Formal Issues in Telemann Flute Fantasias:

The role of repeated thematic material


by Jane Clifton

 

Georg Philip Telemann wrote the Twelve Fantasias for solo flute in 1727 and 1728.  Each Fantasia consists of three or four short movements in contrasting styles.  The forms of several of the movements are, like rondo and ritornello, based on recurring thematic material.  Two movements are very straightforward five and seven part rondo forms; these are not considered further here.  Seven movements appear to resemble ritornello in that thematic material returns in several keys.

 

Three ritornello-like movements are examined in detail.  These are the Presto from Fantasia 10, Vivace from Fantasia 2, and Allegro from Fantasia 5.   The Presto from Fantasia 10 has a simple four bar melody in antecedent-consequent form which moves from V to I.  The Vivace of Fantasia 2 features a recurring compound melody with colourful chromatic harmonic implications. Variations on a repeated pattern appear in the Allegro of Fantasia 5.  As all three movements are quite short, they are presented in their entirety in Appendices 1, 2, and 3.

 

The Presto of Fantasia 10 is in F# minor. The formal outline of this piece, presented in Table 1, suggests a binary form.  The repeated melody (R) appears three times in the [A] section, which starts in F# minor and eventually modulates to the relative major, A.  The repeated melody also appears three times in the [B] section. The [B] section starts in B minor (IV) and modulates back to F# minor.

 

Table 1.

Form – Fantasia 10, Presto.

 

 

[A]

 

R:I

A

R:V

B

R:III

C

Bars

1-4

4-8

8-12

12-18

18-22

22-28

# of Bars

4

4

4

6

4

6

KeyAreas

f#

E f#

C#

c#bA

A

a

Final Cadence

PAC F#

PAC F#

PAC c#

Imp A

PAC A

PAC A

 

 

[B]

 

Transition

R:IV+

ext

D(=A?)

R:I

E(=B')

R:I'+

ext

F(=C')

Coda

Bars

28-30

30-34

34-35

35-39

39-43

43-49

49-53

53-54

54-62

62-64

# of Bars

2

4

1

4

4

6

4

1

9

2

KeyAreas

b

b

b

f#-c#

f#

f#eD

f#

f#

f#

f#

Final Cadence

Imp b

PAC b

PAC b

PAC c#

PAC f#

Imp D

PAC f#

PAC f#

PAC f#

PAC f#

 

The opening melody states the subject that is repeated later, and it is in F# minor (R:I).  It is quite short, but falls into two phrases forming a period.  The first phrase consists of paired repeated quarter notes and is unlikely to be perceived as a compound melody.  The distinctive paired notes do not appear in any episodes, which ensures that the entrances of R are perceptually salient and easily recognizable.  This antecedent phrase establishes the key and comes to rest on the dominant.  The second phrase has several wide leaps in succession, and may function as a compound melody even though the quarter note motion continues. It outlines a strongly cadential chord progression, returning to I.  R:I and a graph sketching its harmonic and melodic progression are presented in Figure 1.

 

Figure 1.

 

 

The repeated melody does not contain any leading notes; this, in combination with a complete absence of chromatic inflections, results in an unproblematic use of R in the relative major.  The only other alteration encountered in R is in its second appearance, which is in the dominant key.  Episode A, which precedes R:V, closes on the tonic F#, and R:V begins an octave higher on F#, the subdominant of C#, rather than the G# demanded by an exact transposition of R:I. Excepting the initial pitch, R:V proceeds as expected (see Figure 2).

 

Figure 2.

