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Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti
2016, iss. 4, pp. 94-109
article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
doi:10.5937/ZbAkUm1604094Z

Creative Commons License 4.0
There is also a story in Lutosławski: Narrative archetypes in the first movement of Witold Lutosławski's second symphony
University of Arts, Faculty of Music Arts

Abstract

Narrativity in music is seldom connected to the compositions based on aleatoric procedures and the use of sound masses. Yet, it can be demonstrated that the first movement of Witold Lutosławski's Second Symphony projects a meaningful set of relations which is later called into question and reconfigured, thus meeting at least some of the conditions for narratological approach. The attention is focused on the tone pitch parameter and in that sense it can be noticed that the movement is founded on the alternation of twelve-note aggregate and symmetrical, all-combinatorial hexachord 012678. This description suggests invariance, the lack of directed movement, since both tonal arrays are characterised by a high level of entropy. In spite of this, there is a clear effort to achieve a directed movement, as a result of the procedures used to organise tonal pitches, and, especially, as a result of the treatment of hexachords. The paper will investigate how the flow of events in this movement can be related to the system of mythos - the archetypal narrative categories - as were first defined by the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye, and adjusted for musical narrative by Byron Almén. The system is based on the intersection of the two fundamental opposites: defeat/victory and order/disorder, resulting in four categories: comedy, romance, irony/satire and tragedy. No matter how paradoxical it may seem, it is the abovementioned entropy that can be considered as the initial order, and its disorder is achieved by attempts to establish directed movement. The ambivalence of archetypal categories and their interweaving is not uncommon in the narrative process. Therefore, the possibility of various interpretations of narrative trajectory will be discussed.

Keywords

Lutosławski; narrative; archetype; model of completing; Almén

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