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UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

March 7
03
_____________
, 20 _____

GREGORY CHRISTIAN KOSTRABA


I,______________________________________________,
hereby submit this as part of the requirements for the
degree of:

Doctor of Musical Arts


________________________________________________

in:
Piano Performance
________________________________________________

It is entitled:
THE FIRST PIANO TRIO BY ROBERT MUCZYNSKI
________________________________________________

________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________

Approved by:
Robert Zierolf
________________________
William Black
________________________
Stephanie Schlagel
________________________
________________________
l
________________________

THE FIRST PIANO TRIO BY ROBERT MUCZYNSKI

a thesis submitted to the


Division of Research and Advanced Studies
of the University of Cincinnati
in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS
in the Division of Keyboard Studies
of the College-Conservatory of Music
March, 2003
by
Gregory Christian Kostraba
B.A., The American University, 1989
M.M.., University of Cincinnati, 1991

Committee Chair: Robert Zierolf

THE FIRST PIANO TRIO BY ROBERT MUCZYNSKI


BY: GREGORY CHRISTIAN KOSTRABA
THESIS ADVISOR: ROBERT ZIEROLF
The purpose of this thesis is to provide a framework for the interpretative understanding of
the First Piano Trio, Op. 24 (1966-67) by Robert Muczynski through a discussion of the distinctive
qualities of his music, an overview of his chamber music with piano, and a detailed analysis of the
trio. It is hoped that this study, which includes direct correspondence with the composer, will
promote interest and performance of this distinctive yet little-known composition.
The document includes four chapters. Chapter One provides an overview of the composer,
including general style characteristics, biographical information, and awards and commissions he has
received, then discusses the need for this study.
Chapter Two summarizes the career of Muczynski's only composition teacher, Alexander
Tcherepnin, as a means of determining the techniques that Muczynski was taught, then discusses in
detail the distinguishing characteristics embedded in Muczynski's music. Knowing these elements-or
"fingerprints"-can help guide performers through the complexities of Muczynski's music and
provide an understanding that can lead to successful performances of his compositions.
Chapter Three provides a brief overview of Muczynski's extensive body of chamber music
with piano, including stylistic comments made by the composer, reviewers, and others who have
studied the pieces. These observations will provide insight into particular characteristics of these
works, including compositional style, musical and non-musical influences, and formal procedures.
Chapter Four discusses the First Piano Trio in detail, including issues of form, harmonic
motion, melodic and rhythmic content, and thematic transformation. It also focuses on performance

considerations such as Muczynski's ensemble writing, and issues such as the balance between the
instruments, the use of similar material in different guises by each instrument, and the unity and
variety within the various textures employed.
As a summary, Chapter Five places the fingerprints in the context of the First Piano Trio.
Appendix A includes a bibliography and discography of Muczynski's chamber music with piano.
Appendix B contains a complete list of the composer's works by genre.

Copyright by Gregory Christian Kostraba 2003


All Rights Reserved

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Special thanks to Robert Muczynski for his inspiration and friendship over the course of
many years. I first became acquainted with Muczynskis music early in my tenure at the CollegeConservatory of Music. Robert Garcia and I went to the Hamilton County Public Library in
downtown Cincinnati frequently to borrow LP and CD recordings. One day, while riffling through
the stacks, I found two LPs of Muczynski Plays Muczynski. It was a composer with whom I was
unfamiliar, so I took the recordings home and listened to them. The Second Piano Sonata struck me
immediately as a masterpiece, so I purchased the score in Dallas in 1990 and began to learn it. After
performing the sonata on a recital in the fall of 1992, I sent the recording to Muczynski. I did not
receive an immediate reply, and in the meantime had found out about the Flute Sonata and played it
on a doctoral recital the following spring (and on WGUC, an event that eventually led to my career
in radio, but thats another story). I sent that recording to Muczynski as well. This time, his reply
came quickly. He enjoyed the performance of the Flute Sonata but was quite candid in his criticisms
of the Second Piano Sonata. We have corresponded frequently in the intervening years as this
doctoral thesis took shape, and as I have continued to champion Muczynskis music in the concert
hall and on the radio.
Thanks also to Dr. David Tomatz and Gordon Epperson, my committee: Robert Zierolf,
Stephanie Schlagel and William Black, Valerie Cisler, Marlon Kiser at WGTE-FM in Toledo, Greg
Cornelius for his technical expertise, and many others for their time and assistance. I am grateful to
my parents and wife for enduring many years of intermittent work on this project, thankful for the
encouragement I received from Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff, and appreciative of the many years
of inspired teaching by the late Richard Fields. Glory to God in all things!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

LIST OF TABLES ......................................................................................................................................... iii


LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES .........................................................................................................

iv

Chapter
I.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION .......................................


