Harmonic & Structural Analysis of Marcel Bitsch, Concertino Pour Basson Et Piano

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TMU302H1 Harmonic & Structural Analysis of Marcel Bitsch, concertino pour basson et piano

Marcel Bitsch composed his Concertino pour basson et piano in 1948 prior to accepting the position of teaching counterpoint at the Paris Conservatoire from 1956 to 1988. It is an exciting piece written using the chromatic scale containing two movements. The piece in its entirety is very animated and neotonal, often using non-functional chord progressions and leaving dissonant chords unresolved. Although the tonal centre is unstable and hard to tell, the overall tonal centre lies around D, with the first movement taking place in a key signature consisting only of Bb which suggests D minor and the second
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36 to 39), and finally back to the piano for the last five (m. 40 to 44). Bitsch increases the excitement in this section by speeding up the tempo with directions such as animando (m. 24) and sempre piu animato (m. 28). At measure 33 he changes the note value from straight eighth notes to triplet eighth notes, then instructs the performers to play allargando, possibly to provide a smooth rhythmic modulation back to the slower a tempo at letter B (m. 36). At measure 45, section B makes its exit with a cadenza-like passage played in the bassoon with a figure centred around a broken B7 chord, then an alternating “skip up-step down” figure suggesting a tonal centre of E.

At measure 46, the recapitulation of theme 1 begins on E, which is a perfect fifth higher than its original statement. The accompaniment in this section still uses repeated chords which form a descending line in stepwise motion with the bass notes. However two main differences are that they are now broken into sixteenth notes played rolling inwards, and the chord progression has changed. He now uses split members and added notes, which combined with the placement of register and the inward rolling, created a shimmering, transparent and watery effect, contrasting the original statement of theme 1 which had a considerably calmer and less active accompaniment part. The chords begin in a very high register then gradually move down to the second lowest

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