Early romantic and biedermeier traditions in Luigi Boccherini's quintets
Characteristic of quintets of Luigi Boccherini as an object symbol of the Italo-French line of chamber instrumentalism, including among piano works. Crossing of the early Romantic and Biedermeier stylistic trends in the genre model Luigi Bockerini.
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Early romantic and biedermeier traditions in Luigi Boccherini's quintets
Actuality of the subject of this research is dictated by the need of reconsideration of romantic symbols, models and performing readings of contemporary performing art. The romanticism and the Biedermeier artistic style accompanying it cause new foreshortenings of art sense in performing interpretations, including in chamber and ensemble performance, at each following historical stage.
Despite Boccherini's creative fruitfulness in all musical genres, so far the attention of music researchers has been more attracted to Boccherini as a brilliant cellist and to his numerous works for cello and double bass, which have become classic examples of solo instrumental music of Italy in the XVIII-th century. Such approach is shown in the studies by L.Ginzburg and G.Rothschild. Chamber and instrumental creativity of this composer (over 400 works) has not become a subject of serious consideration yet.
The aim of the article is tracing stylistic characteristics of early romanticism and Biedermeier in Luigi Boccherini's Quintets that have obviously set up the genre model of the before-Biedermeier and Biedermeier quintet by means of their absolute abundance.
Presentation of the basic material. The development of the quintet genre and the piano quintet as its version in the 19th century highlights this genre in correlation and, partly, in an opposition of quartet-quintet ensembles in the most distinctive features of the last one: bigger brightness, showiness, concertness, a combination of importance, a large scale of contents with democratic character, the lyrical tone that is peculiar to the very nature of an ensemble.
Numerous quintets by L. Boccherini, L. Spohr, J. Hummel, G. Onslov, J. Pixis, J. Raff, A.de Castillon arisen at the end of XVIII-th - the beginning of the XlX-th century, make the necessary sounding, aura which provides in new esthetic circumstances the wide popularity to the genre and its unprecedented take-off, which has presented to the world such masterpieces of a romantic era as "Forellen-Quintett" by F. Schubert and the piano quintet by R. Schumann.
A new attitude toward freedom of expression, romantic confessionness, Biedermeier simplicity and democratic character has changed chamber and ensemble music. The Quintetness supported by vibrations of spiritualized mystical aspirations of the time begins to approve itself. The brightest case of solemnity of the quintet genre can be presented by means of Luigi Boccherini's ensemble creativity, who was a composer creating during the preromantic era, but appeared as a bright harbinger of the Italian romanticism and Biedermeier.
Due to different sources L.Boccherini has composed from 125 to 137 quintets, among them there are string quintets, mixed ones: quintets with a guitar, piano quintets (string quintets with a guitar, in particular, were processed for a notable grandee Marchese Benavente by the composer himself in Madrid). L.Boccherini's simple, melodious, sometimes melancholic melodies, brilliant Italian instrumentality of texture corresponded to the new freedom of expression of the quintet genre in the best possible way.
It is indicative that L.Boccherini, as the son of his epoch, undoubtedly concerned the charm of delights of the French sentimentalism, the gallant style that apprehended Mannheim expression, but who was looking forward to romanticism, was writing simultaneously both string quartets and string quintets, but with an unconditional prevalence of the last ones (80 quartets - 137 quintets) [11,504]. But it is also interesting that in first half of his life (the Roman period, the period of the celebration of classicism) quartets prevailed, and further, in days of his residing in Madrid, in the period of preromantic turmoil and presentiments, quintets dominated.
An obvious opposition of quartet genres in the German Viennese classics and over-abundance of quintet by an Italian Boccherini mark the process of cultural German-Italian opposition reaching its apogee during the civil war under the leadership of Garibaldi (1848-1859), when Garibaldi's national army has opposed Vatican supported by Austria. The inertia of the Viennese school alongside with corrective amendments of coming into its own rights romanticism defined the system of Austria, whereas the Italian romanticism has gone other way, concentrating around the Opera semiseria, being semichurch in its essence.
Since 1769 L. Bochherini had been creating in Madrid and his quintets composed on the verge of the XVIII-th - the beginning of a XIX-th century, as a genre, had reflected the extremely uneasy pressure of this age, namely, resistance to Napoleon and, simultaneously, antimonarchic protests. However, the court composer, the singer of the raised and improved feeling, Boccherini, undoubtedly, felt ideas of the time, extremely appreciating the lyrical tone of expression, the emotional openness, which testify to his responsiveness to new preromantic trends. Certainly, in the quintet genre he felt for himself more freedom of expression, plasticity and new harmony with the surrounding world.
Mixed string quintets - with a flute, quintets with a guitar - vary in their forms and include components of various genre phenomena: songs, arias, dances from a minuet to the Italian tarantella and the Spanish fandango and rondo.
