SESSION 2: Critical Perspectives in Music Analysis

Thursday, 26 November 2020

11:15 – 12:45

Critical Perspectives in Music Analysis

chair: Sanja Kiš Žuvela

11:15 – 11:45 Monika Karwaszewska・Hanna Dys:

A Critical Source Edition of Mieczysław Surzyński’s Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Op. 35

11:45 – 12:15 Koichi Kato:

Sonata Theory in the Age of ‘Post-Truth’

12:15 – 12:45 Violetta Kostka:

Meaning of Music as Rescue for Musicology and Humanities

Monika Karwaszewska1Hanna Dys2

Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music, Gdańsk



A Critical Source Edition of Mieczysław Surzyński’s Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Op. 35

Currently, new musicology embraces almost every direction of humanistic studies, including the most recent intermedia and interdisciplinary re­search, suitable for being combined and used for music scholarship. Its rapid devel­opment proves the need for a continued development of new research tools and systematised terminologies. Earlier heuristic studies that led to the release of critical editions and scholarly musical manu­scripts are, however, still being undertaken and, it seems, will not go out of ‘fashion’. The poor state of research on contemporary music editing in Polish musicological liter­ature prompts deep theoretical reflection on this aspect. The source auto­graph is excellent cognitive and analytical material in the process of its recep­tion. An editor who prepares a critical or scien­tific edition of a musical work for publication, which will be the basis for performance, must conduct multi-stage research and offer an artistic inter­pretation. Hence the need for con­tem­porary recipients of musical scores to find their answer in the schol­arly edition supplemented with a clearly graphically highlighted perfor­mance interpretation.

During the lecture, the method of the editing of the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Op. 35 (1904) manuscript by the Polish composer Mieczysław Surzyński will be presented, as well as the procedure which led to the produc­tion of a contemporary critical edition of this work intended for contem­porary performers and students of the organ. This neo-romantic composition has already been performed and recorded several times thanks to a pre­served copy of the manuscript of the score (as the original was considered lost) and the published score revised in 1994 by the Polish musicologist and or­ganologist Jerzy Gołos. The edition that will have been discussed at the conference contains the recon­structed score, complete with its orchestral and solo parts, supplemented with an extensive revision commentary. In all probability, it will have been the first complete critical edition of this fine work to date. In addition, an analysis and interpretation of this piece will have been presented, important aspects of approaching a musical work, as part of the most recent music scholarship.

Key words: Mieczysław Surzyński, organ music, critical source edition, heuristics, new musicology, Polish music

Monika Karwaszewska, PhD, Polish music theorist, assistant professor at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music, the editor-in-chief of the Academy’s Publishing House. Member (candidate) of the Musicologists’ Section of the Polish Composers’ Union, author of the monograph Andrzej Dobrowolski. The Music of Pure Form. She focuses on the 20th and 21st Century music theory, adopting intermedial and intertextual methods. Recently, she has conducted research into transposing the Italian Transavantgarde to Polish music.

Hanna Dys, organist, Professor in the Instrumental Department of the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. In 2009 she obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts, and in 2016, a doctor habilitatus degree. A graduate of both the Academy, where she studied with Prof. Roman Perucki, and of University for Music and Theater in Hamburg (honours degree), where she studied with Wolfgang Zerer. She leads an active concert life, performs at international organ music festivals in Poland and Europe (Germany, Finland, Norway, Moldavia, Spain, Russia, Italy and other countries) and is also an adjudicator in organ music competitions. Her concert performances promote Polish organ music and she chose to record a monographic album with works by Mieczysław Surzyński for her habilitation. She teaches organ at the Gen­eral School of Music in Gdańsk. Her pupils and students are prizewinners in organ competitions. She regularly provides masterclasses in Poland and abroad, in Russia, Lithuania, Italy.

