A historical overview of Carlos Seixas`s works for solo keyboard and

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University of Iowa
Iowa Research Online
Theses and Dissertations
Fall 2010
A historical overview of Carlos Seixas's works for
solo keyboard and a performance guide based on
analytical observations including pedagogical
annotations and analysis of four of his keyboard
pieces
Olga María Rúa
University of Iowa
Copyright 2010 Olga Maria Rua
This dissertation is available at Iowa Research Online: http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/880
Recommended Citation
Rúa, Olga María. "A historical overview of Carlos Seixas's works for solo keyboard and a performance guide based on analytical
observations including pedagogical annotations and analysis of four of his keyboard pieces." DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) thesis,
University of Iowa, 2010.
http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/880.
Follow this and additional works at: http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd
Part of the Music Commons
A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF CARLOS SEIXAS'S WORKS FOR SOLO
KEYBOARD AND A PERFORMANCE GUIDE BASED ON ANALYTICAL
OBSERVATIONS INCLUDING PEDAGOGICAL ANNOTATIONS AND ANALYSIS
OF FOUR OF HIS KEYBOARD PIECES
by
Olga María Rúa
An essay submitted in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree
in the Graduate College of
The University of Iowa
December 2010
Essay Supervisor: Professor Réne Lecuona
Graduate College
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL
_______________________
D.M.A. ESSAY
_______________
This is to certify that the D.M.A. essay of
Olga María Rúa
has been approved by the Examining Committee
for the essay requirement for the Doctor of Musical Arts
degree at the December 2010 graduation.
Essay Committee: ___________________________________
Réne Lecuona, Essay Supervisor
___________________________________
Benjamin Coelho
___________________________________
Alan Huckleberry
___________________________________
Paul Muhly
___________________________________
John Muriello
To my parents Hernando and Blanca, and my husband Jon
ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................. vi
LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... vii
LIST OF EXAMPLES .................................................................................................... viii
INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................................1
CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL CONTEXT..........................................................................6
Studies on Seixas ..............................................................................................6
Geographical and Historical Considerations ..................................................16
Biographical Sketch of José Antonio Carlos de Seixas ..................................19
CHAPTER TWO: ELEMENTS OF SEIXAS’S MUSICAL STYLE ..............................21
Contextual Background ..................................................................................21
Baroque Elements ...........................................................................................24
Born into a Transitional Time.........................................................................28
Pre-Classical Elements ...................................................................................31
Highly Expressive Second Movements ..........................................................33
Roots of Seixas’s Form ...................................................................................35
The Term Sonata ............................................................................................36
Binary Form ....................................................................................................37
Binary vs. Mosaic Form .................................................................................38
Sonata-Allegro Form ......................................................................................40
Guitar Folkloric Elements...............................................................................41
Augmented Seconds and Moorish Sonorities .................................................43
Violin Idiom....................................................................................................45
Early Classical Symphony ..............................................................................46
French Overture ..............................................................................................48
Conclusion ......................................................................................................48
CHAPTER THREE: GUIDELINES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF
EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY MUSIC IN GENERAL AND SEIXAS’S
MUSIC IN PARTICULAR ............................................................................50
The Instruments ..............................................................................................51
Range ..............................................................................................................55
Performance Settings ......................................................................................55
Tuning .............................................................................................................57
Seixas’s Instrumental Writing ........................................................................58
Ornaments .......................................................................................................59
Ornaments on the Iberian Peninsula ...............................................................60
Common Ornaments in the Post-Baroque ......................................................61
General Guidelines for Ornaments .................................................................63
Seixas’s Ornaments ........................................................................................64
Improvisation ..................................................................................................65
Improvisation in Seixas ..................................................................................66
Varying What Is Written ................................................................................67
iii
General Guidelines for Improvisation ............................................................69
Articulation .....................................................................................................69
Seixas’s Articulation .......................................................................................70
Slurs .........................................................................................................71
Non-Legato ..............................................................................................73
Detached Bass .........................................................................................74
Pedaling ..........................................................................................................75
General Rhythmic Considerations ..................................................................75
Rhythm in Seixas ............................................................................................76
Rubato .............................................................................................................77
Rubato in Seixas .............................................................................................78
Tempo Markings .............................................................................................78
Tempo Markings in Seixas .............................................................................79
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND PEDAGOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ................81
Terminology ...................................................................................................81
Sonata No. 16 in C Minor ...............................................................................83
Sonata No. 27 in D Minor...............................................................................88
Sonata No. 42 in F Minor ...............................................................................95
Sonata No. 59 in A Major .............................................................................105
Additional Pedagogical Remarks .................................................................110
Sources and Resources .................................................................................111
Eighteenth-Century Sources ..................................................................111
Recent Sources ......................................................................................113
Editions .........................................................................................................114
Performers and Recordings...........................................................................115
Piano Recordings ...................................................................................116
Harpsichord and Fortepiano Recordings ...............................................117
CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................119
APPENDIX A: COMPARISON OF DIFFICULTY LEVEL IN SELECTED
SONATAS ............................................................................................121
APPENDIX B: CATALOGUE OF SEIXAS’S PUBLISHED SONATAS BY
DIFFICULTY .......................................................................................123
APPENDIX C: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 16 IN C MINOR .......................................126
APPENDIX D: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 27 IN D MINOR ......................................133
APPENDIX E: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 42 IN F MINOR .......................................138
APPENDIX F: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 59 IN A MAJOR .......................................143
APPENDIX G: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 16 IN C MINOR ..........149
APPENDIX H: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 27 IN D MINOR ..........156
APPENDIX I: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 42 IN F MINOR ............161
APPENDIX J: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 59 IN A MAJOR ...........166
iv
BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................172
v
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Klaus Heimes, Sources of Seixas’s sonatas according to M. S. Kastner. ..........12
Table 2. Characteristics of Seixas’s style. ........................................................................30
Table 3. Range of Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas .................................................................56
Table 4. Comparison of different terminologies for the analysis of early and mideighteenth-century keyboard sonatas. .................................................................82
Table 5. Sonata No. 16, C minor [Allegretto]...................................................................84
Table 6. Sonata No. 27, D minor, I, Allegro. ....................................................................90
Table 7. Sonata No. 42, F minor, I, Allegro. ....................................................................99
Table 8. Sonata No. 59, A major, I, Allegretto. ..............................................................106
vi
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Diogo Barbosa Machado, Bibliotheca Lusitana, vol. II, page 357......................8
Figure 2. Map of Spain and Portugal. ...............................................................................16
Figure 3. Diagram of Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto] ...........................................38
Figure 4. Diagram of Sonata No. 59 in A major, I, Allegretto. ........................................39
Figure 5. The Antunes Piano of 1767. ..............................................................................54
Figure 6. Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto] ..............................................................86
Figure 7. Sonata No. 27 in D minor. .................................................................................89
Figure 8. Sonata No. 42 in F minor. .................................................................................95
Figure 9. Sonata No. 59 in A major. ...............................................................................107
vii
LIST OF EXAMPLES
Example 1. Sonata No. 48 in G major, mm. 1-8. ..............................................................25
Example 2. Sonata No. 75 in A minor, mm. 1-9. .............................................................26
Example 3. Sonata No. 76 in A minor, mm. 1-7½. ..........................................................26
Example 4. Sonata No. 71 in A minor, mm. 1-6. .............................................................27
Example 5. Sonata No. 80 in B minor, mm. 1-20. ............................................................32
Example 6. Sonata No. 59 in A major, III, Allegro, mm. 38-42. .....................................33
Example 7. Sonata No. 49 in G minor, II, Adagio............................................................34
Example 8. Sonata No. 57 in A major, II, Adagio, mm. 1-6. ...........................................35
Example 9. Sonata No. 47 in G major [Allegro], mm. 44-50. ..........................................37
Example 10. Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto], mm. 87-94. ....................................42
Example 11. Sonata No. 35 in E minor [Allegro], mm. 30-34, 104-111. .........................42
Example 12. Sonata No. 28 in D minor [Allegretto], mm. 49-51.....................................43
Example 13. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, Allegro, mm. 6-7½. ..........................................43
Example 14. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, mm. 66-72, augmented seconds. .......................44
Example 15. Sonata No. 25 in D minor, III [Minuet], mm. 13-14, 19-20. .......................44
Example 16. Sonata No. 27, I, Allegro, mm. 35-39. ........................................................45
Example 17. Sonata No. 37 in E minor, II, Adagio, mm. 1-5½. ......................................46
Example 18. Sonata No. 57 in A major, Allegro, mm. 1-5½. ..........................................47
Example 19. Sonata No. 8 in C major, II, Adagio, mm. 1-6½. ........................................48
Example 20. Sonata No. 10 in C major, I, Allegro, mm. 72-82. ......................................56
Example 21. Sonata No. 75 in A minor, I, Largo, mm. 15-19..........................................57
Example 22. Sonata No. 4 in C major, Allegro, mm. 1-13. ..............................................59
Example 23. Sonata No. 15 in C minor, I [Moderato, in tempo di Siciliano],
mm. 1-7. ....................................................................................................................64
Example 24. Sonata No. 60 in A major, mm. 47-59. ........................................................66
Example 25. Sonata No. 71 in A minor, mm. 31-36. .......................................................67
viii
Example 26. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-10. ........................................68
Example 27. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, III, Minuet, mm. 1-10........................................69
Example 28. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 34-37. ........................................................71
Example 29. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 8-14..........................................72
Example 30. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 25-27. ........................................................73
Example 31. Sonata No. 64 in A major, mm. 4-11. ..........................................................74
Example 32. Sonata No. 24 in D minor, mm. 1-5½. ........................................................74
Example 33. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-12. .......................................77
Example 34. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 26-28. ........................................................85
Example 35. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 34-40. ........................................................87
Example 36. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 67-74. ........................................................87
Example 37. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 174-176. ....................................................88
Example 38. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-2½. .......................................89
Example 39. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 30-31½. ...................................91
Example 40. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 11-15. ......................................91
Example 41. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 2½-5, 26½-28..........................92
Example 42. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 7-8, 13-18..............................93
Example 43. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 11-16. ....................................93
Example 44. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 11-13. ....................................94
Example 45. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-1½, 5-6½, 14-15. ..................96
Example 46. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-7, 33-38. ...............................97
Example 47. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 60-62¼.....................................97
Example 48. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 23-30, 65-70. ...........................98
Example 49. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-2. ........................................101
Example 50. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1, 5, 9-10. ..............................103
Example 51. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, III, Minuet, mm. 4, 5, 7, 41-44........................104
Example 52. Seixas, Sonata No. 59, II, Adagio, mm. 1-4. .............................................108
ix
Example 53. Sonata No. 59, II, Adagio, mm. 11-15.......................................................109
Example 54. Sonata No. 59 in A major, I, Allegretto, mm. 1-4; III, Allegro,
mm. 1-2. ..................................................................................................................109
x
1
INTRODUCTION
My interest in the keyboard music of the Iberian Peninsula started at an early age
when I was first introduced to some of the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti.1 I particularly
enjoyed the passages of hand crossing and double thirds, which were new to me at the
time. Scarlatti’s sonatas soon became some of my favorite pieces; they were elegant,
amusing, and gratifying.
During my doctoral studies I chose to revisit the sonatas of Scarlatti as well as to
explore those of the eighteenth-century Spanish composer, Antonio Soler.2 As I was
researching Soler’s sonatas in an anthology of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century
Iberian composers,3 I came upon the keyboard sonatas of Carlos Seixas,4 a roughly
contemporary Portuguese composer.
When I first read through Seixas’s sonatas, I found his music moving and
interesting, but there were some strange harmonies that made me wonder if they were the
result of editorial mistakes. My curiosity about Seixas’s music led me to discover that
1 b. Naples 1685–d. Madrid 1757. Composer and virtuoso harpsichordist. Son of
Alessandro Scarlatti. In Grove Music Online, ―(Giuseppe) Domenico Scarlatti‖ by Roberto
Pagano,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/24708pg7?q=Domenico+Scar
lScar&hbutton_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&so
urso=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6,
2010).
2 b. Gerona 1729–-d. El Escorial 1783. Catalan priest, composer, and organist. He
studied with Jose Nébra and Domenico Scarlatti. Soler worked at the Monastery of El Escorial
an composed around 120 keyboard sonatas. In Grove Music Online, ―Soler (Ramos), Antonio
(Francisco Javier José)‖ by Frederick Marvin,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/26133?q=Antonio+Soler&hbu
hbut_search.x=19&hbutton_search.y=15&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=o
om_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
3 Gerhard Doderer, Organa Hispanica: Iberische Musik des 16., 17., und 18.
Jahrhunderts für Tasteninstrumente. VII. Carlos Seixas (Heidelberg: Willy Müller, 1982).
4 b. Coimbra 1704–d. Lisbon 1742. Further biographical details will be given in the
following chapter.
2
Seixas was a contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti, and that they worked in close
proximity for about nine years, from around 1719 to 1728 as court musicians for John V
of Portugal. In fact, Scarlatti, Soler, and Seixas were all working in close proximity at
roughly the same time. Just a few years later, Soler began working at the El Escorial
Monastery near Madrid. This geographical link situates these three composers as the
leading keyboard figures during the eighteenth century in the Iberian Peninsula. This fact
revealed for me why Seixas’s style bore such a close resemblance to that of Scarlatti and
Soler.
Many young pianists grow up playing the keyboard pieces of Scarlatti.
Additionally, for the past few decades, many pianists have become more familiar with the
music of Soler, whose keyboard works are frequently performed and readily available on
recordings. The solo keyboard works of Seixas, however, are rarely performed.
Furthermore, whenever I mention Seixas’s piano sonatas, the first reaction is often: ―Who
are you talking about?‖ and ―How do you spell his name?‖5 This has made me wonder:
Why haven’t Seixas’s works received wider attention, as have Scarlatti’s and Soler’s?
This essay gives me the opportunity to explore that question and, more importantly,
present a composer whose music has become part of the national patrimony of Portugal
and who has become beloved to me.
Like Scarlatti and Soler, Carlos Seixas is positioned in the first half of the
eighteenth century in an important transitional period in the history of music. He and his
contemporaries are situated between true giants of Western art music: before and, in part,
during Seixas’s lifetime lived Georg F. Händel (1685-1759) and Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750); after Seixas came Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart (1756-1791), and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). During this transitional
5 Carlos Seixas [kɐʁlos ˊsejʃɐs].
3
time in the first half of the eighteenth century, from the Baroque to the Classical eras,
several stylistic trends coexisted: the baroque, the new galant style, the empfindsamer
Stil, and the pre-classical. As pianists, we study Baroque and the Classical elements as
separate entities; yet during Seixas’s time, characteristics from both periods coexisted.
The challenge, then, becomes: how do we interpret and perform this music? Pianists
need guidance on how to interpret music from this period. This essay also gives me the
opportunity to examine performance practice and pedagogical insights from an analytical
viewpoint, concerning the intellectual understanding of the music of this period and—in
particular—of one of its composers, Carlos Seixas.
This essay is divided into four chapters. In Chapter One I discuss the sources for
Seixas scholarship followed by a historical overview of seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury Portugal as well as a brief biography of Seixas’s life. Chapter Two includes a
discussion of Seixas’s musical style and form. I examine various facets of his
compositional style, including some commonalities found in many composers’ works
during the transitional period between the Baroque and pre-Classical. I also explore other
facets of his keyboard writing such as the use of violin idioms, folkloric sounds, and
symphonic textures.
In Chapter Three I examine in greater detail Seixas’s keyboard writing. I start
with descriptions of the instruments that Seixas may have used and of his keyboard
writing. I also examine available scholarship for guidelines on performing early
eighteenth-century keyboard music in general—including specific approaches to
ornaments, articulation, improvisation, rubato, and the like—before turning to Seixas’s
keyboard sonatas in particular.
The last chapter, Chapter Four, includes elements for the analysis of Seixas’s
sonatas; I choose four of these sonatas for more in-depth analysis of formal and tonal
structure. The four selected sonatas represent different formal schemes and stylistic
characteristics, which demonstrate the variety within Seixas’s solo keyboard pieces.
4
They show great contrasts in form, relationship of movements, and thematic treatment:
Sonata No. 16 in C minor presents only one movement in free binary form; Sonata No.
27 in D minor has three movements with no evident relationship among them and toccata
elements in the first movement; Sonata No. 42 in F minor also has three movements but