Need for the Study .......................................................................................................................

1
5

II. ELEMENTS OF MUCZYNSKI'S STYLE: THE FINGERPRINTS ...........................


A. Studies with Alexander Tcherepnin .....................................................................................
Scales .............................................................................................................................................
Interpoint ......................................................................................................................................
Individual Use of Traditional Forms .........................................................................................
B. Other Fingerprints ..................................................................................................................
Rhythm ..........................................................................................................................................
Harmony .......................................................................................................................................
The Muczynski Chord .............................................................................................................
Widely-Spaced Sonorities ............................................................................................................
Piano Writing ................................................................................................................................
Melody ...........................................................................................................................................
Summary ........................................................................................................................................

8
9
11
13
16
18
18
20
25
28
30
32
36

III. AN OVERVIEW OF MUCZYNSKI'S CHAMBER MUSIC WITH PIANO ................


A. SONATAS ...............................................................................................................................
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 14 ...........................................................................................
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 25 ...........................................................................................
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 29 .......................................................................
B. OTHER WORKS FOR TWO INSTRUMENTS .............................................................
Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43 ................................................................................
Moments for Flute and Piano, Op. 47 .........................................................................................
C. TRIOS ......................................................................................................................................
Fantasy Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Op. 26 .................................................................
Second Piano Trio (Violin, Cello, Piano), Op. 36 ...................................................................
Third Piano Trio (Violin, Cello, Piano), Op. 46 ......................................................................

37
38
38
42
48
50
50
54
57
57
62
68

IV. FIRST PIANO TRIO, OP. 24 ..................................................................................................


First Movement ............................................................................................................................
Form .............................................................................................................................................
Themes and Motives ...................................................................................................................
Theme I .........................................................................................................................................
Theme II ........................................................................................................................................
Theme III ......................................................................................................................................
Development ................................................................................................................................

74
77
77
78
78
79
81
83

Recapitulation and Coda .............................................................................................................


Harmony .......................................................................................................................................
Modulation ....................................................................................................................................
Bass Line .......................................................................................................................................
Texture ...........................................................................................................................................
Rhythm, Meter, and Tempo .......................................................................................................

84
84
85
86
87
90

Second Movement .......................................................................................................................


Form .............................................................................................................................................
Themes and Motives ...................................................................................................................
Theme I .........................................................................................................................................
Theme II ........................................................................................................................................
Theme III ......................................................................................................................................
Closing Theme .............................................................................................................................
Harmony .......................................................................................................................................
Tempo and Meter ........................................................................................................................
Texture ...........................................................................................................................................

91
91
92
92
93
93
95
95
97
99

Third Movement .......................................................................................................................... 99


Andante I ........................................................................................................................................ 100
Trio .............................................................................................................................................. 103
Andante II ...................................................................................................................................... 105
Fourth Movement ......................................................................................................................... 107
Form .............................................................................................................................................. 107
Themes and Motives .................................................................................................................... 108
Theme I .......................................................................................................................................... 108
Theme II ......................................................................................................................................... 110
Development ................................................................................................................................. 112
Theme III ....................................................................................................................................... 113
Recapitulation and Coda .............................................................................................................. 114
Harmony ........................................................................................................................................ 115
Bitonality ........................................................................................................................................ 115
Scales .............................................................................................................................................. 118
Rhythm, Tempo, and Meter ........................................................................................................ 122
Texture, Dynamics, Register, Articulation ................................................................................ 123
V. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................... 127
Form .............................................................................................................................................. 128
Themes and Motives .................................................................................................................... 128
Scales .............................................................................................................................................. 128
Vertical Interpoint ......................................................................................................................... 129
Harmony ........................................................................................................................................ 129
Rhythm and Meter ........................................................................................................................ 130
Texture ............................................................................................................................................ 131
Piano Writing ................................................................................................................................. 132
Recommendations for Further Research .................................................................................. 133

ii

APPENDIX A: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND DISCOGRAPHY ....................................................... 134


