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Quatre Pieces Breves (4 Piezas Breves) by Frank МБ. 12 Gilbert Biberian_-_Colombine Suite for МБ. 6. Home» Musicology» A performer's guide and new critical edition of Frank Martin's Quatre pieces breves. A performer's guide and new critical edition of Frank. Quatre Pieces Breves sheet music - solo guitar sheet music by Frank Martin: Universal Edition. Shop the World's Largest Sheet Music Selection today at Sheet .

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A performer's guide and new critical edition of Frank Martin's "Quatre Pieces Breves"

A similarly impressive collection of composers, but of international stature, was gathered for the issue of La Revue Musicale to contribute to the memory of Claude Debussy6. With the help of the great guitarist M.

Alongside the guitar version of the Tombeau, Falla subsequently arranged the piece for piano, and later made an orchestral version entitled Elegia de la guitarra, as the second movement to the Homenajes Suite. Here is a sketchy timeline of the piece. Bartok, I. Stravinsky, M. Ravel, P. Dukas, E. Satie, A. Rousell, among others. I have so far focused only on the most essential information crucial for understanding of the historical and stylistic context of the piece.

For more exhaustive and detailed information about the piece and the composer, I refer diligent reader to an excellent article on the subject published by the Italian magazine Guitart, which includes biographical material, an in-depth analysis of the piece as well as detailed bibliography and discography7. Although the earlier generation of Spanish composers Albeniz, Granados had an unmistakable flavor of the deep song, their music was massively filtered through classical formal and aesthetic formulas.

Thus, the main motif of Homenaje seems to be rather synthetic than specific to a particular piece. The dance of habanera, on the other hand, provides a rhythmical impetus for the piece. Imported from Cuba, habanera became a popular dance form in Europe during the beginning of the twentieth century8.

Although it is not the purpose of this article to delve deeper into the origins of the habanera pattern, it might be useful to point out its close kinship to the West African rhythmic profile. The gankogui cowbell pattern from Gahu the percussion ensemble music of the Ewe speaking people from West Africa for example, demonstrates the same rhythmic profile as the habanera dance Ex. Given the influence of African music on Cuban music folk idiom, it does not take a great leap of imagination to connect this pattern to the habanera dance formula.

Homenaje then, is perhaps even deeper in its origins than cante jondo claims it to be. Be that as it may, the first four measures of Homenaje already show a synthesis at work Ex.

One is the process of motivic transformation by addition for example, the patterns 4 and 5 , the other, transformation by subtraction for example, the patterns 5 and 6. Here is a typical commutative cell exchange Ex.

The motif C is the rhythmic pattern upon which both the ostinato bass of the theme and the subsequent theme of the middle section are based Ex. Note the coherence of the motivic material Falla used in building of the piece: the motifs A, C and D are all based on the same rhythmic skeleton. As seen in Ex. According to this model, the origins of humankind can be traced via tiny organelles called mitochondria to a female who lived in Africa some , years ago Although lacking in mitochondrial analogy in music, we can see that some of the rhythmic patterns and transformative processes of Homenaje can be traced back to their African roots see Ex.

We shall first approach the task of classifying motifs according to their structural kinship. The principal skeleton of a motif is based on a synthesis of two simple essential parameters: rhythm and melody, thus permitting it to stand on its own The following microanalysis of the motif A shows this synthesis at work.

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On the level II, it is possible to strip down the structure to only one melodic cell built on interval of the second, with two transformed figures: the inversion, a1, and the transposed original, a2. The level III however, shows melodic structure interpreted by the rhythmic profile of the motifs.

The resultant phrasing contour outlines a slightly different pattern. On yet another level, it is possible to reconfigure the pattern to include motif b1, which is an 12 Leakey, R.

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The music of Barrios can generally be divided into two styles: Latin American folk and popular music, and romantic salon pieces. Both Julia Florida and Vals Op. Indeed, this piece goes well beyond simple melody and accompaniment, featuring voices that swell in and out of prominence, at times featuring as many as four voices at once.

Julia Florida is a barcarole, a type of song sung by Venetian gondoliers. Vals Op.

He recorded it and it was one of the few works that he published. It often appeared in his concert programs as Vals Brillante, referring to the sweeping, virtuosic scale and arpeggio passages. Though Op. Both are charming salon pieces in the style of Chopin.

At the time of this composition, Martin had just begun immersing himself in the compositions and theories of Arnold Schoenberg, guided by the principle of 12tone composition- a system in which all 12 possible pitches are used more or less equally.

