Sinfonia and Fugato (Fine, Vivian)
|Work Title||Sinfonia and Fugato|
|Year/Date of Composition||1952|
|Average Duration||5 3/4 minutes|
Sinfonia and Fugato is a two-movement work which receives its inspiration from the Baroque forms of the same types. Though the Sinfonia and the Fugato differ form each other in character, form, and texture, they form a unified piece because of Fine’s tonal and harmonic relationships, and her use of consistently repeated intervals and dotted rhythms.
The sonorous open-position chords in both treble and bass clefs throughout the movement resemble the resonant clanging of a gong and suggest Dane Rudhyar’s early influence. Copland’s influence can also be perceived from the outset, as Fine’s opening sonority is a chord comprised of superimposed major and minor thirds, producing a vertical half-step dissonant clash.
…The rhythmic scheme, featuring various dotted rhythm patterns, moves from simple to complex….As with earlier piano pieces, Fine emphasizes important rhythmic, harmonic, and/or structural elements with dynamic, articulation, or register changes.
…The Fugato opens with a descending melodic fourth that suggests the key of E-flat, implying a minor-relative major relationship between the two movements. Although the Fugato’s character is completely different from the Sinfonia’s, Fine links the two immediately through this tonal relationship, the initial dotted rhythm of the Fugato, use of harmonic sixths, and the continuation of the fourth from the last melodic figure of the Sinfonia to the Fugato’s opening melody.
…Though dissonance prevails in the Fugato, Fine writes with an undercurrent of tonality and even loosely defined key relationships, giving credence to Riegger’s statement about Fine’s third period style: “a return to atonality but tempered by key impressions.”
- —Leslie Jones, “The Solo Piano Music of Vivian Fine,” Doctor of Musical Arts thesis, University of Cincinnatti, 1994.