Chapter 2 Rencesvals (1946)

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Ex.2.4 PA0

The first movement’s exposition is inscribed with its row levels in Ex. 2.5 and 2.6 on the pages 33 and 35. The ‘tonic’ row level is established by the presentation of the harmonic module, M0, in mm.1-3 and its repetition in mm.4-5. Between those two presentations, the soprano sings the war cry, “Aoi”, to the first three pitches of PA0. PA0 is then completed in the upper register of the piano, replicating the “Aoi” motive three times. This is followed by a canon between P0 in the voice and Pe in the piano, evoking the emperor riding toward France. The ‘tonic’ row level returns in the piano with RM0, mm.10-11. Whereas the progression M sounds like a full cadence, RM has an open quality owing to the upward rather than downward stepwise motion between chords 2 and 3. Thus, RM0 in m.10 is well suited to begin the short transition section to the contrasting row level RM4.

Just as a classical transition section typically begins with a restatement of the tonic before cadencing on the dominant of the second key area, here the transition begins with RM0 before cadencing on RM4. The upward flourish of RM4 into both the high piano and vocal registers depicts the raising of the French standard on the hilltop. The row level organization of the first row area and transition, mm.1-12, is diagrammed in Table 2.1 on page 34.
Ex. 2.5 Rencesvals I, Exposition: ‘first row area’ and transition

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