 

 

If R:V is considered as an answer to R:I, as in a fugal exposition, the reasons for the anomalous note become clearer. Fugal subjects that begin on 5, as this one does, usually require a tonal answer on 1, not a real answer on 2, stressing I and V harmony rather than V and II or V and V/V harmony.  Green provides a fuller account of this practice[1].  The use of a tonal answer would also be expected as Episode A does not modulate to V but closes with a perfect cadence in the opening key.  The modulation to V is only accomplished in the second period of R:V.  The substitution of a tonai answer for a real answer has little effect on the harmony and minimal implications for the melody.  The transposition of R:I (minor) to R:III (major) could also be considered a tonal answer, at least in that it is not an exact transposition, but is probably better conceptualized as a subject in a different mode.  The distinctiveness of the repeated quarter note pattern in the first phrase of R enables easy recognition of R in spite of intervallic and modal alterations.

 

The episodes between appearances of R fulfil a variety of roles and clarify the form.  Episode A, shown in Figure 3, is a short two part melodie sequence that modulates briefly to E major and then closes in the tonic (F# minor).  The last three notes of Episode A succinctly confirm the key.  The closing 5,7,1 pattern supplies the 7 missing from R:I and also provides a smooth melodie link to R:V (C# minor) if a register shift is disregarded.  The 5,7,1 pattern recurs several times in this movement.

 

Figure 3.

 

 

Figure 4.

 

 

Episode B, shown in Figure 4, is a longer three part sequence which initially continues in V, moves to IV (B minor) and then to III (A major).  Each segment of the sequence ends on an imperfect cadence, instantiated by the leading note. This emphasizes the forward momentum and linking function of Episode B. This sequence also stresses harmonic motion by including a long series of temporary tonics and their leading tones. The temporary tonics presented are G#, C#, F#, B, E, and A.  There are only 21 notes in Episode B, yet all twelve tones appear.  Such extreme chromaticism adds to harmonic and melodic tension.  The G# on which Episode B ends provides a harmonic and melodic impetus towards R:III (A major).  This G# also combines with the starting E of R:III to strengthen the dominant to tonic motion of R:III, which quells the preceding chromatic mayhem.

 

R:III is followed by Episode C, which is longer than episodes A or B, and not sequential in form.  Episode C is strictly in A major, and ends with a perfect authentic cadence (PAC) in A major (see Figure 5).  Episode C contrasts to R:III in its smooth stepwise motion and in thè appearance of the leading note.  It could be considered as a second source of thematic materia! rather than as a linking episode.  Harmonically, Episode C is a long II, V (pedal), I cadential progression.  The final melodic 5, 7, 1 motion summarizes the C episode, parallels the close of Episode A, and is an important addition to the vocabulary of the [B] section, which is examined next.

 

Figure 5.

 

 

The parallels between the [A] and [B] sections are evident in Table 1.  As in the [A] section the repeated melody occurs three times; all appearances of R are in minor keys.  The two measures following the PAC at the end of the [A] section introduce B minor (IV) and lead, via an imperfect cadence, to R:IV, which reestablishes the predominantly minor mode of the movement.  The 5, 7, 1 gesture that ended the [A] section is appended to R:IV; confirming B minor and perhaps highlighting the return of the minor mode.  It could be inferred that if R were to follow immediately, it would be an answer to R:IV, as illustrated in Figure 6, modulating from IV to I.  However, a short modulating episode (Episode D) permits the next repetition of R to be an exact copy of the initial R:I.  The final entry of R:I is an octave higher than before; the first phrase is raised an octave and second phrase is in its original register.  To further stress the finality of this R:I the 5, 7, 1 gesture is attached.  In short, the repeated melody is elaborated and its tonality made even more definite in the [B] section.

 

Figure 6.

 

 

The episodes in the [B] section are related in varying degrees to the corresponding episodes in the [A] section. The D episode, like the A episode, is a short two part sequence (see Figure 7).  The rather disjunct melody of the first two bars appears to suggest II, V, I harmony in A major, but the last note, F#, forces a reinterpretation of the harmony in F# minor.  Similarly, the second segment gives the impression of being in E major, but ends on C#.  A pair of ornamental anacruses preceding the C# opening of R:I avoids too many consecutive C sharps.

 

Figure 7.

 

Figure 8.