APPENDIX B: COMPOSITIONS BY ROBERT MUCZYNSKI .............................................. 143

Table

LIST OF TABLES

Page

3-1

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SECOND MOVEMENT


(Sonata for Cello and Piano) ......................................................................................... 45

3-2

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE THIRD MOVEMENT


(Second Piano Trio) ....................................................................................................... 66

4-1

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST MOVEMENT


(First Piano Trio) ............................................................................................................ 77

4-2

THREE-VOICED TEXTURES IN THE FIRST MOVEMENT


(First Piano Trio) ............................................................................................................ 88

4-3

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SECOND MOVEMENT


(First Piano Trio) ...........................................................................................................

91

4-4

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE THIRD MOVEMENT


(First Piano Trio) ........................................................................................................... 100

4-5

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FOURTH MOVEMENT


(First Piano Trio) ........................................................................................................... 107

4-6

STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST THEME AREA


(First Piano Trio, Fourth Movement) ........................................................................ 108

iii

Example

LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES

Page

2-1

Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/iv, mm. 154-55 ........................................................... 12

2-2

Muczynski, Desperate Measures/xii, m. 19 ............................................................................ 12

2-3

Tcherepnin, Piano Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, op. 48/i, mm. 22-24 ............................... 13

2-4

Tcherepnin, Piano Trio, Op. 34/iii, mm. 130-31 ............................................................. 14

2-5

Tcherepnin, Prelude, Op. 85 No. 11, m. 18 ...................................................................... 14

2-6

Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/i, mm. 1-3 ................................................................... 15

2-7

Muczynski, Flute Sonata/i, mm. 1-3 .................................................................................. 15

2-8

Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/ii, mm. 1-6 .................................................................. 16

2-9

Muczynski, Prelude, Op. 6, No. 4, mm. 1-2 ...................................................................... 18

2-10

Muczynski, Prelude, Op. 6, No. 4, mm. 26-29 ................................................................. 18

2-11

Muczynski, Suite, mm. 61-69 ............................................................................................... 18

2-12

Muczynski, Third Piano Trio/iii, mm. 133-36 .................................................................. 19

2-13

Muczynski, Desperate Measures/viii, mm. 1-6 ...................................................................... 19

2-14

Muczynski, Seven, No. 1, mm. 1-4 ....................................................................................... 20

2-15

Muczynski, Dream Cycle, No. 2, mm. 49-51 ....................................................................... 21

2-16

Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 47-50 ...................................................................................... 21

2-17

Muczynski, Third Piano Sonata/i, mm. 43-50 .................................................................. 22

2-18

Muczynski, Time Pieces/iii, mm. 1-9 .................................................................................... 22

2-19

Muczynski, Masks, mm. 152-64 ........................................................................................... 23

2-20

Muczynski, Moments/ii, mm. 32-37 ..................................................................................... 24

2-21

Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 116-19 ....................................................... 24

2-22

Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/i, mm. 50-57 ................................................................................ 25

iv

2-23

Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/iii, mm. 9-18 ................................................................................ 25

2-24

Muczynski, Desperate Measures/iv, mm. 1-4 ........................................................................ 26

2-25

Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 108-09 ....................................................... 27

2-26

Muczynski, Masks, m. 164 .................................................................................................... 27

2-27

Muczynski, Suite/i, mm. 1-9 ................................................................................................ 27

2-28

Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 183-86 ....................................................... 28

2-29

Muczynski, Sonatina/i, mm. 1-5 ......................................................................................... 29

2-30

Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/ii, mm. 30-33 ............................................................................... 29

2-31

Muczynski, Piano Concerto No. 1/ii, mm. 19-21 ............................................................ 29

2-32

Muczynski, Desperate Measures/i, mm. 29-32 ...................................................................... 30

2-33

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/iii, mm. 148-51 ............................................................... 31

2-34

Muczynski, Cello Sonata/iv, mm. 166-70 .......................................................................... 31

2-35

Muczynski, Time Pieces/i, mm. 93-96 .................................................................................. 31

2-36

Muczynski, Flute Sonata/ii, mm. 131-34 ........................................................................... 32

2-37

Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 1-5 .......................................................................................... 32

2-38

Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 32-39 ...................................................................................... 33

