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Ralph Vaughan Williams - Toccata Marziale

Tim Reynish, from a lecture given at WASBE in Cincinnati, 2009

The Toccata is difficult rhythmically, not because of complex of diverse meters, but in the sophisticated placement of simple fundamental rhythmic impulses and in the constant demand for vitality of tonal production in their precise execution.Frederick Fennell

The Toccata Marziale is, or rather might have been, a mould breaking work for the military band; it was the first movement of a proposed Concerto Grosso, one of the very first works in which a composer broke away from the concept of the military band original repertoire being mainly a vehicle for ceremonial, for a string of folk tunes, or short-breathed melodic ideas based on folk origins. This work is one of the most varied pieces in the repertoire in terms of counterpoint and variety of phrasing, and our challenge is to make this all work, and also conspire to develop a real balance and blend between the different instrumental colours with a real appreciation of the dynamic range and articulation - without it being too mannered or academic. Many of these phrases overlap by one beat but below is a suggested analysis.

I would suggest that you white out the additional parts, bass clarinet, soprano and baritone saxophones, then put the original numbers which give you a section and phrase structure. Below I have suggested an architecture for the four big fortissimo moments - make sure that you build carefully - keep it light otherwise.

BAR/S OLD VERSION WITH FIGURES PHRASING SUGGESTIONS
1 - 4 Bars 1-4 Introduction - Normal four bar phrase, culminating on 1st and 2nd beat o bar 4
5 - 8 Figure 1 - Figure 2 EXPOSITION FIRST SECTION = Another four measure phrase
9 - 11 Figure 2 for 3 bars 3 bars of mixed meters 7/8 7/8 2/4
12 - 15 3 before Figure 3 2 bars of 5/4, resulting in next phrase starting on 2nd beat
15 - 22 Figure 3 for 8 bars 8 bar phrase beginning one beat out, canons in 18 and 19 still one beat out but eventually righting itself bar 20/ 2 before 5 with first big FF
    SECOND SECTION - more lyrical theme with countersubject
23 - 26 Bar after 5 for 4 4 bar phrase - should the cornet double the oboe? ..or balance?
26 - 30 4 before 6 Answering 4 bar phrase - does it start in 6/8?
30 - 32 Figure 6 for 2 bars + 2 beats Same theme in woodwind but could now be construed as in 3/8 3/8 3/8 2/8 2/4
32 - 34 3 before 7 Answered in basses possibly in 3/8 3/8 3/8 5/8
34 - 36 Pickup to 7 to bar 2 Firmly and triumphantly triple time breaking into
37 -40 6 before Figure 8 6/8 8/8 8/8 NB the 8/8 bars are each 3 + 3 + 2
41 - 43 3 before Figure 8 Starting on the upbeat two bars of 5/4 embracing canons in 3/4
44 - 47 1 after 8 for 4 bars Theme back in triple time, then 6/8 then 2 bars triple but note the canon - NB I ask syncopated 8ths to be tenuto - hear difference
48 - 53 3 bars before 9 - 3 bars after 9 Main theme stated in augmentation - second big FF which sets up a great six bar diminuendo to molto pp accompagnato
From 51 Figure 9 DEVELOPMENT FIRST SECTION
54 - 57 4th of Figure 9 - 10 7 bar phrase built of a 4 bar and an answering 3 bar - I invite 3rd clart, alto sax, horns and euphonium to take a really low mf/p
61 - 64 Figure 10 for 4 bars Texture is thicker for this 2 bar phrase answered by 2 bars so again I invite all soloists to think piano and to blend
65 - 68 4 before 11 Normal 4 bars of two 2 bar phrases - not an important forte
69 - 71 Figure 11 for 2 bars Phrase overlaps into the third bar , basically 3/4. + 8/8
71 - 74 3 bars + 2 beats before 12 One bar of 5/4 followed by 2 bars of 6/8
75 - 78 Figure 12 for 4 bars Modulatory passage in E major - feel of 2/4 - Revelli "notes not quite touching"
78 - 84 6 before Figure 13 Two bars of 5/4 followed by 3 bars of 3/4 .
85 - 90 Figure 13 - 14 Two bars of 5/4 followed by two bars of triple time
    DEVELOPMENT SECOND SECTION
90-93 Figure 14 for 3 bars Lowest point - very difficult to get it pp and with clarity
94-95 2 before 15 F# Minor 2 bar phrase Low point mf but tutti p or pp
96-99 Figure 15 A minor 4 bar phrase
100-102 6 before 16 for 2 bars 7/8 5/8 and a triple bar
103- 105 3 before 16 5/4 bar followed by 4/4
106-108 Figure 16 for 3 bars 3 bars of canons
109-16 8 before 18 Eight bar phrase ending on Figure 18, imitation moving through wide range of keys - very hard to control crescendo
    RECAPITULATION
116-120 End of 18 - 5th bar Reprise of second theme from Bar 22 - 26, Figure 5, this time fortissimo instead of piano - PENULTIMATE FF
120-124 Bar after 18 for 4 bars Answering 4 bar phrase - does it start in 6/8?
124 - 138 Figure 19 - 4thmeasure of 20 These fourteen bars are an exact repeat of Figure 6 - Figure 8, 30 - 44
138-146 4th of 20 to 21 6+ 3 bars phrase, beginning triple time - 8/8 - 6/8, canon extended sequentially - 2/4 2/4 and four bars of triple time.
    CODA
147-152 Figure 21 Six bars of triple time or nine bars of 2/4 - ostinato on Gb with canonic a in Gb - D
153-156 5 bars before the end Two bars of 2/4 whole tone scale over an augmented 5th
157 2 measures before end 16th notes for two beats and final statement of main motif
FINAL AND BIGGEST FF