the last two movements relate thematically and the first movement presents imitative
counterpoint; and Sonata No. 59 in A major represents pre-classical tendencies in texture
and structure, presenting three movements connected as a whole through cyclical
thematic ideas in the outer movements and a second movement, in A minor, that links to
the last movement by means of an open ending.
In addition, Chapter Four includes pedagogical insights from an analytical
standpoint and annotations for the use of Seixas’s sonatas as teaching resources. As part
of this chapter’s pedagogical resources, I also list additional sources for understanding
performance practice of eighteenth-century music, review the available editions of
Seixas’s solo keyboard compositions, and list the primary performers of his keyboard
works.
Finally, the appendices to this essay include two cataloguing tables: the first
(Appendix A) catalogues a selected group of Seixas’s sonatas with detailed descriptions
of their technical difficulties, and the second (Appendix B) catalogues all eighty sonatas
according to level of difficulty. In addition, the scores of all four sonatas analyzed in
Chapter Four are provided in two forms: Appendices C, D, E, and F contain the original
Seixas score as edited by Seixas’s preeminent scholar Santiago Macario Kastner;6
6 b. London 1908–d. Lisbon 1992. Main Seixas’s scholar. Musicologist, pianist and
harpsichordist. He was an expert in Iberian keyboard music of the sixteenth to eighteenth
centuries. In Grove Music Online, ―Kastner, Macario Santiago‖ by José López-Calo and Manuel
De Brito,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/14754?q
=Santiago+Macario+Kastner&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 30,
2010). More details about his research and publications will be given in chapter one.
5
Appendices G, H, I, and J contain my performer’s scores for the same four sonatas, that
is, annotated versions of Kastner’s editions.
6
CHAPTER ONE: GENERAL CONTEXT
Studies on Seixas
Studies on Seixas face one major challenge: the primary sources of information
about Seixas’s life and music are scarce. None of Seixas’s autographs have survived,7
and it is believed that the original autographs of Seixas’s were lost in the earthquake that
hit Lisbon in 1755.
Seixas did not see any of his works published during his lifetime. Only six
manuscript sources contain Seixas’s works, of which only five are currently available for
public study. These manuscripts are copies of copies made by clerics and students and
were preserved in different monasteries and religious institutions in Portugal. The
number, location, and title of each manuscript (Ms.) are listed below:
1. Ms. 338 from the Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa [National Library of Lisbon],
titled Sonatas para Cravo do Sr. Francisco Xavier Baptista.
2. Ms. 48-I-2 from the Biblioteca do Palácio Nacional da Ajuda [Library of the
National Palace of Ajuda], titled Sonatas para Órgão e Cravo do Senhor Jozé
Antonio Carlos.
7 In this essay I will refer to the manuscripts transcribed entirely in the composer’s hand
as autographs, and I will refer to the copies of Seixas’s music copied by someone else as
manuscripts or manuscript copies.
Similarly, none of Soler’s or Scarlatti’s autographs survive, only manuscript copies. In
Grove Music Online, ―(Giuseppe) Domenico Scarlatti‖ by Roberto Pagano,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/24708pg7?q=Domenico+Scar
lScar&hbutton_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&so
urso=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6,
2010). In Grove Music Online, ―Soler (Ramos), Antonio (Francisco Javier José)‖ by Frederick
Marvin,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/26133?q=Antonio+Soler&hbu
hbut_search.x=19&hbutton_search.y=15&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=o
om_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
7
3. Ms. 57 from the Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra [General Library
of the University of Coimbra], titled Tocatas de Órgão/Autor/José Antonio Carlos
de Seixas/Organista da Santa See Patriarchal/Escritas/por o Padre Caetano da
Silva/e/Oliveira.
4. Ms. 58, also from the Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra also, titled
Tocatas/Per Cembalo y Organo del Sig. Gioseppe Antonio Carlos di Seyxas.
(Both manuscripts, Ms. 57 and 58, came from the Livraria do Real Mosteyro de
Santa Cruz de Coimbra.)
5. Ms. 337 from the Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa [National Library of Lisbon],
titled Tocattas per Organo (with four sonatas by Seixas).
6. Other manuscript copies belong to the private collection of Ivo Cruz;8 these
manuscripts have been studied by Kastner and other researchers but are not
currently available for public study.
The first time Seixas’s name appears in a biographical dictionary is in Diogo
Barbosa Machado’s9 Bibliotheca Lusitana [Lusitanian Library], published in 1747, three
years after Seixas’s death. This first entry on Seixas has been reproduced in the
following figure.
8 b. Brazil 1901–d. Lisbon 1985. Portuguese composer, conductor, and lawyer. He was
very interested in the research and study of early Portuguese repertory and choral conducting. In
Grove Music Online, ―Cruz, Ivo‖ by José Picoto and Adriana Latino,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/06912?q
=IIv+Cruz&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 30, 2010).
9 b. Lisbon 1682–d. Lisbon 1772. Portuguese priest and bibliographer. His life work
was a four-volume bibliography of Portuguese authors. In Grove Music Online, ―Barbosa
Machado, Diogo‖ by Robert Stevenson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/02018?q
=Barbosa+Machado&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 30, 2010).
8
Figure 1. Diogo Barbosa Machado, Bibliotheca Lusitana, vol. II, page 357. 10
According to Kastner, the preeminent Seixas scholar whose research I will discuss in
detail later in this chapter, Machado was Seixas’s friend and first biographer, and most of
the information we have about Seixas is through him. In his fourth volume Machado
expands Seixas’s entry to a full article—which became the primary source for the study
of Seixas’s life. Nevertheless, Kastner himself questions several assertions made by
Machado. For example, Seixas’s clerical aspirations were never confirmed by any
monastery or religious institution, which makes us doubt the credibility of the source.
After Machado’s entry, Ernst Ludwig Gerber’s11 Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der
Tonkünstler [Historic-biographical Dictionary of Musicians] of 1791-92 and José
Mazza’s12 Dicionário Biográfico de Músicos Portugueses [Biographic Dictionary of
Portuguese Musicians] also have entries on Seixas. These sources, although of doubtful
credibility, are the only other biographical information we have about the composer
written in the eighteenth century.
10 Antonio Gomes ed., Summario da Bibliotheca Luzitana v. 2 (Lisbon, 1786),
http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015023560199;q1=seixas;start=1;size=25;page=sears
e;seq=361;view=image;num=357, (accessed September 13, 2010). Translation (by Olga Rúa):
―Jozé Antonio Carlos de Seixas, b. in Coimbra, d. in 1742. Compos. several works of church, and
700 toccatas for Keyboard.‖
11 b. Sondershause 1746–d. Sondershause 1819. German music scholar, organist and
composer. In Grove Music Online, ―Gerber, Ernst Ludwig‖ by Othmar Wessely,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/10908?q
=Ludwig+Gerber&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 30, 2010).
12 b. Lisbon ca. 1735–d. Lisbon 1797. Portuguese writer on music. In Grove Music
Online, ―Mazza, José‖ by Robert Stevenson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/18195?q
=JJos+Mazza&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 30, 2010).
9
After these three entries, Seixas’s music seems to have been neglected for more
than a hundred years until, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Joaquim Martins
Teixeira de Carvalho13 referred to Seixas’s sonatas in his book A Livraria do Mosteiro
de Santa Cruz de Coimbra [Library of the Monastery of Santa Cruz of Coimbra].
However, it was not until 1924, when Ivo Cruz began to explore manuscripts in several
Portuguese libraries that contained copies of Seixas’s music, that we can say Seixas
scholarship took a serious turn. The line of research from Teixeira de Carvalho to Ivo
Cruz made it possible for Kastner to expand the study of Seixas and his music. Kastner
highly respected Cruz as a mentor and traced some of the manuscripts’ sources through
the research Cruz had undertaken on ancient Portuguese music.
Kastner is considered the father of modern Portuguese musicology, and his
studies are regarded as the first thorough research of Seixas; he is often said to have
―rediscovered‖ Seixas. One of Kastner’s most important scholarly pursuits was the
edition of Seixas’s music he prepared; in addition to three editions of Seixas’s keyboard
sonatas, he published several books about Seixas’s life and music:
1. Cravistas Portuguezes [Portuguese Keyboardists] (1935), the first publication of
Seixas’s music, which contains twelve sonatas of Seixas.
2. Contribución al Estudio de la Música Española y Portuguesa [Contribution to the
Study of Spanish and Portuguese Music] (1941), a historical and stylistic survey
of Seixas’s music.
3. Carlos de Seixas (1947), biographical study of the composer and analytical
overview of his music. Dedicated to Ivo Cruz.
13 b. 1861–d. 1921. Author of A livraria do Mosteiro de Santa Cruz de Coimbra:
estudo dos seus catálogos, libros de música e coro, incunábulos… (1921). In Biblioteca Nacional
Digital, http://purl.pt/335/2/ (accessed August 30, 2010).
10
4. Cravistas Portuguezes II [Portuguese Keyboardists II] (1950), edition of thirteen
additional sonatas by Seixas.
5. Portugaliae Musica, Carlos Seixas, 80 Sonatas para Instrumentos de Tecla
[Portuguese Music, Carlos Seixas, 80 Sonatas for Keyboard Instruments] (1965),
an edition of eighty sonatas with a substantial foreword and editorial notes. It is
considered an ―entirely new premise for the discussion and evaluation of Seixas’s
keyboard sonatas.‖14
Kastner’s own appreciation of Seixas increased gradually from publication to publication
as his research continued. His final publication on Seixas, 80 Sonatas para Instrumentos
de Tecla, is his pinnacle work.15 This work was the first complete publication of
Seixas’s sonatas. Kastner used all six manuscript-sources to prepare his edition, which
includes a long preface and some annotations about each of the sonatas.
Kastner’s works were studied in great detail by one of his students, Klaus F.
Heimes,16 as part of his dissertation on the sonatas of Seixas.17 Heimes created a table
of the different manuscript sources used by Kastner, revealing duplicates of several
sonatas in multiple manuscript sources. Some of these duplicates even contain the same
mistakes, presumably because the copying of copies was a common eighteenth-century
practice. For purposes of clarity, I have transcribed Heimes’s original table, with the
movements of each sonata appearing in roman numerals and the verified sonatas by
14 Klaus F. Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ (DMA diss., University of
South Africa, 1967), 14.
15 In this edition, Kastner established a numbering system for the sonatas. Due to the
lack of chronological information, he organized them in ascendant chromatic order. This
numbering became the standard numeration for Seixas’s sonatas.
16 Klaus Ferdinand Heimes is the musicologist who wrote the entry for Seixas in the
Grove Music Online Dictionary. He completed his Doctoral in Music at the University of South
Africa in 1967.
17 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 24.
11
Seixas with a capital S (Table 1). Currently, twenty-four sonatas are out of public reach
because they belong to Ivo Cruz’s private collection, which Kastner was permitted to use,
but only as a biographical source.18
While Kastner is regarded as a seminal figure in the development of musicology
as an academic discipline in Portugal, his research has been criticized for his lack of
documentary evidence. He sometimes makes assumptions that have no foundation in
evidence, according to musicologist Manuel Carlos de Brito19:
Based on a vast and eclectic culture and profound
musicological knowledge, his analysis and hypotheses are usually
brilliant and stimulating, even when they cannot be fully
substantiated by present documentary evidence. He has certainly
set new standards for musical scholarship in Portugal, and one can
only lament that he was never offered the opportunity to put them
at the service of training young Portuguese musicologists in a
proper academical context.20
Kastner was an avid scholar and interpreter of early Iberian music. However, he was
never offered a musicology position in academia. Nevertheless, he worked as a
musicological adviser and early music editor for the Gulbenkian Foundation21 from
1958, and his influence was very important for the new generation of Portuguese
musicologists.
18 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 23-24.
19 b. Porto 1945– . Portuguese musicologist. ―Editor-in-chief of the Dicionário de
Música e Músicos Portugueses, to be published by the Gulbenkian Foundation, De Brito has also
contributed many dictionary articles to foreign publications such as the new edition of Die Musik
in Geschichte und Gegenwart (of which he is the country adviser for Portugal), The New Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Viking Opera Guide, Diccionario de la Música
Española e Hispanoamericana, Storia dell’opera italiana and Storia dello spettacolo musicale.
He is the author of a bibliographical database for Portuguese music history which contains at
present circa 1,300 entries.‖ In Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals 1800-1950, Portuguese,
―Manuel Carlos de Brito,‖ http://www.ripm.org/Brito.php (accessed August 30, 2010).
20 Manuel Carlos de Brito, ―Musicology in Portugal Since 1960,‖ Acta Musicologica 56,
1 (Jan-Jun, 1984), 37.
21 Portuguese organization for supporting the arts, charity, education, and the sciences,
founded in 1956. Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian,
http://www.gulbenkian.pt/index.php?section=9&langId=2 (accessed June 3, 2010).
12
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
SI
SI
I (twice)
S I, II + III
SI
S I + II
S I + II
S I, II + III
SI
S I + II
S I + II
S I, II + III
S I + II
SI
I, II, III + IV
S I + II
S I, II + III
S I, II + III
I + II
S I + II
I
S I, II + III
SI
S I, III
I
SI
S I, II + III
I
SI
SI
S I + II
S I, II + III
I + II
SI
I + II
S I + II
SI
S I + II
S I + II
SI
SI
SI
SI
I
S I, II + III
I + II
SI
S I + II
S I + II
SI
SI
S I + II
I + II
S I + II
SI
SI
SI
SI
SI
Private
collection
Dr. Ivo
Cruz
S I + II
S II
SI
S I, II + III
SI
S I + II
S I, II + III
S I, II, III + IV
I
S I, II, II, IV + V
I + II
I
I
I
S I + II
S I, II + III
SI
S I, II + III
SI
Coimbra:
Biblioteca
Geral da
Universida
de, Ms. 58
Coimbra:
Biblioteca
Geral da
Universida
de, Ms. 57
Lisbon:
Biblioteca
da Palácio
Nacional
da Ajuda,
Ms. 48-I-2
Lisbon:
Biblioteca
Nacional,
Ms. 338
Lisbon:
Biblioteca
Nacional,
Ms. 337
Number of
sonata
Table 1. Klaus Heimes, Sources of Seixas’s sonatas according to M. S. Kastner.
SI
SI
I + II
SI
SI
S I + II
S I, II + III
S I + II
S I + II
SI
S I + II
SI
S I + II
SI
SI
SI
S I + II
S I + II (in E)
S I, II + III
SI
S I + II
S I + II (in A)
S I + II
I + II
S I + II
I + II
SI
S I, II + III
S I + II
I
SI
SI
S I + II
SI
S I + II
SI
13
Kastner’s rediscovery of Seixas’s works in the second quarter of the twentieth
century helped generate new interest in Seixas’s music. Ralph Kirkpatrick’s book
Domenico Scarlatti (1953) presents a short—though not very satisfying—discussion of
Seixas based on Kastner’s Carlos de Seixas and Cravistas Portuguezes I and II.
Furthermore, W. S. Newman recognized Seixas as a major figure in Latin music history
in both of his books on the keyboard sonata, The Sonata in the Baroque Era (1959) and
The Sonata in the Classic Era (1963). Newman makes important connections between
Seixas and Ludovico Giustini (1685–1743), as well as between Seixas and Alessandro
Scarlatti (1660–1725).22
Two of Kastner’s foreign pupils have contributed to Seixas’s scholarship. As
mentioned in the discussion about Kastner’s edition of the sonatas, Heimes’s unpublished
dissertation offers insightful stylistic and structural analyses of Seixas’s solo keyboard
sonatas.23 Gerhard Doderer24 mentions Seixas in his several articles about seventeenthand eighteenth-century Portuguese organs25 and also mentions several clavichords used
during Seixas’s time in the list of keyboard instruments at the Museu de Instrumentos
22 William S. Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton,
1972), 274. This connection may help explain why Domenico Scarlatti and Seixas developed
stylistic similarities. Some of Alessandro Scarlatti’s works were found in the manuscripts that
Seixas may have studied with his father during his time in Coimbra.
23 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas.”
24 German-Portuguese musicologist and organist, he is currently Professor at the Music
Department of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. In American Musical Instrument Society:
Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting (19 to 23 May 2006),
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Events/AMISCIMCIMGALPIN/AMISprogrambook2006.pdf (accessed
December 1, 2010).
25 These articles are: ―Die Orgel Spaniens und Portugals im 17.-18. Jahrhundert,‖
Anuario Musical XXV (1971), 211-47. And ―Orgelbau un Orgelmusik des 16.-18. Jahrhunderts
auf der Iberischen Halbinsel,‖ Musica Sacra 92 (1972), 314-23. Gerhard Doderer, ―Orgel Musik
und Orgelbau in Portugal des 17. Jahrhunderts‖ [Organ music and Organ building in Portugal in
the seventeenth century] (University of Würzburg, 1978), published by Hans Schneider (Tutzing,
1978).
14
Musicais do Conservatório Nacional (Museum of Musical Instruments of the National
Conservatory)(1971).26
Furthermore, several articles pertaining to Seixas have appeared in Jean-Paul
Sarrautte’s collection of bio-bibliographical essays on Marcos Portugal (―Portuguese
Landmarks,‖ 1979) and several papers in the editions of Bracara Augusta XXVIII, a
musicological journal from Braga (1974): Doderer’s ―Instrumentos de tecla portugueses
no século XVIII‖ [Portuguese Keyboard Instruments of the Eighteenth Century], and
Heimes’s ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas: The Question of Domenico Scarlatti’s
Influence.‖
National and international musicological conventions have also aided in the study
of Seixas. Since 1977, musicologists and musicians interested in early Iberian music
have produced several publications of the proceedings of these meetings. The
Associação Portuguesa de Educação Musical (APEM) hosts most of these meetings,
including: the Encontros de Música Antiga Ibérica [Colloquium of Ancient Iberian
Music] and the First Encontro Nacional de Musicologia [National Colloquium of
Musicology] (Lisbon 1982 and 1983).
The Gulbenkian Foundation is the most important institution supporting the study
of old Portuguese music. It fosters cultural activities in Portugal and abroad through a
wide range of programs and projects. As part of its mission, it focuses on both folkloric
and art music. The Gulbenkian Foundation is the Portuguese representative for scholarly
26 Other scholars who focus on the history and construction of early Iberian instruments
are: Bernard Brauchli in his Comments on the Lisbon Collections of Clavichords (1978) and the
article ―Le Clavichorde dans la peninsula ibérique: Historie et factore‖ (1983) [The Clavichord in
the Iberian Peninsula: History and Building]. Wesley David Johnson, ―Orgãos Portugueses: A
Documentation and Historical and Technical Study of Selected Portuguese Organs‖ (diss.,
University of New England, 1978). Marten Albert Vente, ―The Renaissance Organ in the
Cathedral of Évora‖ Colóquio-Artes 21 (1975), 70-71. Carlos de Azevedo, Baroque OrganCases of Portugal (Amsterdam, Frits Knuf 1972). And Edward H. Tarr, ―Die Musik und die
Instrumente der Charamela Real in Lissabon‖ Basler Studien zur Interpretation der alten Musik,
Sonderdruck aus Forum Musicologicum II (Basel, Amadeus 1980).
15
publications such as RISM, RILM, RIdIM and CIM.27 The first publications of Seixas’s
score, edited by Kastner, were made possibly by the support of this organization, edited
by Kastner.
Moreover, Seixas’s music has attracted the attention of several student-scholars,
including myself. Dissertations on Seixas include the following: Robert Smith’s ―Carlos
Seixas and Domenico Scarlatti: A Study in Contrasts‖ (Brigham Young University,
1967), Henry Rose’s ―A Performer’s Guide to Selected Keyboard Works of Antonio
Carlos de Seixas‖ (University of North Dakota, 1981), and Julie Gibson Caretto’s
―Unanswered Questions in the Keyboard Sonatas of Carlos de Seixas‖ (University of
Oregon, 1998). Although each of these dissertations addresses pertinent issues about
Seixas’s keyboard works, none of them addresses the pedagogical aspects systematically.
Nor do they offer suggestions about realizing Seixas’s keyboard works on a modern
piano, in light of early eighteenth-century Portuguese performance practices.
However, I have consulted a number of important, recently published articles on
the performance practice of eighteenth-century keyboard music, including those of
Laurence Libin and Eva Badura-Skoda in Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music edited by
Robert Marshall (2003), as well as José Eduardo Martins’s online lecture ―As Sonatas
para Teclado de Carlos Seixas Interpretadas ao Piano‖ [The Keyboard Sonatas of Carlos
de Seixas Interpreted at the Piano] (2004).28
27 RISM Répertoire International des Sources Musicales [International Inventory of
Musical Sources], RILM Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale [International
Repertory of Music Literature], RIdIM Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musical
[International Repertory of Musical Iconography], CIM Conference on Interdisciplinary
Musicology.
28 José Eduardo Martins, ―As Sonatas para Teclado de Carlos Seixas Interpretadas ao
Piano,‖ in Carlos Seixas de Coimbra—Ano Seixas—Exposição Documental (Coimbra: Impresa
de Universidade, 2004).
16
I faced significant challenges during this research. Many source materials were
unavailable to me, for example, as there was only one copy in the world, held in the
reference section of libraries in Europe and Africa.
Geographical and Historical Considerations
During his lifetime, Seixas lived in two cities in Portugal, Coimbra and Lisbon.
Coimbra is located towards the center of the country, and Lisbon is further south, on the
coast of the Atlantic Ocean (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Map of Spain and Portugal.29
29 Map of Spain and Portugal,
http://www.physioatfareham.co.uk/sailpacifico/Large%20map.htm (accessed September 19,
2010).
17
Together Portugal and Spain form the Iberian Peninsula. Historically, both countries
have been somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe by virtue of being on a peninsula.
In addition, the Pyrenean Mountains—which form a massive natural divide between
France and Spain—essentially separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental
Europe. This geographical situation tended to isolate Portugal historically and musically
from the rest of Europe.
For further understanding of the cultural climate of Seixas’s time, it would be
worthwhile to briefly review the history of Portugal from the late sixteenth century.
Portugal was taken over by Spain in 1580 through a series of political marriages: the
kings of each country married the sister of the other king, with John III of Portugal
marrying Catarina of Spain and Carlos V of Spain marrying Isabel of Portugal. 30 When
the grandson of John III died in battle in 1578, Carlos V’s son, Philip II of Spain, claimed
Portugal based on the fact that his mother was Portuguese. At first, under the reign of
Philip II of Spain (Philip I of Portugal), Portugal retained some autonomy, but the
Spanish crown asserted more and more control over the country. The enemies of Spain
became the enemies of Portugal; this further isolated Portugal because English and Dutch
ships no longer were allowed to use Portuguese ports. During the reigns of Philip II
(1598 to 1621) and Philip III (1621 to 1640), the relationship with Portugal further
deteriorated. Aristocrats in Portugal approached a prominent descendant of the Family of
Avis, the former royal family of Portugal, and persuaded him to reclaim the throne of
Portugal.31 Spanish oppression came to an end with his crowning as John IV in 1640.
30 Julie Gibson Caretto, ―Unanswered Questions in the Keyboard Sonatas of Carlos de
Seixas (1704–1742),‖ thesis (Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, 1998), 5. And in James
Maxwell Anderson, The History of Portugal (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000)
http://proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/login?url=http://site.ebrary.com/lib/uiowa/Doc?id=10017975
31 The Duke of Bragança was the grandson of the sister of John III and the closest
descendant of the house of Avis; he changed his name to John IV when he was crowned king of
18
John IV (or João IV in Portuguese) reinstated the privileges of the English and the
Dutch in Portuguese ports. An alliance with England was signed in 1642, which kept