 

 

Episode E, shown in Figure 8, moves sequentially through F# minor, E major, and D major.  It is completely analogous to Episode B, although part of each segment is displaced by an octave.  The C# ending episode E is immediately followed an octave higher by the C# opening of the final R:I.

 

Episode F follows the 5, 7, 1 extension of R:I and recasts the opening of Episode C into F# minor (see Figure 9).  Once the initial correspondence between episodes C and F is established, a longer and more elaborate II, V, I progression is presented.  The V section features wide leaps, the I section is very stepwise, and the episode concludes in the same way as Episode C, with the 5, 7, 1 gesture.

 

Figure 9.

 

A short coda (Figure 10) reiterates a PAC in F# minor.  The last two notes, C# and F#, are a final echo of the melody that dominates the movement.

 

Figure 10.

 

Two issues must be addressed.  One concerns the overall form of the movement, arguably some type of binary.  The second issue is the relationship of the repeated melody and episode sections and its formal implications.

 

The Presto shows a striking parallelism between the [A] and [B] sections. Although the B section is somewhat more elaborate, the strong similarity between the conclusion of the [A] and [B] sections indicates a balanced binary form[2].  If measures 18 - 28, comprising R:III and Episode C, are compared to measures 49 - 62, R:F and Episode F, it can be seen that the only major difference is in key.  The balanced binary form is most characteristic of Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas, and Kirkpatrick has further subdivided the balanced binary forms found in Scarlatti's work into closed and open forms[3].  A closed balanced binary repeats the opening thematic material in a new key at the beginning of the [B] section whereas the open form introduces new material. This distinction was developed with reference to Scarlatti's work, but it appears to be applicable to this movement, which is in closed balanced binary form. Several movements of the Telemann flute fantasias are in balanced binary form, but most are not based on a ritornello-like melody.

 

In a typical ritornello, the recurring section is separated by episodes of independent thematic material.  The episodes frequently surpass the ritornello in length and are contrasting in content or instrumentation.  In the Presto, however, the repeated melody is short, but most of the episodes are short too.  Even though the episodes are more chromatically or rhythmically active than the repeated melody, several of them (Episodes A, B, D, E) are modulating sequences that seem intended merely as links between recurrences of the opening melody.  Even the longer episodes © and F), which have some unique thematic material, serve primarily to reinforce the tonality introduced by the last presentation of the repeated melody.

 

The ritornello/rondo paradigm may not be appropriate here.  Preludes, inventions, and fugues, with their emphasis on a recurring subject, should be considered instead.  Several examples of relatively homophonic preludes with a subject that appears in several keys can be found in the Well Tempered Clavier of J. S. Bach.  This form is more adaptable than fugue to a solo instrument.  An examination of R in terms of the categories of fugal subjects described by Renwick suggests that it conforms well with Paradigm 4a (Subject 5-5-1; Answer 1-2-5)[4].  The opening R:l is the subject, and the subsequent R:V is its answer. The subject and answer and their reduction to this paradigm are shown in Figure 11.  All four of the other R entries are subjects; the solo texture and intervening episodes may reduce the impetus for tonal answers, especially when the subject is closed and nonmodulating.

 

Figure 11.

 

Although the polyphony of fugue would be difficult to reproduce on unaccompanied flute, the idea of subject and answer is certainly manifest in this movement.  Both preludes and fugues can occur in sectionalized binary forms, and as in this Presto there need be no double bar or break between the [A] and [B] sections.  The Presto of Fantasia 10 appears to be a prelude in closed balanced binary form.

 

The Vivace of Fantasia 2 is dramatic and technically demanding.  Wide leaps are frequent and compound melody dominates the recurring material and most of the episodes. The form of the movement is shown in Table 2.  As later episodes quote parts of earlier episodes the outline of the form includes these subdivisions.

