An Intertextual Reading of the "Elegia" from Arnold van Wyk's "Duo Concertante Matildie Thom Wium"

This article presents a multi-layered intertextual reading of the "Elegia" from Van Wyk's "Duo Concertante" for viola and piano. The intertexts that "converse with" Van Wyk's piece in this article highlight aspects of that composition not immediately obvious without such intertextual perspectives. Two of these intertexts have an obvious connection to the "Elegia" and constitute intuitively suggestive texts for interrogation: Martin Peerson's "The Fall of the Leafe" from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book was identified as a model for the "Elegia" by the composer on the sketch drafts and program notes, and Gerald Finzi's "The Fall of the Leaf" (Elegy for Orchestra), opus 20, in turn is identified with that same intertext through its title, and, possibly, through musical references. The third intertext represents a more unusual intertextual practice, in that the intertext is a musical fragment by Arnold van Wyk himself, whbich he invented, by hs own testimony, about 12 years before the completion of the first version of the "Duo," and which he used as the main theme of the "Rondo" in the "Duo." This article argues that Van Wyk wanted to embody the "extra-musical" concept of "prophecy" through his musical idea, and traces the role of the musical idea through the composition process of the "Duo." This idea and its associations for Van Wyk, like the other two intertexts that command attention here, contribute toward the construction of radical new understandings of the "Elegia" and the "Duo."

Journal South African Music Studies
Year 2010
Volume 30-31
Pages np

(2010) An Intertextual Reading of the "Elegia" from Arnold van Wyk's "Duo Concertante Matildie Thom Wium". In: South African Music Studies, Vol. 30-31, pp. np. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/214471/.

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