Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/246

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.



��A peculiar adaptation of the Variation-prin- ciple to the details of other forms of art remains to be noticed. In this also Beethoven led the way. A very fine example is the conclusion of the Marcia Funebre of the Eroica symphony, where the subject is made to express a terrible depth of grief by the constant breaks of the melody, which seem to represent sobs. A similar device in that case amounting to a com- plete variation is the repetition of the short 'Arioso dolente' in A b minor in the middle of the final fugue in the Sonata in Ab (op. no). Here again the object is obviously to intensify the sadness of the movement by constant breaks and irregularities of rhythm. Another passage of the same kind is the end of the overture to Coriolan.'

With a similar view Berlioz has given varied forms of his ' ide*e fixe ' in the Episode de la vie d'un artiste ' ; adapting it each time to the changed conditions implied by the movement in which it appears. Its original form is as fol- lows :


��� ��In the ball scene it takes a form appropriate to the dance motion :

��Ex. 29.

��T f

��Another form occurs in the 'Sce'ne aux Champs,' and in the final ' Nuit de Sabbat' it is purposely brutalised into the following :


��tr tr

�� ��Wagner, carrying out the same method on a grander scale, has made great use of it in adapt- ing his ' leitmotiven ' to the changed circum- stances of the individuals or ideas to which they belong. One of the most remarkable instances is the change from one of Siegfried's tunes as given by his own horn in his early days, repre- senting his light-hearted boyish stage of life Ex. 3L


to the tune which represents him as the full- grown hero bidding adieu to Briinnhilde, which is given with the whole force of the orchestra. Ex. 32.


��ff fff

Liszt has frequently made characteristic varia- tions of his prominent figures for the same pur-


poses, as in the 'Faust' symphony, and ' Le Preludes.'

Among the devices known as ' aesthetic,' varia- tions again play a most prominent part ; move- ments of symphonies and sonatas, etc., being often linked together by different forms of the same idea. Interesting examples of this are to be met with in Schumann's Symphonies in D minor and C, and again in Brahms's Symphony in D. [See SYMPHONY, pp. 35 and 42.]

In such a manner the principle of variation has pervaded all musical art from its earliest days to its latest, and appears to be one of its most characteristic and interesting features. lu its early stages it was chiefly a mechanical de- vice, but as the true position of ideas in music has come more and more to be felt and under- stood, the more obvious has it become that they can be represented in different phases. Thus the interest of the development of instrumental move- ments in modern symphonies and sonatas is fre- quently enhanced by the way in which the sub- jects are varied when they are reintroduced according to the usual principles of structure ; in operas and similar works ever since Mozart's time characteristic features are made all the more appropriate by adapting them to different situations ; and it is even possible that after all its long history the Variation still affords one of the most favourable opportunities for the exercise of their genius by composers of the future. [C.H.H.P.]

VARSOVIANA. A dance very similar in character to the Polka, Mazurka, and Redowa. It is probably of French origin, and seems to have been introduced by a dancing-master named De'sire' in 1853. Somewhat later it was much danced at the Tuileries balls, and is said to have been a favourite with the Empress Eugenie. The music is characterised by strong accents on the first notes of the second and fourth bars, cor- responding to marked pauses in the dance. The tempo is rather slow. The following is the tune to which the Varsoviana was generally danced:


�� �� �� ��E

�� ��[W.B.S.]

VASCELLO-FANTASMA, IL. An Italian version of Wagner's ' Flying Dutchman.* Pro- duced at the Eoyal Italian Opera, Covent Gar. den, June 16, 1877. [G.]

VAUCORBEIL, AUGUSTE EMMANUEL, whose real name was VEAUOOBBEILLE, born at Rouen, Dec. 15, 1821, son of an actor long a favourite at the Gymnase under the name of Ferville. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1835, where he was patronised by Queen Marie Amelie, who made him an allowance. Here he studied seven years, Dourlen being his master for harmony, while Cherubini gave him some advice on com- position. He took the second solfeggio prize io

�� �