 

The form of this Vivace, which is in A minor, is more complex than the Presto just considered. However, there are some important similarities.  This Vivace is also in a binary form, albeit somewhat disguised by its continuous motion.  The order of key areas is similar;  the [A] section moves from I (A minor) to V (E minor) and concludes in III (C major), the relative major, despite the noteworthy absence of an R:III.  The [B] section begins with a short transition to IV (D minor) and an R:IV, but soon returns to the tonic (A minor).  A single return of R:I and further tonic episodic material conclude the Vivace.

 

Table 2.

Form, Fantasia 2, Vivace.

 

A

R:1

A

R:V

 

 

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

A’

A’’

B1

B2

Bars

 

1-4

5-6

7-10

 

 

11-20

 

# of bars

 

4

2

4

2

2

3

3

Key areas

 

a

e

e

d

C

C

C

Final cadence

 

PAC a

PAC e

PAC e

PAC d

PAC C

C

PAC C

 

 

B

transition

R:IV +

B1’

 

C

 

R:1’ +

B1’’

D

 

 

 

 

 

C1

C2

A’’’

 

 

 

Bars

 

21

22-25

26-27

 

28-37

 

38-41

42-42

45-48

# of bars

 

1

4

2

4

4

2

4

3

4

Key areas

 

C d

d

d

G a

a

a

a

a

a

Final cadence

 

Imp d

PAC d

d

 

PAC a

 

PAC a

a

PAC a

 

The recurring theme of the movement is stated in the first four bars.  It is a compound melody with two very smoothly moving parts. Chromaticism is prevalent; both raised and natural forms of the sixth and seventh appear.  Nonetheless, the underlying harmony moves unambiguously to a perfect cadence.  The melody is a single phrase with no suggestion of the periodic structure found in the melodic subject of the Presto.  The length and complexity of the melody probably make it difficult to apprehend and not particularly memorable.  Figure 12 shows the initial statement of the theme and graphic reductions of it.

 

Figure 12.

 

In terms of the paradigms enumerated by Renwick, the subject of Fantasia 2 is readily seen to fit Paradigm 2a (Subject 5-4-3-2-l)[5] (See Figure 13).  However, in contrast to Fantasia 10, R: V is a real answer and not a tonal answer as modulation to V occurs in Episode A.  All reappearances of the repeated melody in V, VI, and I are real answers, that is, exact transpositions of the opening four bars.  In R:V the last two notes are an octave lower than expected, as is the last note of R:IV.  Both of these minor modifications keep the theme and/or subsequent episode in a comfortable playing range.

 

Figure 13.

 

The rhythms used in the repeated melody are important because, in contrast to the Presto, they are not markedly different from the rhythms of the episodes.  The reverse is true; the rhythms used in the episodes are so similar to the rhythms of R that the distinction between the recurring melody and episodic material is blurred.

 

The theme begins on the second eighth note of thè bar with two sixteenth notes followed by four eighth notes.  The next two bars consist entirely of eighth notes.  The last complete bar contains four sixteenth notes followed by four eighth notes.  The final eighth note of the repeated melody falls on the downbeat of the next bar, rounding out the theme to exactly four bars in length.

 

The note values of the episodes are all presented in the repeated melody; there are no longer note values in the entire movement.  This creates an impression of perpetual motion.  In addition, every major episode (A, B, C, D) begins with two sixteenth notes followed by four eighth notes, precisely the same rhythm that began the preceding R.  Each major episode ends with five eighth notes, just like the repeated melody.  The feeling of transition between the repeated melody and the episodic material is probably attenuated by their shared features.

 

Episode A is only two bars long (Figure 14), and is a compound melody with exactly the same rhythms as the first two bars of R.  It modulates from I (A minor) to V (E minor). The concluding perfect cadence is immediately followed by R: V.

 

Figure 14.

