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Whereas the second movement has a distinct vocal quality, striving to bridge the gap between the voice and the cello, the third movement essentially turns the cello into a one-manband, as Kodály incorporates techniques, rhythms, and sounds associated with Hungarian folk instruments, and uses folk dance music and children’s songs as the thematic basis for the movement. One of the genres that Kodály uses to great effect is a kind of Hungarian music known as verbunkos.60 According to Oxford Music Online, the word verbunkos comes from the German word werbung which means “recruiting.”61 Verbunkos music reached the height of its popularity in the mid-19th century and was used to accompany dancers that helped recruit Hungarians into the army. Gypsy musicians would accompany dancing Hungarian soldiers and frequently took liberties with the music, improvising, showcasing their virtuosity, and adding their own musical flavor to the performance. Once conscription began in 1849, recruitment fairs
61 Jonathan Bellman, "Verbunkos," Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/29184 (accessed February 25, 2013).
popular and Gypsy bands had a hand in allowing this music to develop beyond its original function. In Kodály’s use of verbunkos music, he used traditional characteristics such as dotted rhythms, as well as some of the Gypsy inflections such as flashy passage work and melodic augmented seconds.
7.1 Formal Analysis Like the two previous movements Kodály continues to merge classical traditions into his uniquely Hungarian music. The third movement is an expanded sonata form with themes that are based on motives found in the first eight bars.63 Kodály has again managed to use rather economical means to compose a piece that while lengthy, is fully conceived and well balanced.
The exposition is composed of two theme groups, each of which contains multiple variations or elaborations on some component of the opening eight bars. As the movement progresses these individual components are elaborated and some develop specific functions, such as a transition.
The verbunkos style is found mostly in the first theme group and is used in transitional passages between thematic variations. Interestingly, the exposition seems to contain the bulk of music in the verbunkos style in that there are more improvisatory virtuosic passages that connect larger sections of music than there are elsewhere in the movement. The second theme group uses characteristics commonly found in children’s songs such as duple meter and a simple melodic contour. Although the recapitulation closely follows the unfolding of the exposition, Kodály juxtaposes the first and second theme groups without using as much verbunkos music in
major and minor modes as opposed to the key areas and pentatonic scales found in the first movement.
7.2 Exposition According to Smith’s analysis, the thematic material in the third movement is based on motivic cells in the first eight measures.64 First are the constant eighth notes that begin in m. 1.
This particular motive pervades the entire movement and can be seen at various points in both augmented and diminuted forms. The second motive is m. 4 whose melodic contour can be seen in several forms. The third motive is m. 5 which is also varied throughout the movement and used as the basis for the second theme group. The fourth motive is m. 8 which is consistently used in conjunction with virtuosic passage work in the verbunkos style in transitional phrases (Figure 44). Although this motive first appears as a monotone, one bar motive, it will be constantly elaborated as the movement progresses.
Figure 44: mm. 1-8. Motives 1, 2, 3, and 4 are used as the thematic basis for the movement.
The exposition is composed of two theme groups as shown in the form diagram below (Figure 45). The first theme group occurs in mm. 1-61 and contains two subsections: (1a) in mm.
1-38, (shown in Figure 44) and (1b) in mm. 39-61 (Figure 46).
Figure 46: mm. 39-61. Section (1b) in first theme group.
The first theme group is characterized by the use of the verbunkos style which features virtuosic passage work such as in mm. 20-24, mm. 34-38, mm. 41-44, and mm. 54.2-57.1 (Figure 47). Within each subsection there are repetitions that are linked via the transitional motive found in m. 8. This is followed by two measures of double stops and the second transition motive in m. 11 which is slightly varied in terms of pitch content and rhythm (Figure 48). The transitional motive is then followed by a virtuosic passage which leads to either the next subsection of the first theme group. The pattern of the transitional motive followed by florid passage work leading to a new subsection or theme group is consistent throughout the movement.
Figure 48: mm. 14-25. Original transitional motive in m. 16 followed by the first variation in m.
19 that leads into a verbunkos passage in mm. 20-24.
The first theme group begins in B minor and modulates to the relative major key, D major, during the transitional passage in mm. 49-52 with the use of a single pitch that functions as a pivot (Figure 49). The C♯ in m. 49 is the pivot that transforms from the root of the C# major
as the leading tone to D major. Kodály uses this strategy consistently throughout the movement.
Figure 49: Modulation from B minor to D major via C♯.
The second theme group occurs in mm. 62-173 and is composed of five subsections: (2a) mm. 62-74, (2b) 75-96, (2c) mm. 97-118, and (2d) 119-173. The second theme group uses children’s songs as the basis for the theme. This theme does not quote any specific children’s song but rather imitates the typical features such as a narrow range, simple contour, and duple meter with accents on the main beats of the measure (Figure 50).
Figure 50: Excerpts of subgroups in the second theme group.
rhythm found in m. 5. The melodic contour in subsection (2a) is slightly different than the motive in m. 5, while subsection (2c) retains the melodic contour of the original motive. These two subsections are bridged by subsection (2b) which is rhythmically related to the opening with its constant eighth notes, and harmonically with a persistent open F♯ string. Rather than use the transitional motive found in m. 8 and the first theme group, Kodály has used material from mm.
9-10 to link repetitions in the second theme group. The four chords are varied and elaborated in the case of mm. 66-69 and mm. 74-77, in which the two chords are played and repeated while accompanied by left hand pizzicato on the offbeats, whereas in mm. 100-101, mm. 104-105, and m. 108 these chords are presented in their original form (Figure 51).
