Atonality, modality, and incantation in two works for trumpet by André Jolivet, with a discussion of his technical and aesthetic principles.
AuthorTucker, Benjamin Scott.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis document presents the most salient features of Jolivet's mature musical style as exemplified in two of his major solo works for trumpet. The two works which serve as the musical focus of the document are one of his latest works, Arioso Barocco (1968) for trumpet and organ, and a work situated near the center of his compositional output, the Second Concerto (1954) for trumpet and a thirteen-member chamber ensemble. Following an exposition of Jolivet's life and musical development, we begin by examining five technical principles of harmony, texture, melody, and rhythm, which Jolivet set forth in a 1946 article. His aesthetic principles as stated in this and other articles by the composer are also examined. The most important of these aesthetic principles holds that music is by nature incantatory or has an incantatory mission--that is, it has the power to connect man with the cosmos, eternity, or that which is greater than man himself. At the heart of this incantatory aesthetic ideal is Jolivet's belief in the primacy of expressive melody, free of the harmonic restraints of traditional tonality. The musical analysis proceeds by identifying in Arioso Barocco the specific application of Jolivet's technical and aesthetic principles to the music, as well as considering formal structure and thematic process. The Second Concerto is then examined in the same way, and a stylistic and technical comparison is drawn between the two works. The study concludes that while both works serve the same underlying atonal and incantatory musical aesthetic, they are markedly different in many significant technical characteristics and stylistic traits. In view of the fact that both works come from what is considered Jolivet's third and final creative period, these findings give cause for further research into Jolivet's compositions from this period to determine whether they do in fact constitute one creative period or two separate and distinct periods.