 

Episode B is longer and more complex and can be divided into meaningful subepisodes, shown in Figure 15.  The first four bars can be interpreted as a sequential use of the Episode A material to modulate from V (E minor) to IV (D minor) to III (C major).  These sections are labelled A' and A".  The arrival at III could be followed either by further modulation or by a statement of the repeated melody in III.  Neither of these expectations are realized; the next three bars (B,) are three repetitions of a C major arpeggiated figure, varied only in their dynamic level.  The last three bars (B2) of Episode B form an extended cadential progression in C major.  The compound melody is briefly abandoned as two bars of stepwise virtually continuous sixteenth notes outline II and V harmony.  The last bar of Episode B reverts to leaping eighth notes and ends with a perfect cadence in C major.

 

Figure 15.

 

Figure 16.

 

The next bar starts as if it were the long awaited appearance of the repeated melody in C major.  Alas, it is a false start, and changes direction to lead into R:IV in the subsequent bar (see Figure 16).  The false start is better viewed as a transition to a new key area than as a part of Episode B.

 

The formal issues in Episode B centre on the glaring absence of the repeated melody in C major.  First, why is R:III (C major) not presented?  Next, does anything substitute or stand in for R:III?  Finally, do any aspects of the movement ameliorate the effects of this formal discrepancy?

 

The first question is the easiest.  The subject relies on extensive use of both the raised and natural forms of the sixth and seventh degrees of the minor scale.  These options are not available in the relative major without seriously compromising the major modality.  In short, the repeated melody cannot be presented in the relative major.  The false start hints at this in one way, by breaking off before inevitable problems arise.

 

The B, sub-episode may be a substitute for R:III as it appears at the point when R:III is first expected.  Repetition and dynamic inflection emphasize the importance of B1 which is undoubtedly in C major and simple enough to function in any key.  In addition, B, duplicates the rhythm of the first bar of R.  Later reappearances also make B1 a likely candidate to stand in for R:III.  B1 works well as an extension and affirmation of the subject's key, much like the 5, 7, 1 gesture of Fantasia 10.  It is questionable whether B1 has enough meat on it to function as a fugal subject of the type described by Renwick.  Even so, the reduced harmonic demands posed by a single part and nonoverlapping, nonmodulating, and closed subjects may permit something as simple as the B, figure to substitute for the subject.

 

The absence of an R:III is noticeable.  However, the homogenous perpetuum mobile texture of the movement and the strong similarity of repeated and episodic materiate reduce the perceptual salience of the thematic material.  The length and complexity of the repeated melody also limit its distinctiveness and memorability.  In other words, the repeated melody may not stand out against the episodic wallpaper, and its absence, while obvious to an analyst, may be barely registered by a listener.

 

The [A] and [B] sections are linked by the one bar transition which appears as a false entry of R:III.  The transition seems to modulate from III (C) to VI (F) but turns deceptively to IV (D minor) when R:IV is presented.  R:IV is extended with two bars of B1’ which confirms the IV key and enhances thè credibility of B,'as genuine recurrent thematic material (see Figure 17).

 

Figure 17.

 

Episode C is ten bars long, and can be subdivided into three parts. C1, the first part (Figure 18), is four bars long and is a two part sequence that moves first to G major and then to the tonic, A minor.  Each of the two bar phrases ends with a perfect cadence in the new key, which should reduce tension.  However, the rhythm consists of unrelieved eighth notes, the point of resolution has been shifìed from the strong downbeat to thè weak beat ending the bar, and the distance between the parts of the compound melody increases rather than decreases during each two bar segment.  Although the tonic tonality is achieved, these melodic and rhythmic factors maintain tension and create uncertainty.

 

Figure 18.

 

The next four bars of Episode C, labelled C2 (Figure 19), maintain excitement with an extremely widely spaced compound melody that even has a suggestion of an incipient middle or third voice.  The rhythm that opens the movement is repeated in all four bars of C2.  The third and fourth bars are an echo, literally (marked p) and figuratively, of the first two bars of C2.

 

Figure 19.

