Sonority In Gerald Finzi's Wartime

Good Essays
In the first movement of his Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra Op. 31, Gerald Finzi utilizes downward bass motion, disagreeing key areas, and ambiguous cadences for the purpose of establishing a sense of wandering and despair.
Much like other well-known British composers of mid-twentieth century, Gerald Finzi’s music takes advantage of dissonant and dense orchestration, as well as reflections upon political turmoil and personal ailment of the period. During World War II, Finzi became more prolific than ever. During the latter half of the war, he took in German and Czech refuges. As seen in letter between Finzi and composer Howard Ferguson, the refuges stories of wartime dismay influenced much of his compositional style during the
…show more content…
In this example, the bass motion suggests a firm dominant tonic relationship resolving to G-sharp in measures 74 and 75. However, the scale that is shaped in the upper strings outlines B major. When placed below the stagnant trill on Bb in the clarinet, the suggestions of B major create the clashing half step dissonance theme observed earlier. Another issue that displays ambiguity with this cadence, is the V sonority is incomplete and missing an implied third. Rather than having the F double-sharp stressed in measure 74, a G-sharp is stressed instead. The end result is a five note tone cluster with B and B-flat being the center. Based off of the tension that is executed by the clarinet trill and the run in the upper strings, one can consider the B and B-flat is be encased within the texture, ultimately wanting to break out. Rather than falling onto either of these tonal centers, the harmony falls onto the G-sharp that is expected by the bass. If one considers the movement in building up to this climax in measure 73, they could consider the G-sharp minor harmony to be presented in second inversion, particularly with the triad being arpeggiated in the middle string voices. This motion undoubtedly suggests a cadential V64-53 movement going into measure 74. With this harmonic assertion in combination with the bass motion, no matter what lies above the D-sharp bass in measure 74, it is difficult to categorize in as anything other than a dominant. The complications that build above the bass act as a device for establishing a sense of forced

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Sinfonia Analysis

    • 1173 Words
    • 5 Pages

    But the treble, accompanied by a walking bass, lacks the improvisatory qualities of an embellished adagio and move somewhat faster. It ends by dissolving into a short written-out cadenza that is an ornamented cadence. The sinfonia closes with a real fugue in two voices. The figuration is so rich in harmonic implications that the two parts suffice to suggest an orchestral texture. The fugue subject belongs to a type that is composed out of a single dominant chord.…

    • 1173 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The change in melody is drastic. The first transition area starts with a D major chord in m. 44, firmly establishing home key. The melody in the transition starts in the first violins in m. 44. This melody contains a lower neighbor motif, moving from an A5 down a half-step to a G#5 back up a half-step to a A5 before descending in an arpeggio, then ascending up to D6, and then moving back down stepwise in a turning motif. The lower neighbor motif was first presented in the Primary area in mm.…

    • 806 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The glissando is a movement from one note to another using a line of notes. This heard when he sing the word "Well" in an indefinite way. Another place you can hear glissandi is in "way over town, oh yeah". Ray Charles uses glissando to create the shouting word like "oh yeah" sometimes, also the vocal delivery throughout this recording is more melodic than rhythmic cause of high notes but also it sung in gospel voice. Ray Charles sound of voices fits the music/lyrics of the song because he uses a dominant powerful gospel voice that helps create the emotion filled voice, but also adapts blue vocal style of growling, scooping, and sliding techniques.…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Bar 260 has a transition chord G dim. (ex. )The C# will goes to D, and the Bb will goes to B in bar 261,and build the G chord. From the measure 261, the Primary theme is developed for the left hand; the right hand played some new elements. This section is all in C major.…

    • 729 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    it is probably another hand-crossing piece, like the gigue of partita no.1; the division of notes between the hands, calls for the right hand to cross over the left, reaching deep into the bass. In the allemande, a short theme containing triplet-sixteenths is developed in two-part imitative counterpoint and then inverted after the double bar. The courante is an example of the dance that could have served equally well as a prelude or a sonata movement. Three times the treble makes a conspicuous climb to d: the first two times it is part of a dissonant chord and only the third time is consonant, when the two hands move in contrary motion to the outer limits of Bach’s keyboard compass at the close. The sarabande is of the trio type with numerous appoggiaturas,…

    • 1065 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Measures 1 - 4. The bass line which is basically A-G-F-E is built based on long pitch values and is repeated throughout the piece. Similarly, Monteverdi uses high pitches in the melody in contrasts to the bass line which adds to the softness of the piece. In both pieces, the melody is mostly syllabic in homophonic style. The piece “Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” does not contain a variety of melodic contour, instead it is similar to a recitative.…

    • 969 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It starts very lyrically at the end of bar 52 with a legato motif that starts with a minim that then does a descending quaver note movement in the oboes. This is conversationally repeated by flutes creating more antithetic dialogue. Subject 2: This is highly contrasting to the first subjects’ rapid and vigorous quality. The dialogue is carried on for four measures through to bar 56 until a variation (S2b) carries out a sforzando accent on beat three for woodwinds and beat four for strings, giving a rather energetic quality to the phrase. This motivic pattern imitates three times, each time increasing in dynamic to create a climactic crescending quality that is followed by scale passages in the woodwind and strings in bars 69 – 70.…

    • 1331 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The theme is either shown as joyful or tragic, depending on the context, whether used to describe his overt emotions in the first movement or in the fourth movement with his somber death. Then, there is the use of orchestration in the last movement, where we are introduced to elaboration of the orchestra that Berlioz puts in order to create the epic final movement. As we see, the string section divides into multiple parts at the opening. Next, the “con sordini” creates a muffle sound with the use of a little piece of the instrument. Then, the gliding glissando glides through the notes to get to the destination, in order for the use of a special clarinet to get the “idée fixe”-mocking fashion.…

    • 764 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    During this line, however, one of the voices (the one with the lowest harmony) stands out more as sings in mezzo-forte while the others sing in pianissimo. 1.21: The quartet sing the faux chorus once again, and on the word “beam”, a new vocable is introduced as they sing “Ooahh” which consists of two notes sung in harmony and the singers slide between the two using…

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ragtime And Blues Analysis

    • 1203 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The theme of blues is often expressed in jazz. Jazz takes from blues its violin theme in which the major chords are played in the third degree. “Melodically it contains no borrowing from the Blues except for a timid and no doubt involuntary during the exposition of the violin theme, where is some major – minor playing around with the third degree” (pg.256, Jazz its Evolution and Essence). Some blues notes can be seen in ragtime, but these notes are not expressive and played with other sounds that drags the music away from the essence of blues. “Some vague blue notes are scattered around in the principal melodic design of Piano Rag Music, but they are surrounded by a polytonal accompaniment that robs them of all resemblance to the Negro music.” (pg.…

    • 1203 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays