1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Om te onthou : Marcel Proust en Henri Dutilleux

Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Alhoewel die rol van musiek en musiekstrukture in Marcel Proust se in die literatuur genoem word, is die invloed van sy idees op musiek nie verreken nie. Dit is veral die geheuekonsep, meer spesifiek onwillekeurige geheue, wat deur die Franse komponis, Henri Dutilleux, uitgelig word. Die idee van 'n veranderende persoonlikheid in Proust se roman kan ook in verband gebring word met tematiese transformasie in Dutilleux se musiek. In die eerste helfte van die artikel word gekonsentreer op Proust se geheuekonsep en die koppeling daarvan met Dutilleux se musiek. Tweedens word aangetoon hoe Proust se idee van die veranderende persoonlikheid aan veranderende tematiek in Dutilleux se Sonate vir hobo en klavier (1947) gekoppel kan word. Die uitkristallisering van die hoofidee aan die einde van die sonate het dieselfde effek as die ontdekking van Proust se Verteller aan die einde van die roman, naamlik dat hy 'n roeping het om 'n skrywer te wees.


Although the role of music and musical structures in Marcel Proust's is mentioned in scholarly studies, the influence of his ideas on music has been neglected. It is especially the ideas of time and memory, more specifically involuntary memory that the internationally acclaimed French composer Henri Dutilleux finds attractive. Dutilleux often refers to Proust's influence on his music. Furthermore, they both believe in direct experience and communication as the essential function of the work of art.
The first part of the essay focuses on Proust's ideas regarding memory, a central feature of his great novel . Trying to regain lost time (), the Narrator is in search of his lost past, the past that lives in his deepest, innermost being, his involuntary memory (). Memories provide conceptual structures which facilitate understanding and help the Narrator to come to grips with the real world around him. Apart from the well-known madeleine episode - where the smell of a biscuit dipped into tea immediately recalls his childhood in Combray - the various pathways (with the smells of surrounding shrubs and flowers) he has walked, the people he has known, and the various rooms that feature prominently in his life all represent markers which evoke memories.
Even the incomplete and fragmented understanding of a person or an object does not remain constant in one's memory because the mental images continuously change, although the person or object may remain the same. An idea is never fully formed but slowly evolves in consciousness, establishing a gradual, spiritual evolution. A person is also not fully formed, but changes progressively in the course of time. The idea of the changing personality in Proust's novel can be linked to thematic transformation in Dutilleux's music, a compositional technique which he describes as . The perpetually changing structure of themes represents Proust's idea of the instability of personality or perception in one's memories.
According to Dutilleux, Proust's concept of memory is usually associated with Dutilleux's later works. However, the analysis of his (1947) shows evidence of an early, involuntary manifestation of this association. In the second part of the essay Proust's ideas are linked to the oboe sonata. Although it mentions specific temporal markers which act as a kind of to guide the listener, the analysis concentrates on developing thematic material which can be associated with Proust's idea of the changing personality. Thematic growth is demonstrated in this sonata by the fact that a theme is not introduced at the beginning of the sonata, but originates from a disguised basic cell that perpetually changes as it emerges and grows from this idea. Progressive growth is demonstrated by means of various atriadic trichords (three-note formations) or cells.
Following Proust's novel, at the end of which the Narrator suddenly realizes that it is his vocation to be a writer, the repetitive cell at the end of the sonata is regarded as the basic cell or kernel. Following traditional theoretical practice in which chordal structures are arranged vertically and described from the lowest note upwards, this cell consists of two plus three semitones. At the end of the sonata the cell is arranged melodically in an angular formation. The concluding cell, for example, is C, E flat, B flat. During the course of the sonata various combinations ofvarious permutations of this cell establish the thematic principle.
When tracing thematic progressive growth, the first four bars of the sonata present the main idea, with the basic cell in the centre of the arc-like opening phrase. Various permutations of the basic cell occur at structurally important points. In the introduction of the second movement the basic cell also occurs at the turning point in fast fan-like gestures. The first theme contains permutations of the basic cell. In the second theme the character of the basic cell is eroded by the replacement of one note by an octave and in the third theme an obvious basic cell is ornamented. In the final movement, with its ternary structure, the opening of the main theme consists of another variation of the basic cell in which an augmented segment consisting of five semitones replaces the segment of three semitones. However, after various transformations of the main cell in the course of the sonata, as if to accentuate the eventual crystallization of the main idea, the sonata ends with emphatically accented basic cells in which both its segments are intact, that is the final C, E flat, B flat instead of B flat, F, E flat as at the opening of the final movement.

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/content/akgees/47/2/EJC20028
2007-06-01
2019-08-18

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