideal, or to create a psychological atmosphere, or to add character to the overall concept.

This is clearly the last effect. Quotes arise in the quartet as a natural consequence of the main thematic material, helping to dramatise, even like an incandescent effect. It would appear that with this later review, Nikitina is elevating the Soviet trope of identifying imagery and evoking the influence of Beethoven not only to a level of allusion, but also to a simpler level.

Nikitina ascribes certain qualities to the Fifteenth Quartet, through the Beethoven comparison. The Fifteenth presents a narrative of struggle and ultimate failure, writ large across its nine movements even the Fourth Quartet presents something akin to a narrative of defeat, most notably in its large scale tonal movement from major to minor.

From a conversation with the author, 19 November Such intellectualised lyricism… has from the beginning been one of the most important areas shaping the music of Weinberg, but over the years it has acquired a variety of meaningful features. In the quartet, lyrical dialogue is based on the combination of contrasting stylistic elements: monologues unduplicated series of colours and romance.

Since this approach is so pervasive in Soviet-era reviews, I have explored it more fully in my third chapter, though I have utilised more familiar Western-style approaches such as Topic theory. Berlinsky claimed: The creative works of Weinberg should take their rightful place in the string quartet repertoire — they are not only great music, but also an encyclopedia of the quartet art form.

Literally everything is used there — possibilities of timbre, techniques and technologies of the quartet genre. Although he was not a string player, he felt these tools surprisingly well and understood their very soul. Several Russian commentators have seen this Western revival as strange. For contemporary reception of Weinberg, I draw on two academic sources. It was finished in , the year that Ester would have turned sixty.

A programme can be discerned across the work, with vague references to imagery of dancing and Jewish songs in particular. It is easier to hear outrage and indignation in these passages than any respectful memorial. Kuznetsova ed. However, there have been several sources published in Western countries recently, and these are outlined below.

However, this is incorrect for several reasons: Weinberg had used serial passages in several works that predate the Twelfth Quartet, and, more crucially, because the Twelfth Quartet does not actually employ dodecaphony. Another German-language article appeared recently in Ensemble magazine, a publication dedicated for chamber music performers.

However, owing to his relative obscurity and the paucity of sources, numerous wider contexts have had to have been introduced. Such insights show not just wider influences, but move us closer to the immediate musical surroundings that Weinberg would have been familiar with. In the case of Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, and Shebalin, these were the quartets that were held aloft as exemplary of the genre and as success stories for composers to emulate.

This makes them hugely important for an understanding of the environment surrounding the composition of string quartets in the Soviet Union from the s onwards. However, what has been offered here is only a small sample of the rich context of the Soviet quartet; further study is certainly required.

These sources serve as an important foundation for the analytical chapters that follow, functioning as points to react to whether that be to substantiate or refute. Musical narratives are notoriously ambiguous, and problematic to examine in detail. Some of these theories have been chosen for their relative familiarity, in order quickly to explain a concept, and others for their suitability to the multiple layers of meaning in this repertoire, which will require some initial clarification.

In using such texts for his operas, Weinberg also shows his strong beliefs in pacifism and the innate goodness of mankind. With these lofty ideals in mind, the implicit narratives in his String Quartets will be be examined through their constitutive topics and discourses. Many critics have sought to elucidate musical meaning with recourse to literary allusions. For instance, Leonard Meyer, in Emotion and Music, makes the point that while music cannot refer specifically in the same way as literature, the emotions that it does communicate can often best be compared to their literary counterpoints.

This subjective nucleus, however, is attended by the same pressure that, as thinkers from Hegel to Bakhtin to Lacan have insisted, impels all subjectivity: the subject is meaningless in itself alone and necessarily seeks to enunciate itself in relation to others. It seeks connection, interrelationship, in order to be. In this sense, the musical subject can only define itself in relation to the Other outside of itself. Indeed, it so embedded in his works that it is practically part of his compositional DNA.

This is a motif of alternating fourths, beginning from the lower interval. Here is an example from the second movement of the Sixteenth Quartet see Ex. This motif makes up the entire first theme of this movement, and it is referred to in the surrounding movements also. A similar permeation of alternating fourths can be found in the fifth movement of the Fifteenth Quartet Ex.

Other examples include the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Seventeenth Quartets. The expressive function of these alternating fourths is a matter for speculation. They can be read as points of anchorage, moments of respite or contemplation, as the repeated iteration of the first tone provides a sense of stillness in terms of harmonic movement, at least. On a very simple level, the alternating fourths are frequently tonally open-ended. While the alternating fourths may function as a melodic signature, there is another motif that acts as a rhythmic trademark also: the use of quintuplets.

