Au bord du Lac de Pena, Pastorale op. 50

José Vianna da Motta (1868-1948)

Ref. ava161546

Au bord du Lac de Pena, Pastorale op. 50

 

 Preface

            At the age of thirteen José Vianna da Motta composed Au bord du Lac de Pena, Pastoral op. 50 in F major which is classed with his childhood works written between 1873 and 1883. Since no manuscript has been found, only the A. Neuparth edition, which we believe was published in 1881, allowed us to edit and publish this work. In the edition we present, errors of the A. Neuparth edition, including edition and musical text errors, were corrected.

            Au bord du Lac de Pena, Pastoral op. 50 is one of the childhood pieces whose opus number does not seem to respect the chronology of the compositions. According to the introductory note to the Musicoteca edition of the Grande Sonata para flauta e piano, op. 49 written by Pedro Couto Soares this piece was "composed at the age of 14". The A. Neuparth edition cover of the work Au bord du Lac de Pena, Pastoral op. 50, indicates "composed [...] at the age of 13" (translated from French). Thus the work with the opus number 49 was composed after the work with the opus number 50.

            This piece is one of the last works composed by Vianna da Motta before he started numbering a new series of opus, which makes this piece representative of the culmination of his first creative period. The variation of the melody decoration technique of section A' (cf. structural scheme below) corroborates this idea, since in his later works Vianna of Motta favors it to the detriment of the melody variation technique.

 

1-10

11-18

19-34

35-50

51-70

71-82

83-90

91-106

107-119

A

B

A'

Concl.

a1

a2

b

c

b'

c'

a1'

a2'

(a2')

F: I

IV

ii

IV

IV(-vi-I-i)

I

F

B?

g

B?

B?(-d-F-f)

F

 

            The trills written on each note of the theme from bar 83 do not justify the qualification of this passage as melodic variation, insofar as the musical saw effect they produce acts rather on the timbre perception of the sound atmosphere than on the melodic line. In the Meno mosso section (b. 91+), Vianna da Motta also uses the variation of the melody decoration technique but the tempo elongation and the abundance of notes on the right hand make the theme almost imperceptible.

            This piece is one of the childhood works where Vianna da Motta further explores the timbral possibilities of the piano. In addition to the above-mentioned passages where the timbral universe of the sound atmospheres seems to be at the center of his compositional preoccupations, the abundance of musical indications – such as Ped., una corda and tre corde, crescendo and diminuendo, pianississimo, etc. – reveals that the composer had very clear ideas regarding the interpretation and the sonority he intended.

 

 

João Costa Ferreira