Published on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 16:11
Written by Bruce Gale
First Subject Again!
The composer wastes no time launching into the first subject. As is usual in sonata form, it appears in the original tonic (A). Note the light staccato bass line. It thus has more in common with section 3 than section 4.
Section 32 forms the transition between the first and second subject. Here we hear the little theme that first appeared in the latter half of the first subject in the exposition.
Section 33 begins with an important modulation. Using the by now familiar bII-I jazz sequence (in this case the chords of Bb and A major) the key changes and the second subject begins (played by the saxophones once again). Note that it is in A major, not E major as in the exposition. This is a fairly standard practice in sonata form. We also have Gorb’s usual interlude before the melody returns in the flutes and clarinets (section 35).
Note the interrupted cadence at the allargando. By this time the music has moved into B minor. The music here is probably more difficult to play than it looks. The tuba part (concert A and B) should come through clearly to enhance the cadential feel.
In section 37 we are reminded once more of the second subject by the dying sounds of the stopped horns.
This passage is built over a Bmajor7b5 (add 9) chord. A beautifully sad sound! Make sure all notes can be heard. The switch from C to D in the first trombones (which appears just after the poco rit.) removes the ninth and gives the chord a sort of resolution. It is almost as if some of the sadness and melancholy engendered by the chord has been removed. This prepares us psychologically for the more exciting music that is to come.
First subject again!
At the a tempo, the rhythm is reminiscent of the first subject. This impression is reinforced by the accompaniment in the woodwinds. The music appears to be in the Phrygian mode with A as the tonic. Notice how parts are added and the excitement builds right up to bar 358 before the composer greets us with complete silence – something totally unexpected! I think we should lengthen this silence a little for dramatic effect.
This is followed by a sort of jazz cadential formula (bII-bV-bI or Bb-Eb-Ab) in whole and half notes which gives the impression of a key change without actually making one (A is still the tonic):
Notice the different treatment of the whole notes (trumpets and upper trombones) and the half notes (lower trombones, tenor tuba and tuba). The whole notes are to be performed tenuto (played full value or even longer), while the half notes are accented. In any event, the section should not be rushed.
We are then thrown (almost literally!) into the blazing power of the first subject. This should be full of energy and highly rhythmical, even more than it was at the beginning when the first subject was introduced. Section 39 (the last part of the development section) is actually based on an extended tonic seventh chord (A7). The tonic seventh has long been a favourite of jazz pianists at the final cadence. Note how the upper woodwinds keep returning to the concert G. This is the note that gives the chord its character. At a distance of nearly four octaves, the G in the upper woodwinds is the 15th overtone of the fundamental (in this case A in the bass).