Friday, April 29, 2005
Bartok, Mikrokosmos: from the diary of a fly
very fly-ish. Has a lot of close intervals, repeated notes and gestures, all overlapping. He uses jarring intervals, chromatic scales, alternating intervals. It starts out smaller, and then builds up using scalar passages and richer "chords" to climax, and then slowly returns to less action. The voices drop out (I can't tell if there are ultimately three or four voices). It really feels like you could play if for fly music in a cartoon or puppet show and it'd be perfect. Perhaps it's because he avoids larger intervals (being too large for a fly to traverse). There's also this sense of continuous movement, not a real melody to speak of (though much of mikrokosmos is sort of lacking in a catchy melody), not a real direction to speak of. A fly wanders around pretty hap-hasardly, and here this piece doesn't have periods, form, anything, except a sense of beginning, climax and end--enough to bring the listener in as though be told a story.
Posted by Martin Buber at 1:33 AM