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7— Part II: Pitch Structure
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Greater complexity is generally ascribed to the six movements constituting Part II of The Rite . In the current view, this has principally to do with a more intimately paced relationship among the three transpositions of the octatonic collection. Contexts of transpositional purity (confined, that is, to a single collection) are of course still to be found. Shown in Example 61 in Chapter 6, the blocks at nos. 132 and 134 in the "Ritual Action of the Ancestors," where Collection I's (C image B A imageimage) (G F E D) tritone-related tetrachords are superimposed within a C image-D vertical span, are as explicitly octatonic as any in this music. And the Collection II bar at no. 106 + 1 in the "Glorification of the Chosen One," shown here in Example 69, exposes the partitioning units of The Rite in a blunt, primitive fashion. Indeed, as was discussed in connection with Examples 65 and 66 in Chapter 6, there is little difficulty in tracing these units to the end of the "Sacrifical Dance" at nos. 186–201. Nonetheless, following subsequent repeats of the  image bar in the "Glorification," there occurs a sequence of 0–5/6, 11 verticals. And since these verticals relate to one another not by the intervals of 3, 6, or 9 (as would be necessary if the succession were confined to a single octatonic collection, one transpositional level), but delineate a 2-2-2-1 succession (with set affiliations shown below in Example 69), referentially, the formulae pursued thus far clearly carry a flexibility beyond that encountered in Part I.[1]


Example 69:
"Glorification of the Chosen One"

It is as though the composer, having exposed an explicit octatonic hand in Part I, felt the necessity of venturing a bit further in Part II, upping the octatonic coherence stakes, as it were.

These implications are apparent in the very first measures of Part II's Introduction. Reproduced in Example 70, two minor triads, (E imageimageimage) and (C image E G image) in the clarinets and flutes, move back and forth over a sustained (D F A) triad in the horns.[2] And like the verticals in Example 69, the relationship defined fails to con-


Example 70:

form to the octatonically conceived (0, 3, 6, 9) arrangement. It is, rather, a 1-1-1 relationship, which means that each triad will refer to a different octatonic collection. These, too, are circumstances that do not readily lend themselves to an octatonic interpretation.

Yet when the configuration at no. 79 is heard and understood in relation to what follows, there is no mistaking its octatonic purpose. The oscillating (E imageimageimage) (C image E G image) triads in the upper parts define an alternation between Collections III and I, the (E imageimageimage) triad referring to Collection III, (C image E G image) to Collection I. And it is to this Collection III–Collection I alternation that succeeding measures and blocks in this introductory section conspicuously refer.

In the  image measure directly following no. 79, shown in Example 71, Collection III's (E imageimageimage) triad remains fixed on the beat, while Collection I's contribution expands beyond (C image E G image) to include (B imageimage F) and (E G B)—triads that are (0, 3, 6, 9)-related to (C image E G image), and so remain confined to Collection I. This Collection I expansion is underscored by the progression from the octave A to (B imageimage F) in the strings, and then by the (E G image B D) dominant seventh in the bass. Moreover, these collectional shifts are patterned metrically. Collection III's (E imageimageimage) triad assumes a strong or downbeat identity, while Collection I's expansion unfolds either off the beat or on the upbeat.

The scheme perseveres at no. 79 + 5 (again, see Example 71). The (E imageimageimage) triad remains fixed on the first and third quarter-note beats of the  image measure, while Collection I's minor triads at C image, B image, and E are sandwiched in between. Then, in the lengthy progression beginning at no. 82 + 1, Example 72, the bass rises from the D to an A. And the shifts are here stretched to  image measures for each collection. The Collection I (B imageimage F) (E G B) minor triads at no. 82 + 2 are followed in the succeeding measure by Collection III's (C E image G) (A C E) (F image A C image) triads, which


Example 71:

are in turn followed by the Collection I triads at no. 82 + 4. And, as earlier at no. 79 + 5, the bass line reinforces these Collection III–Collection I shifts with dominant sevenths on E and G (for Collection I) and on F image (for Collection III). From an initial triadic configuration seemingly without octatonic qualifications, an octatonic cohesion is thus brought to bear on the passage as a whole, and in the form here of a carefully patterned alternation between the minor triads and dominant sevenths of Collection III and those of Collection I.

