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VOICE AND GENRE IN BEETHOVEN'S DEUX GRANDES SONATES POUR LE CLAVECIN OU PIANO-FORTE AVEC UN VIOLONCELLE OBLIGÉ Jungsun Kim, B.M. Thesis Prepared for the Degree of MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS May 2004 APPROVED: John Michael Cooper, Major Professor Margaret Notley, Committee Member Deanna Bush, Committee Member James C. Scott, Dean of the College of Music Sandra L. Terrell, Dean of the Robert B. Toulouse School of Graduate Studies Kim, Jungsun, Voice and Genre in Beethoven's Deux Grandes Sonates pour le Clavecin ou Piano-Forte avec un Violoncelle obligé, Op. 5. Master of Music (Musicology), May 2004, 108 pp., 24 musical examples, references, 44 titles. This paper examines the generic aspect of Beethoven s Opus 5 Cello Sonatas (1796) from structuralist and post-structuralist perspectives, and explores the works from these viewpoints in order to gain insights into how the sonatas function as autonomous musical texts rather than historiographic documents of Beethoven s biography or transitional contributions in the development of the genre of the solo sonata as it was later cultivated. The insights offered by these perspectives argue for a reconsideration of the conventional notions of work and text, which underscore the doctrine of workimmanence. This perspective also offers insights that have proven elusive when the works are considered primarily in the context of the historical-biographical construct of Beethoven s three style-periods. By applying the aesthetic practice of expressive doubling prevalent at the turn of the nineteenth century to Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas, a deeper understanding of the constellation of the duo sonatas in accompanied keyboard literature will be attained. Also, by illuminating the relational nature of meaning realized within a textual framework, this study attempts to enlarge the restricted scope of interpretation conventionally imposed on the Opus 5 sonatas. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Musical examples are excerpted from the edition of Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas published in Beethoven: Werke: neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, Series V, vol. 3, and are used by kind permission of G. Henle Verlag, Munich. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS... ii INTRODUCTION... Dimensions of Meaning in Beethoven s Op Voicedness as a Methodological Key...2 Work, Text, and Beethoven s Style-Periods...4 VOICEDNESS AND GENRE: A STRUCTURALIST APPROACH...7 Beethoven's First Cello Sonatas as Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas...12 MUSICA PRACTICA...17 First Movement: Introduction...19 First Movement: Exposition...21 First Movement: Recapitulation...25 Second Movement: Rondo...28 CONCLUSION: BEYOND THE THREE-STYLE PERIOD...37 APPENDIX: MUSICAL EXAMPLES...41 BIBLIOGRAPHY iii INTRODUCTION Dimensions of Meaning in Beethoven's Op. 5 Beethoven published three opera of sonatas for piano and cello: the first two (Op. 5) date from 1796, the third (Op. 69) dates from 1808, and the last two (Op. 102) date from These opera have been subjected to a small number of scholarly writings from a limited variety of perspectives. Some commentators have viewed them in terms of a historical transformation of the cello's role from a continuo instrument to the soloistic obbligato accompaniment, 1 suggesting the change of genre from the eighteenth-century accompanied sonata to its later counterpart as it was cultivated in the mid- and latenineteenth century. 2 Others, such as Lewis Lockwood, have viewed the sonatas primarily in terms of Beethoven's biography, interpreting them as manifestation of each of his three style-periods. 3 Interpretations of these sonatas have consistently proceeded from these two viewpoints. This study examines Beethoven s Opus 5 Cello Sonatas (1796) in order to explore the interpretive possibilities that emerge when one sets aside the ideological strictures 1 Edward J. Szabo, The Violoncello-Piano Sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven (Ed. D., Columbia University, 1966). 2 Walter Willson Cobbett's article on Violoncello in his Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music, 2 nd ed., (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), states that with Beethoven came to first sonatas of true musical importance for piano and 'cello, and it is interesting to see with what speed and freedom he developed the possibilities of the string instrument, using it in all registers even in the first sonata. Also, Mara Parker, in her Soloistic Chamber Music at the Court of Friedrich Wilhelm II: (Ph. D., Indiana University, 1994), states that Beethoven is the first composer to write true duo sonatas for the piano and cello, and in Op. 5 he completes the process begun by Haydn and Mozart in their string quartets and piano trios of serving the function of the cello as an accompanying bass instrument. 