2-39

Muczynski, Piano Concerto No. 1/i, mm. 71-78 ............................................................. 33

2-40

Muczynski, Toccata, mm. 53-57 ............................................................................................ 34

2-41

Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/ii, mm. 1-12 ................................................................................. 35

2-42

Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/i, mm. 1-4 ............................................................... 36

3-1

Muczynski, Flute Sonata/ii, mm. 52-56 ............................................................................. 40

3-2

Muczynski, Flute Sonata/iv, mm. 1-5 ................................................................................ 41

3-3

Muczynski, Cello Sonata/i, mm. 1-13 ................................................................................ 44

3-4

Muczynski, Cello Sonata/iv, mm. 118-29 .......................................................................... 46

3-5

Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/i, mm. 13-15 .......................................................... 49

3-6

Muczynski, Time Pieces/i, mm. 1-4 ....................................................................................... 51

3-7

Muczynski, Moments/iii, mm. 43-46 .................................................................................... 56

3-8

Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/iii, mm. 31-36 .............................................................................. 60

3-9

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-2 ....................................................................... 63

3-10

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/i, mm. 110-11 ................................................................. 64

3-11

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/ii, mm. 14-16 .................................................................. 65

3-12

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/iii, mm. 1-5 ..................................................................... 67

3-13

Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/iii


a) B melody, mm. 26-27 ....................................................................................................... 67
b) C melody, m. 48 ................................................................................................................ 67
c) D melody, mm. 65-67 ...................................................................................................... 68

3-14

Muczynski, Third Piano Trio/iii


a) Theme, mm. 2-3 ................................................................................................................
b) Var. I, m. 37-38 .................................................................................................................
c) Var. II, mm. 51-52 ............................................................................................................
d) Var. III, mm. 73-74 ..........................................................................................................
e) Var. IV, mm. 90-91 ...........................................................................................................

4-1

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-3 ............................................................................ 75

4-2

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 1-2 ........................................................................... 75

4-3

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 3-4 .......................................................................... 76

4-4

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 1-3 .......................................................................... 76

4-5

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-6 ............................................................................ 78

4-6

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 17-20 ........................................................................ 79

4-7

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 30-38 ........................................................................ 80

4-8

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 51-52 ........................................................................ 81

4-9

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 62-64 ........................................................................ 82

vi

71
71
72
72
72

4-10

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i


a) Theme IIIb, m. 67 ............................................................................................................ 82
b) Theme IIIb, m. 75 ............................................................................................................ 82

4-11

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 134-37 ...................................................................... 83

4-12

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 179-81 ...................................................................... 84

4-13

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 29-30 ........................................................................ 85

4-14

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 154-56 ...................................................................... 86

4-15

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 170-71 ...................................................................... 87

4-16

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 165-69 ........................................................................ 88

4-17

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 56-61 ........................................................................ 89

4-18

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 110-14 ...................................................................... 90

4-19

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 1-7 ........................................................................... 92

4-20

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 25-29 ....................................................................... 93

4-21

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 40-46 ....................................................................... 94

4-22

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 64-69 ....................................................................... 94

4-23

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 96-100 ..................................................................... 96

4-24

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 119-24 ..................................................................... 97

4-25

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 51-56 ....................................................................... 98

4-26

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 76-82 ....................................................................... 99

4-27

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 3-5 ........................................................................... 101

4-28

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 12-14 ....................................................................... 102

4-29

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 22-24 ....................................................................... 103

4-30

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii


a) mm. 35-36 ........................................................................................................................... 104
b) mm. 39-40 ........................................................................................................................... 104

4-31

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 50-51 ....................................................................... 105

vii

4-32

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 70-71 ....................................................................... 106

4-33

Muczynski, First Piano Trio


a) iii/mm. 5-6 .......................................................................................................................... 109
b) iv/mm. 1-3 ......................................................................................................................... 109

4-34

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, m. 7 .................................................................................. 110

4-35

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 46-47 ....................................................................... 111

4-36

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, m. 110 .............................................................................. 112

4-37

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 139-41 ..................................................................... 113

4-38

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 174-75 ..................................................................... 114

4-39

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 209-10 ..................................................................... 115

4-40

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 38-40 ....................................................................... 117

4-41

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 137-41 ..................................................................... 118

4-42

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 174-81 ..................................................................... 119

