Systematized Equivocation


Harold Meltzer's Doria Pamphili will open my upcomig Parma CD.

The sequence of encounters with the word "equivocal" is important in this case.

I wrote this for the notes, about a month ago:

“Doria Pamphili” develops seamlessly, loops back on itself. The opening theme appears two more times at the end, three times all told. Call the second appearance a false recap. (In measure 81) It is oddly twisted, the D natural on the guitar’s open fourth string working against the D# in the tune. It’s a gentle moment. It’s not really sad, not tormented. Perhaps we might say it is deeply equivocal? Details in the heart of the work are arranged just so, in order to make this moment believable.

Last night I was paging through "Music and Morality in Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse", by Gw Fieldm, where I read--

Adrian Leverkühn, the hero of Mann's Dr. Faustus, find that "music is systematized equicocation".

That's all.

I don't like quoting Leverkühn. I have never felt the need to prove Leverkühn prophetic about anything, but here I find Meltzer proving Leverkühn right, and must admit that the theme -- the leitmotif of equivocation -- is utterly organic.

I read Dr. Faustus about 20 years ago. Time to re-read.

Here, in "Doria Pamphili" is the new, seamless, Meltzer. "Brion" -- nested arch forms, the stones always arching back to the pastoral scenethat appears three times, crepuscular at the end.

It occurred to me recently that Lang's Little Match Girl has a similar quality. It accrues in discrete stones. I was delighted to find Lang making sections with a very striking and unique sound. It might even be possible to say that each section is. redolent of a set class.

Share Post
Subscribe Now!