When the student begins to practice the polytonal
sections, it will be beneficial to to practice hands separately to give the student a firm harmonic aural foundation that can be expanded when the hands are played together.
The highlight of chapter 6, "Polytonality, Counterpoint, and Instrumentation," is Kelly's emphasis on the often-overlooked composer Charles Koechlin, whom she credits with inspiring Milhaud to grant instrumentation a crucial role in the polytonal
juxtaposition of horizontal lines.
I enjoyed the artful use of pedal points against freely polytonal
filagree decoration, and--most importantly, given one's traditional stereotype of the viola--the extroverted, flamboyant, high-tessitura role of the soloist.
Like the polytonal
Bluebeard's Castle, Erwartung is a work that brings earlier portraits of unbalanced women -from Isolde to Salome and Electra - into realms excavated by Freud, Schoenberg's Viennese contemporary.
Still, as Beaumarchais's Rosine is caught in a complex web of deceit, sin, and remorse, so Milhaud's polytonal
texture may be an effective means of depicting the character's multilayered emotional makeup.
The Presto second movement is a light, atmospheric scherzo descended from Felix Mendelssohn, and the polytonal
passage-work in varying subdivisions presents a significant technical challenge.
The violin line is the voice of the flower, and the piano part creates the mood of the poem in delicate, shimmering polytonal
chords and arpeggio figurations, mostly in the treble clef except for some grounding bass octaves.
In Milhaud's orchestral work, Spanish rhythms are placed in a polytonal
setting, much like "Sobre las olas.
Falla's so-called "theory of resonance--harmonic development through the derivation and juxtaposition of harmonic aggregates called "superpositions"--was not only applied by Rodolfo in his polytonal
phase, but blatantly assumed a prominent position in some of his dodecaphonic writing when he combined bitonality with a liberal usage of the twelve-tone technique.
In fact, the cross-pollination that our musical arts have been heir to during the last decade or so has made for considerable excitement, especially when coupled with a new and more relaxed climate that has broken down hard-and-fast barriers between such previously unbridgeable forms as "serious," "entertainment," "folk/ethnic," and "theater" music, early and electronically altered music, and the various guises of tonal, polytonal
, microtonal, and nontonal music.
Mawer discusses Milhaud's reputation as a polytonal
composer, arguing that polytonality is a theoretical impossibility in Schenkerian terms.
Cope includes consideration of traditional tonal techniques such as modulation and altered chords and their effects in a polytonal