4-43

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 215-16 ..................................................................... 120

4-44

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 221-28 .............................................................................. 120

4-45

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 64-67 ................................................................................ 122

4-46

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 38-45 ................................................................................ 124

4-47

Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 98-105 ..................................................................... 125

viii

CHAPTER I
Introduction and Background Information
For almost fifty years, Robert Muczynskis music has received acclaim from performers,
critics, and audiences alike. His extensive output includes many sonatas and character pieces for solo
piano; works for other unaccompanied instruments including flute, cello, tuba, organ, harpsichord,
and percussion; piano and alto saxophone concertos; works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, and
chorus; music for nine documentary films; and an extensive body of chamber music.
Critics commonly designate Muczynski as a traditionalist, a term used by Gilbert Chase in
Americas Music to refer to one group of American composers in the 1930s. According to Chase, this
groupheaded by the indefatigable Howard Hansonhad one thing in common, they do not
break with the past. How closely they adhere to it is a matter of degree, and varies from individual to
individual.1 In Music for Piano: A Short History, F. E. Kirby lists Muczynski among later composers
who remained true to this tenet, using an essentially tonal and functional harmonic idiom but
expanded to include dissonant elements, applied for the most part to forms inherited . . . from
nineteenth-century Romanticism.2 In a recent article, Walter Simmons wrote, Muczynski is . . .
one of Americas most distinguished traditionalist composers still active today, from the generation
that came of age during the years following World War II. He is also one of the most widely
performed.3
Born in Chicago on March 19, 1929, Robert Muczynski enrolled at DePaul University in
1947 as a piano performance major, studying with Walter Knupfer. Muczynski received a Bachelor

Gilbert Chase, Americas Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present, revised second edition (New
York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), 549.
2 F. E. Kirby, Music for Piano: A Short History (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995), 392.
3 Walter Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, Fanfare 24 (July/August 2001): 62.
1

of Music degree from DePaul in 1950 and a Master in Music degree two years later. When
Alexander Tcherepnin joined the DePaul faculty in 1949, Muczynski became one of the very first
American students to study composition under [him].4 Although Muczynskis interests increasingly
turned to composition, he remained a piano major.5 He used his skills in both areas, performing his
Sonatina on his Masters recital and his Divertimento for piano and orchestra on his graduation
concert.
Muczynskis career as a composer/pianist soon flourished. In 1953, he received a
commission from the Fromm Music Foundation that resulted in his Symphony No. 1. The
following year, the Louisville Orchestra commissioned the Piano Concerto No. 1, which he
recorded for the Louisville First Edition Recording Series. Muczynski went on to perform the
Concerto with the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago in 1955 and with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra three years later. Also in 1958, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, performing
a recital of his own compositions. New York Times critic Harold Schonberg has called Muczynski a
skillful pianist [who] proved a convincing exponent of his own music. . . . [He] knows all the
idiosyncrasies of the piano.6
From 1956 to 1959, Muczynski served as chairman of the piano department at Loras College
in Dubuque, Iowa. In addition, he taught theory, music history, and composition, gave numerous
solo and chamber music recitals, frequently appeared on radio broadcasts, and performed his Piano
Concerto No. 1 with the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. The Ford Foundation sponsored
Muczynski as composer-in-residence in the Oakland, California secondary school system for the

Robert Muczynski, letter to author, 20 April 1993.


That was mainly in order to change to a comp. major there were quite a few additional/
different curriculum requirements and I just wanted OUT from under the rigid academic blanket,
already! Muczynski, letter to author, 26 November 2000.
6 As quoted in Valerie Cisler, The Piano Sonatas of Robert Muczynski (D.M.A. thesis,
University of Oklahoma, 1993), 117.
4
5

