AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

On the Poetics of Nonlinear Time: Dallapiccola's Canti di Liberazione

by Sabrina Rashelle Clarke

Institution: Temple University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Music; Literature; Philosophy;
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2133704
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,384804


Music Composition The final piece of Dallapiccola’s “protest triptych” responding to Mussolinian fascism, Canti di Liberazione (1955) shows Dallapiccola’s abiding interest in author James Joyce’s work through its literary-inspired “simultaneity” and compositional strategies that suggest mixed temporalities (diverse temporal modes). This connection has significant implications on both the temporal and narrative forces at play within the work. Incorporating the work of philosophers such as Bergson and Adorno, I situate nonlinearity within the context of twentieth-century cultural life. Following Kern, I discuss the juxtaposition of distinct temporalities (simultaneity) in work such as Joyce’s Ulysses, which Dallapiccola adored, in addition to providing an overview of simultaneity in music. Next, I draw from Kramer and Reiner in examining the manifestations of linearity and nonlinearity in music. I explain how intertextuality has nonlinear implications and invites hermeneutic interpretation. Following Brown, I identify different types of symbolism and quotation in the work. Motivic elements such as the BACH cryptogram, musical references to Canti di Prigionia and Il Prigioniero, and structural symbolism such as palindromic gestures, are all crucial components of Liberazione’s unique temporal nexus. I explain how Dallapiccola’s intertextuality and compositional devices (such as retrograde, cross-partitioning, motivic recurrence, and rhythmic figuration) parallel Joyce’s techniques in Ulysses. Finally, I present a temporal analysis of Liberazione. Drawing from Kramer, I show how characteristics such as stepwise pitch relationships, homophony, and triadic gestures suggest linearity, while pedal points, “floating rhythm,” proportions, and polarity present nonlinearity. Moreover, I demonstrate how mixed temporalities (more than one temporal mode) operate within the work, and how linearity and nonlinearity exist at different structural levels. I explain how the recurring 01 dyad—a motivic minor second or major seventh—also manifests in the background stepwise descent of the work (F# to F), subverting the narrative transcendence of the conclusion. Ultimately, I categorize the work as an example of Kramer’s multiply-directed linear time, given its structural pitch connections and goal-directed teleology. Temple University – Theses Advisors/Committee Members: Folio, Cynthia;, Klein, Michael, Wright, Maurice, Alegant, Brian;.