Dissertation Index



Author: Heinzelmann, Sigrun B

Title: Sonata Form in Ravel's Pre-War Chamber Music

Institution: CUNY Graduate Center

Begun: August 2005

Completed: February 2008

Abstract:

This dissertation provides an in-depth study of the first movement of Ravel’s String Quartet and the outer movements of his Piano Trio. It also presents analytical tools developed to analyze Ravel’s complex and intricate music: an adaptation of Schenkerian analysis that takes into account dissonant prolongations at the fore- and middleground, and a set of step-based operations to describe motivic transformations within and across different referential collections. Both methodologies are applicable to a wider range of musical styles.

The analyses apply the concepts of Hepokoski and Darcy’s Sonata Theory to demonstrate how Ravel invokes classical models only to distance himself ingeniously from them.
While harmonic analysis shows how Ravel’s predilection for coupling third-related keys leads to a double-tonic complex in the Piano Trio’s first movement, Schenkerian voice-leading graphs reveal that Ravel’s sonata forms follow tonal background structures even where they do not adhere to Schenker’s sonata-form paradigms. The Schenkerian approach also brings into relief the structural roles played by non-diatonic collections, which provide contrasting sonorities to delineate formal sections, and—as linear progressions—shape climax preparations at the surface level and transitional sections at the middleground.


Detailed motivic analysis brings to light how motives and their transformations help the listener track changes between referential collections. Since Ravel associates specific motive shapes with formal functions, motivic transformations also delineate the sections and subsections of a sonata’s successive zones. Further, motivic analysis demonstrates how Ravel generates the thematic substance of an entire movement or sonata-cycle from motivic cells that appear in the first measure.

Taken together, these analyses provide concrete evidence that, striving for Mozartian perfection, Ravel created works of extraordinary craftsmanship and beauty.


Keywords: Ravel, Chamber Music, Sonata Form, Schenkerian Analysis, Motivic Analysis

TOC:

Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction…………………………………………………………………... 1
1.1. Background and Motivation…………………………………...…………….. 1
1.2. Brief Survey of Analytical Literature on Ravel………………...…………… 4
1.3. The Problem of Methodology…………………………………...…………... 8
1.4. A Brief Introduction to Hepokoski and Darcy’s Sonata Theory…...……… 12
1.5. Labels and Abbreviations……………………………………………...….... 16
1.6. Outline of Chapters…………………………………………………...…….. 17

Part I: Analytical Approaches and Methodologies
Chapter 2: Adapting Schenkerian Analysis to Ravel’s Music………………………...... 19
2.1. The Problem(s) of Prolongation in Ravel………………………...……...…. 19
2.2. Prolongation in the Context of Referential Collections………...…………... 26
2.3. Dissonant Prolongations at the Fore- and Middleground………...………… 31
2.4. Non-Diatonic Linear Progressions………………………...……………….. 48
2.5. Subposition………………………………………………...……………….. 56
2.6. Conflicting Prolongations……………………………...…………………… 59
2.7. Interaction of Prolongational Structures at Multiple Levels……...………... 62
2.8. Summary and Conclusion………………………………………...………… 63

Chapter 3: Step-Based Transformations……………………………………………….... 66
3.1. The Importance of Motives in Ravel’s Music…………...…………………. 66
3.2. Referential Collections as Modular Spaces…………...………………….… 71
3.3. Motivic Transformations based on Step Operations…...…………………... 86
3.4. Motivic Transformations Within a Single Modular Space……...………..… 88
3.5. Motivic Transformations Across Different Modular Spaces…...……….…. 94
3.6. Inversions Within and Across Modular Spaces…………...………………. 100
3.7. Internal Motivic Transformations…………………………...…………….. 106
3.8. Application of Step-Based Transformations to Ravel’s Music..…...……... 109

Part II: Analyses
Chapter 4: Sonata Form in the First Movement of the String Quartet…………………. 112
4.1. Formal Considerations: The Movement as a “Type 3” Sonata Form…...… 113
4.2. Tonal Structure: A Schenkerian Interpretation at the Deep Middleground.. 129
4.3. Motivic Analysis……………………………………………...…………… 136
4.4. Thematic Transformation and Sonata-Form Design……...……………….. 147
4.5. Conclusion: The Interaction of Diatonic and Non-Diatonic Forces…...….. 152

Chapter 5: Sonata Form in Ravel’s Piano Trio………………………………………… 162
5.1. Analysis of the First Movement…………………………………………… 164
5.2. Analysis of the Fourth Movement’s Sonata Form………...………………. 203
5.3. Ravel’s Piano Trio as a Sonata Cycle………...…………………………… 213
5.4. Conclusion……………………………...…………………………………. 235
Conclusion
Chapter 6: Conclusion………………………………………………………………….. 237
6.1. Methodologies and General Observations………………...………………. 237
6.2. Ravel’s Sonata Forms: A Preliminary Evaluation……...…………………. 241
6.3. Looking Forward: Avenues for Future Research…...……………………... 250

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………… 257
List of Scores…………………………………………………………………………... 270


Contact:

sheinzel@oberlin.edu

Date Listed: 07/06/2011


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