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Rhythm

"Rhythm is one of the most striking features of 20th century music. There can be no music without rhythm." ~ Stravinsky

Both concerti have rhythmic material which is stated first (Arutiunian at A and the Haydn in the opening solo bars in the first movement) which forms the basic foundation for the rest of the movement (or section in the case of the Arutiunian). The rhythm from the opening is also used in the development sections in both concerti, however, not always in full. This is an example of motivic use of rhythms and was used extensively in the Classical period. In a recording of the Haydn trumpet concerto (by Ludwig Guttler) he inserts his own cadenza at the end of the last movement (at the pause before b.280) which incorporates thematic material and therefore rhythmic motives that sum up the whole concerto. This is also true for the Arutiunian where Timofei Dokshizer (see appendix no.1) has written a cadenza to the Arutiunian concerto which also includes rhythmic patterns that are common in all parts of the concerto.

In all these examples and many other places during both concertos the main beats of the bar (i.e. first and third in 4-4 time) are highlighted to give the piece momentum and almost all the accents lie on these strong beats as well. For example, an extract of the bass in the Haydn:


MUSIC EXAMPLE ~ Haydn: Bass part at b.137 (1st movt)

These are all features of the Classical period and most of these features can be seen in works by other composers during this time (1750-1810).

However, there are no changes of meter or syncopated rhythms in the Haydn concerto, which were Classical features. There are also no interlocking contrasting rhythms, which Haydn mastered in his string quartets. However, in the second movement there are many phrases that are tied across the bar lines (e.g. b.10, 34, 43 in the solo part). While the solo part is playing through the bar lines the accompaniment is playing on the beat. You may think that this is syncopated, but the movement is usually taken slow enough to be counted in six rather than two (quaver = 76) so the tied quavers sound more like suspensions.

Haydn uses rhythmic motives more often as an element of the overall structural unity. Not only did he use sudden accentuations (both on strong and weak beats), but there is a rhythmic pulsation in his motives, and also in other composers of his time, which adds to a unique character in their music and which also propels their music forward.

As expected, rising scales and rising melodic figures always go towards the first beat of the bar. For example in b.109-110 of the first movement in the Haydn. This is also seen in the Arutiunian in the soloistís last note before D and is especially effective as the high Bb is the highest note in the concerto. Writing notes with shortening note values, like this, gives the impression to the listener that there is a big accelerando towards a climax.

Listen to sample no. 1 - (RealAudio)

This is also a good example of the concertoís intense rhythmic energy which is what I think is the main characteristic of the Arutiunian. (The main theme at A is a good example of the driving rhythmic force present in many Russian folksongs.) However, Haydnís concerto is much more rhythmically tame as there are no accelerandos or changes of meter. This, however, is used frequently in the Arutiunian and conceals the obvious regular pulsations. An example of this, highlighted by the use of displaced accents and can be found at P.


 

MUSIC EXAMPLE ~ Arutiunian: rhythm at P (displaced ac)

It is used here to create a rhythmic ambiguity and an unsuspecting outcome. The displaced accents is another tension-creating rhythmic device as it temporarily disrupts the rhythmic flow, as seen at A and P (shown above) in the Arutiunian. The use of displaced accents go hand-in-hand with the changing metres and help to propel the music along.

These ideas are used more sparingly in the Classical period but there are no clear examples in the Haydn. Although there are no displaced accents as such, the impression is given when there is a rise in pitch on weak beats of the bar.

E.g. b.66, b.68 in the solo part there are leaps of a 4th to the 2nd beat of the bar.

Listen to sample no. 2 - (RealAudio)

MUSIC EXAMPLE ~ Haydn: b.66 ( 1st movt)

There is a 2-4 bar thrown in at G which disrupts the rhythmic flow.

This gives a sense of hurriedness. However, having said this, the soloist plays almost always in 4-4 time: Another similarity, as the soloist in the Haydn always stays in the time-metre stated at the beginning of the movement.

One major difference in rhythmic features is that of syncopation. Syncopation seems to feature a lot in the Arutiunian concerto and sometimes in unlikely places, such as the slow sections D and M in the accompaniment.

MUSIC EXAMPLE ~ Arutunian: accomp. at M

There is also the off-beat syncopation, such as 13 bars after A. Both types of syncopation can be found at B and are used in these instances to create tension in the piece. There is no syncopation in the Haydn trumpet concerto at all. Movement two of the Haydn may seem to have syncopated rhythms in it but it is actually rhythmically simple as the quaver receives the beat with no syncopated rhythms.

The use of cross-rhythms was used both in the Classical period and the 20th century. There are just a few examples in the Arutiunian (see E where there are triplet-quavers played against quavers). In the Haydn there are very few triplets or dotted rhythms so therefore there cannot be any cross-rhythms.

Rhythm occupies a more dominant role in the music of the 20th century than it ever has done. The main features I found were the irregularity and unpredictability of rhythms, the tendency for Arutiunian to use the changing meters, polymeters, displaced accents, and many types of cross-rhythms, all tension-creating devices that often have a jolting effect upon the listener. The rhythmic element has become more flexible and irregular that the meter signature is often a convenience merely for the conductor and not for the players, as seen at P.