Portugal safe against any hostile intentions of Spain. More alliances followed, with
France in 1713, and finally with Spain itself in 1715. The new period that began with the
crowning of John IV (1640 to 1656) is called ―The Restoration.‖ A cultural revolution
took place in Portugal during this period, extending into the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries. In general, Portugal replaced Spanish influences with French, Italian, and
German influences.32
The Golden Age of modern Portugal began when John V (João V) succeeded the
throne in 1706 and married Maria Ana of Austria in 1708. His ideal of monarchy was the
reign of Louis XIV of France, with the magnificence of Versailles, the patronage of
learning and culture, and the centralization of government.33 He strove to achieve a high
cultural atmosphere in Portugal and sent students abroad to become familiar with music,
arts, economic practice, mathematics, and astronomy.34 In addition, the financial
position of Portugal was continually improving after 1700 thanks to the discovery of
precious stones and metals in Brazil, a Portuguese colony at the time.35 During this time,
new philosophy, aesthetics, and styles grew in Portugal; in the realm of music, the
Europe of the first decades of the eighteenth century transformed the high Baroque into
Portugal on December 1, 1640. In A. H. de Olivera Marques, History of Portugal: Vol. 1 from
Lusitania to Empire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), 281, 287, 325, and 327.
32 Gibson Caretto, 5. And in Olivera Marques, 409.
33 H. V. Livermore, A New History of Portugal (Great Britain: Cambridge University
Press, 1966), 205.
34 Gibson Caretto, 7.
35 Luisa Morales, ed., Domenico Scarlatti en España: Actas de los Sumposia FIMTE
2006-2007 [Domenico Scarlatti in Spain: Proceedings of FIMTE Symposia 2006-2007],
―Remarks on Domenico Scarlatti’s Portuguese Period (1719-1729)‖ by Gerhard Doderer
(Almería, Spain: Asociación Cultural LEAL, 2009), 161.
19
rococo and early classicism. Portugal started to be influenced by the new musical trends
of the rest of Europe, particularly those coming from Italy. It was at this moment when
Carlos Antonio de Seixas was born, and it was at John V’s court where he served as
organist to the Royal Chapel.
Biographical Sketch of José Antonio Carlos de Seixas
José Antonio Carlos de Seixas, son of Francisco Vaz36 and Marcelina Nunes, was
born in Coimbra, Portugal, on June 11, 1704.37 Carlos de Seixas was part of the social
class called petit bourgeois, which was comprised of musicians, artisans, and modest
businessmen.38 His father was the organist at the Cathedral of Coimbra from 1698 to
1718. According to Seixas’s earliest biographer and good friend Diogo Barbosa
Machado, Francisco Vaz taught his son organ, harpsichord, and staff reading. Seixas was
a talented young musician who developed quickly.39
After his father’s death in 1718, Seixas assumed the post of organist at the
Cathedral of Coimbra at the age of sixteen. Just a few years later, around 1720, Seixas
left Coimbra for Lisbon. We do not know if Seixas left Coimbra with a position in
Lisbon already in hand, but later that year, Seixas became organist of the Royal Chapel
and Patriarchal Cathedral.40 Seixas was a very successful musician who enjoyed a
36 b. ?–d. ca.1718. In M. S. Kastner, Carlos de Seixas (Lisbon: Coimbra Editora, 1947),
21, 23.
37 It is not known where the name Seixas or Seyxas came from. Kastner’s explanation is
that the names Vaz and Nunes were replaced by the more sonorous Seixas, probably considered
more noble. In Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 18.
38 Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 17.
39 Diogo Barbosa Machado, Bibliotheca Lusitana, Historia, Critica, e Chronologica, Na
Qual se Comprehende a Noticia dos Authores Portuguezes, e das Obras, que Compozeraõ desde
o tempo da promulgação da Ley da Graça até o Tempo Presente, Vol. 4 (Lisbon: Na Officina
Patriarcal de Francisco Luiz Ameno, 1759), 198-99.
40 According to Kastner, Seixas wanted to become a cleric but after he started working at
the Patriarchal Cathedral, he gave up the idea. In Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 49-50.
20
financially secure situation.41 In 1732 he married Joanna Maria da Silva, and they went
on to have five children. During his time in Lisbon, Seixas had a nine-year association
with the renowned Italian harpsichordist and composer Domenico Scarlatti, who arrived
in Lisbon around 1720 as the instructor of Infanta Maria Bárbara, the daughter of John
V.42 Near the end of his life, Seixas was honored with the knighthood in the Order of
Christ (1738). On August 25, 1742, he died of rheumatism and ―malignant fever‖ at the
age of thirty-eight.43
There are many reasons why, despite his success during his lifetime, Seixas’s
rediscovery came later than the rediscoveries of other musicians of his time (i.e.
Domenico Scarlatti and Soler). In addition to Portugal’s musical isolation from the rest
of Europe, we should bear in mind that in Seixas’s relatively short life, he never left
Portugal. He was a very successful and active musician in both Coimbra and Lisbon, but
he never traveled abroad. Another consideration, of course, is that Seixas was
overshadowed by Domenico Scarlatti; whenever Seixas’s name was mentioned, it was
always in conjunction with Scarlatti. Lastly, as was established at the opening of this
chapter, the sources of Seixas’s works are scarce.
Seixas’s surviving pieces number approximately 104 keyboard sonatas (88
authenticated and 16 non-authenticated), around 40 unpublished minuets for the
keyboard, an overture, a sinfonia, a concerto for keyboard and string orchestra, a Te
Deum, and several motets for four and five voices with orchestra.
41 Seixas owned several homes in the area surrounding the Patriarchal Cathedral. In
Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 115.
42 Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 55. It is not certain what kind of association they had in
the court of John V, but it is likely that they had heard of each other and each other’s music.
Additionally, it is not known why Don Antonio brought Scarlatti to be Infanta Maria Barbara’s
instructor, instead of asking Seixas who was already working at the court.
43 Machado, Bibliotheca Lusitana, Historica, Critica, e Chronologica, 199.
21
CHAPTER TWO: ELEMENTS OF SEIXAS‘S MUSICAL STYLE
Contextual Background
Carlos Seixas‘s musical formation began with his own father, the organist of the
Cathedral of Coimbra, with whom Carlos studied organ, harpsichord, improvisation, staff
reading, and interpretation. Although none of Vaz‘s compositions have survived, we can
assume that his style represented the musical tendencies of the late seventeenth century
and the beginning of the eighteenth century in Portugal. Among Vaz‘s contemporaries
were Bernardo Pasquini (1637–1710), Juan Cabanilles (1644–1712), Arcangelo Corelli
(1653–1713), Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1720), François Couperin (1668–1733), and
Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722). Furthermore, composers of the Iberian Peninsula during
the second half of the seventeenth century—such as Agostinho da Cruz,44 Manuel
Rodrigues Coelho,45 Estácio Lacerna,46 Diogo de Alvarado,47 and Francisco Correa de
44 b. Braga 1590–d. Lisbon 1640. Augustinian monk highly respected as a practical
musician, composer, and theorist. In Gove Music Online, ―Cruz, Agostinho da‖ by Bernadette
Nelson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/06910?q=Agostinho+da+cruz
&hbuttoh_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source
=omo_gmo&sourso=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
45 b. Elvas ca.1555–d. Lisbon ca.1635. Portuguese composer and organist. ―Rodrigues
Coelho‘s musical style stems from that of Cabezón but is also indebted to Sweelinck and the
English virginalists.‖ In Grove Music Online, ―Rodrigues Coelho, Manuel‖ by Barton Hudson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/23648?q=manuel+rodrigues+
coelho&hbutton_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&s
ource=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6,
2010).
46 b. Seville ca.1570–d. Peru ca. 1616. Peruvian composer and organist of Spanish birth.
In Grove Music Online, ―Serna, Estacio de la‖ by Robert Stevenson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/25469?q=estacio+lacerna&hb
utton_sesear.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=omo
_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
47 b. ca. 1570–d. Lisbon 1643. Basque organist and composer. In Grove Music Online,
―Alvarado, Diego de‖ by Robert Stevenson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/00703?q=diogo+de+alvarado
&hbuttoh_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source
=omo_gmo&sourso=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
22
Arauxo48—all contributed to the stylistic environment that influenced Carlos de Seixas
in the first half of the eighteenth century.
Seixas was raised in the relatively cosmopolitan environment of Coimbra, where
Portugal‘s most important university is located. Through the university, Coimbra was in
contact with intellectual and artistic centers in Italy, France, England, and Germany. For
example, among the collections of the Biblioteca da Universidade de Coimbra [the
University of Coimbra Libraries]49 are codices with music by Alessandro Scarlatti and
Bernardo Pasquini. These codices not only demonstrate that foreign music reached the
center of Portugal, but also, according to Newman and as previously mention in Chapter
One, link Alessandro Scarlatti with Seixas and elucidate the stylistic similarities between
Domenico Scarlatti and Seixas.50 According to Kastner, it is possible that Seixas‘s father
used music from these codices for his musical duties at the Cathedral of Coimbra and as
instructional pieces for his son, Carlos Seixas.51
48 b. Seville ca. 1584–d. Segovia 1654. Spanish composer, organist, and theorist, who
formed his style studying the works of Diego del Castillo and Francisco de Peraza. In Grove
Music Online, ―Correa de Arauxo, Francisco‖ by Barton Hudson and Louis Jambou,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/06556?q=francisco+correa&h
button_ssearc.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=om
o_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
49 Largo da Porta Férrea, E. Donato, Inventario dos inéditos e impressos musicais:
subsidios para um catálogo (Coimbra, 1937), Catálogo de manuscritos (Coimbra, 1925-1940).
U. Berti, Ensaio com notas biográficas de um catálogo dos manuscritos musicais (Coimbra,
1940). And others, see Grove Music Online, ―Libraries, §6(i): Europe: Portugal‖ by Rita Benton,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/40070pg2
8?q=codices+at+the+university+of+coimbra&search=quick&pos=2&_start=1#firsthit (accessed
Sep. 16, 2010).
50 Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 274.
51 The Iberian authors of these three codices use the church modes and do not employ
chromaticism and accidentals, devises which at this time were already being used by non-Iberian
composers as part of the new major/minor tonal system. In Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 43. It is
possible that Vaz introduced Seixas to the major/minor tonal system that was found in these
codices: examples from Alessandro Scarlatti, Pasquini, and other Italian composers.
23
Some of the Iberian composers of Vaz‘s generation still continued to write in
church modes, a tradition that was maintained longer in the Iberian Peninsula than in the
rest of Europe. However, the musical style in Portugal during Vaz‘s time was in a state
of flux; there was a shift away from church modes, towards the major/minor tonal
system, which was already more or less standard in much of the rest of Europe. Seixas
uses the major/minor tonal system, which situates him among the new generation of
Portuguese composers.52
In addition, Spanish and Portuguese composers generally did not write fugues and
baroque suites. Instead, they developed new forms indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula
such as tento,53 batalha,54 and xácara,55 and transformed foreign forms such as
52 Seixas presents more recurrences of minor than was usual at the time; his ratio is 1:1,
i.e., for each sonata in major mode there is a sonata in minor mode, while D. Scarlatti‘s ratio is
3:1. In Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 275.
53 Tento (tiento in Spanish means ‗to try out,‘ ‗to experiment‘) was a Spanish and
Portuguese musical form of the sixteenth to early eighteenth century very similar to the Italian
Ricercare, of improvisatory nature and free form. ―It denotes a kind of free study through which
the performer is acquainted with playing in different modes and the technical problems associated
with a particular instrument.‖ In The Oxford Companion to Music, ―Tiento‖ by Jane Bellingham,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e6790?q=tien
to&hbuthbu_search.x=22&hbutton_search.y=13&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&so
urce=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=2&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 5,
2010).
54 Batalha (batalla in Spanish) was an organ piece that made allusion to battle.
―Compositions descriptive of battles form a minor but distinctive category of sixteenth-century
music, both vocal and instrumental, with a sporadic continuation, mainly instrumental, down to
the early nineteenth century.‖ In Grove Music Online, ―Battle music‖ by Alan Brown,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/02318?q
=batalla&hbutton_search.x=16&hbutton_search.y=10&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t23
7&source=omo_ggm&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=9&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July
5, 2010).
55 Xácara (jácara in Spanish) was ―an old Spanish ballad or dance tune. In the
seventeenth century the jácara was often used in the theatre, and it eventually developed into the
tonadilla.‖ In The Oxford Companion to Music,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e3512
(accessed July 5, 2010).
24
espanholeta,56 and canção.57 These folkloric Iberian forms may have indirectly filtered
into Seixas‘s music, but there is no evidence of direct quotation of folk music. The only
baroque stylized dances used by Seixas were the minuet and the gigue.
Elements from the fugue and the baroque suite are evident in Seixas‘s sonatas; he
uses the title fugue in some of his sonatas, as well as some movements from the baroque
suite, the jiga (gigue) and the minuet, as secondary movements. However, his fugues
derive more from the tento tradition, a contrapuntal opening that dissipates in
homophonic texture after the first measures of each section.
Baroque Elements
While Seixas received musical elements of Portuguese baroque from his father, it
is important to bear in mind that the baroque in Portugal developed particular traits that
were different from the rest of Europe. These traits are described by Kastner in his
comparison of baroque Portuguese music with the architecture of the period:
56 Espanholeta (españoleta in Spanish, Spagnoletta in Italian) was a dance that appeared
first in Italy in the late sixteenth century. Its scheme was used in the seventeenth century for
dances, songs, and instrumental variations. ―The scheme has a fixed harmonic plan, the first two
sections of which are related to one of the main chordal schemes of the Renaissance dance style;
the concluding section is apparently a double ripresa, which is sometimes omitted. The
spagnoletta is usually in triple metre, and the first three bars of the discant melody almost always
have the same pitches.‖ In Grove Music Online, ―Spagnoletta‖ by Richard Hudson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/26342
(accessed July 5, 2010).
57 Canção (canción in Spanish) is a song. ―A term used by poets and musicians up to
the fifteenth century more or less interchangeably with cantiga, cantar, the Galician-Portuguese
canson, etc., and from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth with cantar, oda, poema, etc.
From about 1450 to about 1530 its meaning tended to be restricted to a refrain song, like the
villancico in its characteristic ABBA musical form but often more contrapuntal and usually based
on a more serious poetic theme.‖ In Grove Music Online, ―Canción‖ by Jack Sage and Susana
Friedmann,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/04720?q
=cancion&hbutton_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237
&source=omo_ggm&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July
5, 2010).
25
The Portuguese music of the period called baroque,
especially that of the high-baroque, avoids the extremes of the
architecture and of the decoration. It never left the blunt
soberness, nor lost itself in the branches of precious ornaments.
The same soberness, from the facades of architecture, is found in
the Portuguese music for keyboard of this epoch.58
Portuguese music of the high-baroque style is sober, less ornamented, and more ascetic,
with simpler embellishments and ornamentation, and lighter textures of homophony.
Seixas uses contrapuntal textures from the baroque tradition in the manner of the
canon, organ prelude (Examples 1 and 2), or fugue (Example 3). Seixas‘s fugues are less
busy, with three voices that soon break into free counterpoint, making the texture less
thick. Sonatas No. 48 and 75 present counterpoint throughout their entire first
movements. In Sonata No. 48 in G major a cantus firmus–like melody is followed by the
free counterpoint of two voices, bass and tenor, which presents a new subject and
countersubject (Example 1). This sonata presents a texture similar to organ writing,
where the long-valued notes are held as long as needed by the instrument.
Example 1. Sonata No. 48 in G major, mm. 1-8.
58 Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 51-52.
26
Another sonata with similar texture is Sonata No. 75 in A minor, which is a fugue with a
real answer to the subject a fifth above. This sonata presents a subject followed by two
entrances of the real answer in the alto and soprano (Example 2). However, the
countersubject is heard only in the bass and the answers are almost in strict canon form at
the octave. Seixas‘s use of fugues differs from J. S. Bach‘s in the sense that Seixas is less
technical and strict about the construction of the fugue, an illustration of the fact that his
fugues come from the tento tradition, which presents freer counterpoint and becomes
more homophonic after the first entrance.
Example 2. Sonata No. 75 in A minor, mm. 1-9.
Example 3. Sonata No. 76 in A minor, mm. 1-7½.
27
A third example of imitation is Sonata No. 76 in A minor, where after a strict
imitation at the octave the counterpoint becomes free. No other strict imitation points are
found in the movement besides the opening gesture (Example 3).
Example 4. Sonata No. 71 in A minor, mm. 1-6.
A fourth example of baroque influence is Sonata No. 71 in A minor, which recalls
a two-voice invention. The imitative counterpoint dissipates into homophony after the
first three measures (Example 4); this process is repeated at the beginning of each part of
the binary-form movement. The polyphonic texture becomes homophonic after the first
exposition of the subject/theme. Throughout the rest of the sonata, infrequent recurrences
of the two-voice imitation are interspersed with sequential passages.
As seen in these four examples, Seixas‘s music has roots in the baroque tradition
but at the same time breaks those traditions and links to the new tendencies of the preclassical style. These trends placed him among more well-known pioneers of the
classical era, such as G. P. Telemann,59 B. Galuppi,60 T. A. Arne,61 and C.P.E. Bach.62
59 b. Magdeburg 1681–d. Hamburg 1767. The most prolific German composer of the
first half of the eighteenth century. He is an important link between the late baroque and the early
classical styles. In Grove Music Online, ―Telemann, Georg Philipp‖ by Steven Zohn,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/27635?q=Telemann&hbutton
_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=omo_gm
o&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
28
Born into a Transitional Time
During the transition from the baroque to the classical eras (roughly the first half
of the eighteenth century), elements from several European traditions coexisted at the
same time in Portugal. The Portuguese baroque of Vaz‘s generation was mixed with the
new pre-classical tendencies and transformed into a heterogeneous style. This preclassical current included the galant style63 as well as the beginnings of what later
became the empfindsamer Stil64 and the Sturm und Drang.65 This transitional time has
60 b. Burano, Venice 1706–d. Venice 1785. A very popular opera composer of both
serious and comic opera and very prolific composer of sacred and keyboard music. In Grove
Music Online, ― Galuppi, Baldassare‖ by Dale E. Monson,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/50020?q=Galuppi&hbutton_s
earch.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source=omo_gmo
&source=omo_t111&search=quick&pos=2&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
61 b. London 1710–d. London 1778. English composer, violinist, and keyboardist. He
was famous during the eighteenth century mostly for his musical theater compositions. In Grove
Music Online, ―Arne, Thomas Augustine‖ by Peter Holman and Todd Gilman,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40018?source=omo_t237&so
urce=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&type=biography&search=quick&q=Arne&pos=11&_start=1
#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
62 b. Weimar 1714–d. Hamburg 1788. Son of Johann Sebastian Bach and his first wife
Maria Barbara. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was recognized as the most important composer and
teacher in Protestant Germany in the second half of the eighteenth century. In Grove Music
Online, ―Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach‖ by Christoph Wolff,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40023pg12#S40023.3.9
(accessed July 6, 2010).
63 Particularly from the Italian tradition of approximately 1735 to 1750. In Manuel
Pedro Ferreira, ―A Sinfonia em Si b Maior de Carlos Seixas: Notas Sobre o Estilo, a Data e o
Autor,‖ Revista Portuguesa de Musicología (Lisbon: Instituto Nacional de Investigasão, 1992),
155.
64 ―A musical aesthetic associated with north Germany during the middle of the 18th
century, and embodied in what was called the ‗Empfindsamer Stil‘ [sic]. Its aims were to achieve
and intimate, sensitive and subjective expression; gentle tears of melancholy were one of its most
desired responses.‖ In Oxford Music Online, ―Empfindsamkeit‖ by Daniel Heartz and Bruce
Alan Brown,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/08774?tyt
y=article&search=quick&q=empfindsamer+still&pos=4&_start=1#firsthit (accessed October 6,
2010).
65 ―Storm and stress. A movement in German letters, reflected in the other arts, that
reached its highpoint in the 1770s. It is most easily defined by its artistic aims: to frighten, to
29
been identified in several different ways, beginning with the term pre-classical, that is,
the period previous to the classical. This designation, however, takes importance away
from this period by implying that the classical period is the culmination of the preclassical. Another term, ―galant,‖66 began to be used around 1720 by a number of
writers, reflecting the new trend toward lightly accompanied melodies in a ―courtly
manner.‖67 Since this was not the only style of this transitional period, however, the
term is not completely accurate in characterizing the confluence of styles during this
time. Finally, scholars such as Heimes refer to this transitional period as post-baroque,
quite simply the period following the baroque, which avoids confusion and is the most
neutral of the three terms, giving this transitional period a certain autonomy.68
Seixas‘s style shares the hybrid characteristics of this transitional period: for
example, his works relax the motivic play of the baroque in a more homophonic texture.
In addition, Seixas mantains the motivic variation of the late baroque, while his phrasing
and clear phrase-structure are more representative of the classical style. As Heimes
states, ―Seixas‘s music oscillates between classic and baroque tendencies.‖69 For the
stun, to overcome with emotion. In line with these aims was an extreme emphasis on an antirational, subjective approach to all art.‖ In Oxford Music Online, ―Sturm und Drang‖ by Daniel
Heartz and Bruce Alan Brown,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/27035
(accessed October 6, 2010).
66 C. P. E. Bach, in his Versuch, distinguished between the learned and the galant styles.
The term galant was used to describe Scarlatti‘s way of playing and was also used by Quantz to
describe the galant singing of the time, bel canto. Galant was also used as the written or nonwritten ornamentation of a piece, Mattheson called galanterie the embellishments of a piece.
67 In Grove Music Online, ―Galant‖ by Daniel Heartz and Bruce Alan Brown,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/10512?q
=galant&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 20, 2010).
68 I will be using all three of these terms, as they represent the different characteristics of
Seixas‘s music.
69 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas‘s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 71.
30
