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The Open University of Israel

Dussek, Reicha, Hummel and the “Linear Roundabout”: Retracted Tonal Zones (RTZ) in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Three-Key Expositions

The past few decades have seen a surge of theoretical and analytical research works dedicated to the so-called “new Formenlehre”. Special attention has more recently been given in this connection to the music of the nineteenth-century (Schmalfeldt, 2011; Horton, 2011 and 2017; Vande Moortele, 2013 and 2017; Hyland, 2016; Hunt, 2020 etc.). Endeavors have usually tended to focus on “mainstream” composers in this connection. In this paper, I examine the works of three overshadowed contemporaries of Beethoven: Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812), Anton Reicha, (1770-1836) and Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837), focusing on the unique three-key expositional procedures found in their works.
As in most expositions, three-key expositions usually progress linearly, from one tonal center to the next. In contrast, the phenomenon I focus on shows a more convoluted progression before reaching the EEC, i.e., establishing a third key and then moving back to the second (a progression referred to here as “Retracted Tonal Zones”). Unlike tonicizations of diatonic or chromatic scale degrees within “tight-knit” zones, RTZs often arrive at remote keys and display distinct thematic and instrumental characteristics. I discuss several sub-types of RTZs, including RTZ within S-zones (Dussek, Piano Sonata Op. 5 no. 3 in A-flat Major and Piano Sonata Op. 43 in A Major; Hummel, Piano Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp Minor; Reicha, Piano Quintet in C Minor); RTZ within P-zones(Dussek, Piano Sonata Op. 64 in A-flat Major), RTZ within TR (Reicha, Grande Sonate in C Major, Hummel, Piano Quintet Op. 87 in E-flat Minor), RTZ between P and S (Dussek, Piano Sonata Op. 61 in F-sharp Minor), and more.


Conference Photo Nicholas Hunter.jpg

Dr. Bar-Yoshafat is a researcher, course coordinator and instructor at the Open University of Israel. A Fulbright grantee, Bar-Yoshafat conducted his post-doctoral research as a visiting scholar at Cornell University (2013-2015). His research interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century instrumental music, music theory and analysis, aesthetics and sociology of music and critical theory. He has presented his works at various international conferences and colloquia, including the RMA annual conference, the AMS New England chapter meeting, at the University of Oxford, Cornell University, Edinburgh University and elsewhere. He has published both academic research and learning textbooks, in English and Hebrew. His article “Kenner und Liebhaber – Yet another Look” (International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 44/1) was nominated for the AMS “Einstein Award”, 2014. His article “On the Musically Melancholic: Temporality and Affects in Western Music History” has just appeared in History of European Ideas, 2021.

Yonatan Bar-Yoshafat

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