1959-60 and the 1960-61 school years. After additional study with Tcherepnin in Nice, France in the
summer of 1961, Muczynski received another Ford Foundation Fellowship as composer-inresidence in the Tucson, Arizona secondary school system for the 1961-62 school year. In addition
to his compositions written as part of the Young Composers Project, Muczynski continued to
receive commissions, so he devoted himself full time to composition for two years hence.
At the invitation of Rudolf Ganz, Muczynski received a one-year appointment as visiting
lecturer at Roosevelt University in Chicago beginning in 1964. The following year, he joined the
music faculty of the University of Arizona as part-time instructor in theory and piano. After
becoming a full-time Assistant Professor, Muczynski became an Associate Professor in 1970 with
the responsibilities of teaching piano, composition, and orchestration. Four years later, Muczynski
became area coordinator for composition and member of the Graduate Committee, positions he
held until his retirement in 1988.7
Muczynski has received many honors, including the International Society for Contemporary
Music (ISCM) Prize for his Suite for Piano, Op. 13 and the Concours Internationale Award for his
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 14. He also received 23 consecutive ASCAP Creative Merit Awards
and a Guggenheim Fellowship in addition to the aforementioned Ford Foundation Fellowships.
Muczynskis Alto Saxophone Concerto was nominated for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Music. In
addition, contestants at several national and international piano competitions have been required to
perform Muczynskis works, including the 1977 William Kapell University of Maryland International
Piano Competition (Maverick Pieces for solo piano) and the 1980 Gina Bachauer International Piano
Competition (Masks for solo piano). The Flute Sonata has also been a required work at numerous
flute competitions.8

7
8

Muczynski, Curriculum Vitae sent to the author, 26 November 2000.


Nicholson, 5.
3

Muczynski has been the featured guest composer at the University of Wyoming, Washington
State University, and Colorado State University in addition to the 1985 Music Educators National
Conference, 1988 College Music Society national convention, and 1991 Music Teachers National
Association national convention. Each event featured recitals of Muczynskis solo piano music,
chamber music, or both.9 In 1983, the United States Information Agency commissioned Muczynski
and several other composers to write a piece for the first year of its Ambassadors of Culture
project.10 The project assisted outstanding American pianists by arranging recital appearances for
them in foreign countries. Muczynski composed an 11-minute work, Dream Cycle, which was
performed by pianist and University of Houston professor Nancy Weems in the former Soviet
Union, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and other countries.11
Since his retirement from the University of Arizona, Muczynski has been remained active
performing and recording his own compositions. Because of vision problems, however, he has been
composing far less frequently. Muczynski has written only two works since 1988: Moments, Op. 47
for flute and piano in 1993, and Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations), Op. 48 for piano the
following year.12

Cisler, 2.
Ibid. The other composers included Ross Lee Finney, Lee Hoiby, and George Perle.
11 Ibid.
12 Am facing eye surgery this fallIts been an ongoing thing with the visionTherefore, I
dont write letters as often as I used to (HUNDREDS!) and NO music, now, for over a year.
Hopefully, the surgery will correct the problem. Muczynski, letter to author, 15 July 1996.
9

10

Need for the Study


Despite his impressive credentials, Muczynski and his music have been generally ignored by
academia, although this situation has been changing since the 1980s. There are just a handful of
doctoral theses devoted to the composer; John Hawkins examines the solo piano literature through
Maverick Pieces, Op. 37 in general terms,13 Valerie Cisler focuses on the three piano sonatas,14 two
theses discuss Muczynskis Second Piano Sonata in the context of other music of the time,15 and two
theses concern Muczynski's music for winds (with and without piano).16 No theses or dissertations,
however, have treated the chamber music for strings, an extensive body of work that includes the
three piano trios, Cello Sonata, and String Trio.
The composer sees his decision to write in a traditional tonal framework as the reason for
this neglect. If you didnt embrace the favored trends of the day, it was a virtual shutout,
Muczynski wrote, especially in university circles where theorists delighted and salivated over the
new notation via graphs, charts, and diagrams of every sort.17 From the late 1950s through the
early 1970s, as Valerie Cisler elucidates in her thesis on Muczynskis piano sonatas, many composers
of tonal music were denied support and recognition by academics, music critics, and others who had
the power to decide which composers received commissions, publicity, and performances.18 Except