purpose of illustration, I have listed the baroque and post-baroque characteristics of
Seixas‘s compositions in the following table (Table 2). These characteristics are for the
most part contrasting, but not necessarily in opposition. For example, both styles share
the characteristic of having expressive slow adagios as second movements.
Table 2. Characteristics of Seixas‘s style.
Baroque
Post-baroque
(galant or pre-classical)
Walking bass lines
Homophonic texture
Minuets, jigas (gigues)
Florid melodic line (bel canto)
Expressive adagios as second movements
Expressive adagios as second movements
Multi-movement pieces
Contrasting thematic material
Motivic repetition
Frequent cadences
Sequential construction
Moderate harmonic changes
Ornamentation
Extended phrase and subphrase lengths
Improvisation and thorough bass
Coordination between material and formal
function
A unique characteristic of Seixas‘s style is that some of his sonatas have two,
three, four, or even five movements grouped together.70 This characteristic may be
reminiscent of the multi-movement baroque suite, since he uses minuets and jigas as
secondary movements. On the other hand, his multi-movement sonatas may as well be
part of the evolution toward the later multi-movement classical sonata, which came from
70 D. Scarlatti grouped movements in pairs, but Seixas is known to have sonatas with
more than two movements grouped together. Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 274.
31
the multi-movement sonata da chiesa71 or sonata da camera72 of the baroque tradition.
However, some of Seixas‘s movements are not in the same key, and some of his slow
movements have an open ending that connects to the next movement—which suggests
that his multi-movement sonatas were closely related to the classical tradition. In
addition, some Seixas sonatas have several movements seen as a whole by their cyclical
thematic relationship, an element of the early classical sonata.73 Multi-movement works
belong to both periods, the baroque and the classical, and Seixas‘s multi-movement
works situate his hybrid elements firmly in this transitional period.
Pre-Classical Elements
One of the roots of the classical style during this tradition was the previously
mentioned galant style.74 W. S. Newman differentiates between two trends in the galant
71 ―Church sonata. A Baroque instrumental work, often in four movements. In many
churches during the 17th century. . . distinctions between church and chamber sonatas evaporated
in Corelli‘s lifetime (dances intrude on church sonatas, expressive adagios on chamber sonatas;
the melodic bass and continuo share a single line; even the church sonata‘s fugue could be
replaced by a binary movement).‖ In Oxford Music Online, ―Sonata da chiesa‖ by Sandra
Mangsen,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/26196?tyt
y=article&search=quick&q=sonata+da+chiesa+sonata+da+camera&pos=4&_start=1#firsthit
(accessed October 6, 2010).
72 ―Chamber sonata. An instrumental work common in the Baroque era, usually in three
or four movements and scored for one or more melody instruments and continuo. . . indeed, it
was only with Corelli‘s op. 2 (1685) that Italians began to favor the term ―sonata da camera‖ for
specific sets of dance movements. . . After 1700, any distinction between the sonata da chiesa
and the sonata da camera disappeared as binary movements took the place of the fugues in
church sonatas, and expressive grave or adagio movements appeared in chamber sonatas.
Groups of dances were also called by other names, such as partita, suite, ordre, ouverture and
air.‖ In Oxford Music Online, ―Sonata da camera‖ by Sandra Mangsen,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/26195?tyt
y=article&search=quick&q=sonata+da+chiesa+sonata+da+camera&pos=3&_start=1#firsthit
(accessed October 6, 2010).
73 See Chapter Four, Sonata No. 59 in A major, p. 114.
74 Ferreira, ―A Sinfonia em Si b Maior de Carlos Seixas: Notas Sobre o Estilo, a Data e
o Autor,‖ 149.
32
style: one is ―the relaxation, though not yet the abandonment, of several processes which
we have grouped under ‗motivic play,‘‖ and the second is a style ―distinctly anti-baroque
both in concept and character.‖75 Seixas‘s sonatas present both kinds of galant style as
defined by Newman, a mixture of relaxed elaboration of motivic units and at the same
time anti-baroque characteristics of homophony and simplicity. Seixas also uses more
homophonic texture with clear phrasing and phrase structure, which is more
representative of the classical style.
Example 5. Sonata No. 80 in B minor, mm. 1-20.
Sonata No. 80 in B minor is one of the many examples with homophonic texture,
moderate harmonic changes, and clearly differentiated phrase and subphrase lengths
75 Newman, The Sonata in the Classical Era, 120.
33
(Example 5). This sonata recalls some of Mozart‘s early pieces, but with less
symmetrical phrase structure.
Example 6. Sonata No. 59 in A major, III, Allegro, mm. 38-42.
Seixas also uses accompaniments that sketch the future Alberti bass,76 an
accompaniment pattern considered characteristic of the classical period. A pseudoAlberti bass is seen in the third movement of Seixas‘s Sonata No. 59 in A major
(Example 6).
Highly Expressive Second Movements
Contrary to the light galant sonorities, Seixas‘s second movements present a deep
lyricism and expression. As Kastner describes: ―The ‗sensitive‘ (empfindsamer Stil) [sic]
tendency was characterized by a consuming expression, dynamic contrast, with recurrent
use of melodic fragmentation, chromaticism and unprepared dissonances.‖77 The
76 ―Left-hand accompaniment figure in keyboard music consisting of broken triads
whose notes are played in the order: lowest, highest, middle, highest.‖ In Grove Music Online,
―Alberti bass‖ by David Fuller, in
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/00447?q
=alberti+bass&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed October 7, 2010).
77 Ferreira, ―A Sinfonia em Si b Maior de Carlos Seixas: Notas Sobre o Estilo, a Data e
o Autor,‖ 151-52.
34
empfindsamer Stil characteristic started to develop during Seixas‘s time, reaching its peak
with the works of C.P.E. Bach during the third quarter of the eighteenth century.
Seixas‘s second movements display high lyricism; in some cases fermatas at the
end of a phrase, chromaticism, and florid melody lines contribute to the ―consuming
expression‖ described by Kastner. Seixas‘s Sonata No. 49 in G minor, second
movement, with its opening chromatic ascendant line, is an example of this expression
linked with the empfindamer Stil as well as with the character of Sturm und Drang
(Example 7). The open ending of this very short movement (a mere nine measures) helps
build the emotional charge, which ends with a fermata on a quarter-note rest that gives
momentum to the unresolved dominant sonority before starting the next movement. The
―staccato‖ marking is maybe an editorial addition, which might be intended to suggest
more suspension and incertitude as the chromatic line ascends in the melody and the bass
line descends in measures 1 through 3 and measure 7.
Example 7. Sonata No. 49 in G minor, II, Adagio.
Another example of deep expression is Seixas‘s Sonata No. 57 in A major, which
has a second movement in F-sharp minor that contrasts with both of the outer movements
35
(Example 8). This movement is attacca after the first movement, which creates a sudden
change in character typical of Sturm und Drang. The right-hand melody is an expressive
descending line that is complemented by the slow siciliano-like accompaniment. The big
melodic leaps of fifths and sixths and the chromatic neighbor-tones give great
expressivity to the melodic line. In addition, the texture in the bass line is enhanced by
the big leaps between registers and the use of octaves, which intensify the sonority of the
instrument.
Example 8. Sonata No. 57 in A major, II, Adagio, mm. 1-6.
Roots of Seixas‘s Form
By the early eighteenth century, the bipartite sonata form was already well
established as the leading compositional form on the Iberian Peninsula. This form was
used by native Spanish and Portuguese composers as well as by visiting Italian
composers such as Domenico Scarlatti. The bipartite sonata has its roots in older forms
such as the toccata and the tento, as well as in baroque forms such as the suite and the
sonata for solo instruments with thorough bass. Seixas uses the bipartite form for his
36
minuets and jigas, for each of his single-movement works, and for the first movements of
each of his multi-movement works. The proportions between the first and second parts
vary from sonata to sonata, and the thematic and key relationships also vary (see Figures
3 and 4). Seixas tends to focus on the first part of the first movement with less
parallelism in the closing second part; this asymmetry of parts may be a reflection of
more rhapsodic forms, such as the tento, toccata, and prelude.
The Term Sonata
Seixas did not use the term sonata as we use it today. In the early and mideighteenth century the term sonata did not imply a definition of structural form; from
1700 to 1740, a period which encompassed Seixas‘s life and the transitional time from
the baroque to the classical eras, the term sonata was interchangeable with toccata,
sinfonia, and exercizzi.78 Thus, by Seixas‘s time, the sonata was a free composition in
which several themes coexisted in a mosaic manner. Some of his sonatas had clearly
delineated sections and some did not. Additionally, Seixas makes no particular
distinction regarding the instrument that his sonatas were written for; organ, harpsichord,
clavichord, and fortepiano were all referred to in Portugal as cravo [keyboard]. There
was no significant difference, for example, between the stringed-keyboard sonata and the
organ sonata during this time in Portugal; even if a composer wrote organ in the title
(Sonatas Nos. 48 and 75), it was intended for any keyboard instrument.79
78 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas‘s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 58-59.
79 Ibid., 40-47. Moreover, Seixas treated all keyboard instruments as equals. ―The great
majority of Portuguese harpsichords had only one keyboard with two 8-ft. strings to a key, but
neither a 4-ft. nor a 16-ft. register, i.e. they were, apart from their action, built to the same
specifications as the clavichords.‖ Ibid., 50.
37
Binary Form
Several kinds of bipartite form were used during the beginning of the eighteenth
century: 1) the simple bipartite AA‘ or AB; 2) the balanced bipartite, in which some
components of the first part are repeated in the tonic at the end of the second part
[A(a+b)||A‘(c+b)]; 3) rounded binary, in which two or more thematic ideas from the first
part are repeated in the second part [A(a+b)||BA(a+b)]; 4) free binary form, in which the
thematic ideas may or may not be related in a big scheme [A(a+b)||B(a‘+c)]; and 5)
combinations or variants of the bipartite forms mentioned above.80
Of these, Seixas most frequently used the binary and rounded binary forms. In
Seixas‘s bipartite forms, the first half modulates to a subordinate key (the dominant or
relative minor) and the second half usually starts at the subordinate key and modulates
back to the home key, which creates a plateau between the two halves in the subordinate
key. Yet apart from the fact that Seixas chose the bipartite form, he did not have a set
structural scheme for his sonatas. Seixas experimented with form just as Beethoven
would later. Each Seixas sonata contains its own particular combination of constitutive
parts; each one is an exploration at the structural and harmonic levels.
Example 9. Sonata No. 47 in G major, [Allegro], mm. 44-50.
80 In Grove Music Online, ―Binary form‖ by W. Dean Sutcliffe and Michael Tilmouth,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/03093?q
=binary+form&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed October 15, 2010).
38
One of the examples in which Seixas experiments with binary form is his Sonata No. 47
in G major, where the second half does not start in the usual subordinate key (D major in
this case), but instead it opens with E dominant seventh, which tonicizes A minor,
breaking the usual tonal plateau on the dominant created at the end of the first section and
the beginning of the second section (Example 9).
Binary vs. Mosaic Form
In addition to binary and rounded binary, a number of Seixas‘s sonatas can be
classified as mosaic form, which refers to a free compositional form with several
thematic ideas that are combined freely.81 When Seixas uses mosaic form, his motives
create a pattern of phrases that do not necessarily relate to a set thematic progression. For
example, in Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto], the mosaic form alternates the
subphrases in different patterns (Figure 3). The groups of subphrases are irregular and
sometimes don‘t combine into a single phrase, creating a segmented outline that
resembles a mosaic of smaller constitutive units. Appendix C presents the score of this
sonata.
Figure 3. Diagram of Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto].
81 Mosaic form is similar to the free binary form mentioned before, referred by Heimes
as mosaic. Its origins probably come from improvisatory forms such as preludes, variations,
fantasias, or capriccios.
39
On the other hand, Sonata No. 59 in A major, first movement, has thematic
sections that are very similar to thematic groups and co-relate in a big scheme (Figure 4).
This sonata presents defined thematic areas organized in what I call primitive sonatina
form. The thematic announcement and secondary idea of this sonata are stated in the
tonic and modulate to the dominant in the first part. The second part opens with a short
pseudo-development that modulates to B minor, where recapitulation of the thematic
announcement is followed by the secondary idea in measure 54; the rest of the sonata is
very similar to the first part but with a modulation back to the tonic in measure 74. The
pseudo-development presents a variation of the opening ideas but in the dominant, where
parts of the theme appear to be passing through E minor and modulating to B minor. The
score of this sonata is in Appendix F.
Figure 4. Diagram of Sonata No. 59 in A major, I, Allegretto.
40
Sonata-Allegro Form
Because of the few surviving examples and the lack of a timeline in Seixas‘s
output, we are not able to identify with accuracy the composer‘s formal evolution; 82
however, we can trace in some of his sonatas the bases of what later evolves to become
the sonata-allegro form. Seixas‘s formal structures are in binary and rounded binary
forms—roots of the sonata-allegro form. Some of Seixas‘s sonatas (such as No. 59,
Figure 4) present a statement, excursion, and restatement, a scheme that foreshadows the
exposition, development, and recapitulation of the sonata-allegro form. In addition,
Seixas‘s style contains a side-by-side interaction of material and tonality, not necessarily
separated. The bases of sonata-allegro form are built upon this relationship between
thematic, tonal, and structural plans observed in some of Seixas‘s sonatas.
Some scholars such as Kastner have posited that Seixas‘s sonatas may be
understood as important developmental steps towards the classical sonata-allegro form;
however, other authors like Heimes and Newman state that Seixas did not achieve highclassic proportions in structural form or in stylistic balance,83 probably because Seixas‘s
structures are not consistent enough to be catalogued as one single form. Kastner
furthermore suggests that although his use of thematic sections is not consistent from
sonata to sonata, Seixas‘s inventiveness was such that he may have come up with the
sonata-allegro form as one of his many formal experiments, and then likely moved on to
other structural designs.
82 According to Machado Seixas wrote 700 sonatas of which approximately 150 have
survived and only 80 were published in Kastner‘s edition. The many separate minuets are not
included by Kastner in his edition. None of the sonatas carry a date. In addition, difficulties with
the chronology of the sonatas based on stylistic features are, in Heimes words, ―aggravated by the
fact that more than one-fifth of the sonatas are in private hands and inaccessible. . .‖ In Heimes,
―Carlos Seixas‘s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 25-28.
83 Ibid., 68.
41
The influence of Seixas‘s sonatas is difficult to assess due to the lack of sources,
but we know that he was well-known in Portugal and his fame may have spread beyond
national borders. Also, his manuscripts give evidence that his works were studied and
somewhat distributed through monasteries and religious institutions of the area.84 In
addition, it is possible that Seixas‘s influence on D. Scarlatti indirectly helped spread his
style to other composers. Consequently, Seixas can be counted among C. P. E. Bach,
Galuppi, Platti, J. C. Bach, or Johann Schobert, all pioneers of the sonata-allegro form.
Guitar Folkloric Elements
Another important element in Seixas‘s style is his imitation of various guitar
effects. This is not surprising, as the guitar has long been the most important folkloric
instrument in the Iberian Peninsula. Seixas incorporates guitar sonorities through
keyboard techniques that recall guitar technique, for example, unprepared dissonances,
block chords in arpeggios, fast runs, and repeated notes. While these effects are more
evident in Soler and Scarlatti, they can also be found in Seixas‘s keyboard compositions.
For example, in his Sonatas Nos. 16, 35, and 28, the rapid note figuration recalls
the strumming of guitar strings. Sonata No. 16 in C minor illustrates fast runs of sixtyfourth notes in the manner of glissandos (Example 10). And in Sonata No. 35 in E minor,
the arpeggios of chords in rapid figuration imitate the guitar arpeggios that Seixas writes
in the left hand—with the arpeggio sign or written out with thirty-second or sixty-fourth
notes (Example 11). In Sonata No. 28 in D minor, the thirty-second notes recall guitar
runs that embellish the melodic discourse of the right hand (Example 12); and in the
opening movement of the Sonata No. 27 in D minor, the repeated notes that embellish the
melody with an octave leap also recall string changing on a guitar (Example 13).
84 Kastner, Carlos de Seixas, 45.
42
Example 10. Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto], mm. 87-94.
Example 11. Sonata No. 35 in E minor [Allegro], mm. 30-34, 104-111.
43
Example 12. Sonata No. 28 in D minor [Allegretto], mm. 49-51.
Example 13. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, Allegro, mm. 6-7½.
Augmented Seconds and Moorish Sonorities
Seixas also uses other Iberian folk elements in his music, such as the augmented
second, the Moorish Phrygian mode (Phrygian with a raised third scale degree), as well
as other sonorities inherited from the Moors.85 The Moors, who originally came from
Mauritania, a region on the north coast of Africa, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in
711. Even after they were gradually pushed out of the country in the mid-thirteenth
century,86 Moorish music continued to exert influence upon the music of the Iberian
Peninsula. Common sonorities such as the augmented second remained in use in Spain
85 Jane Johnson, ―The Clavichord and Sixteenth-Century Iberian Music for Keyboard,
Harp, or Vihuela,‖ De Clavicordio II: Proceedings of the International Clavichord Symposium
(Magano, 21-23 September, 1995), 22.
86 James Anderson, The History of Portugal (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000),
xv-xvi.
44
and Portugal (despite the fact that this interval was generally avoided in the rest of
Europe until the late eighteenth century).
Augmented seconds are common in Seixas‘s passages that use the harmonic
minor mode; Sonata No. 42 in F minor, first movement, has several instances of
augmented seconds (Example 14).
Example 14. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, mm. 66-72, augmented seconds.
Example 15. Sonata No. 25 in D minor, III [Minuet], mm. 13-14, 19-20.
a
b
Another exotic, or unusual-sounding, sonority is the half-step cadence formed when
arriving at the dominant in a Phrygian cadence, or the inversion of an augmented sixth.
45
Sonata No. 25 in D minor, third movement, illustrates Seixas‘s use of this double halfstep resolution: the cadence of the first half of this minuet uses the half-steps that
surround the dominant tone, measures 13 and 14 (Example 15a). In the same sonata, an
augmented second is used to arrive at the dominant in measure 20, using a B-flat in
measure 19 that introduces an exoticism to A minor and creates the double half-steps
around A (Example 15b).
Violin Idiom
During the time Seixas was in Lisbon, he may have been influenced by several
violinists who worked at the court of John V, as well as by other visiting violinists.
Bolognian violinist Gaetano Maria Schiassi (1698–1754), Genoan violinist Pietro Giorgio
Avondano, and Pedro António Avondano (1714–82) (the son of Pietro Avondano) were
very active in the musical life of Lisbon.87 Seixas‘s keyboard writing presents some
idioms reminiscent of violin writing.
Example 16. Sonata No. 27, I, Allegro, mm. 35-39.
87 Rui Vieira Nery, CD and Booklet to Pedro António Avodano Sonatas, performed by
Rosana Lanzelotte (Portugales 2014-2, 2005).
46
For example, in Sonata No. 27 in D minor, first movement, Seixas writes a sequence with
arpeggios in the right hand; the repetition of the last and first notes of each arpeggio are a
common violin figuration (and are much easier to execute on the violin than on keyboard
instruments) (Example 16).
Another instance of violin writing is in one of Seixas‘s slow movements, Sonata
No. 37 in E minor, second movement. In this case, the right hand plays leaping figures
that imitate shifts on a violin (Example 17).
Example 17. Sonata No. 37 in E minor, II, Adagio, mm. 1-5½.
Early Classical Symphony
We know that Seixas composed some orchestral pieces because of his few
surviving orchestral works—a Keyboard Concerto in A minor, a Symphony in B-flat
major, and an Overture in D major. Some symphonic idioms filtered into Seixas‘s
47
keyboard writing, particularly his solo keyboard sonatas. In Sonata No. 57 in A major
(Example 18), the tutti chords and the density of the texture recall the early classical
symphony. This sonata seems almost as if it were a keyboard reduction of an orchestral
symphony. In key and form, this sonata has aspects of the early classical symphony; the
large-scale form of fast-slow-fast movements, the simple binary form with a second
movement in the relative minor, and the major key recall early eighteenth-century
symphonies. During the beginning of the eighteenth century, the symphony was usually
written for a small group of strings with harpsichord—trio-symphonies for two violins
and bass were common in the early symphony.88 The trio-symphony texture is found in
this keyboard sonata with three-voice texture throughout most of the movement.
Example 18. Sonata No. 57 in A major, Allegro, mm. 1-5½.
tutti
trio
tutti
88 In Grove Music Online, ―Symphony, §I: 18th century‖ by Jan Larue, et al.
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/27254pg1
#S27254.1 (accessed October 21, 2010).
48
French Overture
While Seixas wrote an orchestra overture in D in the ―French style,‖ Kastner
believed it to be more of Italian influence than French. Nevertheless, some light French
overture writing can be found in some of Seixas‘s sonatas. For example, Sonata No. 8 in
C major has a second movement that recalls both the minor mode and the dotted rhythms
typical of the French overture style (Example 19).
Example 19. Sonata No. 8 in C major, II, Adagio, mm. 1-6½.
Conclusion
Seixas lived in Portugal during the first half of the eighteenth century, an
interesting transitional period in which characteristics of the baroque and classical eras
overlapped. His compositions present a hybrid style that builds upon both the baroque
49
tradition and a variety of new pre-classical trends of the first half of the eighteenth
century. Seixas‘s visionary second-movement expressivity anticipates later movements
such as the empfindsamer Stil and the Sturm und Drang that reach their peak later in the
second half of eighteenth century. In addition, folkloric elements filtered into Seixas‘s
compositional style, permeating his solo keyboard pieces with sonorities particular to the
Iberian Peninsula. As all of these influences converge, Seixas emerges in Portugal‘s
musical history as a traditionally trained composer with highly developed keyboard skills
and an inventive sense of form. Seixas became the only great keyboardist of the postbaroque in Portugal.
50
CHAPTER THREE: GUIDELINES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF
EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY MUSIC IN GENERAL AND SEIXAS‘S
MUSIC IN PARTICULAR
Few studies have focused on applying eighteenth-century performance practices
to Seixas‘s music, including the adjustments a pianist playing on the modern piano might
incorporate into his or her interpretation and execution. This chapter presents the main
performance practices in a general sense and their particular application to Seixas‘s
sonatas. For this purpose, topics such as the instrument of the time and the different
notational conventions of the eighteenth century will be discussed, and I will offer
suggestions for their application to Seixas‘s solo keyboard pieces.
Seixas‘s sonatas were written for instruments significantly different from the
modern piano; harpsichord, clavichord, and pianoforte all have different characteristics
and therefore different sounds. These keyboard instruments were imported from Italy:
