Quaderni dell'Istituto Liszt Visualizza ingrandito

“Versuch über die wahre Art”, Liszt zu analysieren (Faust-Symphonie)

Autore Rossana Dalmonte
Curatela Rossana Dalmonte
Collana Quaderni dell'Istituto Liszt
N. 18
Dimensioni 15×21, pp. 132 (9–34)
Anno 2018
ISBN 9788870969559

This paper — now enlarged for publication — was presented in Weimar on October 20, 2011 during the Conference “Der ganze Liszt — Liszt Interpretationen”, promoted by Prof. Dr. Detlef Altenburg, who suggested the theme and the title to the author. According to this reliable suggestion the author tries to analyse painstakingly just one aspect of the immense work: the first eleven measures and their development throughout the whole piece. Being impossible to give a complete account of the literature on the Faust-Symphony which has been produced over the past 150 years, the author decides to discuss just some important essays written in the last decades of the past century, and particularly the different interpretations of the first eleven bars, and tries to demonstrate that there is no musical basis for interpreting the initial bars of the Symphony as an “Introduction” distinctly divided from the main body of the work. On the contrary, the eleven bars offer some important “thematic material” that Liszt develops throughout the whole piece in different ways. The 11 bars are divided into five cells, then put into Tables where each of their appearances has been described by the indication of timbre, dynamics, agogics, rhythm and mood in all three parts of the Symphony. As a result of the analysis the author maintains that the principal features of the Symphony are not to be identified in sonata form, albeit not regular, but that Liszt’s goal was to try a new, more open form of the symphonic discourse. The viewpoint adopted here suggests the relevance of the principle of the “developing variation” and the presence of some features typical of “Organicism”, an important metaphor of the Romantic aesthetics.

Keywords: Faust Symphony, initial Motto, thematic development, Organicism, developing variation.