The other exception occurs towards the end of the Sixth Quartet, which will be explored below. The later quartets are dominated by a new interest in rhythmic variety, which can be neatly encapsulated in one unit, starting from the Twelfth Quartet: the quintuplet. The very first occurrence of quintuplets in the quartet cycle is in the fourth movement of the Sixth Quartet, continuing as a motif into the fifth movement.

In the fourth movement, it first comes as a variation on a quasi-passacaglia theme Ex. In the fifth movement, it becomes yet more significant, as the lead-in motif for a defiant pizz. Following this contemplative movement, the quintuplets then provide a new impetus for the music to rally itself, first accruing energy in the fourth movement, and then reaching a peak in the fifth finally leading to a finale that attempts to move beyond the previous material.

For instance, The Passenger opens with a striking quintuplet theme played on timpani with brass interjections Ex. This contrasts with the first subject, in which the parts enter and subsequently changes notes on alternating crotchet beats see Ex.

After a break of seven years, the Thirteenth Quartet continues the interest in quintuplets, which here become one of the thematic aspects of the entire work. Quintuplets serve as a flourish after a slow introduction Ex. The work most saturated with quintuplets is the Fifteenth Quartet, where they occupy a position remarkably similar to that in the Sixth Quartet; that is, they occur only after a break in style between different movements and larger sections of the work. It is in the fourth movement that the quintuplet takes centre stage, in a kind of macabre waltz.

In this movement, rhythmic cells challenge each other, such as quaver quintuplets immediately followed by semiquaver quintuplets Ex. A clear expressive significance suggests itself, that the quintuplets become an important way to represent a dramatic break in large-scale material. Quintuplets also feature in the Fourteenth and Sixteenth Quartets, though less prominently. In the original, the texture is dense with near-constant weavings of syncopation.

In the revised version, Weinberg simplified many of these textures but made the remaining rhythms themselves more complex usually with triplets replacing straight quavers in accompaniments. In one key passage, Weinberg varies a previous transition by changing the whole bar to crotchet quintuplets see Ex. These remain important features of the fabric of his music, though there are many aspects of his expressive style that require a more sophisticated approach.

Of particular use here is the body of scholarship known as Topic theory. In defining these labels, Agawu employs topic theory for extroversive semiosis and Schenkerian analysis for introversive. Agawu writes: Topics are musical signs. They consist of a signifier a certain disposition of musical dimensions and a signified a conventional stylistic unit, often but not always referential in quality The identity of a topic is least dependent on the name of that topic.

What matters, following the structuralist idea of relationality, is the difference between various topics This means, following Barthes, that topics may be read or heard as at least second-order semiotic systems, since they take a musical sign or set of musical signs , drain it of signification, and then refill it with meaning i. The most powerful framework for analyzing pure signs is one that gives pride of place to the dynamic quality of Classic music, to the sense of directed motion.

Accordingly, discourse is the wider structural level at which topics combine to create long-standing narratives. As such, analysis that makes reference to contexts and backgrounds, as well as providing detailed insight, can prove especially effective when writing about Weinberg. In Soviet musicology, there is a long history of combining similar narrative imagery with Socialist-Realist ideals in order to explore musical meaning; this includes Ibid.

This is the concept of Intonatsia, first introduced by Boleslav Yavorsky , and further developed by Boris Asafiev In a manner that might seem unusual to readers used to Western traditions of music analysis, Intonatsia became the predominant means for analysing music and its meaning s. Walden ed. McQuere ed. For instance, the formulation of scales and rhythms was, according to Asafiev, originally according to a social function or requirement.

For Asafiev, the combination of these ideas combined to create a wider musical image across a work. Intonatsia is a theory for simultaneously understanding not only musical meaning, but also the history of musical development and the role of music in society. The idea of timeless narodnost has roots in the romantic and nationalistic schools of the nineteenth century.

Narodnost evolved to become a central tenet of early Bolshevik thinking, rearranging the idea via Marxist philosophy to explain an inbuilt class consciousness that ultimately justified the October revolution. In this way, ideas of collective images and shared thoughts were entirely See: Malcolm H.

Tying Intonatsia into narodnost ensured that the underlying principle could be understood by a lay audience. Questioning concepts of narodnost was practically unthinkable; not only was it a central tenet of Russian nationalist thinking, it was also constantly referred to by representatives of the government.

With the publication of his two books, Musical Form as Process and its later counterpart Intonatsia, the theory soon gained popularity and rose to become the most widely applied theory of musical analysis in the Soviet Union Asafiev was widely taught and respected long after his death — a reputation only supplanted by that of Yuri Kholopov since the s. For this reason, Asafiev-style analyses have often left Western analysts baffled, not least in terms of how readily Russian analysts will accept their conclusions.