distribution of the fortepiano in Europe originated from Florence and spread to Lisbon,
Seville, and Madrid.89 Queen Ana Maria not only brought Domenico Scarlatti from
Italy, but also she brought Italian instruments. Don Alfonso, brother of King John V,
ordered and bought keyboard instruments from Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731), who
by that time had already built the first fortepianos. These early fortepianos looked like
harpsichords, and, as was common during the time, many harpsichords were transformed
into fortepianos and vice-versa.
89 David Sutherland, ―La Evidencia Más Temprana del Lenguaje Técnico del Piano,‖
Luisa Morales ed. Claves y Pianos Españoles, ed. Luisa Morales (Almeria, Spain: Associación
Cultural LEAL, 2003), 133.
51
The Instruments
During the first half of the eighteenth century, the strung keyboard instruments in
use included the harpsichord, the spinet, the clavichord, and the pianoforte.90
1. The harpsichord had one or two manuals with two or three sets of strings tuned at
unison per key. It had no dynamic variation through touch; instead, loud and soft
contrasts were abrupt—in terraces—and achieved through changing or combining
manuals. Choirs of strings can be combined to create dynamic and tonal change,
which is generally referred to as registration. Harpsichord music manipulates
texture and dissonance to create an illusion of swelling and fading.
2. Spinets are smaller harpsichords with only one set of strings and no tonal variety.
3. The clavichord was technically the most demanding of the keyboard instruments
at the time. The decay of the volume was very rapid and the vibration of the
string was stopped almost immediately by cloth strips woven among the strings.
The keys needed to be shallowly depressed because the distance a tangent moved
was only a few millimeters. The clavichord was very sensitive to touch, which
allowed the performer a new range of expression and effects of Bebung, or subtle
vibrato by varying finger pressure. The tangent remained in contact with the
strings as long as the key was depressed. Due to its very quiet dynamic level, the
clavichord was considered a practice, or ―home‖ instrument for organists and
harpsichordists.
4. The fortepiano or early piano was unable to create a vibrating sound by changing
finger pressure, but it could create dynamic changes. Timber alteration was not
possible because there were no stops.
90 Laurence Libin, ―The Instruments,‖ in Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music, Robert
Marshall (New York: Routledge, 2003).
52
In instruments built before the 1800s, the keys were narrower than modern piano
keys; therefore reaching big intervals was not as challenging. Laurence Libin explains in
greater detail the technical differences between the pianoforte and the modern piano:
They [pianofortes] fostered a relaxed, fleet, well-articulated
technique that demanded less on weight and strength than does
modern piano technique. Indeed, proper performance practice—
for example, correct fingering for crisp ornaments and audible
inner voices—was premised on a delicate, responsive touch; a
sluggish ―action,‖ as the whole clavier mechanism is called, would
have been incompatible with textural clarity.91
Libin also addresses textural clarity as one of the characteristics of the fortepiano; this
suggests that the fortepiano had a delicate touch in comparison with the modern piano.
The pianoforte is the predecessor of the modern piano because the performer can
control the dynamic level of each note by changing the speed of the key activation. The
pianoforte used the Cristofori action, which is similar to the action of the modern piano.
However, the dynamic level of the pianoforte was considerably less than the modern
piano because of the construction materials of the time. Edward Kottick suggests that the
sound of the pianofortes of the early eighteenth century may have been closer to that of
the harpsichord than to that of the modern piano:
If we‘re talking about early pianos—pianos with Cristofori
actions or early German or English actions—they sound closer to
harpsichords than they do to the modern piano. This is simply a
function of light strings and small, leather-covered (or even wood)
hammers. These early pianos were not about power—that came
later. Many of them were lighter-toned than some harpsichords.92
91 Ibid., 8-9.
92 Edward Kottick, e-mail message to author, June 10, 2010. Musicologist Edward
Kottick is an ―instrument maker, scholar, researcher, author, and lecturer. . . [who] built his first
harpsichord in 1963. He has investigated the instrument‘s acoustical properties as well as its
historical aspects and has published articles on the harpsichord in both scientific and scholarly
journals…‖ In Edward Kottick, A History of the Harpsichord (Bloomington, IN: Indiana
University Press, 2003), 558. I am very thankful to Edward Kottick for his insight and help.
53
According to David Sutherland, only nine instruments are attributed to Cristofori:
three spinets, three harpsichords, and three fortepianos (of 1720, 1722, and 1726).93
Information about Cristofori‘s fortepiano action was disseminated by journalists, and
since there were no copyright laws in Italy during the first half of the eighteenth century,
keyboard manufacturers copied Cristofori‘s fortepiano action. According to Libin, the
pianos that were carried to Portugal and Spain were copied there.94 An inventory taken
in 1758 shows that Maria Bárbara had twelve keyboard instruments, five of which were
pianos—and four of which were made by Cristofori or Ferrini.95 We don‘t have any
evidence of Seixas‘s instruments or the court instruments he used at the palace; it is
believed that all instruments in Lisbon were lost in the earthquake of 1755. However,
even if most instruments were destroyed, keyboard builders continued to make
harpsichords and pianos using the Florentine model of Cristofori.
Among the Portuguese builders following the Florentine-action model of
Cristofori was Manuel Antunes of Lisbon. The Antunes fortepianos are the closest
surviving example of a fortepiano from those used in Portugal during the first half of the
eighteenth century. The inverted-heart cutout, a decorative gesture associated with
Iberian and Portuguese keyboards, can be observed in the following illustration (Figure
5).96 In a publication about one of these pianos from the Shrine to Music Museum in
Vermillion, South Dakota, Gerhard Doderer and John Koster state that the Antunes and
Cristofori fortepianos were very similar and shared the same hammer action.97 I
93 Sutherland, ―La Evidencia Más Temprana del Lenguaje Técnico del Piano,‖ 136-37.
94 Builders such as Henrique van Casteel brought Cristofori‘s model to Brussels. In
Libin, ―The Instruments,‖ 7.
95 Kottick, A History of the Harpsichord, 237.
96 Ibid., 242.
97 ―The Antunes piano of 1767 strongly resembles the three extant Cristofori pianos of
1720, 1722, and 1726. The shape and overall dimensions of the case (length 2265 mm.)
54
recommend that the performer listen to some of the recordings made on the Antunes
fortepiano of 1765. Although this is just one example of a more than two-hundred-yearold-instrument, and although we cannot know for sure how this instrument sounded when
it was new, this instrument gives us an idea of the sound characteristics of the fortepiano
of Seixas‘s time—and listening to it may be of help in making performance decisions
about articulation, phrasing, and dynamics.98
Figure 5. The Antunes Piano of 1767.99
correspond closely to Cristofori‘s work, as do the bichord stringing and short scaling (273mm. at
c‘‘) . . . The most striking resemblance between Antunes‘s work and Cristofori‘s is in the hammer
action. . . ‖ In Gerhard Doderer and John Koster, booklet to Sonate Da Cimbalo di piano, e forte
ditto volgarmente di martelletti, performed by Cremilde Rosado Fernandes (Numérica NUM
1047, 1996), 20-21.
98 My particular favorites are the recordings of Lodovico Giustini di Pistonia by
Cremilde Rosado Fernandes, and the compilations from different authors (including Seixas) made
by Susanne Skyrm, and by Edward Parmentier; each offers a different idea of the sound of the
same instrument when played by different performers. These recordings have been available to
me thanks to the help of Peter Nothnagel, international recording engineer, residing in Iowa City,
Iowa.
99 The Shrine Museum of Music, The Antunes piano of 1767 (Vermillion, SD),
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/GiftShop/Postcards4x6/AntunesPiano.jpg, accessed (September 21,
2010).
55
Range
Currently there are twelve eighteenth-century keyboards in Portugal, of which
only nine are from Seixas‘s time. Their ranges are as follows: three from E to d3, three
from C to d3, one from C to e3, and two from C to f3.100 Seixas‘s sonatas encompass a
maximum range of GG to d-sharp3 in Kastner‘s edition,101 but most sonatas stay within
the range of C or BB to d3 or c3, which suggests that the characteristics of Seixas‘s
instruments were varied. According to Heimes, it is possible that Seixas and his students
had different instruments at their disposal, and that he wrote particular sonatas to
accommodate particular instruments.102 Table 3 shows with more detail the range of
each of Seixas‘s Sonatas (See page 56).
Performance Settings
Seixas composed music for private living rooms, medium royal chambers, and
large cathedrals. Although we cannot know for sure which piece was composed for what
setting, the texture of each individual sonata provides hints about the instrument or the
purpose that they were written for. For example, Sonata No. 10 in C major, with its
virtuosic passages, may have been composed for the evening concerts at the palace,
where Seixas‘s role was as a soloist (Example 20). This would suggest a lighter touch
than on the modern piano, with less volume, enough to fill a chamber room.
100 I use C to indicate the second ledger line under the bass clef staff, therefore c would
be the C of the second space of bass clef, c1 would be middle C, c2 the C of the fourth space in
treble clef, etc.
101 The GG is only found in one instance in Seixas‘s 80 sonatas, Sonata No. 33 in E-flat
major, mm. 61 and 64. It is possible that Kastner added GG and didn‘t indicate the addition with
brackets. Most sonatas stay within the range of C to d3 with fewer going as low as BB and AA.
In some instances Kastner added extra lower notes but with a footnote or brackets, for example in
Sonatas No. 21 in D major, m. 16, and No. 24 in D minor, m. 15.
102 Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas‘s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 53.
56
Table 3. Range of Seixas‘s Keyboard Sonatas.
Sonata No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
Key
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
Cm
Cm
Cm
Cm
Cm
Cm
Cm
Cm
D
D
D
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
Dm
E-Flat
E-Flat
E
Em
Em
Em
F
F
F
Range
C to c3
G to c3
C to b-flat2
C to a2
C to c3
C to c3
D to c3
D to c3
D to a2
C to c3
D to c3
C to d-flat3
C to d3
G to c3
C to d3
C to c3
F to d3
D to d-flat3
D to d3
D to d3
AA to d3
A to c3
A to b-flat2
GG-sharp to d3
D to c3
D to c3
C to d3
A to d3
F to b2
E d3
A to b-flat2
D to c3
GG to c3
E to c-sharp3
D to d3
E to c3
E to c3
E to c3
C to d-flat3
E to c3
Sonata No.
41 Sinfonia
42
43
44
45
46
47
48 para orgão
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75 para orgão
76 Fuga
77
78
79
80
Key
F
Fm
Fm
Fm
G
G
G
G
Gm
Gm
Gm
Gm
Gm
Gm
Gm
Gm
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
Am
B-Flat
B-Flat
B-Flat
Bm
Example 20. Sonata No. 10 in C major, I, Allegro, mm. 72-82.
Range
C to c3
C to d-flat3
C to d-flat3
C to d-flat3
D to b2
D to c3
D to d3
D to c3
D to d3
C-sharp to d3
D to d3
D to c3
BB-flat to d3
D to c3
D to c3
D to d3
C-sharp to d-sharp3
E to c3
E to c3
E to c-sharp3
E to d3
E to b2
E to b2
E to d3
D to c3
F-sharp to c3
E to c3
C to d3
E to c3
E to b-flat2
E to c3
E to c3
F to d3
BB to c3
E to c3
E to c3
F to c3
C to c3
D to c3
F-sharp to c3
57
Example 21. Sonata No. 75 in A minor, I, Largo, mm. 15-19.
On the other hand, Sonata No. 75 in A minor, with its contrapuntal texture,
creates the impression of an organ piece, possibly composed for a large cathedral
(Example 21). This might imply a bigger sound and more use of pedal, but without
blurring sonorities or harmonic changes.
Tuning
We do not know with any certainty what kind of tuning system Seixas used. Both
the mean-tone system and equal-temperament tuning were in use during the first half of
the eighteenth century; within these different tuning systems each tonality sounds
different. Seixas might have used either one, but if he used the mean-tone system or any
other unequal temperament, Seixas‘s sonatas would have sounded different then from
how they sound on the modern piano. Therefore, having the chance to hear an instrument
of the time, tuned in the mean-tone system, would likely give the performer a fuller
understanding of a composition—for example, which tones to bring out or which melodic
lines to make more prominent. In addition, the original temperament helps the performer
pay more attention to the meaning of key; the roots of key association originated from
temperament and were very important during the classical and romantic eras, when
certain keys were associated with certain moods, affections, or characters.
58
Seixas‘s Instrumental Writing
There is a story about the first meeting between Domenico Scarlatti and Seixas
when Don Antonio de Bragança, the brother of King John V, asked Scarlatti to give
lessons to Seixas:
Upon encountering Don Antonio, Scarlatti told him ‗Your
Highness commanded me to examine him. But I must tell you that
he is one of the best musicians I have ever heard.‘103
Seixas, who was only sixteen years old at the time, must have already been a
consummate musician and keyboardist.
Seixas‘s sonatas contain a variety of technical difficulties, ranging from double
thirds to octaves in the same hand, and from fast runs to broken sixths, thirds, and
octaves. His keyboard technique might be described as idiosyncratic. Brazilian pianist
José E. Martins says of Seixas‘s keyboard technique:
. . . It is possible to consider that many of the passages in
the more complex pieces of Seixas‘s keyboard works seem to have
been composed for his own fingers, but not for the fingers of his
own students of irregular level. This would explain the difficulty
of many of his passages that don‘t result necessarily natural,
understanding by natural a passage that after learned by the fingers
flows with easiness . . . The works of Scarlatti fit the hand in a
more natural manner than Seixas‘s. This makes Seixas‘s works
less favored . . .104
Seixas‘s compositions have been criticized for their awkward technical demands, such as
his uncomfortable hand positions and fingering.
Seixas composed for three primary purposes: the service at the cathedral,
performing solos for royal chamber concerts, and teaching pieces for his students. The
heterogeneity of his compositions varies according to the level of his students or the
103 This anecdote was found in Mazza‘s biographical entry on Seixas‘s. In José Mazza,
Dicionario Biográfico de Musicos Portugueses, ed. José Augusto Alegria in Ocidente (Lisbon:
1944, 1945), 32.
104 Martins, ―As Sonatas para Teclado de Carlos Seixas Interpretadas ao Piano,‖ 6.
59
occasion for which a piece was written. For example, Seixas‘s Sonata No. 10 in C major,
with its thirty-second-note runs and passages of fast double thirds, is one of his most
virtuosic pieces, probably composed as a display piece for the royal palace (Example 20).
Seixas‘s other most virtuosic sonatas are Nos. 19, 44, and 50, probably composed to
impress his audience, whereas Sonata No. 4 in C major, with its easy two-voice
homophonic texture, was probably composed for one of his less advanced students
(Example 22). Seixas composed pieces for every level of technical difficulty. Difficulty
levels of Seixas‘s sonatas can be found in Appendices A and B.
Example 22. Sonata No. 4 in C major, Allegro, mm. 1-13.
Ornaments
Ornaments are improvisational formulas used to embellish a melodic line. Arnold
Dolmetsch in his book The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth
Centuries underlines the importance of ornamentation in the music of the period and the
necessity of studying it:
The composer in either case had prepared his music for the
ornaments; if we do not use them we are violating his intentions
just as much as if we altered his text. It is not even a question
60
whether we like them or not, or whether they are in or out of
fashion; they form an integral part of the music . . . The
ornamentation alters the melody, rhythm, and harmony of the
music. Its study is, therefore, indispensable.105
Varying the ornamental figuration of a piece was a common practice of the postbaroque, particularly in slow movements, where performers tended to use more
embellishments. According to Johann Joachim Quantz, ornamentation was chosen
depending on the character, style, and tempo of each piece; lyrical slow movements were
ornamented for diversification while fast movements were ornamented for heightened
virtuosity.106 C. P. E. Bach refers to embellishments as ―opportunities for fine
performance . . . without them the best melody is empty and ineffective, the clearest
content clouded.‖107 In other words, C. P. E. Bach also viewed ornamentation as
indispensible during the eighteenth century; it was inherited from the Renaissance and
baroque traditions that continued through the classical era to Schubert, Chopin, and Liszt.
Ornaments on the Iberian Peninsula
In order to understand—and perform—ornamentation from the eighteenth
century, we need to study the treatises of that time. There are no known treatises about
ornamentation in Portugal, but in nearby Spain, several treatises in the eighteenth century
were written on ornamentation, such as Pablo Nassarre‘s108 Escuela Música Según la
105 Arnold Dolmetsch, The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Centuries (London: Novello, 1946), 88.
106 Johann Joachim Quantz, Essay of a Method for Playing the Transverse Flute
(Boston: Northwestern University Press, 2001), 136.
107 Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen
[Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments], translation of William Mitchell (New
York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1949), 79.
108 b. Daroca or Zaragoza 1650 and 1655–d. 1720 or 1730. In Esther Morales-Cañadas,
―La Ornamentación en la Música Española en los Siglos XVII and XVIII,‖ in Claves y Pianos
Españoles, ed. Luisa Morales (Almeria, 2003), 157.
61
Práctica Moderna [Music School According to Modern Practice] (1723), Joseph de
Torres Martinez Bravo‘s Reglas Generales de Acompañar en Organo, Clavicordio, y
Harpa [General Accompanying Rules for Organ, Harpsichord, and Harp] (1702 and
1732), and Francisco de Santamaría‘s Dialectos Músicos [Musical Dialects] (ed. 1778).
Ornamentation terminology was not unified in the Iberian Peninsula; each
composer or theorist used his own terms for different figures and ornaments. For
example, Nassarre calls ornamentation glosas and acknowledges short ornaments such as
arpeado (arpeggio), glosa aliada (mordent), and trino (trill). Torres Martinez Bravo uses
the term glosas or figuras disminuidas to refer to ornamentation, and was the first theorist
to mention the acciaccatura in Spain (although acciaccaturas were used in practice,
Torres was the first to deal with them theoretically). Later, Francisco de Santamaría, who
referred to trills as requiebros, was the first musician in Spain known to write about the
distinction between upper-neighbor and lower-neighbor notes. Santamaría called lowernote appoggiaturas apoyamiento (port-de-voix in France), and upper-tone ones esmorsata
(coulé in France).109
Common Ornaments in the Post-Baroque
During the post-baroque the most common ornaments were the trill, mordent,
appoggiatura, acciaccatura, slide, and turn. According to Robert Donnington, these
ornaments are classified into four groups (or families):110 the appoggiatura,111 the
109 Ibid., 157-162.
110 Robert Donnington, The Interpretation of Early Music (New York: Norton, 1992),
195-196.
111 ―The Appoggiatura proper: a) early baroque (indeterminate length), b) long, c) short;
the Compound Appoggiatura (or disjunct double appoggiatura); the Slide (or conjunct double
appoggiatura); the Acciaccatura (crushed appoggiatura): a) simultaneous, b) passing; the Passing
Appoggiatura.‖ Ibid., 197-235.
62
shake,112 the division,113 and the compound families.114 Following is a detailed
description of each ornament:
1. Appoggiaturas in the eighteenth century usually take half of the duration of the
note where they are written and two-thirds of the note in compound meter. In
some cases they extend to the next harmonic change, resulting in a long
appoggiatura. During the post-baroque, unlike the baroque, there was a tendency
to play appoggiaturas before and halfway during the beat as a one-note grace.
The slide refers to three notes in step motion; it was used before the beat as a twonote grace.115 The acciaccatura is a fast appoggiatura, and it was played
simultaneously with the beat.
2. The trill alternates with the upper-neighbor note, and the mordent alternates with
the lower-neighbor note. They can be long or short depending on the context
within the music.
3. The turn is a group of graces that is related to a main principal tone. The turn
moves in step motion and can start on the upper-neighbor note or on the principal
note. Sometimes turns were written out by the composer and other times were
designated by the sign
.
112 ―The Tremolo (or organ shake); the Vibrato (or close shake); the Trill (or shake
proper); the Mordent (or open shake).‖ Ibid., 236-67.
113 ―Passing Notes; Changing Notes; Turns; Broken Chords; Broken Notes; Broken
Time.‖ Ibid., 268-82.
114 ―Appoggiatura with: a) trill, b) half-shake, c) mordent, d) arpeggio, e) turn;
Ascending turn (slide with turn); Trill with: a) mordent, b) turn; Ascending trill (slide with trill);
Descending trill (turn with trill); Double Cadence; Double Relish; Truncated Note with other
ornaments.‖ Ibid., 283-87.
115 Probably this tendency came from the Italian tradition of ornamentation from about
1710 to 1760. In Frederick Neumann, Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque Music
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983), 164.
63
4. Compound ornaments were also in use as combinations of two or three
ornaments; for example, appoggiatura with trill, trill with turn, etc.
General Guidelines for Ornaments
According to Robert Donnington‘s The Interpretation of Early Music, there are
obligatory and optional ornaments. The only obligatory ornaments are 1) the cadential
trill with its preparation (accented upper-note), and 2) the long appoggiatura. All the
other ornaments are optional; the absence of a sign does not preclude an ornament, nor
does the presence of a sign enforce it. Furthermore, certain schools require a stricter
treatment of ornaments; for example, French ornaments are different than Italian or
German, and further study is required before deciding on their execution.116
In addition, ornaments must suit their context and are influenced by the
instrument in use. For instance, in sequences and fugues, ornaments should be
consistent. Moreover, ornaments adapt to the accidental of the key signature.117
These baroque ornamentation rules were still present during the first half of the
eighteenth century, with slight variations. During the period 1710 to 1760 in Italy, for
example, performers began to play some two-note and one-note graces (appoggiatura or
acciaccatura) before the beat or anticipating it slightly.118
Lastly, when do we add ornaments? The lack of written ornamentation does not
necessarily mean that the performer should abstain from adding ornaments. In search of
a balance between the ornaments notated by the composer and a performer‘s own
improvisations, the performer might consider the repeated sections in early eighteenth-
116 For a list of eighteenth-century treatises and other resources, please refer to the list of
sources at the end of Chapter Four, p. 116-118.
117 Donnington, The Interpretation of Early Music, 192, 193.
118 Neumann, Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque Music, 164-77.
64
century compositions. The performer might play the composer‘s ornaments the first time
exactly as written, and the second time through with his or her own additions or
modifications.
Seixas‘s Ornaments
Typical ornamentation practices of this period also apply to Seixas‘s solo
keyboard works. Seixas indicates few ornaments. In some instances the ornament is
implied and is not written again, in which case the performer is authorized to play it. His
ornaments are limited mainly to trills (short and long) and appoggiaturas. Seixas notates
his trills with
or
interchangeably and generally begins them on the upper note.119
His trills have varied purposes: they emphasize a beat, sustain a long note, or bring out
harmonically dissonant sonorities.
Example 23. Sonata No. 15 in C minor, I [Moderato, in tempo di Siciliano], mm. 1-7.
Seixas‘s appoggiaturas, on the other hand, are not consistent; they tend to be free,
and it is up to the performer to interpret their duration according to their placement,
tempo, and harmonic repercussion. They are notated in different ways:
,
, or
119 According to C. P. E. Bach‘s indications in his Versuch über die wahre Art das
Clavier zu spielen, 100.
65
before any note value.120 It is also very common in Seixas to find an appoggiatura as an