3 Lewis Lockwood, Beethoven's Early Works for Violoncello and Pianoforte: Innovation in Context, Beethoven Newsletter 1 (1986), 17-21; Beethoven's Early Works for Violoncello and Contemporary Violoncello Technique, in Osterreichishe Gesellshaft für Musik (Beitrage, ); Beethoven's Emergence from Crisis: the Cello Sonatas of Op. 102 (1815), in The Journal of Musicology 16 (1998). Eytan Agmon, The First Movement of Beethoven's Cello Sonata, Op. 69: The Opening Solo as a Structural and Motivic Source, in The Journal of Musicology 16 (1998), 394. Focusing on the generative thematic treatment in Beethoven's sonata movements in the middle period, Eytan's analysis on the first movement of Op. 69 shows how the opening solo functions as a structural and motivic source. 1 imposed by two historical-interpretive perspectives: the model of Beethoven's three styleperiods and the doctrine of work-immanence. After all, the former is a posthumous construct formulated to present Beethoven's personality and creativity as parts of a unified historical identity, and the concept of work-immanence (as explained, for example, by Carl Dahlhaus 4 ) permits interpretation only in the light of that posthumously constructed image of Beethoven s compositional development. Instead, this study explores the Cello Sonatas as musical texts, 5 with particular attention to the issue of voicedness and the technique of expressive doubling as guidelines for interpretation. Such a perspective offers insights into a more reasonable constellation of the Op. 5 sonatas in the accompanied keyboard literature and enlarges the restricted scope of interpretation by illuminating the relational nature of meaning realized in a textual network. Voicedness as a Methodological Key The issue of voices as modes of a subject's enunciation or certain gestures experienced in music has been raised in recent musicological discourse. Carolyn Abbate, one of the leading figures in this line of study, defines deafness as an inability to interpret the sounds that thrash the air, or the black notes that wind across the pages of scores. 6 This description perceptively reflects the impossibility of locating stable, objectively verifiable meaning within musical texts and implies the need for awareness of voice(s) underlying the phenomenal surface of a text. The concept of voicedness has 4 Carl Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), Barthes, From Work to Text, Carolyn Abbate, Unsung Voices: Opera and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), prompted a widespread reconsideration of the traditional notions of work and text in musical scholarship. Text has traditionally been understood to denote a material inscription of a work, that gives permanence and stability to authoritative meaning of the work. 7 This commonsensical view of the relationship between work and text has been reassessed by literary and cultural theorists since the emergence of Saussurean linguistics. 8 Saussurean linguistics emphasizes the relational nature of meaning (signified) and of text (signifier) within a language conceived at any one moment of time by suggesting that signs are nonreferential and arbitrary, and by maintaining that meaning resides in the systematic structure; by contrast, the traditional concept of text denotes only the referential signifier in relation to work as signified, by reinforcing the ability of this sign to convey the meaning intended by the author. The process of discerning meaning in a text, what we generally consider interpretation, therefore, becomes a process of tracing the multiple relations of signs within a synchronic system. This view of semiotics has in turn initiated further critical and cultural movements including structuralism and, later, poststructuralism, in which the term intertextuality was initially used to refute structuralism's faith in criticism's ability to acquire stable meaning through the systematic features of language. 9 The divergence manifested in structuralist and post-structuralist approaches to voicedness might help us avoid a one-dimensional understanding of Beethoven's 7 Graham Allen, Intertextuality, (New York: Routledge, 2000), Allen, Intertextuality, 8. 9 Allen, Intertextuality, 3. 3 works, whose meaning(s) have mostly been limited to the traditional concept of text and work with the authoritative figure of the composer as a final signified. 