Berlioz -Harold in Italy, mvt III

  • Created by: HRM_1999
  • Created on: 16-06-17 14:23


-French, Romantic composer

-Best known for Symphonie fantastique

-1834, he composed Harold in Italy, symphony in four movements with a solo viola

-He established a reputation as an orchestral conductor

-Strongly influenced by Beethoven

-Harold in Italy = inspired by Byron's poem 'Childe Harold's Pilgramage' (childe = a candidate for knighthood)

-The poem describes the travels and reflections of a world weary young man looking for distractions in foreign lands

-Idee fixe = a key feature of the piece

-influence of folk music from Abruzzi Mountains is clear in parts of this mvt; use of drones, modal inflections, saltarello rhythms

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Background (contin...)

-Paganini commissioned the piece, asking for a viola concerto and was disappointed with the lack of virtuos viola

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Perfoming forces and their handling

-Unusual combination of instruments from the period (uses symphony orchestra instruments but NOT trumpets, cornets, trombones or percussion)

-The viola solo was probably written for Paganini who didn't like the part (the part is a commentator & accompanist)

-The horns are in different keys (to enable both transposition and chromatic chords; e.g. dim chord in horn at b.103);

 >first & second in C (sounding an octave lower than written)

>third in F (sounding a fifth below)

 >fourth in E (sounding a minor 6th below)

-Cor anglais transposes to sound down a perfect 5th

-Picc and oboe at opening represent pifferi (rustic oboes). Still used in Italian folk bands today

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(2) Performing forces and their handling

-At Allegretto, violins and cellos play pizzicato with double stopping played in the second violin. Imitates the sound of plucked instrumental accompaniment in the serenade (guitar-like)

-Clarinet uses low register with broken chord figures at b.48

-B.53; all strings reutrn to arco and in final section play with mutes

-Harp plays harmonics b.189

-Solo viola part doesn't play until b.65 when it plays the idee fixe in longer note values

-Solo viola part relatively simple; most demanding passage = from b.99 (octave)

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-Melody dominated homphony

-Opening (b.1) begina with a drone in the second oboe, the clarinets and bassoon (2)

-Second bassoon plays drone throughout mvt

-Counter melody played by first violas (b.1)

-Bare 5th b.1 in violas

-At Allegretto (b.32), the strings play a homphonic accompaniment to the cor anglais/serenade theme. Violas play a broken chord figure

-b.53, strings play in octaves a chromatic counter melody to the woodwind, third part played in clarinet and horn

-b.60, two horns in C play a horn call version of the Serenade theme in 3rds and 6ths

-Idee fixe in long notes on viola provides additional strand- from b.65

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Texture (2)

-b.71 - harp take over from violin and provides choral accompaniment whilst strings play sustained chords

-b.79 brief dialogue between cor anglais/oboe, clarinet, flute/picc and bassoons, playing in octaves

-b.166, main themes are layered above the continuing saltarello rhythm but with pifferi melody

-b 202-206 = monophonic texture (serenade them on solo viola)

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Rhythm & Metre

-Metre = 6/8 throughout

-Tempo of opening allergro assai is double the speed of the allegretto

-Repeat of allegro assai (b.136) leads into second Allegretto at b.166

-However, rhythmic pattern in orchestra; viola continues at same speed as in Allegro assai

-b.132, 3/4 idea is ornamented with semiquavers

-Semiquavers are prominent in clarinet accompaniment at b.48

-Triplet semiquavers appear (b.77) almost sounding like mordents

-Potential rhythmic augmentation in solo viola part at b.192 as semiquavers of final motif (b.189-191) become quavers to complete phrase

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-Mvt replaces the Scherzo movement that is normally included in a symphony in Beethoven's era (and after), the structure would be ABA

-Berlioz's mvt also has a broad ABA structure with the addition of a coda in which elements of both sections are combined (expanding on trad structure)

-B.1-31 = Allegro assai (section A)

-B.31-135 = Allegretto (section B), b.32 = melody with irregular phrase structure (7,7,4,7). B.65 = idee fixe is combined with serenade material, b.122 final references in this section to serenade theme

-B.136-165 = Allegro assai (section A), exact repition of opening allegro assai

-B.166-208 = Allegretto (extended coda), saltarello rhythm of Allegro assai continued and mainted in violas throughout, solo viola plays serenade theme, idee fix is played by flute, doubled by harp harmonics and is longer in note value

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-Overall tonality = C maj, clearly defined by cadences (b.31)

-Tonality of Allegro assai is outlined through constant tonic pedal (C) in bassoon and drone in second violins (C and G/tonic + dominant)

-Occassional B flats alternate with B naturals. Don't represent F majoe but are chromatic notes in C major (modal inflections)

-Serenade theme is in C

-Brief visit to G major b.88-96

-Strong modulation occurs with return of the serenade theme at b.100 in D minor (following an imperfect cadence in that key)

-from return of serenade theme in b.123, the music returns to C major

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-Diatonic, broadly functional with some chromaticism which may involve occasional diminished seventh chords (b.82)

-Harmony of opening Allegro assai is built on tonic pedal (C). Chords IV in b.14 and Chord V7 in b.19

-From b.32, five bars of C maj chord I, perfect cadence in b.46-47. Unusual progression involving Ic and V in A minor but no cadence in that key

-Second part of serenade from b.51 is more chromatic, especially b.53-59

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-Opening of Allegro assai (saltarello) is based on a folk-like melody:

      >repeated notes, conjuct mvt, range of 9th but no interval greater than a third within phrases, grace notes on As (acciacaturas; b.27-29) colour the repeated Gs, melody = largely centred around the note E. B flat can be regarded as chromaticism in C or modal inflection. One bar cells, leading to irregular phrasing & some inversions of basic material

-Melody of serenade is in cor anglias (sounding a fifth below the written pitch):

 >Opens with arpeggio figure on tonic C maj chord, with added auxiliary note A, followed by a falling 3rd and 5th (reminiscent of the idee fixe, which opens with a falling 3rd and 6th). Falling 5th eventually becomes a falling 6th as the A resolves to G sharp. Some melodic chromaticism at b.53

-Viola introduces like idee fixe at b.65

  >long note values do not correspond exactly with the theme as presented in mvt 1

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