indication of where to begin a trill, for example in Sonata No. 15 in C minor, measures 4,
6, and 7 (Example 23).
Improvisation
The practice of embellishment and improvisation of cadences was common in
opera and instrumental music during the baroque and even classical eras. In fact, the
practice has been in used since the Middle Ages; it was later, during the Renaissance,
when the term cadenza became popular and gained importance with Corelli, Torelli, and
Vivaldi. The terms arbitri or arbitrio (―to the taste‖) and the fermata sign
(when it
appears on a cadential 6/4 or on a dominant seven chord) were all used to indicate
improvisation.
In their treatises, C. P. E. Bach and Quantz discuss the elaboration of cadences
during the eighteenth century. C. P. E. Bach states in his Versuch (1753):
Fermatas are often employed with good effect for they
awaken unusual attentiveness . . . Fermatas over rests occur most
frequently in allegro movements and are not embellished. The two
other kinds are usually found in slow, affettuoso movements and
must be embellished if only to avoid artlessness . . .121
And Quantz in his Essay of a Method for Playing the Transverse Flute (1752):
…They [Cadenzas] must be short and fresh, and surprise
the listeners, like a bon mot. Thus they must sound as if they have
been improvised spontaneously at the moment of playing. Hence
you must not be too extravagant, but must proceed economically,
especially if you often have the same listeners before you. Since
the compass is very narrow, and is easily exhausted, it is difficult
to keep them from sounding the same. Thus you must not
introduce too many ideas.122
120 Ralph Kirkpatrick, Domenico Scarlatti (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
1953), 368-69.
121 C. P. E. Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, 143.
122 Quantz, On Playing the Flute, 182.
66
Both Quantz‘s and C. P. E. Bach‘s treatises were written after Seixas‘s death.
Nevertheless, their treatises can be used for the study of Seixas‘s music since the
aesthetic of the beginning of the eighteenth century was still in use. Furthermore, the
traditions of embellishment and improvisation that developed from the baroque were still
popular through the post-baroque.
Improvisation in Seixas
In the Iberian Peninsula, many Spanish keyboard pieces of the eighteenth century
have short cadenzas that start on a cadential 6/4 chord or on a dominant chord. Often,
these cadenzas use augmented sixth chords and create a transition to secondary
material.123 Similarly, improvisation and cadenzas are appropriate in Seixas‘s sonatas.
Among Seixas‘s keyboard sonatas, only one has a clear indication of a fermata to be
elaborated: Sonata No. 60 in A major (Example 24).
Example 24. Sonata No. 60 in A major, mm. 47-59.
Arrival to
Tonic
123 Linton Powell, ―La Elaboración de Cadencias en la Música Española para Tecla del
Siglo XVIII,‖ in Claves y Pianos Españoles, ed. Luisa Morales (Almeria, 2009), 165-66.
67
Kastner even adds the word arbitri in brackets to indicate the need for improvisation.
This passage requires a short cadenza using the harmony of the tonic with a seventh
added as an inter-dominant that extends the arrival of the cadence to the tonic in measure
56.
Varying What Is Written
Another situation where improvisation might be used in Seixas‘s sonatas is at the
end of a section: the last measure before the double bar can be varied to the taste of the
performer and the transition to either the repetition or to the second section can be
improvised or varied. For example, in Sonata No. 71 in A minor, the arrival to the
dominant key in the last measure (measure 36) of the first section can be varied (Example
25). Some ways to embellish this passage include: filling out the thirds with passing
notes, using appoggiaturas to chordal notes, using scale-motion runs, adding notes to a
chord, or rolling any written blocked chord.
Example 25. Sonata No. 71 in A minor, mm. 31-36.
Since the use of doubles or variations was common during Seixas‘s time, we can
learn how to improvise from the composer himself by studying what Seixas wrote in
68
some of his doubles.124 However, doubles are left out of Kastner‘s edition of the
sonatas, and only a few examples of variations are available.
One example of variations can be found in the two minuets of Sonata No. 42 in F
minor, second and third movements, which use the same harmony and melody (Examples
26 and 27).125 They are variations on the same theme, where the second minuet is a
double of the first, presenting rhythmical, melodic, and textural variations that the
performer can study for the development of improvisation skills.
Example 26. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-10.
124 ―French term used during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for a technique of
variation in which more or less elaborate ornamentation is added to the original melody, while the
supporting harmonies remain the same . . . In eighteenth-century keyboard suites, single pieces
are often supplied with a variation labeled double . . . ‖ In Grove Music Online, ―Double‖ by
Greer Garden,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/53467?tyt
y=article&search=quick&q=doubles&pos=25&_start=1#firsthit (accessed October 14, 2010).
125 This sonata is analyzed in the following chapter in more detail (p. 98-108).
69
Example 27. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, III, Minuet, mm. 1-10.
General Guidelines for Improvisation
When playing Seixas‘s keyboard works, the performer should remember that
trills, appoggiaturas, and turns can be replaced, varied, and further elaborated.
Furthermore, some cadences are elaborated by the composer himself, and others are left
completely to the freedom or discretion of the performer. And lastly, when listening to
an old recording, the contemporary performer should bear in mind that the different
personalities of each pianist and the taste transformations of each epoch influence the
performance of a piece: what is heard in an old recording might no longer be considered
acceptable to modern notions of eighteenth-century performance practice.
Articulation
During the beginning of the eighteenth century, articulation was a combination
between the new possibilities of the instruments and the composer‘s—or performer‘s—
70
exploitation of these possibilities. In other words, if the instrument allows an articulation,
composers would start using this articulation in their pieces. For example, the lightness
of the keys in the early fortepianos made it easier to play fast runs and arpeggios.
Clarity of sound was perhaps the most striking characteristic of the instruments of
Seixas‘s time. The sound of the pianoforte of the time was very close to that of the
harpsichord. In order to play harpsichord, clavichord, or early pianoforte music on the
modern piano, some sonority adjustments need to take place. Since the sound on the
harpsichord, clavichord, and pianoforte decays more quickly than on the modern piano, a
more articulated semi-legato touch is recommended on the modern piano to more closely
resemble the decay of a plucked or stroked string from an early keyboard instrument.
This does not mean that legato touch cannot be used; rather, when legato is applied, each
sound should be very clearly differentiated.
As with the question of ornamentation, we cannot know Seixas‘s precise concept
of articulation. Therefore, the contemporary treatises are the best resources for the
modern performer to make decisions about the articulation in Seixas‘s music.
Seixas‘s Articulation
Seixas‘s sonatas contain few articulation indications; few slurs appear in some of
his keyboard works, and there is only one instance of a non-legato indication. No
staccato or accent marks appear as we understand them today. There are some fingerings
and slurs indicated on the manuscripts; however, this does not mean that they were
necessarily written by Seixas. As mentioned in Chapter One, the manuscripts are copies
of copies, and it is possible that these articulation marks did not come from Seixas
himself. It is important to keep in mind that during this period the basic default touch
was non-legato, and that there was no explicit marking to indicate this—the non-legato
71
default touch was understood by the musicians of the day.126 During the early
eighteenth century, composers did not indicate touch (as Beethoven, Chopin, or
Schumann would later) because keyboard instruction was passed on verbally. The
performer‘s most reliable guide to articulation is a combination of understanding the
default non-legato touch, as well as closely studying the few articulation indications in
the manuscripts.
Slurs
The slurs found in Seixas‘s works suggest his intention to connect the notes.127
The slurs of Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto], for example, do not indicate a break
in the phrase flow, but, rather, an articulation of each individual beat. The rhythmical
flow is indicated with the dotted lines (Example 28).
Example 28. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 34-37.
126 C. P. E. Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, 157.
127 Dolmetsch explains how a slur indicates the use of certain fingering to obtain a
legato touch: ―Before the advent of pianoforte technique, phrasing and fingering on keyboard
instruments were indissolubly connected. The only rules were to use ―good fingers‖ for ―good
notes‖ and to order the fingers in such a way that a smooth connection would be ensure between
the notes that required it.‖ In this sense, the ―good‖ fingers were 1, 3, and 5 and were usually
used in the stronger parts of the measure. This fingering system became the foundation for J. S.
Bach, Couperin, Rameau, and C. P. E. Bach making more use of the thumb. See more in
Dolmetsch, The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 364-65.
However, the theory of ―good‖ and ―bad‖ fingers is no longer in use.
72
The melodic line moves to the higher note of each measure, while the slurs are played
with or without break between the fast notes (G, B-flat, E of the first beat) and the longervalued note (G of the second beat), according to the performer‘s taste. It is important to
keep each measure flowing with the melodic contour, driving the line to the highest note.
Of course, in any specific passage it is necessary to take into account the melodic line, the
phrase structure, and the rhythmic patterns in order to make a decision about articulation.
For more details on my interpretative choices for this sonata, see my performers‘ score in
Appendix G.
Seixas‘s use of two-note slurs in the first movement of the Sonata No. 42 in F
minor is also worth examining. In the early eighteenth century, two-note slurs were
generally executed according to the following rule: the first note of a two-note slur is
slightly elongated and is more stressed, while the second note is lighter and shortened.128
In measures 12 through 14 Seixas engages in a dialog of two-note slurs. The pairs of
two-note slurs have different metric placements, creating poignant musical tension
(Example 29).
Example 29. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 8-14.
128 C. P. E. Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, 157.
73
In yet another instance, Seixas also uses slurs that evoke fast guitar strumming
sounds. In Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto], measures 26 and 27, the fast runs of
sixty-fourth notes imply a fast motion of the fingers, creating the glissando effect
imitating guitar technique (Example 30).
Example 30. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 25-27.
In this example, the sixty-fourth notes are under a slur, which means that they are to be
played connected. The sixty-fourth notes serve as glissando-like anacruses to the longervalued sixteenth notes. Due to the shortness of the sixty-fourth notes, I believe that either
a detached or connected execution of these anacruses is acceptable.
Non-Legato
Only one non-legato marking appears in the surviving sonatas of Seixas. In
Sonata No. 64 in A major [Allegro], measures 4 and 11, we find a semi-legato marking
over the triplets on the first beat of each of these measures—with dots over the notes and
a slur over the dots (Example 31). This isolated instance could as well have been made
by the copyists, since these markings are not consistent throughout the piece. They might
indicate a more detached touch (between staccato and legato) in the triplet notes of these
measures‘ first beats.
74
Example 31. Sonata No. 64 in A major, mm. 4-11.
Detached Bass
Although the right hand in Seixas‘s sonatas prevails over the left hand, the left
hand is very important harmonically: it lays the foundation for harmony. Parallel octave
passages are common in Seixas, for example in Sonata No. 24 in D minor (Example 32).
These passages imply non-legato because the instruments of the time didn‘t have pedals,
and finger legato is not possible between octaves. Harmonic walking basses require a
detached, rich, portato touch.
Example 32. Sonata No. 24 in D minor, mm. 1-5½.
75
Pedaling
The instruments Seixas played did not have pedals as we know them today; in fact
they didn‘t have pedals at all. However, the use of a little pedal when playing Seixas on
the modern piano, perhaps half-pedal, helps achieve the resonance effects that happen
naturally on a harpsichord, clavichord, or fortepiano. The use of a dab of sustaining
pedal can enhance the resonance of the bass by releasing overtones, yet the pedal should
be used with moderation, since this pedal adds decibels that the instruments of the time
didn‘t have. Similarly, the una corda pedal can be used to simulate effects of register
change and to create contrasting sonorities.
General Rhythmic Considerations
During the beginning of the eighteenth century in Europe notes were
characterized as ―good‖ or ―bad‖ to indicate the stress of a note. A ―good‖ note, or buone
note, was located in the stronger beats of a measure and a ―bad‖ note in the light beats.
In a 4/4 rhythm, the first and third beats were to be played more heavily (good notes) and
the second and fourth beats more lightly (bad notes). This sense of metric accentuation
continued throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century.
Another important element in the eighteenth-century sense of rhythm is the
influence of dance. Dance accentuation implies a slight prolongation of certain beats, for
example in the minuet:
The novel dance of the day, the minuet, embodied a curious
rhythmic anomaly. Its music was written in 3/4. But the regular
step pattern consisted in a long bending step with the right foot,
extending over two of the three quarter-notes, and another long
bending step with the left foot, also extending over two quarters
and therewith ignoring the bar line, plus two straight and shorter
steps, coinciding with one quarter each.129
129 Curt Sachs, Rhythm and Tempo (New York: Norton, 1953), 286. Quoted in Eva
Badura-Skoda, ―Aspects of Performance Practice,‖ in Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music, ed.
Robert Marshall (New York: Routledge, 2003), 40-41.
76
Following this description, minuet accentuation is grouped in two-measure units, where
the six beats are grouped in
.
In addition, some accents in the eighteenth century require slight rubato. Eva
Badura-Skoda in her article ―Aspects of Performance Practice‖ suggests that in the
harpsichord a rhythmical accent requires a slight prolongation of the rhythmic value:
An accented note is not only slightly louder than an
unaccented one but often a tiny bit prolonged—especially in
harpsichord music. Even there, tiny prolongations of accelerations
of the written time values are not only unavoidable but necessary
to bring the music to life.130
Since it is possible to change dynamics on the modern piano, pianists tend to
adjust these prolongations with rhythmic accents. While this can be considered an
advantage over the harpsichord, it also can result in a monotonous performance. The
pianist in search of compromise is encouraged to use the dynamic possibilities of the
modern piano in combination with a slight rubato effect to create a more accurate
interpretation of early eighteenth-century keyboard pieces.
Finally, performers should avoid the excess on expressive accents, which can
deform the musical continuity, as well as avoid the monotonous regularity of accenting
every note equally.
Rhythm in Seixas
In addition to ―good‖- and ―bad‖-note accentuation at the measure level, Seixas
applies the same grid of accentuation to the subphrase level. For example, in the first
minuet of Sonata No. 27 in D minor, the even-numbered measures are the light (
counterpart to the more accented (
)
) odd-numbered ones. The following example
130 Eva Badura-Skoda, ―Aspects of Performance Practice,‖ in Eighteenth-Century
Keyboard Music, ed. Robert Marshall, 43.
77
indicates accentuation of the first four measures of the minuet (Example 33); this
accentuation can be applied throughout the whole movement.
The influence of dance on eighteenth-century rhythms can be seen in Seixas‘s
compositions. Traces of the baroque suite are apparent in particular in Seixas‘s
predisposition for multi-movement sonatas as well as in some of his movements named
minuet or jiga—stylized dances of the baroque. In fact, most of Seixas‘s surviving
compositions are minuets. But none of Seixas‘s minuets follow the dance metric of halfnote, half-note, quarter, quarter. Instead, Seixas‘s minuets are usually divided in fourmeasure subphrases divided in two two-measure units (2+2) (Example 33).
Example 33. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-12.
Rubato
Eva Badura-Skoda remarks on the importance of rubato in the harpsichord music
of the eighteenth century:
Especially on the harpsichord, on which the dynamic level
can only be altered by increasing or decreasing the number of
78
voices, small rhythmic irregularities are vital for an effective
performance; moreover, the impression of dynamic shading is
conveyed by means of these irregularities.131
Although most eighteenth-century theorists insisted on keeping a regular, even
rhythm, it was recognized that small fluctuations from metronomic regularity were
necessary. That is to say, rubato was a natural occurrence in the music of the early
eighteenth century. The modern performer can similarly exaggerate these irregularities in
melody lines to create the sense of rubato, but within the frame of even, regular big beats.
Rubato in Seixas
Rubato in Seixas is minimal in comparison with the later rubato of Chopin.
Nevertheless, culminations of phrases or climatic passages can have flexibility in tempo,
according to Brazilian pianist José E. Martins, who recommends: ― . . . diminution of
tempo, to one degree, then retake the initial tempo.‖132
Since dynamic indications are absent in Seixas‘s keyboard works and only a few
exist in his orchestral works, rubato becomes vital for the expressiveness of slow
movements and the rhythmic drive of fast movements. Even though rubato is never
notated, the performer-pianist should use it in Seixas‘s sonatas to establish clear phrasing
and expressiveness.
Tempo Markings
Finding the appropiate tempo for Seixas‘s pieces depends upon various factors;
the performer needs to study the titles and become acquainted with the character of each
movement before choosing his or her own tempo. Eva Badura-Skoda recommends:
Present-day performers have no other choice than to study
the music titles, the few available tempo and affect indications and
to ponder their meaning, to search for possible underlying dance
131 Ibid., 43.
132 Martins, ―As Sonatas para Teclado de Carlos Seixas Interpretadas ao Piano,‖ 9.
79
rhythms, to read contemporary reports about the specific virtues
for performance hints in the prefaces or letters of composers and in
the relevant treatises.133
These ―relevant treatises‖ refer to C. P. E. Bach‘s Versuch, among other sources,
which recommend that their readers search for the smallest note value in the pieces and
find the adequate tempo that would allow you to play those small values clearly—advice
clearly directed towards beginning students. The more advanced keyboardist recognizes
the underlying dance character of the piece and tries to capture the distinctive rhythmic
quality of the music to find the appropriate tempo. Contemporaries of Bach and even
Mozart could recognize allusions to popular dance types from the time, which made them
sensitive to their character connotations—what they called affect.
Another important consideration is that tempi varied between regions. Mozart
wrote to his sister in 1770 that minuets were played more slowly in Italy than in Vienna.
Furthermore, an allegro of the beginning of the eighteenth century was played differently
than an allegro from the end of the same century.
Tempo Markings in Seixas
Tempo markings in Seixas‘s output have a wide range, from Largo to Presto. Of
the eighty sonatas published by Kastner, only fifty have secondary movements: thirty
have two movements (twenty-eight of which are minuets), seventeen have three
movements (six of which have two minuets), two have four movements (Sonatas Nos. 18
and 41), and one has five movements (Sonata No. 49). Most of the fast movements are
labeled as Allegro or with no tempo label at all but instead the word minuet. The slow
movements are marked Largo, Adagio, Andantino, or Amoroso. And the very fast
movements are labeled Presto or Giga (five gigues total). As discussed earlier, there is
no definitive evidence on tempi from Seixas‘s time. Tempi are not intended in a strict
133 Eva Badura-Skoda ―Aspects of Performance Practice,‖ in Eighteenth-Century
Keyboard Music, ed. Robert Marshall ed., 40.
80
sense; they are determined by the fastest notes of the piece as well as by the movement of
the harmony. As performers our task is to examine the musical evidence for known
affects to determine the appropriate tempo.
81
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND PEDAGOGICAL
OBSERVATIONS
This chapter discusses the structural elements of four of Seixas’s sonatas. The
analyses of these sonatas are presented as a pedagogical tool for the piano instructor and
the student, starting from the viewpoint that structural insights provide important
information for the pianist to make performance choices.
Musical scores and performer’s scores of the four sonatas analyzed can be found
in the appendices: appendices C, D, E, and F include the scores of the sonatas from
Kastner’s edition, and appendices G, H, I, and J include the performer’s scores from the
same edition, with my own suggestions and annotations.
Terminology
A challenge for the analysis of Seixas’s sonatas is that there is no standard
terminology for the analysis of post-baroque/pre-classical sonatas. Several terminologies
have been proposed, and we could choose any of them for the analysis of Seixas’s
sonatas:
1. the terminology used for the analysis of D. Scarlatti’s sonatas by R. Kirkpatrick
2. any of the newly proposed analytical terminologies, for example by Marco
Moiraghi, for use in the late works of D. Scarlatti; or
3. the terminology used exclusively for Seixas’s sonatas by Klaus Heimes.
A comparison of these three terminologies may clarify the options and give the piano
teacher and performer different alternatives when analyzing Seixas’s sonatas; therefore, I
have created the following table combining Kirkpatrick’s, Moraghi’s, and Heimes’s
terms:
82
Table 4. Comparison of different terminologies for the analysis of early and mideighteenth-century keyboard sonatas.133
First
Half
Tonal Plan
Interthematic
Functions
(as described by
Moiraghi)
Kirkpatrick’s Terminology
Moiraghi’s Terminology
Heimes’s
Terminology
Home key
-Thematic and
tonal definition
-Opening of the
playing space
Central
section
Ascending
open section
Thematic
announcement
Modulation(s)
Subordinate
key
Opening
Theme
(Continuation)
-Development
-Tonal change
-Problematization
-Tonal, harmonic
and motivic
stabilization
Opening
Extension
(Continuation)
Tonal
section
Transition
(Transition)
Transitional
theme
Pre-crux
Pre-vertex
Post-crux
Descending
closed
section
Closing
theme
-Technical trick
Subordinate
key
Second
Half
Various
modulations
Post-vertex
Exercise
-Confirmation of
subordinate key
-Motivic, textural
and harmonic
elaboration,
development,
problematization
-Returning to the
home key
Separate idea
Conclusion
(Central
section)
Codettas
Closing section
(Additional
conclusion)
(Closing Theme)
(Final
conclusion)
(Cadences
confirmation(s))
Excursion
Ascending
open section
Excursion (or
Workingout)
Thematic
announcement
Extension
Separate idea
Transitional
theme
Pre-vertex
Home key
-Tonal, harmonic
and motivic
stabilization
Tonal
Section
Post-crux
Descending
closed
section
Closing
theme
-Technical trick
Home key
-Confirmation of
home key
Post-vertex
Exercise
Conclusion
Codettas
Closing section
(Additional
conclusion)
(Closing theme)
(Final
conclusion)
(Cadence
confirmation(s))
133 Marco Moiraghi, ―The Last Keyboard Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti (K. 514-555):
An Analytical and Terminological Proposal,‖ in Domenico Scarlatti en España: Actas de los
Symposia FIMTE 2006-2007 [Domenico Scarlatti in Spain: Proceedings of FIMTE Symposia
2006-2007], ed. Luisa Morales (Almeria, Spain: Asociación Cultural LEAL 2009), 330. And
Heimes, ―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 114.
83
Since the only analytical terminology specifically developed for Seixas’s sonatas
is by Heimes, I will use his terminology to analyze the four sonatas I have chosen. To
clarify some of Heimes’s terminology, a description of his terms would be helpful:

