Some Special Characteristics in the Vocal Melodics of Vatroslav Lisinski. A Contribution to the Analysis of the Composer's Style

  • Koraljka Kos


In the vocal melodics of Vatroslav Lisinski we find a series of analogic yet at the same time characteristic elements which could be defined as relevant personal components of his style. Analysing the vocal melodies of his recently published 30 solo songs, we discover, in a relavitely narrow frame of lyrical form in which he was able, according to his creative affinity and artistic temperament, to find his most authentic expression, a richly differentiated scale of musical content, which reveals its many-layered structure only after detailed analysis. The melodies of these solo songs reveal a real master of miniature; they are expressed in an organised interplay of details which convey a specific stamp of identity to Lisinski's musical expression. The general diatonic physiognomy and periodic structure of his melodies are determined by the Classical-Romantic basis of Lisinski's personal style. Their profile, on the other hand, is also determined by a characteristic component of the composer's creative process: they are formed by means of the development and expansion of the basic musical idea. The emphasized flexibility of these melodies has its origin in a series of processes, by means of which the creative principle is realised: in variation of the basic material, in diminution of note values, in the introduction of melismas, in changed interval relations, in rhythmic nuances, in augmentation or diminution etc. It is characteristic that there are definite types of the melismatic enrichment of melodics, which types are in Lisinski an integral part of the melodic flow and by means of which the expression of this flow is enhanced. These elements are often developed in the fragments of a scale and the frequency of binary and ternary groups is characteristic for their rhythmic structure, so that this melodic flow has a flexible, rolling character. Lisinski's vocal melodics, which are predominantly singable and only seldom have recitative tendency, are also characterized by tipical interval flections and by the appearance of relative melodic elements, even in some temporary remote works by the composer.


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How to Cite
KosK. (1971). Some Special Characteristics in the Vocal Melodics of Vatroslav Lisinski. A Contribution to the Analysis of the Composer’s Style. Musicological Annual, 7(1), 39-47.