10 Despite substantively different and sometimes contradictory assumptions and aspirations, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches alike offer useful insights as we seek to interpret musical texts; consequently, this paper will draw on both approaches. Since all musical artworks possess distinctive features and peculiar constellations of stylistic elements inherent in the musical language of their time, and since these constellations all require adequate systematic means or procedures of examination of their essential characteristics, it is necessary to consider these particular features of every text. Moreover, listeners expectations vary depending on each listener's interests and viewpoints, so that, naturally, there are needs for various approaches suitable to each of their individual dispositions. By extension, the meanings or voices of Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas may lead in multiple, highly divergent directions. Work, Text, and Beethoven's Style-Periods Music historiography has treated Beethoven as a symbolic figure whose work represents the totality of the artist, and has tended to view his compositions as works imbued with primarily biographical meaning. Consistently portrayed as a mythic figure of the complete hero, the historical Beethoven -- the biographical Beethoven -- has assumed all the traits of meaning, which might be summarized in terms of a biomythology. 11 Accordingly, the notion of several successive manners within Beethoven's ouevre -- the three distinctive style-periods -- has persisted, connoting that these 10 Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author, Image - Music - Text, Barthes, Musica Practica, characteristic musical idioms concur with changes he experienced over the course of his life. 12 Consequently, works of the so-called early period have been generally undervalued because of their early position in the image of Beethoven s artistic development portrayed by the three style-periods. Concerning the Opus 5 Sonatas (1796), Lewis Lockwood points out the problematical viewpoint of traditional Beethoven biography and criticism: Beethoven's early works in all genres have often been portrayed much more as forerunners of later greatness than as significant products of their own time and circumstances. 13 Lockwood states that the two sonatas of opus 5 are innovative in genre and structure and that historically they are the first true sonatas for cello and piano in the fully developed socalled Classical tradition. 14 Although he acknowledges the rise of the violoncello as a solo instrument after ca. 1740, Lockwood emphasizes that neither Haydn nor Mozart, as Beethoven's central artistic models, ever had occasion to adapt their accompanied sonata styles to this instrumental combination. 15 However, this tendency to distinguish the three Viennese composers' style as a higher level of compositional intensity that constitutes a unified language and culminates in the early works of Beethoven needs to be examined more carefully. By disregarding matters that are not directly relevant to the composer s biography and the work s position in that biography, Lockwood concludes that Beethoven was the founder of the genre of the cello sonata in the modern sense. Consequently, the focus on the composer's ability to create a new genre with his innovation in his early period suppresses the voices recognizable through the 12 Barthes, Musica Practica, Lewis Lockwood, Beethoven's Early Works for Violoncello and Pianoforte: Innovation in Context, Beethoven Newsletter 1 (1986): Lockwood, Beethoven's Early Works for Violoncello and Pianoforte: Innovation in Context, 18. 5 accompanied keyboard sonata's generic systems out of which they can be said to have been constructed. 16 The Opus 5 sonatas, at any rate, manifest peculiar features that distinguish them from the earlier sonata repertoire. Yet, invariably, the cello's soloistic function has been the basis on which one could simply speak of a historical transformation of the genre into a modern chamber idiom, identified with a fully developed Classical style. Although such generalizations concerning the subordinate function of the cello in the pre-beethoven period have been known to be assumptions derived from the selective evidence provided by the corpus of works in the genre by Haydn and Mozart, 17 the belief that Beethoven's originality was accountable for the de facto invention of a wholly new genre seems too appealing to reject. *** To be sure, such a conventional exploration offers its fair share of rewards -- yet such an explanation is, in a very real sense, limited because it applies above all to the composer's biography and the large-scale history of the genre of the sonata. This study proposes to supplement the conventional view by treating Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas not primarily as biographical artifacts or specimens belonging to a larger set of evolutionary developments, but as living musical texts -- texts whose interest and musical rewards exist independently of the traditional view of the Opus 5 Sonatas. 15 Lockwood, Beethoven's Early Works for Violoncello and Pianoforte: Innovation in Context, Allen, Intertextuality, Katalin Komlós, The Function of the Cello in the Pre-Beethovenian Keyboard Trio, in Studies in Music Australia 24 (1990), Also, Komlós discusses that the keyboard part's prominence is the common feature of the entire repertory and that the function and importance of the strings varies greatly from one composer to another, and sometimes even within the oeuvre of a single composer. 