 

Harmonically, C2 is a dramatic chromatic cadential progression in A minor that moves repeatedly towards I (A minor) but does not resolve successfully and ends on IV (D minor).  The harmony is sketched in Figure 20.

 

Figure 20.

 

The last two bars of Episode C mark the final appearance of the Episode A material, A'" in this instance.  This time, modulation from IV to I is achieved; the musical closure complements the I to V motion accomplished with the initial A motif (see Figure 21 ).  The comparatively sedate harmony and clear perfect cadence of A'" lead to an exact recapitulation of R:I..

 

Figure 21.

 

R:I is immediately followed by B1', this time in the home key of A minor.  Episode D, the remaining material, is strongly reminiscent of B2, the closing of the [A] section (see Figure 22). Two bars of running stepwise sixteenth notes sketch II harmony and link the upper and lower registers of compound melody. The ubiquitous compound melodie texture breaks out again in dominant harmony in the penultimate bar.  A continuo like gesture of three notes descending through 1, 5, and 1 relinks the registers and provides a fìnal reaffirmation of tonic harmony.

 

Figure 22.

 

The Vivace of Fantasia 2, like the Presto of Fantasia 10, can be conceptualized as a prelude in closed balanced binary form.  The compound melody gives a strong contrapuntal flavour to thè movement, and a false entry of the subject heightens the resemblance to fugal works.  On the other hand, the introduction of new thematic material (B,) in the relative major, followed by its later pairing with the repeated melody, and finally, a complete recapitulation of both themes in the tonic key, hints at something like sonata form.

 

Despite their differences, the Presto and Vivace progress through the same harmonic areas.  In the [A] section, both move from 1 to V and then pass through IV, settling on III. In the B section, following a brief transition from III, both start on IV and move to I.

 

The melodic lines in the two fantasias differ; in the Presto of Fantasia 10, because of the dominant to tonic leap in the subject, the dominant key area is addressed as a leap from the tonic (Bar 8).  On the other hand, in the Vivace of Fantasia 2 the dominant is approached by ascending steps (Episode A, Bars 5 and 6).

 

The subjects of both Fantasia 10 and Fantasia 2 conform to paradigms with prominent dominant notes.  These paradigms may be associated with Schenkerian fundamental lines for the movements which have the dominant (5) as their highest note, or headtone[6].

 

The motion from IV to I in Fantasia 10 seems to be accomplished by a 4,2,3,1 skipping motion in Episode D, and subsequently confirmed by chromatic descending motion to I in Episode E, and stepwise descending motion in Episode F.  In Fantasia 2, descent from IV to I is accomplished in Episode C.  The uppermost melody note is D, which is eventually followed by C, B, Bb and A.   Once R:I (A minor) reappears, the melody never ventures above A again.

 

The order of keys used in both of these movements supports a fundamental line which ascends from 1 to 5, and falls through 4 to 3, concluding the [A] section. In the [B] section 4 (and its associated key area) is treated as a neighbour, and the descent continues through 3, and 2, supported by dominant harmony, to 1.  The Presto from Fantasia 10 and the Vivace from Fantasia 2, despite their many surface differences, seem to be variations on a very similar underlying form.

 

The Allegro of Fantasia 5 is in C major.  It differs from the movements discussed previously in that the very simple three bar theme that opens the movement (T) is never repeated exactly but is varied on every appearance (R). The theme (T) is shown in Figure 23 and the form of the Allegro is shown in Table 3.

 

Figure 23.

 

Table 3.

Form: Fantasia 5, Allegro.