In this sense, his theories are frequently referenced in scholarly work, but they are rarely matched with the kind of score-based analysis that Asafiev intended. Explanations of how musical topics combine to create a discourse across whole works will be paralleled with examples from literature, emulating the approaches of both Asafiev and Leonard Meyer. In this way, smaller examples of topics will be seen to construct a wider discourse across a work, through comparison with more familiar narrative elements and structures.

Through the combination and juxtaposition of different topics, including emotions and moods, numerous subjects and Others can be suggested, resulting in a discourse. Such quotations are pertinent to topic and discourse in that quotations in the quartet cycle often refer to texted works, suggesting a concrete semantic level. Weinberg himself summed up his approach to melody and quotation: There is not a single symphony in which I do not use parts of my vocal works, whether romances or from my operas.

And it can work the other way round, when I place certain extracts from my symphonies or quartets in my operas. The author whose work has most closely focused on the practice is J. Quotation also differs from collage, which presents a medley of different melodies to create a larger work. Shostakovich has been noted for his numerous quotations, both of his own music and of canonic musical works. Tatjana M.

The violin section of the orchestra joins him before he is seized by German guards, led off to his death, and his violin is smashed onstage. In general, these are in later works or are earlier works that were then revised or arranged as later works , though there is a small amount of quotation in some of the earlier quartets. Quartet No.

He substantially reworked the movement for orchestra in his 21st Symphony, Op. In this version, the tempo is slightly slowed, and it consequently loses some of its ferocity compared to its original incarnation. The final movement includes a part for wordless Soprano, a moving evocation of loss. The significance of including the work is clear: this is a piece written by Weinberg that Esther herself would have heard.

The opus-number designation of the Mazurka pieces is perhaps unusual; Weinberg evidently did not consider them substantial enough to include in his opus numbers, yet they must have been amongst his possessions that he took from Warsaw. The significance of such works is problematic to speculate upon; however, the close family dedication of the Sixteenth Quartet provides some clues.

As such, it is quite possible that there are further quotations contained within the work that are, as yet, unidentified. One such melody can be found in the second theme of his Seventeenth Quartet Ex. In The Portrait, it is attached to the nobility of the artist and the integrity of artistic endeavour. The chorale-like theme evolves into a linking passage to the central section, with several interludes that are bridged by solo cello, forming the basis for the majority of the central section.

This is the passage in the Eighth Quartet: Ex. With sighing figures, and an open-ended tonal trajectory, this figure is evocative of listlessness or exploration. The text sung by Nastasya Filippovna is as follows: Why are you crying? Why are you crying so terribly? Laugh as I do. Trust in time! All things must pass! The passage is introduced by a solo violin, and a sparse accompaniment. The same passage also resurfaces in his 22nd Symphony: Ex. The 22nd Symphony was unorchestrated by the time of his death.

It was released by the Toccata Classics label in , in its orchestration by Kirill Umansky. The following section gives a topic-based analysis of this passage in the Eighth Quartet, strengthened by its usage in The Idiot. In the later quartets, explicit titles and even traditional labels of tempo and character were dropped in favour of metronome marks at the head of every movement.

However, even there, several clearly identifiable moods recur. In several passages, there appears to be little motivation for movement or even development. Typically, melodic figures rise and then fall, with no sense of goal-orientated direction.

Such extracts are tonally rooted, but create almost no expectation of harmonic motion. They are often accompanied by a pp dynamic and a slow tempo. For instance, see the already featured example from the Eighth Quartet Ex. The falling figure in the second violin at R4 is a decisive component. The cello answers with a rising motif, F-sharp-G-A. The classical syntax of V-falling to I is apparent at 1R4, but with added ninth notes in the case of R4, a flattened ninth — at R41 it is a ninth above the minor dominant.

This pair of falling thirds recurs several times over the Eighth Quartet. The work opens with a similarly serene passage, in C major. The presence of this tranquil mood, here turning into resignation, negates any process of energetic expansion or development. Rather than the literal translation i.

The harmony accompanies these with an evocation of traditional syntax, in the form of a recurring V-I cadence across the first four bars of Ex. See: Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, trans. Robert Baldick London: Penguin, passim. This in turn results in key modes of human existence, such as capitalism, where production is fuelled by continual demand. Lack and Desire in musical processes can be identified in several formal structures, stemming in tonal music from a harmonic resolution or absence thereof.

In Ex. The repetition of the two cells delays satisfaction, further obstructing any potential resolution by chromatic colourations in the harmony. John Forrester, London: W. Norton, The above represents a simplistic primer to Lacanian thought, but there are additional levels to his theory that reveal more about Weinbergian ennui. When something is bereft of a particular attribute resulting in a desire , the lack itself can be conceived of in quasi-Platonic terms.

The more that tonal syntax is delayed and expanded over the course of a work, the greater the desire for tonal closure. One is that the lack of resolution only perpetuates the lack further, distancing it from any eventual closure. Alan Sheridan London: Routledge, Here, a slow swooping figure dominates the main theme. With a broken series of phrases, the movement proceeds along a meandering course, with little direction and even less resolution.

In the case of Op. Immediately, this creates a paradoxical sense of motion without harmonic movement. There are a number of parallels with the passage seen in Ex. They also both feature prominent tenuto markings, with descending slurred pairs. A similar trajectory can be seen in the first violin in Ex. Such similarities suggest a specific set of musical circumstances to create this topic.

Although Weinberg omitted a key signature in the Op. This is reinforced by the rests in the passage — with a crotchet rest in bars 3 and 7, immediately after the F minor to C minor cadence. This creates a shifting motion whose end is in its beginning and whose beginning is in its end, a seemingly never-ending circularity.

Perhaps the closest hint at reconciliation in the Op. The coda is even more intriguing for the modal alterations of keys Ex. After a slow exchange between the cello and viola, the cello plunges down, giving the semblance of E-flat minor, marked ppp. The upper parts give ghostly figures, echoing the rising and falling pairings at the start of the movement. With the final bars, no complicit tonal closure is achieved, with only a bare low C in the cello. If we accept that the ennui constitutes an abandonment of the usual lack-desire process, then what we encounter over this movement is the presentation of a fully aware, self- evaluating subject.

Combined with the soft dynamic and the repetition of themes, a listlessness is evoked, a lack of movement away from somewhere, only movement around something. In the case of the Op. However, he has found that nearly all of his affairs can be run from the comfort of his own bed. Accordingly, the first third of the novel depicts Oblomov running his estate from sloth-like squalor: With Oblomov, lying in bed was neither a necessity as in the case of an invalid or of a man who stands badly in need of sleep nor an accident as in the case of a man who is feeling worn out nor a gratification as in the case of a man who is purely lazy.

David Magarshack London: Penguin, Whenever he was at home — and almost always he was at home — he would spend his time lying on his back. In this song, a series of minor chords unfold with a clear focus around B minor. The sequence starts from the second bar, culminating in F sharp major7 as dominant though actually the movement in the fifth bar is up to C sharp major. With this minor chord sequence that revolves around standard harmonic syntax but only rarely obeys it, the Musorgsky example is prophetic musically of Weinbergian ennui, and its text further illustrates this mood: Ennui!

Your destiny appointed No Joy where passion there was none, No blest return where none were parted, And where no strife, no victory won! For instance, there is the scherzo movement of the Fifth Quartet, in which, over the course of two-and-a-half minutes, three different themes are explored in an arch structure see Ex. In scherzo movements such as this, Weinberg presents an emotion of stifled anger and a violence that is restrained from full expression.

Golenishtchev-Kutusov, trans. Such repressed violence could actually be directed against the self. Alternatively, it could be anger against society or even the whole world. Another Lacanian term proves appropriate here. While the conscious mind constructs the subject in relation to perceptions of reality, it also defines itself by means of the concept of the Other. For the infant child, this begins with the recognition of the mother as a separate being, but in the adult subject, this can be any grouping of individuals or any physical object.

Lacan also wrote of the Big Other, usually taking the form of wider societal pressures, such as systems of laws, or government. The closest Shostakovich comes to this is his pattern of following fury movements with slow movements, thus presenting a large-scale dramaturgy across movements in the Tenth Quartet, for instance. Alan Sheridan London: Tavistock, This notion has persisted to the modern day, with several critics defending violence in cinema as cathartic in the Aristotelian sense.

But this expectation is scuppered, and the anger remains unaddressed for the rest of the work. Instead, he alludes to their rageful scherzi through comparatively restrained means. In this way, when the listener expects a screaming torrent over a short period of time, Weinberg presents a stifled outcry, a short Aristotle, Poetics, trans. James Hutton London: Norton, James Strachey London: Hogarth Press, It is this act of suppression that acts as an anti- cathartic shadow over the course of a whole work.

They key of G flat major, with a distinctively flattened tone colour and a particular challenge for string players, only adds to the sense of frenzy. In the context of the whole work, this middle movement serves as a loud and fast bridge between two pairs of slower movements. However, none is given. The opening theme consists of flurried activity in the major mode Ex. At no point is there a clear culmination. As such, the frenzied energy accrued over the course of the movement simply fizzles out — this is a whirling scherzo that reaches no peak.

The promise of a climax to the fast-paced theme that accrues energy is cut short when no climax is forthcoming. By merely restating the opening material, the promise of reliving an experience through abreaction is cut short, as built-up energy falls away in favour of a restatement of previous material.

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