John A. Hawkins, The Piano Music of Robert Muczynski: A Performance-Tape and


Study of His Original Works for Piano Solo (D.M.A. thesis, University of Maryland, 1980).
14 Cisler (see chap. 1 n. 6).
15 Benjamin Woods, The North American Piano Sonata in Transition (D.M.A. thesis,
University of South Carolina, 1991) and Karen Marie Fosheim, Similarities Between Two
Dissimilar American Piano Sonatas of the 1960s: The Second Piano Sonatas of Robert Muczynski
and Robert Starer (D.M.A. thesis, University of Arizona, 1994).
16 Anne Marie Thurmond, Selected Woodwind Compositions of Robert Muczynski: A
Stylistic and Structural Analysis (D.M.A. thesis, University of Georgia, 1996) and Susan Elaine
Nicholson, Selected Woodwind Works of Robert Muczynski (D.M.A. thesis, University of Miami,
2000).
17 Robert Muczynski, Letters, Fanfare 5:1 (1981): 2.
18 Cisler, 36-57.
13

for special cases such as Rorem and Corigliano, Paul Snook added, many of these [traditionalist
composers] have subsisted in an artistic limbo on the obscure margins of an increasingly atomized
musical culture extended throughout the university systems of the Mid and Far West.19 This
artistic limbo is personified by the experiences of Muczynski, who despite receiving tenure at the
University of Arizona dealt with an unsupportive administration that deemed him too traditional.20
This dismissive attitude from what Simmons calls the academic musical establishment
toward traditionalist composers still affects Muczynski's reputation. Just to mention a few examples,
Muczynski goes unmentioned in textbooks by Watkins (1988), Morgan (1993), and McCalla (1996),
as well as books for a more general readership by Dubal (1989) and Struble (1995).21 Despite these
obstacles, Muczynski's works remain in print, and continue to enjoy a steady following . . . from
performers Out There.22 As the composer recently noted, My statements from ASCAP reveal a
great wave of interest and numerous performances in USA. . . . Also, the foreign countries are on the
increase for me: England, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Israel, Beijing, Australia, etc.23 In
addition, recordings of Muczynski's works have become more frequent, the music for flute in
particular. (See Appendix A.)
Lack of research on much of Muczynskis chamber music with piano and steady interest
among performers are compelling reasons to engage in additional study. Furthermore, there is the

Paul Snook, review of Muczynski Plays Muczynski, Vol. I by Robert Muczynski, Fanfare 4
(1981): 119.
20 Cisler, 417.
21 Glenn Watkins, Soundings: Music in the Twentieth Century (New York: Schirmer Books, 1988).
Robert P. Morgan, ed., Modern Times: From World War I to the Present (London: Grenada Group and
The Macmillan Press, 1993). James McCalla, Twentieth-Century Chamber Music (New York: Schirmer
Books, 1996). David Dubal, The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings (New York:
Summit Books, 1989). John Warthen Struble, The History of American Classical Music: MacDowell
Through Minimalism (New York: Facts On File, 1995).
22 Muczynski, letter to author, 28 July 2001.
23 Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.
19

quality and distinctiveness of the music itself. Chapter II will focus on some of the elements that
make Muczynskis style so attractive to performers and audiences, components the composer in a
letter to Fanfare magazine called fingerprints. 24 Knowing these elements can help guide
performers through the complexities of Muczynski's music and provide an understanding that can
lead to successful performances of his compositions.
Finally, it is also hoped that this study of Muczynski's First Piano Trio will increase awareness
and appreciation of this work and encourage performers to program this distinctive and important
composition.

24

Muczynski, Letters, 2.
7

CHAPTER II
Elements of Muczynskis Style: The Fingerprints
I have come to the conclusion that the originality we all thirst for is really something
inherent in the personality behind the manipulation of what is available. I dont
believe that Brahms ever invented a new chord, but when we hear a work by
Brahms we know its author instantly. Of the composers I admire, . . . it seems that
the most striking are those who somehow managed to imbue their music with their
own unique personalities, or what I call fingerprints.25 Robert Muczynski
From his earliest published work (the Sonatina for piano from 1949) to the most recent
(Desperate Measures for piano from 1994), Muczynski's music is imbued with his personality and has a
character all its own. In trying to describe the many facets of this personality, however,
commentators frequently compare particular elements of Muczynski's music to those of other
twentieth-century composers. For instance, in a recent article in Fanfare, Walter Simmons writes:
One might identify its underling stylistic currents with reference to the phraseology of Bartk, the
harmonic language and overall rhetoric found in the piano works of Barber, a fondness for five- and
seven-beat meters reminiscent of Bernstein, and a piquant sprinkling of blue-notes within its
melodic structures.26 Understanding Muczynskis personality on its own terms and then placing his
fingerprints within the context of specific pieces can help performers more successfully render
these compositions.
Muczynski is reluctant to discuss specific compositional techniquesI do wish academia
would stop trying to x-ray music and just let it Be. . . . Who really cares about the how when its
only the what that counts?27 Nevertheless, this chapter will discuss in close detail the
fingerprints that make up his compositional personality. First, it will summarize the career of

Robert Muczynski, Letters, Fanfare 5 (September/October 1981): 2.