 

T:1

R:1

R:1

I

A

R:IV

R:IV

VI

# of bars

3

3

3

1

2

3

3

1

Key areas

C

C

C

C

a

a

a

a

Final Cadence

 

 

 

PAC C

Imp a

 

 

PAC a

 

 

B

R:II

R:II

II

C

R:III

R:III

D

# of bars

3

3

3

1

2

3

3

1

Key areas

d

d

d

d

e

e

e

e

Final cadence

Imp d

 

 

PAC d

Imp e

 

PAC e

Imp C

 

 

R:I

R:I

I

E

R:I

I

 

 

# of bars

3

3

1

2

3

1

 

 

Key areas

C

C

C

C

C

C

 

 

Final cadence

 

 

PAC C

Imp C

 

PAC C

 

 

 

The repeated melody, with all its variations, is clearly the central material of the movement.  It is three bars long, in 9/8 time, and in its simplest form, begins on the tonic and ends on the dominant.  Every occurrence of R is closed by an immediate varied repetition of R or by a bar consisting of two beats of tonic harmony and a one beat rest. The initial theme, two repetitions of R, and a closing bar are shown in Figure 24.  All subsequent occurrences of R are similar; the notes of T always appear on the three principal beats of each bar. In addition, although all variations of R are different, no subdivisions smaller than eighth notes are used.

 

Figure 24.

 

Table 4.

Harmony Implied by Subject.

C major (I)

C

AD

BG

C

AF

G

A minor (vi)

A

F#B

G#E

A

FD

E

 

I

II of V/V

V(7)

I

IV

I

 

Although the basic theme T appears in every R there is an important change in minor keys.  In T there are two occurrences of the sixth degree of the scale.  When T is transposed to minor keys the sixth is raised only on its first appearance.  A consideration of the harmony accounts for this.  The implied harmony for all repetitions of R is approximately as shown in Table 4, and requires both forms of the sixth in the minor key.

 

A reduction of R to one of the paradigms described by Renwick (see Figure 25) yields interesting results.  Paradigm 12 (Subject 8-7-6-5) is uncommon but seems to fit the major subject[7].  However, the augmented second apparent in the minor keys makes Paradigm 12, if not unacceptable, at least unorthodox.  Green notes that slight variations of descending scale fragments are common bases of ostinati in 17th and 18th century compositions[8].  Berry applies the name "romanesca" to the 8, 7, 6, 5 line[9].

 

Figure 25.

 

Another approach would be to consider most of R as a prolongation of tonic harmony, with only thè final three notes directing motion to V.  In this case, Paradigm 14 (Subject 1-5) would result[10].  Whichever paradigm is chosen, the answer is unconventional; either the question (i.e., subject) is repeated, or the section is closed with tonic harmony.  This begs the question of whether an analysis in terms of fugal subjects and answers is appropriate for this movement.

 

The episodes of this movement are all only two or three bars in length, and consist entirely of eighth notes, or, like the closing bar of each set of R's, contain six eighth notes and a dotted quarter rest.  The episodes can all be considered as linking sections and are melodically and rhythmically related to the preceding section, frequently continuing a sequence based on the preceding closing bar.  Harmonically, however, the episodes all modulate to the key of the next R.  Episode A follows sequentially from Bar 10; with IV/VI, V/VI harmonic motion to R:VI (A minor).  Episode B is loosely sequential, moving through V7/II (in inversion), II6 and VII6/!! to R:II.  Episode C also has sequential aspects; this time the harmony is basically II/III, V/III, followed by R:III. Episode D moves from V7/II to II, followed by V7 and R:I. Episode E, which links the two final sets of R:I, moves from V7/V through V7 to R:I.  In short, every time R appears in a new key its opening note forms the completion of a perfect cadence in the new key (see Figure 26).

 

Figure 26.

 

A diagram of the first notes of the theme and episode bars (Figure 27) reveals the logic of the order of keys in this movement.  Octaves have been altered.  In contrast to the movements examined previously, there is no significant V key area.  A descent from VI leads to II, not V.  III appears to be centrai and represents thè high point (3) of the fundamental line.

 

Figure 27.

