Locus Iste (Bruckner)

Revision Cards for Locus Iste, Music AS set work 2011

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Background

  • Motet - a work with Latin text, sung unaccompanied, intended for a specific occasion

- Intended to commemorate the dedication of a church - Linz Cathedral

  • Composed 1869 - ROMANTIC ERA. Although, Bruckner has adopted a relatively austere approach associated with the 19th century Cecilian movement

- warmly, expressive melodies, dramatic contrasts of dynamics, some unusual melodic intervals (major 7th in soprano between bars 9 and 10), several chromatic passages, rich harmonies, unprepared dis-chords (alto, bar 22), lingering dissonances (soprano and alto, bars 46).

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Rhythm

  • 4/4 time. Allegro moderato
  • Limited selection of note lengths, including dotted rhythms
  • Use of silence at bar 43
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Melody and Word-setting

  • Syllabic except for melisma at bars 40-41
  • Stepwise descent at the opening
  • Leaps of up to a 7th in the soprano and  octave in bass
  • Range of soprano and bass each spans 11th
  • The inner parts have a narrower range
  • Phrases are often balanced (often 2 bar)
  • Some use of sequence, chromaticism, and appoggiaturas
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Harmony

  • Functional harmony - Perfect, Imperfect and Phygian Cadences
  • 7ths in various inversions
  • Diminished 7th
  • Suspensions
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Tonality

  • Key of C major with modulation to:

-  Dominant (bar 6)

- D minor (bar 16)

- E minor (bar 20)

  • The passage from bar 21 to 29 is tonally ambiguous because of the chromaticism
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Structure

  • Ternary (ABA) form with Coda

- A: bars1-12, ending with an imperfect cadence

- B (central section): bars 12-29, ending with an imperfect cadence in C amjor

- A1: first 10 bars are repeated, ends with a sustained perfect cadence

  • Passage from bars 12-20 is omitted on the reprise
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Resources and Texture

  • Four-part acappella (unaccompanied voices)
  • Starts with homophony
  • Soprano imitates bass at bars 12-13
  • Only the uppermost voices are used in the central passage (bars 21-29)

- In this passage, there is imitation by inversion (compare tenor to soprano)

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