A different version of the chordal progression at no. 82 appears later, at no. 161 in the "Sacrificial Dance." From what may be gathered from two separate entries on pages 85 and 104 of the sketchbook,[3] the progression was originally intended for the concluding "sacrifice" alone. Indeed, as with the "Augurs of Spring" chord (see Example 59 in Chapter 6), this idea may have been conceived in advance of the


Example 72:

sketchbook. Transcribed in Examples 73a and 73b are two early sketches from a separate notebook,[4] which may be compared to the sketchbook's version of the progression on page 104 (Example 73c), and then to the two final versions as found


Figure 4:
Early sketches of the chordal progression at nos. 82 and 161 in the Introduction and "Sacrificial 
Dance." These are taken from the separate notebook dating from 1912 to 1918. 
Courtesy of the Paul Sacher Foundation.

at no. 82 in the Introduction (Example 72) and at no. 161 in the "Sacrificial Dance" (Example 73d).[5] Notice that the contrary motion of the diatonic outer parts was not initially part of the conception, and that only three chords in the two early sketches in Examples 73a and 73b survive in the two final versions of the Introduction and the "Sacrificial Dance."

Most remarkable, however, is the manner in which the progression was re-


Example 73

composed with a view toward the referential conditions as surveyed already apropos of the opening measures of the Introduction. In his own brief survey of these early sketches, Robert Craft has called attention to the "evolution in harmonic content" and to the manner in which the composer "gravitated, instinctively and unconsciously, toward The Rite 's fundamental combinations."[6] This is clear from an


octatonic standpoint. For although five of the seven chords of the sketchbook version are octatonic, these refer to Collections I, II, and III. Following the initial (D F A) triad in the recomposed version for the Introduction, however (see Example 72), the succession is committed solely to Collections I and III, with each  image measure implying one of these two collections. Moreover, the disposition of the rising dominant sevenths in the bass remains fixed and derives from the (E G image B D) chord at no. 79 + 1. The A of the dominant seventh at no. 82 + 4 refers to Collection III, while the remaining pitches of this vertical, including the succession of minor triads above, refer to Collection I. In other words, as a triadic unit, the dominant seventh on A refers specifically to Collection III, but only its root is foreign to Collection I and the broader implications of this latter commitment at no. 82 + 4. In Example 72 the brackets single out A as an "outside" element, a procedure applied in Examples 73a–73d, and earlier, in Example 65, as well.

Of course, the Khorovod tune of the Introduction, for which the sustained A and the (D F A) triad at no. 79 are a preparation, has been overlooked. And the Collection II implications of these components are occasionally evident. Example 74 shows one of the several variants of this tune. Introduced at no. 84, a Collection II chord alternates with others implying Collections III and I. Most important, however, is this tune's B image-E tritone boundary, which refers back to the initial (E imageimageimage) (C image E G image) triadic configuration at no. 79. Indeed, with the appearance of the two trumpet fragments at no. 86 and then of the superimposition of these fragments over reiterating 0–5, 11 verticals in the strings at no. 86 + 3, the Collection III—Collection I bond is further solidified—and here, as earlier in the Introduction, with the specifics of the bond directly traceable to the triadic configuration at no. 79.

