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German Leitmotiv, lit. – leading motive

Relatively short music. turnover (b. h. melody, sometimes a melody with harmonization assigned to a certain instrument, etc.; in some cases, a separate harmony or sequence of harmonies, a rhythmic figure, an instrumental timbre), repeatedly repeated throughout the music. prod. and serving as a designation and characteristic of a certain person, object, phenomenon, emotion, or abstract concept (L., expressed by harmony, sometimes called leitharmony, expressed by timbre – leittimbre, etc.). L. is most often used in musical theater. genres and software instr. music. It has become one of the most important expressions. funds in the 1st half. 19th century The term itself came into use somewhat later. It is usually attributed to him. philologist G. Wolzogen, who wrote about Wagner’s operas (1876); in fact, even before Wolzogen, the term “L.” applied by F. W. Jens in his work on K. M. Weber (1871). Despite the inaccuracy and conventionality of the term, it quickly spread and gained recognition not only in musicology, but also in everyday life, becoming a household word for the dominant, constantly repeating moments in human activity, surrounding life phenomena, etc.

In the music prod. along with the expressive-semantic function, the language also performs a constructive (thematically unifying, formative) function. Similar tasks until the 19th century. usually resolved separately in decomp. music genres: means of vivid characteristics typical. situations and emotional states were developed in the opera of the 17th-18th centuries, while the conduction of a single muses was through and through. themes were used even in ancient polyphonics. forms (see Cantus firmus). The principle of linearity was already outlined in one of the earliest operas (Monteverdi’s Orfeo, 1607), but was not developed in subsequent operatic compositions due to the crystallization of isolated woks in opera music. forms of conc. plan. Repetitions musical-thematic constructions, divided by other thematic. material, met only in isolated cases (some operas by J. B. Lully, A. Scarlatti). Only in con. 18th century L.’s reception is gradually formed in the late operas of W. A. ​​Mozart and in the operas of the French. composers of the era of the Great French. revolutions – A. Gretry, J. Lesueur, E. Megul, L. Cherubini. The true history of L. begins in the period of development of the muses. romanticism and is associated primarily with it. romantic opera (E. T. A. Hoffmann, K. M. Weber, G. Marschner). At the same time, L. becomes one of the means of implementing the main. the ideological content of the opera. Thus, the confrontation between light and dark forces in Weber’s opera The Free Gunner (1821) was reflected in the development of cross-cutting themes and motifs, united in two contrasting groups. R. Wagner, developing the principles of Weber, applied the line of lines in the opera The Flying Dutchman (1842); the climaxes of the drama are marked by the appearance and interaction of the leitmotifs of the Dutchman and Senta, symbolizing the same time. “curse” and “redemption”.

Dutch leitmotif.

Leitmotif of Senta.

The most important merit of Wagner was the creation and development of muses. dramaturgy, esp. on the L system. It received its most complete expression in his later music. dramas, especially in the tetralogy “Ring of the Nibelungen”, where obscure muses. images are almost completely absent, and L. not only reflect the key moments of dramas. actions, but also permeate the entire musical, preim. orchestral, fabric They announce the appearance of heroes on the stage, “reinforce” the verbal mention of them, reveal their feelings and thoughts, anticipate further events; sometimes polyphonic. the connection or sequence of L. reflect the causal relationships of events; in the picturesque-depict. episodes (the woods of the Rhine, the element of fire, the rustle of the forest), they turn into background figurations. Such a system, however, was fraught with a contradiction: the oversaturation of L.’s music weakened the impact of each of them and complicated the perception of the whole. Modern To Wagner, composers and his followers avoided the excessive complexity of the L system. The significance of linearity was recognized by most composers of the 19th century, who often came to the use of linearity independently of Wagner. France in the 20s and 30s 19th century each new stage in the development of the opera shows a gradual but steady rise in dramaturgy. the roles of L. (J. Meyerbeer – C. Gounod – J. Wiese – J. Massenet – C. Debussy). In Italy they are independent. G. Verdi took a position in relation to L.: he preferred to express only the center with the help of L.. the idea of ​​the opera and refused to use the system of linearity (with the exception of Aida, 1871). L. acquired greater importance in the operas of the verists and G. Puccini. In Russia, the principles of music-thematic. repeats back in the 30s. developed by M. I. Glinka (opera “Ivan Susanin”). To rather wide use of L. come to the 2nd floor. 19th century P. I. Tchaikovsky, M. P. Mussorgsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. Some of the latter’s operas were noted for their creativity. the implementation of Wagnerian principles (especially Mlada, 1890); at the same time, he introduces a lot of new things into the interpretation of L. – into their formation and development. Russian classics generally renounce the extremes of the Wagnerian system.

