This composer essay about the twentieth-century symphony examines the genre’s inherent concept of “structural dualism.” Structural dualism’s evolving manifestations and their interrelation are evaluated. Considering the matter from the opposite side: “What makes a symphony a symphony, regardless of the period in which it is conceived or the style it makes use of?”
Emanating from the Baroque sonata, dance suite movement, and sinfonia, structural dualism was originally epitomized by the reconciliation of tonal contrasts in the Classical symphony’s sonata form. This tonal contrast shifted to thematic polarity, embodying structural dualism in the Romantic symphony’s extended sonata form, before structural dualism evolved to integrative, transformative, and—ultimately—conceptual manifestations in various appearances of the twentieth-century symphony.
The study’s delineation has a twofold implication. First, it limits the observation of structural dualism to the symphony, although some reference is made to applications of the dualist principle in other genres. Second, the primarily abstract approach of evolving manifestations of the symphony’s structural dualism does not aspire to be a systematic or exhaustive representation of the genre’s twentieth-century history or repertoire.
Various appearances of structural dualism will be illustrated with pioneering compositions and key esthetic statements from both composers and theorists, providing a foundation for the conclusive structural analyses in the last chapter.
Table of Contents:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Autobiographical Note iv
Table of Music Examples vii
Introduction: Structural Dualism in the Symphony 1
Chapter 1: Tonal and thematic structural dualism before the twentieth century
1.1. Defining tonal structural dualism and thematic structural dualism 4
1.2. Tonal structural dualism in the sonata form of the Classical symphony 6
1.3. Thematic structural dualism in the extended sonata form and alternative 18
formal models of the Romantic symphony
Chapter 2: Manifestations of structural dualism in the twentieth-century symphony: integrative, transformative, and conceptual structural dualism
2.1. Defining “integrative,” “transformative,” and “conceptual” structural 34
2.2. Manifestations of integrative structural dualism in the twentieth-century 37
2.3. Manifestations of transformative structural dualism in the twentieth-century 51 symphony
2.4. Manifestations of conceptual structural dualism in the twentieth-century 63
Chapter 3: Some examples of structural dualism in the twentieth-century symphony analyzed
3.1. Integrative structural dualism in Dmitry Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, 75
3.2. Transformative structural dualism in Jean Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony, 104
3.3. Conceptual structural dualism in Witold Lutosławski’s Second Symphony 121