Six piano quintets in opus 57 show signs of their graceful concertness. An abundance of dynamic comparisons such as forte - piano or fortissimo - pianissimo give to the music an additional, heavenly extent, which, in the best way possible, is in harmony with new quinary spatiality of the quintet .
L.Bochherini's quintets are largely written for a string complement, i.e. they turn out to be a significantly moved apart variant of the quartet writing, in which quinarity of voices is self-significant. Presence of some combination with a clavier or other instrument (a flute, a guitar) in L.Bochherini's quintets specifies the fact that this genre typology was consciously "enriched" by the composer, but with keeping in mind the quartet type.
In six flute quintets (Op. 21), where a flute is added to the string quartet, after all, the attention of the composer to the first violin is shown, it is leading; in a counterbalance, in his six clavier concerts, certainly, the leading instrument is the piano that is emphasized with composer's remark assigning an accompaniment part to the string quartet.
The single-part structure in the quintets with a flute and a multi-part structure in the clavier quintets are present. Their ratio itself shows flexibility in understanding the composition wholeness, in which either ensemble echoes of the single-part sonata by D.Scarlatti or recurrence alla Italian three-part sonata Sam- martini - Martini are recognizable. The "spirit" of chembalo soars over the flute cycle of opus 21, as its single-part equivalent is the above-mentioned D.Scarlatti's sonata-caprice; we should take into account that the flute timbre was significant during the era of the birth of "light" pianos, [3, 9] when sonority of the last ones modelled the sequences of the flute staccato.
As it has already been noticed, none of the flute quintets of this opus shows a flute in a melodic-cantilena refraction, which acts like a cembalo in doing so. Tiny trios in each of quintet plays intend to build a cycle, but do not show it in reality. Where there is a cantilena - a violin is added. This fact attracts attention especially as the tendency towards vocalization in the Italian tradition on base either violins or flutes was well-known. The latter is brightly given in the leading vocal refraction in another cycle - in six flute quintets of opus 25.
Among all L.Boccherini's piano quintets we shall consider Op. 57, Quintet No. 5 for piano and string quartet in more detail. Alongside with obligateness of the quartette string structure specified by the author, a certain immensity of the composition, with author's unconditional preference to the Italian tradition ignoring dynamic reliefs and a variety of plans of the Vienna school, is noticeable in it. Boccherini isn't lonely in addiction to similar forms in the Italian environment. Approximately at the same period Italian composers D.Cimarosa and M.Clementi concentrate themselves on small instrumental forms and also ignore theatrical contrasts of the Vienna school.
Just as in belcanto singing of castrati and falsettists was called light singing, (as the church and moral aura of the old opera didn't allow immersion in effects of negative emotions), over which joy, a satellite of expressiveness of the church art always towered. We find a variety of faces of a joyful rise by Boccherini, who thus, in the conditions of the arising Biedermeier, cultivates contours of a baroque ensemble sonata. The Clavier Quintet No. 5, E-dur is indicative due to its "Italian" dynamics, i.e., having a dynamic variety, essentially solvable at 2 levels - forte-piano, fortissimo-pianissimo.
Acoustic naturalness - the dynamic approach-removal of music of instrumental ensembles of the Vienna school doesn't appear here, on the contrary, the composer shows a hypertrophy of combinatorics of terrace ratios, which covers ratios of several bars, or only of one bar, creating joyful bell coloring. Such dynamic restrictions brightly unhide the "semiseria ghost" [see about semiseria genre by Conen] in instrumental and ensemble music.
Taking into account its church genesis, the terrace dynamics is excluding pictorial fluctuations of approach-removal, however it is concentrating either on singing of hymns in sonorous and modest ways or converting the miracle of Apparition of this or that sound image. The D-dur tonality in traditions of the Enlightenment age is a version of a pastoral tonality, as in the Pythagorean system E-F is a sphere of material elements [4, 239]. Romanticists treat the F-tonality (due to romantic paradoxicality of their world perception) as the tonality of "an ideal state" (dematerialized matter of the romantic antinomical attitude, see parts of Gilda, Desdemona by Verdi, etc.).
L.Boccherini's piano quintet contains something median between enthusiastic pastorality of the XVIII-th century and exaltation of ideality of the romantic era. Nevertheless, in this composition there is a look back to the Vienna style (Mozart's stroke) that is expressed in evident weight of the transitional part in the sonata contours of the first movement in which, as well as by Mozart, a break in the voice-frequency (D-moll) and the genre sphere other than the main part are shown. This circumstance gives some unusual luminescence to normativity of the dominant second theme too. The final part even more concentrates forte-piano patches of light, splitting them into semi-steps in the effect of an echo in a rather quick tempo, considering the abundance of thirty-second notes. The piano texture, in case of the seeming commonality of a statement, is incredibly difficult. The artistic dynamism of the Vienna school is rough and demonstrative in comparison with it.