thematic announcement (first musical idea, incipit, or opening)

point of modulation (cadential modulation or plateau modulations)

vertex (symmetrical convergence of tonality and material)

pre-vertex and post-vertex (also known as transition and transitional theme)

apex (return modulation to the tonic)

second idea, third idea, or exercise (musical idea featuring technical display)

extension (extra repetition of a musical cell)

transition

closing section (or codetta)

cadential confirmation

tonal digression (tonicization)

closing cadence (final cadence)
Sonata No. 16 in C Minor
Sonata No. 16 in C minor is one of the longest in Seixas’s output. With 183
measures, this sonata is longer than some Beethoven sonatas—Op. 2 No. 1 and Op. 14
No. 1 have first movements of 152 and 162 measures, respectively.
The sonata is fragmented into subgroups of smaller patterns that are arranged in
mosaic or free binary form. Table 5 shows in greater detail the main events of the sonata,
the phrase groupings (marked with slurs on the right side of the table), and the smaller
subdivisions (shown in subgroups of measures).
84
Table 5. Sonata No. 16, C minor [Allegretto].
Measure
Subgroup
Description
Key
1-6
4+2
Thematic announcement
C minor
7-10
2+2
Extension
11-14
2+2
Confirmation, transition sequence
15-21
4+3(2+1)
Sequence, modulation, 1st downbeat (21)
22-25
2+2
Exercise, runs (guitar-like)
26-28
2+1
Stretto hemiola, cadence
29-33
5
Sequence, confirmation
34-38
5(1+4)
Sequence, Phrygian bass
39-43
2+3
Stretto, confirmation and cadence
44-47
2+2
Dominant-tonic confirmation in Gm
48-50
3
Syncopations
51-55
3+2
Sequence, D as dominant, flat-II (exotic)
56-58
3
Cadential confirmation, harmonic minor
59-62
4(2+2)
Closing cadence
63-68
4+2
Thematic announcement
69-74
2+2+2
Chromatic sequence, 19th-century invention
75-81
2+2+3
Modulations: B-flat minor to F (dominant), sequential
82-87
2+4
Dominant of B-flat minor, sequence to F minor
88-91
2+2
Exercise
92-94
2+1
Stretto hemiola, cadence
95-99
5
Sequence, confirmation
100-105
4+2
Sequence
106-107
2
Fragment from theme, harmonic minor cadential confirmation
108-110
3(2+1)
Syncopation to dominant
111-113
2+1
Cadential confirmation in F minor
114-115
2
Closing cadence
116-120
2+2+1
Tonicization of A-flat moving to C minor, interrupted resolution
A-flat major
121-125
4+1
Sequence, soprano: A-flat, G, F, E-flat, D, modulation to C
C minor
126-131
2+2+2
Circle of fifths sequence
132-136
3+2
Cadence confirmation to C minor
137-143
2+2+2+1
Sequence
144-147
2+2
Exercise
148-150
2+1
Stretto hemiola, cadence
151-155
5
Sequence, cadence
156-160
5(1+4)
Sequence, modulation to G, Phrygian bass to C
161-165
2+3
Exercise stretto, confirmation, cadence
166-168
2+1
Confirmation, G as dominant, cadence to C minor
169-171
3
Syncopations
172-176
3+2
Confirmation, G as dominant, flat-II (exotic)
177-179
3
Cadential confirmation, harmonic minor
180-183
4(2+2)
Closing cadence
G minor
G minor
F minor
85
Example 34. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 26-28.
Moreover, it becomes apparent that some subphrases are built from an irregular number
of measures, for example 3+2 or 2+1. Often this irregularity is created by an extension.
For example in measures 26 through 28, a two-measure stretto (hemiola) is followed by a
cadence of one measure, which creates a subphrase of 3=2+1 (Example 34).
Another feature to notice is that this sonata has an enlarged second half;
symmetry between the two large sections of a sonata is not as common in Seixas’s
sonatas as it is in Scarlatti’s. This sonata’s first half has 62 measures and the second is
almost twice as long, with 121 measures. This second half starts with a statement in G
minor (minor dominant), very similar to the statement of the elements of the first part but
with a tonal digression to F minor. This second part is expanded after similar material is
stated a second time but in the home key (C minor); this restatement starts with a
tonicization of A-flat major (measure 116) that works as a pivot chord between F minor
and C minor. The last part of the sonata presents several cadential confirmations passing
through G (dominant) and arriving at C minor (tonic). The following figure illustrates
the tonal plan of the sonata and the asymmetry of its parts, as well as the clearly
differentiated parts and groupings (Figure 6).
86
Figure 6. Sonata No. 16 in C minor [Allegretto]
Mapping the sonata thus, with subgroups and main sections, is useful in obtaining a view
of the sonata as a whole, which facilitates the study and memorization of this piece.
Sequences are found in abundance through this movement—considered part of
the influence coming from the baroque. For example, one of these sequences in
descendant motion in the bass uses the Phrygian mode; measures 34 to 38 and 156 to 160
present C natural minor in a stepwise motion that arrives at the dominant, shaping a
Phrygian scale. The following example shows the descendent motion of the bass in a
scale (from G to GG) in C minor, outlining a Phrygian scale from and to the dominant
tone (Example 35).
Another appealing trait of this sonata is that it exemplifies the Portuguese guitar
idiom. As mentioned in chapters two and three, several runs of sixty-fourth notes are
found in the exercise and stretto sections of the sonata: measures 22 through 28
(Example 31), 29 through 43 (Example 35), 88 through 94 (Example 10), 144 through
150, and 161 through 165. These runs, a glissando-like simulation of the strumming of
the guitar, display the technical skills of the performer.
87
Example 35. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 34-40.
(Note for the piano teacher: these glissando-like passages can be very appealing
for the student; in addition to the imitation of guitar strumming, they sound more difficult
than they are. These very fast notes may be executed almost as a broken chord.)
One more interesting characteristic of this sonata is that Seixas uses chromatic
sequences that recall nineteenth-century harmonic practices. Measures 69 through 74
show the chromatic bass motion with harmonies that do not have a common tone or
suspension (Example 36).
Example 36. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 67-74.
88
This kind of sequence appeared later in the classical era and was also common in the
romantic era—it is likely that the roots of these harmonic progressions were developed
during Seixas’s time. (Note for the piano teacher: these harmonic progressions can be
used to teach sequences to a student or to reinforce the understanding of voice leading.)
Lastly, an exotic sonority of this sonata is heard in the use of the flattened second
degree of the scale, called the Neapolitan. The flattened second scale degree appears
before arriving at the final cadential confirmation and final closing cadence of the piece,
measures 53 through 54 and 175 through 176 (Example 37). (Note for the piano teacher:
these passages could be used to teach a student about this exotic scale degree and to make
the musical discourse more interesting by changing dynamics or articulation to draw
attention to the passage.)
Example 37. Sonata No. 16 in C minor, mm. 174-176.
Sonata No. 27 in D Minor
In contrast to the previous sonata, Sonata No. 27 in D minor has three
movements—an Allegro followed by two minuets—and presents a very different formal
scheme (Figure 7).
89
Figure 7. Sonata No. 27 in D minor.
The first movement is in bipartite form with two sections that are almost
symmetrical, with 20 and 23 measures respectively. This movement presents a clear
division of phrases: a thematic announcement followed by a secondary idea and an
extended closing section. This Allegro is in rounded binary form, where a restatement of
the material from the first half is stated with slight variations in the second half, but in the
home key (measure 27½). This formal scheme situates this sonata more closely to the
origins of sonata-allegro form because it presents more defined thematic groups and
clearer tonal scheme. The following table illustrates the details of the music (Table 6).
Example 38. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-2½.
90
Table 6. Sonata No. 27, D minor, I, Allegro.
Measure
Subgroup
Description
Key
1-1½
1½
Thematic announcement, toccata elements
D minor
1½-4
1½+1
Toccata arpeggios, appoggiaturas ii4-3 and i6-5, secondary idea
5-9½
2+1½+2
Repeated notes, guitar idiom, bass 8ve leaps, modulation to Am, diminished chord Csharp dim. 7
9½-11
1+½
Cadences in A minor
12-13½
1½+1
Sequence, violin RH figuration, cadential confirmation
13½-16
1½+1
Sequence, violin RH figuration, cadential confirmation
17-20
1½+1½+1
Closing cadences, bridge for repeat or to continue
19½-21
1½
Thematic announcement in A minor
22-23
1½+½
Toccata arpeggios and appoggiatura 4-3, incomplete arpeggio, secondary idea
24-25
1+1
Modulatory sequence Am, then Gm
26-27½
2+½
Cadential confirmation to Dominant of Gm
27½-28½
1
Arpeggio toccata with appoggiaturas 4-3, secondary idea simplified
28½-32½
1½+1+1½
Repeated notes, guitar idiom, 8ve leaps, modulation to Dm, diminished chord C-sharp
dim. 7
32½-34
1+½
Cadence in D minor
35-36½
1½+1
Sequence, violin RH figuration, cadential confirmation
36½-38½
1½+1
Sequence, violin RH figuration, cadential confirmation
38½-43
2+1½+1
Closing cadences, bridge for repeat
A minor
A minor
G minor
D minor
Sonata No. 27, D minor, II, Minuet.
Measure
Subgroup
Description
Key
1-4
2+2
Thematic announcement
D minor
5-8
2+2
Sequence, closing cadences, half cadence
A
9-12
2+2
Thematic announcement varied, modulation to Dm
A
13-18
(2+1)+3
Sequence, avoided cadence, enharmonic relationship, closing cadence
D minor
Sonata No. 27, D minor, III, Minuet [Allegro, ma poco cantabile].
Measure
Subgroup
Description
Key
1-6
2+4
Thematic announcement, modulation to dominant: A
D minor
7-9
3
Sequence, confirmation, transition
A
10-13
2+2
Closing theme, closing cadence in A, bridge to Dm
14-15
2
Modulatory theme to Gm, F-sharp diminished chord
Gm
16-18
2+1
Closing theme, modulatory cadence to F
F
19-20
2
Closing theme in F
21-23
2+1
Sequence, modulation to A7, dominant
A7
24-27
2+2
Closing theme in A, modulatory cadence to Dm
D minor
91
This first movement includes some toccata elements such as repeated notes, scales, and
big leaps. For example, toccata elements can be observed in the opening gestures of the
descendant minor scale and ascendant arpeggio (Example 38). (Note for the piano
teacher: these toccata elements can help reinforce in a student’s scales and arpeggios.)
Some of these elements of technical display are, in this case, borrowed idioms:
for example, the repeated notes in the right-hand melody (measures 5 through 7½ and 30
through 31½) recall guitar idioms (Examples 13 and 39), and the closing section
sequences played by the right hand (measures 12 through 16 and 35 through 38½) recall
the wide arpeggios of violin (Examples 16 and 40). (Note for the piano teacher: these
passages can be used as an etude in repeated notes or as technique reinforcement for fast
leaps in the left hand.)
Example 39. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 30-31½.
Example 40. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 11-15.
92
Throughout the movement the thematic material is not synchronized with the
measure lines; sometimes a musical idea starts in the middle of a measure and sometimes
at the beginning, which gives this movement an improvisatory feeling. For example, the
sequence of the closing section starts on the first beat of the measure (measure 12), but
the repetition of the same idea (measure 13½) starts on the third beat of the measure.
These shifts of meter reveal Seixas’s conception of meter: the first and third beats have
the same stress or weight; they do not necessarily have a different emphasis (Example
40). Even if the inner subgroups are not aligned with the measure metric, the big phrases
are aligned with the meter—Seixas uses a five-half-note theme.
Furthermore, during the restatement, the secondary idea appears with a G minor
arpeggio (measure 27½), but when compared with the opening of the piece (measure
1½), it is shortened by half a measure. This shortening alters the alignment of the music
for the rest of the piece, displacing the material from the measure lines by two beats
(Example 41).
Example 41. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, I, Allegro, mm. 2½-5, 26½-28.
93
The movements that accompany this Allegro are two minuets, which are not
related thematically. The first minuet (movement II) has a simple regular phrase
structure, with a preponderance of four-measure phrases. A particular interesting feature
of this minuet is the enharmonic relationship of measures 7 and 15. In measure 7, the Bflat in the bass is used to arrive at the half cadence that closes the first part, whereas in
measure 15, in the second part of the minuet, this passage is recalled but is written in Asharp (enharmonic of B-flat), which, instead of resolving to B minor, avoids the cadence
in measure 16 until the true final cadence in D minor in measures 17 and 18 (Example
42). (Note for the piano teacher: this minuet allows the student to learn about
enharmonic relationships.)
Example 42. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 7-8, 13-18.
Example 43. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 11-16.
94
The second minuet (movement III) has phrases of six and seven measures in the
first half and two seven-measure phrases in the second half (Table 6). One uncommon
characteristic of this minuet is that its second half opens with diminished sonorities
(measure 14) instead of with a thematic announcement (Example 43).
Furthermore, this second half is more developmental and exploratory in character
with modulating passages, tonal digressions, and no restatement of the thematic
announcement. These peculiarities might lead us to believe that this is not a typical
minuet, but rather evidence of Seixas’s exploratory compositional techniques, wherein
Seixas incorporates the minuet triple meter with free thematic treatment, focusing more
on the secondary idea than on the original thematic announcement. (Note for the piano
teacher: this minuet is an exercise for the early beginner student who needs
reinforcement in double thirds in the left hand.)
Lastly, one noteworthy harmony in this minuet is the Phrygian cadence in
measures 12 and 13, which can be thought as a half cadence to the dominant, where an
augmented sixth chord drives the arrival toward the dominant. The half step from B-flat
to A in the bass is ornamented chromatically by G to G-sharp in the right hand, implying
the augmented sixth chord (Example 44). (Note for the piano teacher: this minuet helps
a student gain a clearer understanding of the Phrygian cadence, which is related to the
augmented sixth chord very commonly used in both the classical and romantic eras.)
Example 44. Sonata No. 27 in D minor, III, Minuet, mm. 11-13.
95
Sonata No. 42 in F Minor
Similar to the previous sonata, Sonata No. 42 in F minor has three movements:
an Allegro and two minuets. The three movements all share the same key and modulate
to the same subordinate key in their second parts (B-flat minor) (Figure 8).
This sonata uses imitative counterpoint for most of the first movement,
exemplifying the reminiscence of fuga and tento (or tiento) in Seixas’s music. In the
thematic announcement of the first movement, the imitation is started by the right hand
and followed a measure later by the left hand in an imitative canon an octave below.
(Note for the piano teacher: this first movement presents a good choice for a student who
is beginning to explore imitation.)
Figure 8. Sonata No. 42 in F minor.
96
This movement is in binary form, but it is not symmetric: its second half is 39
measures long, 7 measures longer than the first half. Three ideas interplay in imitation
and sequences throughout the movement (Example 45); they emerge in the first half, then
modulate to B-flat minor (measures 33 to 47) and return to F minor toward the end of the
sonata (measure 60 on).
Example 45. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-1½, 5-6½, 14-15.
This sonata carries great expressive power with its thematic announcement in
leading-tone motion and leaps, its second idea in chromatic motion, and its third idea
with octave doubling and big leaps.
A curious detail of this first movement is that the imitative pattern shifts hands to
allow for entrance of the secondary idea: the theme opens the movement in the right
hand (RH) followed by the left hand (LH) a measure later (last beat of measure 1); but
when the secondary idea starts, the order is reversed, with the LH followed by the RH
(measure 6) (Example 46). During the second half of the movement, the same order of
97
entrances is repeated but in a variation of the theme, which is stated in the A diminishedseventh chord—the seventh degree in the key of B-flat minor. (Note for the piano
teacher: this imitative pattern can be of help for the student learning to bring out the
entrances of the theme or when the student is memorizing the piece.)
Example 46. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 1-7, 33-38.
A stretto between the thematic announcement and the secondary idea brings the
movement to a climax (measure 60) that modulates back to the home key of F minor.
This stretto is followed by a closing section of cadential confirmations and a closing
cadence that reaffirms the home key (Example 47).
Example 47. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 60-62¼.
98
This stretto is the exercise of the sonata; its intricate counterpoint texture displays the
technical skills of the performer. Although the passage is very short, only three and a
quarter measures, it requires that the performer be extremely focused and have a clear
understanding of each musical idea.
Example 48. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, I, Allegro, mm. 23-30, 65-70.
Another feature of this movement is that Seixas uses the different forms of the
minor mode: F minor natural (measure 65 and 66), F minor melodic in descending
motion (measures 24 through 26), and F minor harmonic (measures 27 through 30 and 67
through 70) (Example 48). All three kinds of minor scale are played at some point in the
sonata. (Note for the piano teacher: this sonata is useful for a student learning or needing
reinforcement with the three versions of the minor scale.)
Table 7 shows the divisions of the sonata in greater detail—its phrases and
subphrases.
99
Table 7. Sonata No. 42, F minor, I, Allegro.
Measure
Subgroup
Description
Key
1-5
2+2+1
Thematic announcement, imitative, modulates to dominant
F minor
6-11½
2+2+2
Secondary idea, modulates to dominant
C
11¼-13½
2+2
Transition, confirmation of dominant
13½-18½
2+2+1
Imitative, third idea, transition to Fm, cadence, in 8ves.
18½-26¼
2+2+3
Closing theme, cadential confirmation, descendant scales (F melodic)
27-32
4+2
Ascendant 3rds (F harmonic), closing cadence to dominant
C
33-36
2+1
Diminished chords, theme’s rhythm, modulates to B-flat minor
B-flat
minor
36-39¼
2+2¼
Theme, imitative LH in B-flat minor, modulates to dominant of B-flat minor
40-41½
2+2
Transition, modulation to dominant
42-47½
2+1+2½
Imitative third idea, confirmation of dominant of F, in 8ves.
48-49¼
2
Closing theme
49¼-53½
2+2+1
Imitative third idea, confirmation of dominant of F, in 8ves.
54-59½
2+4
Transition, modulation to Fm, sequence in circle of fifths
60-62
3
Exercise, stretto, theme, and secondary idea
63-67¼
2+2+1¼
Cadential confirmation, descendant scales (F natural), ascendant scales (F
harmonic), modulation to F minor
68-72
3+2
Descendant 3rds (F harmonic), closing cadence
F minor
F minor
Sonata No. 42, F minor, II, Minuet.
Measure
1-4
A
5-8
9-16
B
17-22
Subgroup
Description
Key
2+2
Thematic announcement, cadence to dominant
F minor
2+2
Variation of theme, cadence confirmation to dominant (half cadence)
2+1+3+2
Thematic announcement in dominant of B-flat minor, sequence, cadence to
dominant
B-flat
minor
2+2+2
Variation of theme, closing cadence, reiteration of closing cadence to F minor
F minor
Sonata No. 42, F minor, III, Minuet.
Measure
1-4
A’
5-8
9-12
A’’
13-16
17-24
B’
25-30
31-38
39-44
B’’
Subgroup
Description
Key
2+2
Thematic announcement, cadence to dominant, Phrygian bass line
F minor
2+2
Variation of theme, cadence, harmonic bass line to C, half cadence
2+2
Thematic announcement var. 1 (triplets), Phrygian bass
2+2
Variation of theme var. 2 (triplets, 64ths in LH), Phrygian bass to C, half
cadence
2+2+2+2
Thematic announcement in B-flat minor, sequence, cadence to C
2+2+2
Thematic announcement var. 1, avoided cadence, cadence to dominant of F
2+2+2+2
Thematic announcement in B-flat minor varied, sequence, cadence to dominant
of F
2+2+2
Variation theme in Fm var. 3 (triplets, more 64ths in LH), avoided cadence to
Fm, cadence to Fm
B-flat
minor
F minor
100
The two minuets—since they are thematically closely related—form a separate group
from the first movement. The only connection between the first movement and the two
minuets is the mentioned key and modulation plan, where the B-flat minor tonicization is
the common trait that links the sonata as a whole.
The shared theme of these two minuets makes them unique in Seixas’s output.
The second minuet (movement III) is a written-out improvisation of the first (movement
II). The first minuet has two halves, the first one with eight measures and the second one
with fourteen, following this scheme ||:A:||:B:||. The second half starts with a tonicization
of the key of B-flat minor, similar to the first movement’s second half as seen in the
former table. These same two halves are found in the second minuet, but the repetitions
are written out, following the scheme ||A’A‖B’B‖||.
(Note for the piano teacher: the first minuet helps in understanding the second
minuet and can be used as a memorization aid.)
In the manuscript sources, the first movement is found with the second movement
(minuet I) in one source, and with the third movement (minuet II) in another source. If
these sources do indeed represent Seixas’s own conception of the sonata, it is clear that
the first movement may be paired with either minuet. To complicate matters, both
Kastner and Heimes suggest that both minuets should be included in the sonata. Kastner
considered these minuets as second and third movements of the same piece,134 while
Heimes considered them as theme and variation, which taken together constitute a second
movement of the sonata. In my opinion, we can choose to play either minuet, excluding
the other, or simply play them both back to back as Kastner and Heimes suggested.
134 ―In the case of the Minuets in No. 42—Kastner carefully refrained from marking
them as Minuet I and Minuet II—the manuscript copies are again inconclusive.‖ In Heimes,
―Carlos Seixas’s Keyboard Sonatas,‖ 180. Doderer’s edition uses only Minuet I, completely
discarding Minuet II. See Doderer, Carlos Seixas: Ausgewählte Sonaten.
101
One significant characteristic of the theme is its harmonic rhythm of half note and
quarter note in a 3/4 measure—a rhythm retained throughout all of the variations of the
theme in the second minuet (Example 49).
Example 49. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1-2.
The second minuet includes changes in theme figuration and accompaniment
pattern. When compared with the first minuet, the thematic announcement in A’ has
triplets in both hands (melody and accompaniment) and a trill instead of an appoggiatura
in the third beat of the measure (Example 50). The theme-and-variation nature of these
two minuets provides a written-out example of how Seixas himself embellished or
elaborated a piece.
(Note for the piano teacher: these two minuets are suitable for the student who
wants to study variation and embellishments techniques of the post-baroque, specifically
in Seixas’s output.)
In addition, the second minuet presents variations within itself; the thematic
announcement is varied slightly but constantly throughout the movement. Through
subdivisions of the accompaniment pattern, the theme becomes gradually more
rhythmically intense as the movement progresses.
102
(Note for the piano teacher: the second minuet could be use as an etude for lefthand leaps, appoggiaturas in triple meter, left-hand rapid figuration, arpeggios, trills, and
finger pedal. Because of its repetitive nature, the memorization of this piece is
challenging.)
The following example (Example 50) shows the modifications each variation
presents, as noted in this list:

Variation of theme (measure 5) in A’ changes the figuration of the thematic
announcement—F minor arpeggios are more spread out.

The first variation (variation 1, measures 9 through 12) in A‖ presents triplet
subdivision of the melody and changes the durations of the bass line.

The second variation (variation 2, measures 13 and 14) in A‖ has subdivisions in
the accompaniment (second sixteenth of the beat subdivided) on the variation
theme.

The third variation (variation 3, measures 39 and 40) has even more subdivisions
in the accompaniment (second and third sixteenth notes of the beat).

Opening of the second half in B’ (measures 17 and 18) has a similar melody with
variations in the second measure (measure 18) and adds leaps to the LH.

Opening of second half in B‖ (measures 31 to 32) presents more variations in the
LH—more leaps in the bass.
(Note for the piano teacher: listing and comparing side by side the variations of a
piece in contrast with the original theme can be a helpful tool for the student; it helps the
memorization process as well as understanding of the piece.)
103
Example 50. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, II, Minuet, mm. 1, 5, 9-10.
One last consideration about these minuets is an inconsistency in the notation
Seixas uses to indicate triplets and ornaments. For example, when there are silences in
104
the first two sixteenths of the triplet in the second minuet, Seixas writes it as a duplet
(measure 7), but the thirty-second notes must be aligned with the last sixteenth of the
triplet (Example 51). See appendix I for more details.
Example 51. Sonata No. 42 in F minor, III, Minuet, mm. 4, 5, 7, 41-44.
Following C. P. E. Bach’s suggestions,135 the appoggiaturas of the first measure of the
first minuet are to be played as a triplet, where the first two-thirds of the beat are tied. It
is common to find duplets and triplets in the same movement, but if both hands are in
triplets, the appoggiatura becomes a triplet.
Similarly, the appoggiaturas should be played as triplets in measures 4 and 5
(Example 51). During Seixas’s time, conventions were not yet set on how to write the
135 See Chapter Three, p. 64-65.
105
last third of a triplet: a dotted sixteenth followed by a thirty-second note in compound
meter was written to indicate a triplet where the first two-thirds are tied (measure 7,
second beat). J. S. Bach’s pieces present similar notational discrepancies, which
continued to appear in music literature until the time of Mozart and even Schubert.
Almost every cadence of Seixas’s second minuet has these notational discrepancies, but
the last cadence (measures 41 and 44) presents a two-against-three rhythm between the
left and right hands (measures 41 and 43) (Example 51). The performer may choose to
consider this a notation anomaly, and in that case would transform the duplet into a
triplet. But the performer may also choose to keep the two-against-three for the last
cadence, which creates more momentum driving toward the end of the piece.
Sonata No. 59 in A Major
Seixas’s Sonata No. 59 in A major exemplifies pre-classical style within Seixas’s
output. It is anti-baroque in texture, phrasing, and harmonic treatment, which situates it
more closely to the sonatinas of Clementi and Kuhnau. This sonata has three
movements: Allegretto, Adagio, and Allegro; its style is a hybrid of baroque and
classical. Furthermore, its textures—the active movement of multiple voices—recall a
trio sonata or a string trio. (Note for the piano teacher: this sonata is particularly helpful
in initiating a student into the early classical style; its lightness and clarity of form helps
the student understand the phrasal and harmonic structures of the piece.)
The first movement, Allegretto, has defined themes and sections that modulate
clearly. It has an expanded second section, 8 measures more than the first half. This
movement’s texture is very active: the secondary idea (measures 5 through 10) presents
imitative counterpoint, with a three-voice texture prevailing throughout most of the
movement. Tonal areas are well defined: the first part modulates to the dominant (E);
while the second part passes briefly through E minor (measure 49), then B minor
(measure 54), and finally returns to the home key of A major (measure 71) (Table 8).
106
Table 8. Sonata No. 59, A major, I, Allegretto.
Measure
1-4
5-10
11-13
14-17
18-202/3
21-242/3
25-301/3
31-36
37-40
Subgroup
2+2
2+4
3
2+2
2+12/3
2+22/3
1+4+11/4
3+3
2+2
Description
Thematic announcement, repeated note and trill
Transition, imitative, modulation to E (dominant), secondary idea
Transition I-V-I, cadential confirmation back to tonic
Cadential confirmation of tonic
Modulation to dominant (E)
Transition, modulation to dominant (E), cadential confirmation
Bridge/anacrusis in 3rds, sequence, modulation to E, cadential confirmation
Closing theme
Closing cadence, bridge to repeat or continue
Key
A
41-44
45-48
49-53
2+2
2+2
2+1+2
Thematic announcement
Transition, imitative, secondary idea
Parts of theme, modulation to E minor, bridge in cominant of B minor,
modulation to B minor
E
54-55
56-59
60-62
63-662/3
2
2+2
3
2+22/3
Part of theme in B minor
Transition, imitative, secondary idea
Transition i-V-I, cadential confirmation of B minor
Bridge/anacrusis, sequence, modulation to cominant of A, cadence in double
3rds.
Transition, cadential confirmation of E
Closing theme, modulation to A
Closing cadence, cadential confirmation of A
Descendant 3rds (F harmonic), closing cadence
1/3
67-73
74-782/3
79-84
85-88
1+4+2
2+22/3
3+3
2+2
1/3
E
E minor
B minor
A
Sonata No. 59, A major, II, Adagio.
Measure
1-2
3-4
5-8½
8½-10½
Subgroup
1+1
1+1
1+1+1½
1+1
10½-12½
12½-15
1+1
2½
Description
Thematic announcement, modulation to dominant (E), fermata
Thematic announcement in D minor, fermata
Secondary idea, extension, sequence, modulation to dominant
Simple rhythm subdivision, compound rhythm subdivision, simple rhythm
subdivision, modulation to subdominant
Excerpts of thematic announcement, connecting scale (A harmonic)
Closing cadence on E (dominant) with F +6 chord or Phrygian cadence, open
ending (half cadence)
Key
A minor
D minor
A minor
E7
Sonata No. 59, A major, III, Allegro.
Measure
1-6
7-11
12-14
15-18
19-22
23-26
Subgroup
4+2
2+3
3
3+1
2+2
2+2
Description
Thematic announcement (related to 1st mov.), extension
Thematic announcement in E, transition, cadential confirmation of E
Secondary idea
Transition, bridge/anacrusis
Closing theme
Closing cadence, bridge to repeat or continue
Key
A
E
27-32
33-361/2
37-39
40-42
43-46
47-50
51-56
4+2
2+21/2
3
3
3+1
2+2
(2+2)+2
Thematic announcement
Thematic announcement in E, modulation to B minor, bridge scale (B melodic)
Transition
Secondary idea
Transition, bridge/anacrusis, modulation to A
Closing theme in A
Closing cadence, extension
E
B minor
A
107
The following figure (Figure 9) offers an overview of the whole sonata.
Figure 9. Sonata No. 59 in A major.
The second movement is an Adagio in rhapsodic form with violin idioms
reminiscent of Vivaldi’s slow movements. This Adagio, in A minor, contrasts with the
other two movements in A major. A feeling of contemplation is brought about by the
fermatas (measures 2 and 4), contributing to the rhapsodic/improvisatory nature of the
movement (Example 52).
108
Example 52. Seixas, Sonata No. 59, II, Adagio, mm. 1-4.
This second movement functions primarily as a connector between the two outer
movements, integrating the sonata as a whole. (Note for the piano teacher: as a tool to
develop the creativity of the student, this movement could be ornamented by the student
as an exercise in embellishments on a slow movement.) This movement ends with a
dominant chord (E major chord), an open ending that prepares for the third movement.
This characteristic is reminiscent of later composers, such as Beethoven, whose Piano
Sonata Op. 53 ―Waldstein‖ has a second movement that leads into the third movement
through a dominant-seventh chord.
The Adagio’s final chord is reached with an augmented sixth chord in F that
repeats two measures later (measures 12 and 14) (Example 53). A Phrygian cadence is
used for arrival at the dominant with the sharpened fourth scale degree (D-sharp) and the
flattened sixth scale degree (F-natural). This Phrygian cadence forms the F augmentedsixth chord that leads to the half cadence to the dominant, which prepares for the
reappearance of A major in the opening of the third movement (Example 53). (Note for
the piano teacher: this instance could be used by the teacher to clarify or explain and
augmented sixth chord before the arrival to a half cadence in a dominant chord.)
109
Example 53. Sonata No. 59, II, Adagio, mm. 11-15.
The Allegretto third movement is a binary form with nearly symmetrical sections.
Due to an extension at the final cadence, the second part is three measures longer than the
first. The thematic relationship between the first and third movements, that is, the
repeated notes and trill heard in both thematic statements, reinforces the notion, and the
feeling, of this sonata as a whole (Example 53). (Note for the piano teacher: the
thematic relationship of the first and last movement of this sonata makes this piece
suitable for the student who needs clarification or is starting to understand the concept of
cyclical music.)
Example 54. Sonata No. 59 in A major, I, Allegretto, mm. 1-4; III, Allegro, mm. 1-2.
110
Additional Pedagogical Remarks
During the early eighteenth century, the sonata was an instrumental work that
explored the idiomatic capabilities of the keyboard instrument on which it was played.
Sonatas were used as pedagogical pieces: in England sonata meant ―lesson,‖ and in Italy
sonatas were referred to as essercizi [exercises]. Similar to J. S. Bach, Domenico
Starlatti, and Chopin, Seixas used his compositions as pedagogical tools; most were
originally designed as teaching pieces for focusing on specific technical challenges. In
the same manner, the contemporary pianist/teacher can use these sonatas as etudes for his
or her students as well as to develop his or her own particular technical skills.
Throughout this chapter, pedagogical annotations have been made for the use of Seixas’s
sonatas by the piano instructor.
The maps of each analyzed sonata (Figures 6, 7, 8, and 9) are a tool for score
study and harmonic-structural understanding of the pieces—and may be of particular help
in the complex and personal process of memorization. Similarly, Tables 5, 6, 7, and 8 are
designed as a useful exercise for the student in search of integration between theory and
practice: improved clarity about the structural choices of the composer is crucial during
the process of memorization as well as in attempting to recover from a memory slip in
performance. Both the figures and the tables offer different ways to diagram; the student
and the teacher may pick either or both ways to map the piece based on the student’s
preferences.
The appendices include a table with nineteen sonatas with detailed comparisons
of their technical difficulties; also included is a table of Seixas’s eighty sonatas
catalogued according to difficulty level, from 1 (beginner) to 10 (early advanced),
according to Jane Magrath’s136 catalogue for piano literature. I extended Magrath’s
136 Dr. Jane Magrath is the head of the Piano Pedagogy Department at the University of
Oklahoma. This level scale is based on her book The Pianist’s Guide to Standard Teaching and
Performance Literature (Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing, 1995).
111
scale (beyond 1-10) in cases where a piece exceeds the early advanced level. Both tables
are intended as a tool for helping the teacher and student choose pieces of an appropriate
difficulty level.
Appendix A contains passages from selected sonatas highlighting some of their
technical difficulties; it can be used by the teacher and students as a guide for selecting
pieces to strengthen particular technical abilities. Appendix A also operates as a guide
for comparing Seixas’s sonatas with other commonly played pieces of the same
difficulty, which allows the teacher to vary a student’s repertoire.
Appendix B catalogues Seixas’s entire published sonatas, from beginner to
advanced levels as a guide for the selection of repertoire.
Finally, in Appendices G, H, I, and J respectively, I offer a performer’s score for
each of Seixas’s Sonatas Nos. 16, 27, 42, and 59; my own performance choices are
represented by dotted slur lines for phrases and subphrases, dynamics suggestions, and
articulations such as slurs and detached signs (dot with a portato line).
Sources and Resources
The following materials are presented as important reference tool for the pianist
who wants to learn more about eighteenth-century performance practices.
Eighteenth-Century Sources

C. P. E. Bach’s Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen [Essay on the
True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments] (1753), which is considered one of the
leading guides for interpretation of eighteenth-century music.