An attempt to use the principle of linearity in ballet music was already made by A. Adam in Giselle (1841), but L. Delibes’s system of linearity was used especially fruitfully in Coppélia (1870). L.’s role is also significant in Tchaikovsky’s ballets. The specificity of the genre put forward another problem of cross-cutting dramaturgy – choreographic. L. In the ballet Giselle (ballet dancer J. Coralli and J. Perrot), a similar function is performed by the so-called. pas ballot. The problem of close interaction between choreographic and musical dances was successfully solved in Sov. ballet (Spartacus by A. I. Khachaturian – L. V. Yakobson, Yu. N. Grigorovich, Cinderella by S. S. Prokofiev – K. M. Sergeev, etc.).

In instr. L. music began to be widely used also in the 19th century. The impact of music t-ra played an important role in this, but did not rule it out. role. Technique of conducting through the whole play k.-l. characteristic motif was developed by another French. harpsichordists of the 18th century. (“The Cuckoo” by K. Daken and others) and was raised to a higher level by the Viennese classics (1st part of Mozart’s symphony “Jupiter”). Developing these traditions in relation to more purposeful and clearly expressed ideological concepts, L. Beethoven came close to the principle of L. (the Appassionata sonata, part 1, the Egmont overture, and especially the 5th symphony).

The Fantastic Symphony by G. Berlioz (1830) was of fundamental importance for the approval of L. in the program symphony, in which a melodious melody passes through all 5 parts, sometimes changing, designated in the author’s program as the “beloved theme”:

Used in a similar way, L. in the symphony “Harold in Italy” (1834) by Berlioz is supplemented by the timbre characteristic of the hero (solo viola). As a conditional “portrait” of the main. character, L. firmly established himself in the symphony. prod. program-plot type (“Tamara” by Balakirev, “Manfred” by Tchaikovsky, “Til Ulenspiegel” by R. Strauss, etc.). In Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade suite (1888), the formidable Shahriar and gentle Scheherazade are depicted by means of contrasting lines, but in a number of cases, as the composer himself points out, these are thematic. elements serve purely constructive purposes, losing their “personalized” character.

Leitmotif of Shahriar.

Leitmotif of Scheherazade.

The main part of the I movement (“Sea”).

Side part of Part I.

The anti-Wagnerian and anti-romantic movements, which intensified after the First World War of 1-1914. tendencies markedly reduced the fundamental dramaturgy. the role of L. At the same time, he retained the value of one of the means of cross-cutting muses. development. Many can serve as an example. outstanding products. dec. genres: the operas Wozzeck by Berg and War and Peace by Prokofiev, the oratorio Joan of Arc at the stake by Honegger, the ballets Petrushka by Stravinsky, Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, Shostakovich’s 18th symphony, etc.

The wealth of experience accumulated in the field of application of L. for almost two centuries, allows us to characterize its most important features. L. is preim. instr. means, although it can also sound in a wok. parts of operas and oratorios. In the latter case, L. is only a wok. melody, while in instr. (orchestral) form, the degree of its concreteness and figurative character increases due to harmony, polyphony, a wider register and dynamic. range, as well as specific. instr. timbre. Orc. L., supplementing and explaining what was said in words or not expressed at all, becomes especially effective. Such is the appearance of L. Siegfried in the finale of “The Valkyrie” (when the hero was not yet born and not named by name) or the sound of L. Ivan the Terrible in that scene of the opera “The Maid of Pskov”, where we are talking about Olga’s unknown father. The significance of such L. in depicting the psychology of the hero is very great, for example. in the 4th scene of the opera The Queen of Spades, where L. Countess, interrupted by pauses,

reflects at the same time. Herman’s desire to immediately know the fatal secret and his hesitation.

For the sake of the necessary correspondence between the music and the actions of L., they are often carried out in the conditions of a completely clear stage performance. situations. A reasonable combination of through and non-through images contributes to a more prominent selection of L.

