Hermeneutics and Creative Process: Roman Vlad’s Reception of Stravinsky

Susanna Pasticci

Abstract


The article focuses on Roman Vlad’s reception of Igor Stravinsky’s work, analyzing in parallel Vlad’s essays on Stravinsky published in the 1950s and his musical compositions written in the same period. In his writings, Vlad repeatedly underlines the centrality of the sacred in Stravinsky's work, a rather original interpretation, which is unique in the critical debate of the time. During those same years, the sacred acquired great importance also in his musical compositions. The creative process of these works is documented by many drafts, sketches and preliminary versions held in the Fondo Roman Vlad of the historical archive of the Giorgio Cini Foundation. The analysis focuses on Vlad's Cinque elegie (1950-52) and Le ciel est vide (III Cantata) (1952-53). In both works, Vlad uses the same three-tone motive based on intervals of semitone and whole-tone moving in opposite directions: a very flexible device, that allows him to generate a large number of dodecaphonic series. On the other hand, three to four-tone motives based on intervals of semitone and whole-tone are among the most recurring devices in all Stravinsky's music: a predilection that probably comes from his octatonic routine. Through the use of a generative technique based on the proliferation of the three-tone motive, Vlad achieves in his sacred works a strongly symbolic interpretation of the textual content, which is realized with very similar procedures to those he highlighted in his analysis of Stravinsly's sacred music.

Keywords


Vlad; Stravinsky; reception

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