Johann Joachim Quantz’s137 Essay of a Method for Playing the Transverse Flute
(1752) and Leopold Mozart’s138 A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of
137 b. Oberscheden, Hanover 1697–d. Potsdam 1773. German flutist, composer, flute
maker, and writer about music. In Grove Music Online, ―Quantz, Johann Joachim‖ by Edward R.
Reilly and Andreas Giger,
112
Violin Playing (1756) were of great importance for instrumental music in flute
and violin respectively; both contain valuable general guidelines applicable to the
music of the eighteenth century.

Johann Mattheson’s139 Vollkommene Capellmaster [The Complete Chapel
Master, sometimes translated as the Perfect Chapel Master] (1739) was used as a
general musical guideline for eighteenth-century German music.

Two treatises related to eighteenth-century performance practice are Jean-Philippe
Rameau’s Code de Musique Practique [Code of Music Practice] (1760) and
Antonio Soler’s Llave de la Modulación [The Key to Modulation] (1762).
Although these books were written twenty years after Seixas’s death, they
indirectly deal with the keyboard music that preceded them.140

The tradition of ornamentation in Spain has been documented by several theorists,
among them Pablo Nassarre and Francisco de Santamaría.141 Pablo Nassarre’s
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/22633?q=Johann+Joachim+Q
uantz&hhbutto_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&so
urce=omo_gmo&source=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6,
2010).
138 b. Augsburg 1719–d. Salzburg 1787. Composer, violinist, and theorist. Father of
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In Grove Music Online, ―(Johann Georg) Leopold Mozart‖ by Cliff
Eisen,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40258pg1?q=Leopold+Mozar
t&hbutthb_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source
=omo_gmo&sosour=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
139 b. Hamburg 1681–d. Hamburg 1764. German composer, theorist, critic, music
journalist, and lexicographer. In Grove Music Online, ―Mattheson, Johann‖ by George J.
Buelow,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/18097?q=Johann+Mattheson
&hbuttoh_search.x=0&hbutton_search.y=0&hbutton_search=search&source=omo_t237&source
=omo_gmo&sourso=omo_t114&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed July 6, 2010).
140 Since French influence on Seixas is very minimal, I didn’t include François
Couperin’s L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin (1716) as one of my primary eighteenth-century
sources. Rameau was consulted more as a theoretical source than as a performance guide.
141 Biographical data are unknown. In Esther Morales-Cañadas, ―La Ornamentación en
la Música Española en los siglos XVII y XVIII‖ in Claves and Pianos Españoles: Interpretación
113
book, Escuela Música [Music School] (1723-24), provides a bridge between the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the eighteenth century, Francisco de
Santamaría’s treatise Dialectos Músicos [Musical Dialects] (1778) presents
guidelines of a similar nature to those of Quantz and Mattheson.
Recent Sources

Kastner’s annotation to the editions of Seixas’s works and his book Carlos de
Seixas (1947) offer extensive background on and invaluable insight into Seixas’s
music.

Arnold Dolmetsch’s The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Century (1969) deals in a comprehensive way with the challenges of
performing baroque music.

Two other treatises that offer insight into the performance practice of early music
are Frederick Neumann’s Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque Music
(1983) and Robert Donnington’s The Interpretation of Early Music (1992).

The articles of Esther Morales-Cañadas and Linton Powell142 contain
descriptions of ornamentation and improvisation practices in Spain from the
Renaissance to Seixas’s time and beyond.

Eva Badura-Skoda’s143 chapter ―Aspects of Performance Practice‖ offers
performance practice insights and annotations about notation, tempo, rhythm,
ornaments, and embellishments relevant to eighteenth-century keyboard practices
seen today.
y Repertorio hasta 1830: Actas del I y II Symposium Internacional “Diego Fernandez” de
Musica de Tecla Española 2000-2001, ed. Luisa Morales, 158.
142 Published by Morales in Claves and Pianos Españoles: Interpretación y Repertorio
hasta 1830: Actas del I y II Symposium Internacional “Diego Fernandez” de Musica de Tecla
Española 2000-2001 (2003).
143 Edited by Marshall in Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music (2003).
114
Editions
Kastner prepared the first editions of Seixas’s keyboard works, which were
published by the Gulbenkian Foundation and edited by Kastner himself: Carlos Seixas:
80 Sonatas para instrumentos de tecla (Portugaliæ Musica 10, Lisbon, 1965) and Carlos
Seixas: 25 Sonatas para instrumentos de tecla (Portugaliæ Musicae Fundação Calouste
Gulbenkian 34, Lisbon, 1980). In addition, the Gulbenkian Foundation published a set of
the 80 keyboard sonatas published in five volumes with introduction and facsimiles.
Another edition of Seixas’s works is Gerhard Doderer’s Carlos Seixas:
Ausgewählte Sonaten (Organa Hispanica 7 & 8, Heidelberg, Müller & Schade AG
Musikhaus, 1982; also published in two volumes by Baerenreiter Verlag), which contains
selected sonatas. Both Kastner’s and Doderer’s editions have explanatory prologues but
lack discussions on basic editorial choices. The preeminent French-American
musicologist Gerard Béhague144 expresses some concerns about Kastner’s edition of
Seixas in the musicology journal Notes:
Unfortunately and for reasons hardly justifiable, Kastner
excludes from the musical text all the variants appearing in
different copies. He suggests that readers interested in the variants
should obtain microfilm copies of the sources—an unusual
suggestion from a compiler of a scholarly edition.145
In addition to Béhague’s remarks, Julie Gibson Caretto146 observes in her
master’s thesis several inconsistencies in Kastner’s edition: for example, Kastner often
144 b. Montpellier 1937–d. Austin, TX 2005. American musicologist and
ethnomusicologist of French birth. He served as an advisor for the New Grove dictionary and
MGG. In Grove Music Online, ―Béhague, Gerard (Henri)‖ by Paula Morgan,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/02528?q
=Gerard+Behague&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 31, 2010).
145 Gerhard Béhague, Review: ―Carlos Seixas: 80 Sonatas para Instrumentos de Tecla
ed. M. S. Kastner,‖ Notes XXV/3 (March, 1969), 587-89.
146 Other freedoms that Kastner took were omitting accidentals and figured bass details
or adding trills without brackets. For more details and specific instances, please see Caretto,
―Unanswered Questions in the Keyboard Sonatas of Carlos de Seixas (1704–1742),‖ 40-49.
115
added the title ―Minuet‖ when it did not exist in the original manuscript; he also made
some changes in time signatures without brackets or other indication of his editorial
changes.
Regardless of its editorial inconsistencies, I consider Kastner’s edition a great
resource for the dissemination and study of Seixas’s keyboard sonatas. Still, these
editions need to be accompanied by further research for an adequate performance practice
that adapts early eighteenth-century Portuguese music to the characteristics of the modern
piano.
Another edition of Seixas’s solo keyboard music was made available by Müller &
Schade AG Musikhouse, which published 60 sonatas in two volumes under the name of
Ausgewählte Sonaten für Tasteninstrumente [Selected Sonatas for Keyboard
Instruments].
Lastly, some of Seixas’s sonatas have been included in anthologies of Portuguese
and eighteenth-century music, such as Cravistas Portuguezes Alte Portugiesische Meister
fur Cembalo oder Klavier Bearbeitet und Herausgegeben von M. S. Kastner. Stücke fon
Carbalho, Coelho, Jacinto, Seixas, Araujo, U. A. [Old Portuguese Keyboard Masters for
Harpsichord or Piano Edited by Kastner. Pieces by Carvalho, Coelho, Jacinto, Seixas,
Araujo, and others]; two volumes (Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG, 2000).147
Performers and Recordings
The first performers of Seixas’s keyboard sonatas, apart from Seixas himself,
were his students. As was the common practice of the time, Seixas composed sonatas in
part for his teaching. His students were aristocrats with a wide range of musical and
technical skills, and this range is reflected in his sonatas; Seixas’s output varies from
147 Music-In-Print,
http://www.emusicinprint.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/emusicinprint.lasso (accessed Sept. 16, 2010).
116
elementary sonatas for his beginner students to virtuoso display sonatas for his own
concerts at the Palace of John V.
After Kastner’s rediscovery of Seixas, the first performances of his works were on
the harpsichord. Kastner himself was a clavichordist, harpsichordist, and lecturer; he
toured Europe giving lecture-recitals and taught harpsichord and early music
interpretation at the Lisbon Conservatory. However, Kastner did not record any of
Seixas’s sonatas.
Piano Recordings
In about 1955, Kastner began working with the Polish-Brazilian pianist Felicja
Blumental,148 who performed the first recording of Seixas. Thanks to Blumental’s work
with Kastner and her LP recordings, the works of Seixas became known among pianists
and interpreters. Blumental’s performances have been described by José Eduardo
Martins:
[She] is a wonderful interpreter of the Portuguese
harpsichord, she interprets this music with the truth stylistic sense,
playing with soul and great understanding of sound and of
proportion.149
The only Seixas recordings available on the modern piano are Blumental’s Spanish and
Portuguese Keyboard Music Volumes 1 and 2, recorded in 1954 for Brana Records (0022
and 0021) and Naxos Historical (9.80557). Her pianism is technically perfect, her sound
is clear with great effects, contrast in articulation, dry pedaling, and very tasteful agogic.
148 b. Warsaw 1918–d. TelAviv 1991. Brazilian pianist of Polish birth. She emigrated
to Brazil in 1942. Several composers dedicated their works to her, among them Villa-Lobos and
Penderecki. In Grove Music Online, ―Blumental, Felicja [Blumenthal, Felicia]‖ by Frank Dawes,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/03317?q
=Felicja+Blumental&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit (accessed August 31, 2010).
149 Martins, ―As Sonatas para Teclado de Carlos Seixas Interpretadas ao Piano, 1.
117
Blumental’s achievements corroborate that the early harpsichord and pianoforte
repertoire can be performed on the modern piano. In the same way that the works of J. S.
Bach are performed on the modern piano, similarly, the works of other seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century composers—like Scarlatti and Soler as well as Seixas—can be
adapted to the modern piano.150
Harpsichord and Fortepiano Recordings
As part of the harpsichord revival of the twentieth century, several other
recordings of Seixas’s keyboard sonatas have been recorded on early instruments such as
the harpsichord and pianoforte. Among the available harpsichord recordings are:
Bernard Brauchli (Stradivarius 33544, December 1998), Débora Halász (Naxos
8.557459, April 2003), Cristian Brembeck (Musicaphon 56867, March 2005), and
Richard Lester (Nimbus 5836, December 2008); among them they have recorded almost
all of Seixas’s sonatas.
Another group of recordings of Seixas’s sonatas are those made on early
Portuguese fortepianos. Few of these instruments are in condition to be played, yet a
number of Seixas’s keyboard works have been recorded on surviving Portuguese
pianofortes in recent decades. For example, several sonatas were recorded by Robert
Woolley in Carlos Seixas Harpsichord Sonatas in the Portuguese Antunes fortepiano of
1785 (Amon Ra 43, December 1988). Also some sonatas were recorded later, on other
surviving Antunes fortepiano by Edward Parmentier on his The Portuguese Fortepiano
Antunes, Lisbon, 1765 (Wildboar WLBR 9401, 1994), which features the characteristics
of the instrument as well as other eighteenth-century composers from the Iberian
Peninsula and Italy. Three sonatas were also recorded by Susanne Skyrm on the same
150 Chapters Two, Three, and my performers’s scores in the appendices of this essay
expand and address with more detail the performance practice of Seixas’s keyboard sonatas in the
modern piano and the general performance guidelines of post-Baroque music.
118
fortepiano in her Treasures of Iberian Keyboard Music on the Antunes Fortepiano (1767)
(Music & Arts CD-985, 1997).151
151 Characteristics of the early Portuguese fortepiano were discussed in Chapter Three,
p. 53-56.
119
CONCLUSION
Taking into account the conditions of artistic growth that surrounded Carlos de
Seixas, I believe his musical advances were as important as those of his famous
contemporaries, J. S. Bach, G. F. Händel, D. Scarlatti, J. P. Rameau, G. P. Telemann, and
others. With the intention of making him more accessible and, possibly, rescuing him
from obscurity, I have presented a biographical sketch of the composer as well as the
historical and geopolitical context that surrounded him. Although the belief that there is
a lack of information about Seixas has prevented scholars from knowing more about his
works and life, this essay proves that a significant amount of research on Seixas has
already been done and that this research continues. I hope this essay not only provides
answers to some of the pianist’s questions about the Portuguese composer but also
persuades the reader of the need for further research on post-baroque solo keyboard
music, particularly that of Seixas.
To address the question of how to play Seixas on the modern piano, this research
offers an overview of the main notational aspects of the first half of the eighteenth
century and how they apply to Seixas’s sonatas—a starting point for the pianist who does
not know Seixas or who wants to expand his or her knowledge of the composer in order
to perform or teach Seixas’s solo keyboard sonatas. Tools for a better understanding of
Seixas’s music and style are available in Chapter Two; and general guidelines for the
performance of Seixas’s music appear in Chapter Three, which specifically addresses
ornamentation, improvisation, articulation, rhythm, and rubato, among other technical
challenges. I hope these general guidelines enable the performer to make his or her own
informed performance decisions. Based on the treatises of Seixas’s time, this essay also
explores adjustments for the pianist to make in order to take advantage of the
characteristics of the modern piano and, at the same time, develop performance practices
authentic to the aesthetic of the early eighteenth century. With this challenge in mind, I
120
offer annotated performer’s scores of four Seixas sonatas, as examples of my personal
performance choices, in Appendices G, H, I, and J.
This essay also functions as a pedagogical tool presenting structural analyses of
selected sonatas, including formal/harmonic analyses and mapping for memorization.
The four selected sonatas represent different formal schemes and stylistic characteristics,
which not only demonstrate the variety within Seixas’s sonatas but also provide examples
of how the piano teacher can apply a theoretical approach to a student’s performance
practice goasl. In addition, Appendices A and B are provided as a resource for the pianist
assigning or choosing repertoire: Appendix A compares the particular technical
difficulties in selected sonatas, while Appendix B identifies the difficulty level of all of
Seixas’s published sonatas.
Finally, this essay provides important research tools and an overview of the
available sources and scholarly works on the composer—the available primary and
secondary sources up to today, including web resources, theses and dissertations, articles,
books and publications, as well as recordings and editions.
121
APPENDIX A: COMPARISON OF DIFFICULTY LEVEL IN
SELECTED SONATAS
Sonata
Key
Level
Description152
No. 9
C major
Late beginner (7)
Scales RH, rotation motion, walking bass.
No. 10
C major
Late advanced (12)
Double 3rds, broken 3rds, contrary and
parallel motions, fast scales, arpeggios
RH and LH and HT contrary motion,
double 3rds scales.
No. 15
C minor
Early intermediate (8)
Siciliano rhythm, trills, double 3rds LH
No. 16
C minor
Late intermediate (10)
Finger glissandi, syncopations, broken
arpeggios RH.
No. 19
D major
Late intermediate (10)
Arpeggios HT, repeated notes alternating
hands, cross hand leaps, big leaps same
hand, broken 3rds.
No. 20
D major
Late beginner (7)
Arpeggios RH, trills, thumb crossing.
No. 27
D minor
Late intermediate (10)
Minor scales, arpeggios between RH and
LH, repeated notes, big leaps LH, broken
3rds.
No. 28
D minor
Early intermediate (8)
Block chords LH, five-finger runs RH,
double 3rds, arpeggios crossing hands
and single hand.
No. 29
D minor
Late beginner (7)
LH scales and patterns, arpeggios.
No. 34
E major
Early intermediate (8)
Arpeggios RH, big leaps LH, double
trills, broken 3rds.
No. 35
E minor
Late intermediate (10)
Runs, arpeggios LH, repeated notes
alternating hands, 3rds alternating hands,
trills.
No. 41
F major
Intermediate (9)
Dotted rhythms, repeated notes, double
3rds, multi-movements.
No. 42
F minor
Intermediate (9)
Canon imitation, LH octaves, minor
scales.
No. 43
F minor
Late intermediate (10)
Thumb crossing, two-note slurs, repeated
notes, double 6ths, chromatic scale.
No. 44
F minor
Late intermediate (10)
Descendant arpeggios HT, cross hands
leaps, alternating hands passages.
No. 47
G major
Intermediate (9)
Double 3rds, cross hands leaps, double
6ths, alternating hands passages, scales.
152 Abbreviations: RH (right hand), LH (left hand), HT (hands together).
122
No. 49
G minor
Late intermediate (10)
Repeated notes LH, double 3rds, dotted
rhythms, multi-movement, arpeggios.
No. 50
G minor
Late advanced (12)
Repeated notes, rotation, arpeggios, big
leaps LH, alternated hands, broken 8ves,
multiple voices.
No. 57
A major
Late advanced (12)
Big leaps LH, double 3rds, broken 3rds,
double 6ths.
123
APPENDIX B: CATALOGUE OF SEIXAS’S PUBLISHED SONATAS
BY DIFFICULTY
This appendix catalogues Seixas’s sonatas from beginner to advance level as
follows: early beginner (1-3), beginner (4-5), late beginner (6-7), early intermediate (8),
intermediate (9), late intermediate (10), and advanced (11-12).
Sonata
Key
Level
No. 1
C major
4
No. 2
C major
3
No. 3
C major
3
No. 4
C major
2
No. 5
C major
3
No. 6
C major
4
No. 7
C major
6
No. 8
C major
7
No. 9
C major
7
No. 10
C major
12
No. 11
C minor
9
No. 12
C minor
7
No. 13
C minor
9
No. 14
C minor
6
No. 15
C minor
8
No. 16
C minor
10
No. 17
C minor
7
No. 18
C minor
8
No. 19
D major
10
No. 20
D major
7
No. 21
D major
8
No. 22
D minor
7
No. 23
D minor
8
No. 24
D minor
8
No. 25
D minor
9
124
No. 26
D minor
6
No. 27
D minor
10
No. 28
D minor
8
No. 29
D minor
7
No. 30
D minor
6
No. 31
D minor
7
No. 32
E-flat major
8
No. 33
E-flat major
9
No. 34
E major
8
No. 35
E minor
10
No. 36
E minor
10
No. 37
E minor
8
No. 38
F major
6
No. 39
F major
8
No. 40
F major
8
No. 41
F major
9
No. 42
F minor
9
No. 43
F minor
10
No. 44
F minor
10
No. 45
G major
6
No. 46
G major
7
No. 47
G major
9
No. 48
G major
10
No. 49
G minor
10
No. 50
G minor
12
No. 51
G minor
7
No. 52
G minor
8
No. 53
G minor
9
No. 54
G minor
10
No. 55
G minor
7
No. 56
G minor
7
No. 57
A major
12
No. 58
A major
9
No. 59
A major
9
No. 60
A major
9
125
No. 61
A major
8
No. 62
A major
8
No. 63
A major
7
No. 64
A major
8
No. 65
A minor
9
No. 66
A minor
9
No. 67
A minor
8
No. 68
A minor
8
No. 69
A minor
7
No. 70
A minor
8
No. 71
A minor
9
No. 72
A minor
8
No. 73
A minor
7
No. 74
A minor
8
No. 75
A minor
8
No. 76
A minor
10
No. 77
B-flat major
8
No. 78
B-flat major
10
No. 79
B-flat major
9
No. 80
B minor
4
126
APPENDIX C: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 16 IN C MINOR
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
APPENDIX D: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 27 IN D MINOR
134
135
136
137
138
APPENDIX E: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 42 IN F MINOR
139
140
141
142
143
APPENDIX F: SCORE OF SONATA NO. 59 IN A MAJOR
144
145
146
147
148
149
APPENDIX G: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 16
IN C MINOR
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
APPENDIX H: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 27
IN D MINOR
157
158
159
160
161
APPENDIX I: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 42 IN
F MINOR
162
163
164
165
166
APPENDIX J: PERFORMER’S SCORE OF SONATA NO. 59
IN A MAJOR
167
168
169
170
171
172
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