Sunday, April 17, 2005

Afternoon of a Faun

Orchestral Excerpts
Jeanne Baxtresser

There is a strong pull created in the first phrase, also the expository function of the entire excerpt, from the chromaticism and rhythm. The rhythm is dotted quarter on do, then an interval of a M3 or m3 to an eighth, moving down. The eighth flows into a triplet moving on half steps to sol. Sol plays the exact same intervals back up to do, and the rhythm is only slightly changed to eighths instead of triplets. This is repeated again. This theme, because of its long up and downward motion, can only be described as sounding like a faun lazily bending in the wind. The dynamic is a crescendo downward, to put emphasis on the motion, and a decrescendo up. The next phrase begins a new function, there are really only two in the entire thing, the expository and the developmental, which are always paired together to create a rounded structure. The solfege of the new phrase is do-me-sol-me(moving back down), to start off, ending on a HC on re, in the lower octave, which functions as the louder octave when compared to the expository function. The developmental functions, however, usually distribute the dynamic into the higher octaves also to achieve a brighter mood. The meter is simple duple. The expository funciton and this exact developmental one is repeated a total of four times, the fifth time the developmental function becomes more developed, with more complex rhythms, and covering a wider range of octave. The entire thing just sounds lazy, like a faun. The end is signaled by a lack of the expository function. Overall, I liked the excerpt. It expertly captured the feeling of a faun. Its simplicity allowed fexibility and smooth movement, while still maintaining a firm stem in meter and tonality.

No comments: