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Bartók's Viola ConcertoThe Remarkable Story of His Swansong$
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Donald Maurice

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156904.001.0001

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Compositional Interpretation

Compositional Interpretation

Focus on Structure, Melody, Pitch Organization, Rhythm, and Orchestration and Texture

(p.127) CHAPTER EIGHT Compositional Interpretation
Bartók's Viola Concerto

Donald Maurice

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on those aspects of the work that a revisionist must consider when transforming the manuscript into a performable work. Under the subheadings of structure, melody, pitch organization, rhythm and orchestration, and texture, examples are identified where analysis of similar occurrences in other works may offer solutions to ambiguities in the Viola Concerto. These other works include the Fourth String Quartet, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Second Piano Concerto, Second Violin Concerto, and Fifth String Quartet. An extended contribution from Elliott Antokoletz provides much insight into the aspect of tonality and on note selection in the heavily ornamented section in the last movement, centred on the use of the octatonic scale and polymodal chromaticism. A consideration of Bartók's practices in other works under the abovementioned subheadings is illuminating.

Keywords:   structure, melody, pitch organization, rhythm, orchestration and texture, Elliott Antokoletz, octatonic scale, polymodal chromaticism

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