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If one surveys occasionally the own creation from a critical point of view, one recognizes clearer than any stranger all faults and imperfections of the work. This and that would succeed better today, if one only could do it once again!But the former self appears as a stranger in this work and it seldom occurs, that we have the courage to demolish the statue, in order to refound it. I wrote this work first in 1906. After two performances it was put aside. If I should succeed today to remove the ancient failures, I shall have to thank for it to a great master, whose example and request have roused again in me this feeling of responsibility and this constant dissatisfaction, which want to begin all again.The title means only that the work was conceived on summer evenings at newly cut corn fields and at the murmuring Adriatic waves. It may remain as reminiscence.The original tone-colour has remained unaltered: the instruments are the same, only the 3rd Horn was removed.The musical material is in general the ancient one; only it achieves perhaps better in his new form the aspired character of Chladni’s figures.This new shape requires no further explanation:Questo sonetto non divido, perocchè assai lo manifesta la sua ragione.Zoltán Kodály

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Morton Feldman

Rothko Chapel

for soprano, alto, mixed choir and instruments

Morton Feldman wrote Rothko Chapel for soprano, alto, mixed choir and instruments for the meditation room of the Menil Foundation in Houston/Texas in 1971. The room contains 14 large paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko in red, black and purple tones, which vary according to the light and create an atmosphere of contemplation and tranquillity. “To a large degree, my choice of instruments (in terms of forces used, balance and timbre) was affected by the space of the chapel as well as the paintings. I wanted the music … to permeate the whole octagonalshaped room and not be heard from a certain distance” (Feldman).

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The Sinfonietta, written in 1925, consists of five movements of which each is scored for a different combination of orchestral instruments. The first movement, for brass instruments and timpani only, elaborates one single theme. This is worked out in several smaller sections first in duple time, later – in a sort of Middle section – in Waltz time, and at the close, in enlarged form, again in duple time over an organ point of fifths. The Andante which follows alternately employs two themes: a sustained melody supported by wind instruments and later by strings; and a dance motive in a graceful 2/4 time. The latter appears first, after a short Introduction, and the second melodic theme is worked out later. The Dance theme, in various transformations, is worked up to a “maestoso” passage in which the accompanying motive of the Dance theme assumes the character of an independent figure, over sustained chords. After a climax is reached, the Dance portion of the beginning recurs, varied and with accompanying figures. The movement terminates in this mood. The third movement opens in moderate tempo, developing a melodic motive with a recurring accompanying chord-figure. These chords supply the material for the first Intermediate section, in quicker tempo; this develops, after a short repetition of the opening portion, into a lively, dance-like section, in which the opening motive, with a new accompaniment and by means of counter-subjects, assumes a merry character. The play of the figures becomes increasingly lively, the motive structure seems to disintegrate – until runs bring an abrupt return to the tempo and mood of the opening potion. The movement dies away with the motive and with portions of the figurations from the first section. The fourth movement builds solely upon one, Polka-like motive given out first by the trumpet alone, with counter­subjects and accompanying chords gradually building up. A chain of trills in the strings passes the leading motive to the horn, later it is taken up by the clarinet, again by muted horns and by the flute; the strings then dissolve the motive into its components, the trumpet takes possession of it, in decreasing dynamic gradation, and ultimately plays it alone, muted and dying away. A short motivic Development in which elements of the theme recur alternately in faster and slower tempo, leads to an increasingly slow tempo, the motive being taken over by oboe, trumpet and partly by the clarinet. An abrupt Stretto leads to a forceful close. The Final opens with a characteristic motive on the flutes, which is accompanied by figures in the strings, and immediately worked out. It is taken up, in somewhat different character, by the clarinet and oboe, later by the flute. A fast Intermediate section accompanied by staccato chords on the strings and in which figures on the woodwinds play an important role, leads to a broad, stately section, after which the strings and woodwinds also taken possession of the opening theme. The Intermediate section, with chord figure work, brings a great climax and leads to a repetition of the first movement; this recurs in literal quotation, except that the brasses are reinforced and intensified by trill chains of the strings and woodwinds. These trills assume, in the woodwinds, motivic significance and take part in the pompous, broadly solemn closing portion. Dr. A. P.

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