As well as all of the Italian school, Boccherini does not recognize "widely placed hands" of the Viennese, providing an orchestral similarity of coverage of a set of registers. In the piano part of the quintet the sustained harmonization of themes is shown, alongside with a very rare duplication of voices, exclusive delicateness of the saloon ensemble manner and that of a figurate passage variety prevails.
As it has already been noticed above, at a very high tempo (thirty-second durations) in Allegro sos- tenuto, in the absence of the cantilena, the secondary cantilena of passage manifestations prevails. The beginning of the quintet, its first subject of the main part has obvious crossings with the subject of Mozart's sonata c- dur KV 390: that is, they have the same broken course of the major six-four chord that can be not an obligatory testimony of addressing to Mozart, as both subjects have a deeper symbolical root - it is the theme of the Cross (hereinafter the description of rhetorical figures symbols is according to O.Zakharova's book, [7, 27-28]).
The idea of the redemption of the Cross laid as the principal theme, and further in monothematic passage formulas of the God atonement through the affect of joy and transformation has certainly been realized among other Christian values, which were dear for L.Boccherini and his environment. The transition is sustained in D-dur, a rather far tonality, being allocated with steps along a triad, and demonstrates an opera genesis acting as a contrast when it comes to the main part. In addition, the character of the piano texture changes - parts of the top and lower rows are moved most apart. The second theme, returning to the music a light tone of the texture, is based on a performing figure of music containing chime ringing in which high, joyful, easy (in the west manner) bells reign. In the development, rather laconic as to its texture, transition and final parts are processed. The reprise turns out to be mirror-like and begins with the second theme. The final part (constructed on the terrace effect of an echo) concentrates a reigning joy and an elation of the atmosphere of playing music.
In the second movement of the quintet, at last, the violin predominates, piano accompanying periodically supplements string expressions with concordant and exclaiming motives. The subject of the soloist violin presents us the turned cross. The theme developing combinatorics of the Cross (in what it would be possible to hear a premonition of romantic demonism) sounds in a slow motion and is built in saloon brevity and unextesiveness of the texture. According to the form, it is an ancient binary form - a theme and its variation development.
The third movement is a minuet La Polacca beginning with attacca as envisioned by the author, showing a quite bright, figurative tempo, a dynamic contrast. With rather distinct rhythmic and melodic structures of a polonaise it is quite possible to consider it as a response to the Polish events of 1794, (we can remember that Tadeusz Kosciuszko's troops were formed directly in Italy), but even if this music is caused not specifically by events of the well-known Polish revolt, but, undoubtedly, in the conditions of an intense political situation in Italy, sympathy to Poland and its long-term national liberation movement.
The main theme literally rushes as it had already been said above, with attacca, impressing with the passionate E-moll emphaticalness, it is handled at first monophonic by a clavier, then by tutti with a duplication of the main motive by means of sixths for clavier and strings. In the theme there is a lot of crossings with a polonaise - an elastic triple-meter with an underlined first beat, a vigorous sixth
step up, abundance of dotted lines, passionate chromaticisms and a typical specific melodic cadence idiom. The theme that sounded twice in minor is replaced with a major episode, softer, but, in the manner peculiar to L.Boccherini, embellished with rich contrasts of an echo. The next sixteen-bar period returns us to the main subject, but, on the contrary, already from the very beginning with soloing string instruments, and further on, tutti of the whole ensemble ornamented with new figures for the piano follows.
The second and third sixteen-bar periods together (the main theme and its twin - the major one), as intended by the author, repeat passing to the final theme, in which polonaise indications are also strong, but at the same time the typical Boccherini's play of dynamics, i.e., forte-piano, light and shade, an echo, giving rise to a special effulgence and spatiality, amplifies too. The trio constructed on interaction of a violin and a piano leads to the conclusion, which is elaborated as da capo all fine.
L.Boccherini's six piano quintets of Op.57 demonstrate distinctive features peculiar to the Italian chamber and ensemble music of the preromantic period and early Biedermeier, namely: extreme grace of the musical structure, richness of refined virtuosity, basic dynamic terrace-likeness, and salonness as a sign of selectivity and special joining in spiritual values.
Scientific novelty. In this article, for the first time in Ukraine Luigi Boccherini's Quintets have become a subject of scientific musicological and cultural studies in line with the original theoretical idea of crossing in these works of early romanticism and Biedermeier stylistic indicators.
Conclusions. Our research shows that Luigi Boccherini's quintets have become a subject symbol of the Italian-French line of chamber instrumentalism, which has defined near-Biedermeir and actually Bieder- meir as well as an early romantic parallel to opening of Vienna classics. We may state that typology of quintet, including the piano one, in L. Boccherini's creativity has made an outspoken opposition to the Vienna quartetness - including in the form of a basic chamberization of sounding.
At the same time a great many of Boccherini`s quintets have approved the genre model of the early romantic, near-Biedermeier quintet and its several typologies, having determined its future revival during the romantic era and its infinite development in uncountable invariants.
boccherini quintet romantic
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