ERRATA IN BOOSEY AND HAWKES 2005 EDITION OF TOCCATA MARZIALE

Tim Reynish - Monday 6th July 2009. Cincinnati

I am grateful to Dr. Jessica Kun of Wilfrid Laurier University for bringing many of these errata to my attention in her edition completed for her DMA at Arizona State University. I have compared the four scores available, the 1924 and 2005 editions from Boosey and Hawkes, Dr. Kun's score and the original Vaughan Williams. I have tabulated the following errata in the new edition; wrong notes and other major mistakes highlighted. Other errata are articulation and dynamic markings which I think are usually taken from the original Boosey and Hawkes edition of 1924 and are often misleading.

EDITORIAL CHANGES

I have added an editorial anacrusis for the bassoons1 before 8 and 3rd after 20 to make them conform with the basses. In the third bar of Figure 6 there is a discrepancy in the original score between oboe, clarinet and cornet, and I have decided to have an E natural concert pitch for the first beat followed by an Eb for the rest of the bar. Some of the other discrepancies have stemmed from editorial decisions, but there are unfortunately about twenty five mistakes in the new Boosey and Hawkes edition. I have given bar numbers and the figures of the 1924 version.

For the performance by the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble on July 8th we used an updated version of the edition by Dr. Kun.

Bar no. Figure Bar Problem
Bar 4 1 1 before Staccato omitted in brass upbeat
Bar 8 2 1 before Bassoons lines omitted
Bar 8 2 1 before Tenor saxophone last note should be F not A
Bar 11 2 3 after Crescendo notated 1 beat too early
Bar 17 3 3 after Side Drum Crescendo omitted
Bar 18 3 4 after 3rd clarinet wrong notes 2nd eighth note should be D natural, 6th should be Bb
Bar 22 5   All parts diminuendo should be from 2nd eighth note
Bar 22 5   Bassoon 1 should be piano not mf
Bar 25 5 4 after All parts crescendo should be last beat, not whole bar
Bar 26 6 4 before 2nd Clarinet has no note in this bar - col cornet 2 starts in the next bar in the original score
Bar 32 6 3 after Oboe 4th semi should be E natural 7th and 9thEb Score has E natural throughout_
Bar 32 6 3 after Clarinet 2 4th semi should be F#. 7th and 9thF natural (Score has F# throughout)
Bar 32 6 3 after Trumpet should have F# not natural (Score has F natural)
  7 1 before Bass trombone, euphonium and tuba slur from second sixteenth ote
Bars 37/38 7 Bars 3 -4 Basses should be legato 2nd & 3rd and 5th and 6theighth notes
Bar 38 7 4th after Triangle rhythm should be quarter note eighth note rest quarter note eighth note rest
Bars 39/40 7 Bars 5 & 6 Basses should be legato 4th and 5th and then first 2 eighth notes
Bar 43 8 1 before Bassoons editorial addition of upbeat Ab
Bar 45 8 2nd bar Crescendo eighth note early
Bar 48 9 3 before Timpani and Percussion forte not ff
Bar 50 9 1 before Diminuendo eighth note too early
Bar 51 9 4th Horn should have a D instead of
Bar 51 9   Cornets piano first beat
Bar 53 9 3 after Tutti diminuendo last quarter note
Bar 54 9 4th bar Tuba first eighth note is G
Bar 64 10   2nd bassoon legato ends on 2nd beat of 4th bar
Bar 60 10 1 before Dimuendo from beat 1
Bar 65 10 5 after Trombone 1 should be D not C
Bar 67 10 7 after Trombone 1 tacet for 1 bar
Bar 68 11 1 before Alto saxophone should be tacet for 1 bar
Bar 69 11 Second bassoon starts on 1st beat with a D eighth note
Bar 75 12   Clarinet phrasing wrong for 4 bars
Bar 75 12 Bass trombone should be B not G
Bar 82 13 3 before Second bassoon should have B natural not Bb
Bar 84 13 1 before 1st clarinet second eighth note should be G# not Gb
Bar 91 14   Trombone second entry should be p not pp
Bar 91 14   Tubas should be p not pp though euphonium is pp
Bar 95 15 1 before Upper woodwind diminuendo should be last quarter note
Bar 103 16 3 before Cornet 1 should be Bb not G
Bar 103 16 3 before Side drum add ruff before bar
Bar 111 17 1 before Oboe an octave too low
Bar 111 17 1 before Tubas omit 2nd eighth note
Bar 113 17 2nd bar Trombones crescendo last quarter note
Bar 114 18 2 before 2nd clarinet should play eighth note F# then 2 eighth note rests
Bar 121 19 3 before Timps should have eighth note on 1st beat followed by 2 eighth note rests
Bar 124 19 1st cornet should be E not G
Bar 124 19 4th horn should have 2 bars of dotted half note A, as at 6
Bar 123 19 1 before 2nd cornet should have C# not natural according to piano score
Bar 137 20 3rd bar Bassoons insert Ab anacrusis
Bar 147 21   Clarinet should diminuendo on last quarter note
From 155 End Last 3 bars Eb clarinet, oboe, both saxes and 1st clarinet phrasing could be changed to fit the original
Bar 155 End 3 before Side drum should have crescendo
Bar 158 End Cymbals stroke missing

jessica.kun@gmail.com

timreynish@tiscali.co.uk