6 VOICEDNESS AND GENRE: A STRUCTURALIST APPROACH Structuralist analysis, rooted in Saussurean linguistics, seeks to discover the meaning of each individual narrative by assessing the text in relation to the synchronic system, which controls narrativity. In Saussurean terms, each individual narrative or specific utterance is denoted as parole and the system that allows the realization of the individual utterances as langue. 18 In opposition to this abstract system of rules and codes, langage refers to the sum total of all actual acts of parole. 19 Musically speaking, definable attributes of principles -- such as of sonata form, variation, ostinato, rondo, etc. -- applied and prevailed in a certain time period of compositional procedure as well as definable formal structures of a work can be seen as a langue; each specific activation of synchronic status of the principles of that langue that is, each musical text as a parole; and the total sum of musical works applicable to the synchronic system as its langage. Thus, following Saussurean theory, to find a meaning or meanings of musical work is to analyze or disassemble a piece according to its presumed formal structure or principle (langue) and to explain or regroup the disjoined units (parole) by relating them to the synchronic system. Accordingly, the first task of structuralist approaches is to reformulate an idea or langue within the already existing structure which seems most germane to any particular object of inquiry and interpretation. This might sound arbitrary or subjective, but if a musical creation is not considered as an ideal object with an immutable and unshifting 18 Allen, Intertextuality, Allen, Intertextuality, 17. 7 real meaning, 20 the practical manner of structuralism is indispensable, offering a valid system for pursuing meaning in musical works. In fact, any given newly created structure can function as a description and explanation of the original structure by its very act of rearrangement, despite any internal incongruencies indebted to the systematic a relational nature of text. 21 This essential feature of structuralist methodologies emphasizes the nature of works as particular articulations of an enclosed system, i.e. as paroles rather than original, unitary wholes, so that the individual text's significance can be adequately explicated in terms of systematic relations, langue. 22 Consequently, a work in the context of displayed reality, rather than signified real, can be experienced in various ways through a process of demonstration. 23 One of the primary loci for this sort of meaning may lie in the issue of the voice(s) operative in a composition: the implicit or explicit sources of utterance within that work. Abbate specifies voice as a sense of certain isolated and rare gestures in music that may be perceived as modes of subjects' enunciations. 24 This approach emphasizes music as embodied within the live performance of a work, and thus removes from the foreground where the privilege conventionally granted to presumed utterances of the composer. On the other hand, Edward T. Cone, whose approach needs to be 20 Dahlhaus, Problems in Reception History, Foundations of Music History, Allen, Intertextuality, French theorist Gérard Genette elaborates on Claude Lévi-Strauss's notion of the bricoleur: literary 'production' is a parole, in the Saussurean sense, a series of partially autonomous and unpredictable individual acts; but the 'consumption' of this literature by society is a langue. Therefore, Allen summarizes, both critic and author can be seen as bricoleurs: the author takes elements of the enclosed structure and arranges them into the work, obscuring the work's relation to the system; conversely, the critic takes the work and returns it to the system, illuminating the relation between work and system obscured by the author. 22 Allen, Intertextuality, Jacques Lacan, quoted in Barthes, From Work to Text, Hawthorn. quoted in Allen, Intertextuality, 219. In linguistics, subject of enunciation is distinguished from the subject of utterance, which can be said to be the actual person who performs an act of communication. This difference involves the particular, time-bounded act of making a statement, and the 8 distinguished from the one derived from Saussurean linguistics, delineates the idea of the complete musical persona arising from a compound medium of the vocal and the instrumental, which he calls the composer's persona, associated with the voice of an author's virtual utterance. 25 Cone introduces the concept of art song as an utterance of the composer's voice through the story of Goethe, who preferred Zelter's simple strophic setting to Schubert's music because the latter conveys more of the composer's imaginative reading of the poem through the complete musical persona. 26 Cone's comparatively open approach to art song -- i.e., works made of poetic and musical texts -- through the idea of persona, however, manifests the deep-rooted view of author-centered interpretation by consistently coming back to the co
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