Mahler Rewrote Bach 's Orchestral Suite Contrapuntally

1357 Words Dec 20th, 2014 6 Pages
Mahler rewrote Bach’s orchestral suite contrapuntally. In fusing different suites into one, Mahler had to contend compositionally with two different pieces consisting of various dance movements with different instrumentation and tonic keys. The treatment of these varied polarities can clearly illustrate Mahler’s efforts to create a holistic vision. In choosing five movements from two suites, Mahler paired the selected movements, first-third and second-fourth, thus increasing the polarity within the arrangement. On the other hand, he lessened the polarity in the paired movements by fusing the Rondeau and Badinerie into one movement, an A-B-A structure that would formally balance the concluding two Gavottes. The elements of key relations, rhythmic and motivic treatments, and instrumental contrasts further contribute to making the arrangements’s polar relations lead to a unified whole. The overture reflects the French overture style, which consists of a first section A in dotted rhythms and running notes and second part B in fugal style with solo and tutti sections projecting the ritornello from. At the end of the second part, a low variation of A recurs in fugal style. The formal design has a basic duality of keys: the tonic B minor and mediant D major, the very keys outlining the entire arrangement. Also, the key relationships of the overture in B minor is implied continuously throughout the movement, so main polarity of key regions occurs. The Rondeau moves to the same…

More about Mahler Rewrote Bach 's Orchestral Suite Contrapuntally

Open Document