The Musical Rhetoric of the Polish Baroque
4. From Figure to Form
Figure 81B: B. Pękiel: II. Missa senza le cerimonie. Agnus, vocal voices, mm. 7–15
Różycki employs a descending progression of five semitones (A–G#3–G3–F#3–F–E), combined with suspensions of a second between the basso continuo and second violin on the first beats of mm. 91, 92, and 93, which implies an expressive quality contrasting with the diatonic and consonant surrounding sections. Pękiel’s semitonal progression is less expansive, but through repetition on another degree (C4–B3–B♭3–A3 in the bass of choir 2, mm. 7–9, and D3–C#3–C3–B2 in the bass of choir 1, mm. 11–13), it becomes a clearly expressive setting. That expression is further deepened by harmonic sevenths between the extreme voices (mm. 8 and 12), subtly ornamenting the harmonic progression and adding a melancholic air to the whole. This pathopoeia is the only Polish example of combining a chromatic progression with the cori spezzati technique.197 ← 151 | 152 →
We shall discuss other chromatic progressions later in the context of the mutual relation between figures and musical form. For the time being, in order to complete the currently discussed picture, we shall demonstrate a few more phenomena of alterations that do not belong to chromaticism in the strict sense but are closely related to it, as well as to the expression type and semantic aspects of the pathopoeia and passus duriusculus figures.
Relatively frequent phenomena include melodic steps in which the...
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