Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale
Anno XX nn. 1-2, 2014
Can We Talk of a Passacaglia Principle?
Si puo? parlare di un principio-passacaglia?
edited by / a cura di Susanna Pasticci
Susanna Pasticci, In search of a Passacaglia Principle / Alla ricerca di un “principio-passacaglia”, pp. 7-25
Stefano La Via, Il passacaglio tetracordale come tòpos poetico-musicale transculturale. Usi antichi e moderni a confronto (secc. XVI-XVII e XX-XXI), pp. 27-95
Vincent P. Benitez, Buxtehude’s Passacaglia Principle, pp. 97-118
Stephan Schönlau, Emulating Lully? Generic Features and Personal Traits in the Passacaglia from Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (1691), pp. 119-146
Antonio Rostagno, La passacaglia nel teatro musicale del Novecento come espressione della logica drammatica, pp. 147-181
Donatella Meneghini, Memoria e soggettività tra lamento e passacaglia nella produzione di György Ligeti, pp. 183-215
Jory Debenham, Principles of Passacaglia: Terezín, Summer 1944, pp. 217-232
Mauro Mastropasqua, Il pensiero della variazione nelle Variations on a Recitative for Organ op. 40 di Arnold Schönberg, pp. 233-258
Allan F. Moore, An Outlandish As-If: The Rock and Pop Passacaglia, pp. 259-290
Notizie sugli autori / Notes on contributors, pp. 291-294
The idea for this volume was formulated by Allan Moore, who first asked the following fatal question: can we talk of a passacaglia principle?
Questo volume nasce da un’idea di Allan Moore, che per primo ha formulato la fatidica domanda: Can we talk of a passacaglia principle?
Il passacaglio tetracordale come tòpos poetico-musicale transculturale. Usi antichi e moderni a confronto (secc. xvi-xvii e xx-xxi)
The constant recurrence of the descending tetrachord in the most varied repertoires of vocal music, either “classical” or “popular”, has so far been pointed out but only partially investigated by the scholars of the respective traditions.
According to Alexander Silbiger, passacaglias and ciacconas can be regarded as genre-pairs, since they exhibit both shared features and subtle differences. This association has merit with respect to understanding Dieterich Buxtehude’s Passacaglia in D minor and Ciacconas in C minor and E minor for organ.
Emulating Lully? Generic features and personal traits in the Passacaglia from Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (1691)
The Passacaglia from Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (1691) features some remarkable similarities with a number of works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, most notably with the Passacaille from Armide (1686) where there are clear parallels in the dramatic con- text as well as the sung text.
In twentieth-century musical theatre many forms seem to refer to passacaglia principles; on the contrary, similar forms were considered inadequate in nineteenth- century theatre (either in Verdi’s realism or in Wagner’s rein menschliche).
Why in the middle of the experimentation in twentieth century does a form tied to the past as the passacaglia act as a support to several compositions by György Ligeti? In the four years of silence between the opera Le Grand Macabre (1978) and the Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano (1982), the passacaglia seems to have been a good expedient for a more detailed and articulated compositional technique.
Hans Krsás's final work Passacaglia and Fugue was written in 1944 while he was interned in the Terezín ghetto near Prague. Composers in Terezín operated under a special set of circumstances, and over time it became imperative for them to use musical expression as a means of communicating specific aspects of their lives.
Composed in 1941-42, the Variations op. 40 – the only work for organ ever published by Schönberg – belong to the period of his so called “return” to some tonally oriented organizations of musical structures. The piece expresses, indeed, a suspended tonality polarized on D (predominantly minor).
In this essay I observe the repeating harmonic patterns of much popular song over the past sixty years through the lens of passacaglia. Although I draw distinctions and similarities with aspects of classical practice, my emphasis is on the popular tradition.