Martin never used the system dogmatically however, preferring to keep some sense of tonal center most of the time. He did this through repetition of tonally important pitches and by occasionally implying a standard tonal chord progression.

In both cases however, the note B is heard first, and returns several times in notes of longer duration than any of the other notes in the passage. The repeated and prolonged Bs return at other points in these movements, and both end with a IV-V-I bass progression, one of the most basic components of tonal music. Nevertheless, even a cursory glance will reveal that some of the descending forms of the melodies somewhat differ from the ascending c, e and g , which again points to Indian and perhaps North African origins of the roots of cante jondo.

In contrast to North Indian music, which always remains bound to the same Tonic, Falla transposes the modes thereby creating modulatory shifts in the harmonic structure of the piece.

The example h then, shows a transposed version of the mode 2C example d , from C to Db. Another notable melodic device that Falla uses in this piece is transformation of upper and lower tetrachords of the mode with the same Tonic.

Consequently, one of the most original and interesting features of this piece is the synthetic aspect of its genesis: while relying on Eastern modal systems, Falla introduces Western technical devices, such as transposition, modulation and exchange of lower and upper tetrachordal 14 Jairazbhoy N. According to my model all the modes with the same upper tetrachord are classified under the same letter A - D ; all the modes with the same lower tetrachord are classified under the same cardinal number 1 - 9.

It is, therefore easy to obtain its designation, as can be seen from the table of Appendix no. No doubt, these are also used to create Impressionist idiomatic features harmony used as color and texture. In the following example Ex. I will further refine the analysis of the processes of melodic development in the piece. Often the music starts out with melodic cells that include only part of the mode, to be further developed through additional inclusion of the whole scale.

As is apparent from the following example, we have little clue as to the nature of the mode the piece starts with; it is revealed only gradually note-by-note, until it eventually becomes clear what particular scale we are dealing with. As mentioned earlier, the descending and ascending forms of the modes sometimes differ.

The next segment from the piece shows the chordal structures that Falla built Homenaje on. While some chords derive from guitar tuning and idiomatic use of guitar in Flamenco and cante jondo tradition, others are structured according to modal, and occasionally, tonal reference systems. The beginning chord, for example, is based on the sixth and fifth bass strings which are then reiterated as an ostinato bass line Ex.

The following arpeggiated chord motif B adds two upper open strings E and B. It is interesting to note that the first chord of the next section b uses the same notes, but in inversion the bass note E is transposed two 8ves higher therefore putting the mode onto a new Tonic A. Quartal and quintal harmonies show up very often. Examples of chords built on fourths are in following examples: c ms. Triadic chords, such as the dominant thirteenth in f ms.

On the other hand, the quartal harmony in d ms. More ambiguously, the augmented sixth chord in third inversion B, Db, F, Ab in h ms. Since the mode has a minor seventh Cb , the resultant chord on tonic winds up a dominant instead of a major seventh chord. There is however, a larger-scale formal accretion that makes the piece architecturally sound. The overall basic form of Homenaje follows a tripartite ABA form, which is characteristic of much funeral march formal outline See Appendix no.

The rough contours of the piece then are: section A ms.

Quatre pieces breves

The section a, and a1, based on the upper tetrachord of the mode D, are almost identical, except for their lengths. The section b reveals the entire 1D mode.

The final fragment of the section A returns to the tonic A, but in mode 1C with the major third instead of minor.

The ending figures of this section ms.

The middle section B brings in contrasting material, although the building blocks remain derived from the same source.

The actual contrasting section ms. The piece ends with a rhythmically augmented version of the principal motif of Homenaje. Here is, then, the form of the piece. While Duarte takes into account most of the articulations of the piano 21 version, he does not use the slur between the sixteenth-note and the eight-note in measure no. The little extra effort required to master the difficulty of playing the slur E, F simultaneously with the bass A , might be paid off by the elegant and dance-like quality of the articulation.Similarly, the performer has several choices for the performance of the bass.

An atmosphere of other-worldly melancholy is created. Thus, as can be seen from the following example, in the orchestral rendition d , the phrase is split between violins and oboe. Indeed, this piece goes well beyond simple melody and accompaniment, featuring voices that swell in and out of prominence, at times featuring as many as four voices at once. It often appeared in his concert programs as Vals Brillante, referring to the sweeping, virtuosic scale and arpeggio passages.

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