Functions L., in principle, can perform decomp. music elements. languages, taken separately (leitharmonies, leittimbres, leittonality, leitrhythms), but their interaction is most typical under the dominance of melodic. beginning (cross-cutting theme, phrase, motive). Relates brevity – natural. a condition for the convenient involvement of L. in the general music. development. It is not uncommon for L., expressed by an initially completed theme, to be further divided into separate. elements that independently perform the functions of a through characteristic (this is typical of Wagner’s leitmotif technique); a similar crushing of L. is also found in instr. music – in symphonies, in which the main theme of the 1st movement in a shortened form plays the role of L. in the further parts of the cycle (Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony and Dvorak’s 9th Symphony). There is also a reverse process, when a bright cross-cutting theme is gradually formed from a separate section. precursor elements (typical for the methods of Verdi and Rimsky-Korsakov). As a rule, L. requires a particularly concentrated expressiveness, a pointed characteristic, which ensures easy recognition throughout the work. The last condition limits the modifications of linearity, in contrast to the methods of monothematic. transformations of F. List and his followers.

In the music theater. prod. each L., as a rule, is introduced at the moment when its meaning immediately becomes clear thanks to the corresponding wok text. parties, the characteristics of the situation and the behavior of the characters. In symph. music clarification of the meaning of L. is the author’s program or otd. author’s instructions about the main intent. The absence of visual and verbal reference points in the course of music development severely limits the application of L.

The brevity and vivid character of L. usually determine its special position in the tradition. music forms, where he rarely plays the role of one of the indispensable components of the form (the rondo refrain, the main theme of the sonata Allegro), but more often it unexpectedly invades decomp. its sections. At the same time, in free compositions, recitative scenes and major works. theatre. plan, taken as a whole, L. can play an important formative role, providing them with musical-thematic. unity.

References: Rimsky-Korsakov HA, “The Snow Maiden” – a spring tale (1905), “RMG”, 1908, No 39/40; his own, Wagner and Dargomyzhsky (1892), in his book: Musical articles and notes, 1869-1907, St. Petersburg, 1911 (full text of both articles, Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 2 and 4, M., 1960 -63); Asafiev B.V., Musical form as a process, M., 1930, (together with book 2), L., 1963; Druskin M. S., Questions of the musical dramaturgy of the opera, L., 1952; Yarustovsky B. M., Dramaturgy of Russian opera classics, M., 1952, 1953; Sokolov O., Leitmotifs of the opera “Pskovityanka”, in collection: Proceedings of the Department of Music Theory, Moscow. conservatory, vol. 1, Moscow, 1960; Protopopov Vl., “Ivan Susanin” Glinka, M., 1961, p. 242-83; Bogdanov-Berezovsky V. M., Articles about ballet, L., 1962, p. 48, 73-74; Wagner R., Oper und Drama, Lpz., 1852; the same, Sämtliche Schriften und Dichtung (Volksausgabe), Bd 3-4, Lpz., (oj) (Russian translation – Opera and Drama, M., 1906); his, Eine Mitteilung an meine Freunde (1851), ibid., Bd 4, Lpz., (oj); his own, bber die Anwendung der Musik auf das Drama, ibid., Bd 10, Lpz., (oj) (in Russian translation – On the application of music to drama, in his collection: Selected articles, M., 1935 ); Federlein G., Lber “Rheingold” von R. Wagner. Versuch einer musikalischen Interpretation, “Musikalisches Wochenblatt”, 1871, (Bd) 2; Jdhns Fr. W., C. M. Weber in seinen Werken, B., 1871; Wolzogen H. von, Motive in R. Wagners “Siegfried”, “Musikalisches Wochenblatt”, 1876, (Bd) 7; his, Thematischer Leitfaden durch die Musik zu R. Wagners Festspiel “Der Ring der Nibelungen”, Lpz., 1876; his own, Motive in Wagners “Götterdämmerung”, “Musikalisches Wochenblatt”, 1877-1879, (Bd) 8-10; Haraszti E., Le problime du Leitmotiv, “RM”, 1923, (v.) 4; Abraham G., The Leitmotiv since Wagner, “ML”, 1925, (v.) 6; Bernet-Kempers K. Th., Herinneringsmotieven leitmotieven, grondthemas, Amst. — P., 1929; Wörner K., Beiträge zur Geschichte des Leitmotivs in der Oper, ZfMw, 1931, Jahrg. 14, H. 3; Engländer R., Zur Geschichte des Leitmotivs, “ZfMw”, 1932, Jahrg. 14, H. 7; Matter J., La fonction psychologique du leitmotiv wagnerien, “SMz”, 1961, (Jahrg.) 101; Mainka J., Sonatenform, Leitmotiv und Charakterbegleitung, “Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft”, 1963, Jahrg. 5, H. 1.

G. V. Krauklis

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