Figure 51: mm. 66-69, mm. 74-77, mm. 100-101, mm. 104-105, and m. 108. Transitional chords in expanded and original forms in the second theme group.
Kodály incorporates a virtuosic verbunkos style passage in mm. 109-118 to conclude the
pedal in mm. 119-136. This is repeated in mm. 137-157 with the thumb beginning a perfect fourth lower on the A and D harmonics. The effect of the sixteenth note double stops seems to me as though Kodály may have been trying to imitate a cimbalom. The cimbalom effect continues through the conclusion of this section at m. 173, and into the first part of the development in mm. 174-187.
7.3 Development The development section is expansive, spanning 245 measures between mm. 174 and 419, and in addition to developing previously used material, Kodály also manages to introduce some new material as well. The diagram below shows the organization of the development (Figure 52).
Harmonically speaking Kodály does not stray too far from home, making forays into F major, E♭, E, and B before beginning the dominant retransition and a heavy emphasis on F♯.
Although the key relationships are more typical, it is in the development that Kodály reverts to the use of harmonically ambiguous key areas. The lowered second scale degree that was so prevalent in the first movement can be seen frequently in the development, and there are many instances in which there is no way to determine whether the mode is major or minor. There is
chromatic arpeggios, and has a fantasia-like quality.65 The development can be divided into several sections: mm. 174-189, mm. 190-238, mm.
239-271, mm. 272-325, and mm. 326-419. Each section is marked by the use of a particular thematic or motivic element. The first section in mm. 174-189 continues the cimbalom effect and incorporates left hand pizzicato on the open B and F♯ strings to provide support from the bass (Figure 53).
Figure 53: mm. 174-177. Opening measures of the first section of the development.
The second section in mm. 190-238 sees a return to the improvisatory sounding verbunkos style. The section begins with pizzicato that alternates between the bass and upper voices and accelerates toward the end of the passage. Breuer describes this particular pizzicato passage as having a dűvő effect.66 The accelerandi are followed by sudden virtuosic outbursts, such as in mm. 205-207 and mm. 210-216 (Figure 54).
65 In his analysis Smith labels Cadenza 1 as mm. 272-325, and Cadenza 2 as mm. 326-419. I believe that it is appropriate to label the material in the first cadenza as such, since it has not been heard before and because the section as a whole has an improvisatory feel to it. However, I disagree with calling mm. 326-419 a cadenza because it so clearly functions as the dominant retransition that leads into the recapitulation.
66 Breuer, 55. The dűvő effect is described as being “a characteristic accompanying rhythm of Hungarian folk music and gypsy music, with the accent on the weak beats.”
There is a return of the transitional motive found in the first theme group in mm. 226-238 which leads to the next large section in mm. 239-271. In addition to the prevalence of the lowered second scale degree in this section, the influence of the melodic contour from mm. 5-6 can be seen in the bass driven melody in mm. 239-246 and again in mm. 253-263 (Figure 55).
Figure 55: mm. 239-246. Opening of the third section of the development.
The cadenza in mm. 272-325 features a series of arpeggios that are framed by two octaves, have no tonal center, and move in a mostly chromatic fashion. The opening arpeggio, CG♯-D-C, provides the framework for all of the following arpeggios until the configuration of the left changes in m. 301 (Figure 56).
Figure 56: mm. 272-277. Opening of the cadenza showing the pitch content of the arpeggios.
Up to this point the arpeggios consist (from the bass) of an augmented fifth, a diminished fourth, and a minor seventh. In m. 300 the pitches on the F♯ and A string begin to ascend, and
concludes with yet another verbunkos passage in mm. 312-325, as there is a stringendo over the repeated arpeggios that lead into an increasingly frenetic build-up in mm. 315-317 which is followed by a virtuosic descending passage (Figure 57).
Figure 57: mm. 312-325. Conclusion of the cadenza with a gypsy-inspired flourish.
The dominant retransition begins in m. 326 and is built on the quasi-chromatic motive found in mm. 326-328, which is a variation on the motives found in mm. 1 and 4 (Figure 58).
Figure 58: mm. 326-332. Opening of the dominant retransition.
The motive found in the opening measures of this section are not only restated throughout the dominant retransition, but continually expanded until m. 374 at which point the motive is heard in an augmented form along with the augmented form of the motive from m.1 that is played with left hand pizzicato in mm. 381-383 (Figure 58). The fifth scale degree, F♯, is heard throughout this section, and sets up the grandiose recapitulation in B major in mm. 420-617.
7.4 Recapitulation The recapitulation closely follows the unfolding of events in the exposition, albeit with some interesting alterations and additions. The diagram below illustrates the organization of the recapitulation (Figure 60).
One of the major alterations that Kodály makes in the recapitulation is the subtraction of multiple extended transitional phrases, particularly the virtuosic verbunkos passages, between material from the first and section theme groups. In the recapitulation the thematic material is juxtaposed with minimal transitional material. However, the larger subsections of the recapitulation are bridged with longer, more elaborate transitional passages. For example, the recapitulation begins with two statements of the first theme in mm. 420-435, and is followed by a transition in mm. 436-445 that is a variation on the original transitional motive first seen in m. 8.
This sequential passage ends with a fermata which is followed by second theme group material in mm. 446-476 (Figure 61).
96 Figure 61: mm. 432-447. Conclusion of the recapitulation of the first theme leading into the variation on the transitional motive in mm. 436-445. The beginning of the recapitulation of the second theme group is shown in mm. 445-447.
The second theme group in the recapitulation is characterized by four repetitions of this theme first in C major, and followed by two repetitions in B that modulate to E♭ major in m.