Koichi Kato

Independent Researcher


Sonata Theory in the Age of ‘Post-Truth’

James Hepokoski, with his co-author, Warren Darcy, published Elements of Sonata Theory (2006), a systematic method for the analysis of sonata forms. Tracing his writings since the end of the 1980s and early 90s, when the formalist approach was under attack by the emergence of new musi­col­ogy that promulgated the slogan of the context in search of musical mean­ing against the music itself, it is palpable that Hepokoski’s chief concern in formulating a theory for sonata was needed for a dialogue or interaction between a form itself and its external sources. Paradoxically, however, despite his on-going emphasis on the importance of context in music theory, his theory resulted in a Kantian “regulative principle” that came close to “the music itself” or Hanslickian formalism. This paradox seems to reveal or illustrate the vexing issue that lies in shaping music theory, especially in the relativistic age of the ‘post-truth’ and new Musi­cology. This paper will aim at tracing how Hepokoski changed his stance from ‘sonata deformation’ to ‘Sonata Theory’, which has exten­sively revised the existing analytical system and its re-evaluation to honour and privilege the classical sonatas, while maintaining the original terminolo­gies devised for ‘sonata deformation’. It will explore the ideol­ogy on musi­cal form and its theorisation, with a reference to an impact of New Musicology on the analysis.

Key words: Sonata Theory, formalism versus hermeneutics (context), New Musicology, the approach to musical form, norm and deformation

Koichi Kato obtained his postgraduate degree from Royal Holloway, Univer­sity of London, where he wrote a thesis under the supervision of Professor Jim Samson. He has been presenting conference papers in domestic and international venues, including the CityMac Conference (Society for Music Analysis, UK, 2018), Music and Musicology in the age of Post-Truth(University College Dublin, 2018), where he read a paper entitled Deconstructive Ap­proach to Formalism: Dilemma in Analysis through Reading James Hepoko­ski‘s Sonata Deformational Theory, and the Music and Spatiality Conference (Belgrade, 2019). He participated in the NZMS (New Zealand Musicological Society) and MSA (Musicological Society of Australia) joint conferences (2010, 2013 and 2017).

Violetta Kostka

Academy of Music, Gdańsk


Meaning of Music as Rescue for Musicology and Humanities

The study of musical meaning is an important issue of current musicology and broadly understood humanities. Musical meaning is not a new aspect in our field (Hanslick, hermeneutics, semiotics), but lately cognitive scien­tists, Mark Turner and Gilles Fauconnier, proclaimed their new theory called the Conceptual Integration Network (CIN) that can change our per­spec­tive. There are two aims of my paper: a presentation of this theory and an interpretation of one musical work in the light of a CIN.

The key concept of Turner and Fauconnier’s theory is ‘mental space’, which is a small, conceptual package, constructed during thinking. The basic schema of a CIN contains four such mental spaces: two input spaces, a generic space and a blended space, and they activate the inter-spatial mapping of counterparts leading to the creation − in the last space − of a new concept/meaning. Some musicologists, such as Nicholas Cook and Lawrence Zbikowski, tried to adapt this new cognitivist idea to music, and the latter really has a great achievement in this era.

As a case study I have chosen Paweł Szymański’s opera Miserere for voices and instruments from 1993. The work is composed of a three-movement attacca, and each has its own CIN. The first movement activates the fol­low­ing concepts: the generic space – faith in eternal life, the text space  – an oration directed at God resonant with repentance and humbleness, and the music space – alternately five sections for solo bass and five choral-instrumental sections, where the choral parts seem to be stable and the instrumental parts in a constant move-up (in very complex technique). As a result, the following conceptual blend is born: sinner ─ sung prayer ─ mental balance. The sinner is aware of his/her sin and experiences remorse; the climbing cello glissando shows us that his/her thoughts are constantly directed to Heaven.

Key words: musical meaning, conceptual integration network, conceptual blend, Paweł Szymański

Violetta Kostka was trained as a musicologist at the University of Poznań, she received her PhD degree and then her habilitation from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Currently working as Professor at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk, she has won scientific scholarships from the University of Cambridge, the Polish Library in Paris and the State Committee of Scientific Research in Poland. Her research achievements include books on Tadeusz Kassern’s and Paweł Szymański’s music, and about 80 articles, published among others in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Tempo: A Quarterly Review of Modern Music and Studies in Musical Theatre. In recent years, she has given several author lectures in Poland and abroad, and organised two conferences on intertextuality in music. Her current research interests oscillate around intertextuality in music, meaning of musical works, film music and different problems of contemporary music.

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