Thus, as shown on the left side in Example 75, the upper part of the initial configuration consists of a B image-E tritone motion that refers to both Collection III and Collection I (although B image and E are not among the (0, 3, 6, 9) symmetrically defined partitioning elements for Collection III, as they are for Collection I). Beginning with the unison B image at no. 86 + 1, the second trumpet completes this B image-E interval by way of a (0 2 3 5) tetrachordal delineation in terms of (B imageimage G F) and then by a conclusion on E, the entire B image-A image-G-F-E succession accountable to Collection I. Moreover, the accompanying B image-C image reiteration of the first trumpet, with C image (B) as pitch number 11 in relation to B image, also refers to Collection I, the complete succession now B-B image-A image-G-F-E. Nevertheless, as these two fragments draw to a close, the terminating C in the first trumpet together with the (C E G) triadic outline refer not to Collection I but to Collection III. (In other words, the C upsets the 1-2-1-2-1 ordering in terms of B-B image-A image-G-F-E. A C image (D image), instead of the C, would have ensured this ordering's continuance, and hence continued confinement here to Collection I.) Hence the shift at this point from Collection


Example 74:

Example 75:

I to Collection III, a shift duly confirmed by the entrance of the reiterating 0–5, 11 verticals at no. 86 + 3.

Shown in Example 76, these verticals also derive in straightforward fashion from the initial configuration at no. 79. Embedded in the configuration, below the B image-E tritone motion in the upper parts, are the verticalized intervals of 5, two fourths (D image/A image and E image/B image) that move back and forth. The D image/A image fourth, being part of the initial (C image E G image) triad, refers to Collection I; E image/B image, being part of (E imageimageimage), refers to Collection III. And the Collection I—Collection III implications of these fourths are neatly synchronized with those of the two trumpet fragments: D image/A image relates to the B-B image-A image-G-F-E succession of Collection I, E image/B image relates to the C and the (C E G) triad of Collection III. Furthermore, a pitch number 11 is added to both fourths, yielding the familiar 0–5, 11 vertical span in terms of D image-A image, D for Collection I, and E image-B image, E for Collection III. Finally, in the climactic block at no. 87, shown in Example 77, the (0, 3) relationship between superimposed fragments, so prominent a feature in Part I, also surfaces: a lower (B image D F) triad is added to Collection I's D image-A image, D span, while (C E G) accompanies E image-B image,


Example 76:

E. The second trumpet's (B imageimage G F) tetrachord is of course (0, 3)—related to D image-A image, D. Hence within this intimately paced alternation between Collections I and III, stemming initially from the triadic configuration at no. 79, the principal articulative units and their characteristic dispositions, as examined in Part I, are conspicuously brought to the fore.

Still, the harmonic distinction between Collections I and III, carefully paced and patterned in the preparatory measures at no. 86, is eventually obscured at no. 87 + 1. And this is principally a rhythmic issue. For as is frequently the case with the climactic settings of The Rite , the construction at nos. 87–89 conforms in general outline to the second of the two rhythmic types as detailed in Chapter 4. The fragments, lines or parts, fixed registrally and instrumentally in repetition, are brought together in a final, tutti summation; they repeat according to periods or cycles that vary independently of one another, and hence effect a vertical or harmonic coincidence that is constantly changing. And given the inevitable overlapping in period-duration, the initial harmonic synchronization as introduced at no. 86 + 3 will not hold, and the fragments implicating Collection I will fuse with those implicating Collection III. At no. 87 + 2, Collection III's E image-B image, E span enters prior to the clarinet's C, while Collection III's (C E G) triad in the flutes is a separate layer, superimposed over Collection I's contribution. Moreover, in place of the steady meter generally applied to constructions of this kind, the meter at nos. 87–89 shifts among  image , and  image in reflecting the varying periods defined by the reiterating fragments in the clarinets and horn (fragments first introduced by the trumpets at no. 86). And although a steady  image meter is imposed at no. 88 as these two fragments reach a stable duration of three quarter-note beats, the conflict is never entirely resolved, as the periods of the remaining fragments continue to overlap one another.

A condensed layout of the scheme appears in Example 78. The first of the three


Example 77

layers shows the successive repeats of the (C E G) triad in the flutes, the second layer those of the clarinet-horn fragments, and the third layer those of the reiterating 0–5, 11 verticals in the strings. In sum, the overlapping in period duration, together with the gradual harmonic fusion between Collections I and III, promote a truly remarkable richness in sound at nos. 87–89, in keeping with the climactic character of the passage and with the specifics of the collectional shifts as introduced earlier in this movement.


Example 78:

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