FANDOM



Rotational Form, Sonata Hybridity, and Post-Tonal Boundary Sonorities in Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony

This paper examines Dmitri Shostakovich’s sonata-form movements—often framed as “sonata arch” or “reverse recapitulation” structures, wherein the primary- and secondary-zone themes return in reverse order after the development—through the lens of rotational form. Using methodology from Hepokoski and Darcy’s Elements of Sonata Theory (2006), I explore the “reverse recapitulation” in Symphony No. 4’s opening movement as part of a larger effect of sonata-form boundary blurring, manifest as a blending of double- and triple-rotational sonata-form types. This blurring effect is heightened by use of post-tonal boundary sonorities at moments of expected tonal closure.

I begin by outlining double- and triple-rotational sonata structures—layouts corresponding to Hepokoski and Darcy’s Type-2 and Type-3 sonata forms respectively. Analyses from Shostakovich’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies illustrate his techniques of evoking triple-rotational elements within a double-rotational construction. Rotational form frames the referential thematic pattern—first established as an ordered succession at the piece’s onset—as a rhetorical principle rather than a tonal one. By featuring both primary- and secondary-theme elements at the moment of post-development tonic return, Shostakovich simultaneously elicits expectations of both sonata types, thus creating a kind of sonata-type hybrid, all while underscoring ordered rotational structures. Next, moments of formal demarcation in Symphony No. 4—including the MC, EEC, and ESC—postpone cadential closure in favor of post-tonal boundary sonorities. These post-tonal events displace tonal closure until the movement’s coda and form analogous transpositional and rhetorical correspondences across the movement.

Sonata Theory’s emphasis on thematic rotations presents a new way of understanding Shostakovich’s blurring of sonata-form boundaries—a particular challenge to existing analyses. In turn, Symphony No. 4 provides a fruitful landscape in which to examine the interplay between rotational, rhetorical, and tonal aspects of Sonata Theory and their application to polystylistic repertoire.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Also on FANDOM

Random Wiki