 

The form of the movement is quite unlike the binary movements considered earlier.  The initial presentation of a theme in its simplest form followed by almost Constant variation suggests a passacaglia as does the use of a triple metre, but repetitive aspects of the implied harmony point to a chaconne[11].  These forms are not clearly separable; however, the opening statement of the theme and the consistent melodic presentation of the thematic material is characteristic of passacaglia.  The presence of a romanesca/Paradigm 12 subject, an almost stereotypical feature of passacaglias, strengthens the argument that this movement is a passacaglia.  Conversely, the identification of the movement as a passacaglia supports the categorization of the subject as Paradigm 12 rather than Paradigm 14, notwithstanding the oddities of the minor version used here.

 

If this movement is a passacaglia it is very unusual because it changes keys.  The repeated melody (and/or harmony) is the main unifying device in continuous variation forms[12].  Unity is disrupted not only by key change, but also by modulatory sections that abandon the passacaglia theme in order to effect key change.  Nevertheless, passacaglias that change key do exist, notably a Passacaglia in D minor by D. Buxtehude[13].

In the Allegro from Fantasia 5, the rests following each set of thematic material tend to sectionalize the work into key areas.  Reestablishing the primacy of the originai key of C major could be a problem since all sections are harmonically similar and closed, apparently providing little impetus for continuation.

 

How does Telemann deal with the inertia of this form?   Can the home key of C major be convincingly reestablished or is the return merely arbitrary?  An underlying structure that could support the return to C major was suggested in Figure 27.  Other devices are also employed to indicate that C major is the home key. Contrast between major and minor is exploited: C is the only major key area, all excursions are to minor keys, A, D, and E respectively.  The theme in the minor key is more complex because of thè two forms of the sixth scale degree.  The minor key theme is also interesting in that thè absence of a prominent minor 3 and the late appearance of the minor 6 can make the mode of R somewhat ambiguous.  This awkward major/minor feel could result from the unusual presence of an augmented second in the minor romanesca/Paradigm 12.  The harmonic solidity and the well-formed fundamental line of the major form of R emphasize the centrality of R:I (C major) when it finally returns.  The absence of prominent V and IV key areas, which would be major, can be explained by the major = home, minor = away ("other"), unifying strategy hypothesized for this movement. [As an aside, it would be interesting to see if other older uses of modal contrast, such as the Picardy third, serve any signifying functions such as the one just described].  A final repetition of R:I, ending uniquely with a sustained tonic, provides added confìrmation of the home key and a conclusion.

 

In contrast to the binary prelude forms found in Fantasias 2 and 10, which foreshadow aspects of sonata form, the passacaglia of Fantasia 5 looks back to older forms.  None of the three movements examined here seem to be ritornellos in the usual sense.  All three use the repetition of a melodic subject as the chief means of creating unity in a small scale unaccompanied work.

 

Bibliography.

 

Berry, Wallace. Form in Music. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Fontaine, Paul. Basic Formai Structures in Music. New York: Appleton, Century, Crofts, 1967.

Green, Douglass M. Form in Tonai Music. 2d ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

Kirkpatrick, Ralph. Domenico Scarlatti. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Renwick, William. Analyzing Fugue: A Schenkerian Approach. Harmonologica Series 8. Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1995.

 

Appendices.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

© Copyright 2001 by Jane Clifton

 

Notes



[1] Douglass M. Green, Form in Tonal Music, 2d ed., (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979), 261.

[2] Ibid., 78.

[3] Ralph Kirkpatrick, Domenico Scarlatti (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981), 266.

[4] William Renwick, Anafyzing Fugue: A Schenkerian Approach, Harmonologica Series 8 (Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1995), 52.

[5] Ibid., 41.

[6] bid., 207.

[7] Ibid., 67.

[8] D. M. Green, Op. Cit, 119.

[9] Wallace Berry, Form in Music (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 273.

[10] W. Renwick, Op. Cit, 70.

[11] Paul Fontaine, Basic Formai Structures in Music (New York: Appleton, Century, Crofts, 1967), 104.

[12] W. Berry, Op. Cit., 275.

[13] D. M. Green, Op. Cit, 121.