Walter Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, Fanfare 24 (July/August 2001): 63.
27 Robert Muczynski, letter to author, 28 July 2001.
25
26

Muczynski's only composition teacher, Alexander Tcherepnin, as a means of ascertaining the


techniques that Muczynski was taught, then discuss in detail the distinguishing characteristics
embedded in Muczynski's music that indicate its author within just a few measures.

A. Studies with Alexander Tcherepnin


Tradition, as the secured continuity of know-how, is made evident in the existence of
schoolsnot so much in the sense of established institutions, Ernst Krenek wrote in 1962, but
of groups of individuals who in the sequence of a few generations exhibit a kind of teacher-student
relationship of varying degrees of formality or, more frequently, informality.28 In her thesis on
Muczynski's piano sonatas, Cisler explores what could be considered a school (although she does
not call it such): the intricate connection between Nikolai Tcherepnin, Sergei Prokofiev, Alexander
Tcherepnin, and Muczynski.29 Alexander Tcherepnin was Muczynskis first and only composition
teacher. Therefore, an understanding of Tcherepnins compositional techniques would be helpful in
understanding Muczynskis music.
The son of the distinguished conductor, composer, and teacher Nikolai Tcherepnin,
Alexander Tcherepnin was born in St. Petersburg on January 21, 1899 (Julian calendar). His family
left Russia in the fall of 191830 and moved to Tblisi, Georgia. Cut off from the rest of the world
as he put it, Tcherepnin received his first important stimulation from folk music and developed a

Ernst Krenek, Tradition in Perspective, Perspectives in New Music 1 (Fall 1962): 37.
Valerie Cisler, The Piano Sonatas of Robert Muczynski (D.M.A. thesis, University of
Oklahoma, 1993), 69-72.
30 The quantity of exceptional composers who fled the Bolshevik Revolution and/or the
newly-formed Soviet Union between 1917 and 1921 is staggering. They most prominently include
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Nikolai Medtner.
28
29

system of polyphony, which he called interpoint, as a reaction against Impressionism.31


As the Bolsheviks expanded their influence into the Caucasus, the Tcherepnin family moved
to Paris in 1921. In his 28 years there, Tcherepnin found the environment exceptionally stimulating.
Not only was he in contact with composers such as Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Honegger, and
Milhaud, he also found the freedom to develop in his own manner:
Interestingly, the influence that Paris generally had on foreign composers has been to
make them find and be themselves. . . . For my part, I was not taken with
Impressionism, saw no virtue in Faure (time has changed this opinion) or in the use
of a banal tune to shock, in the manner of Satie. And jazz, which fascinated many
French composers, did notand does notfascinate me.32
This development included the nine-note scale (C, D-flat, E-flat, E, F, G, A-flat, A, B, C),
which he first theorized in 192233 and used often during his years in Paris. In addition, Tcherepnins
extensive travels during this timehe concertized, composed, and sometimes took up temporary
residence in London, Vienna, Shanghai, Tokyo, Egypt, Palestine, Crete, and many other placeshad
an impact on his compositions. Ideas dont come out of the blue sky. You absorb whats around
youthe people in your community. Like a novelist identifies himself with whats around him, so
does a composer, giving back in his music what hes absorbed.34
Following his successful 1948 concert tour in the United States, Tcherepnin was invited to
teach at DePaul University in Chicago, taking the place of Ernst Krenek. He began the following
year and stayed until 1958. During these years, Tcherepnin became interested in new formal designs,
and at the same time synthesized the technical devices he had used previously, including scales,

Phillip Ramey, Tcherepnin at Seventy, New York Philharmonic Program Book, February
1969, 28, as quoted in Guy Wuellner, The Complete Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin
(D.M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1974), 12.
32 Ramey, 29-30, as quoted in Wuellner, 13.
33 Although the first appearance of the nine-step scale came in the Sonatine Romantique, Op. 4,
from 1918, the conscious theorization of it came only in 1922. (Tcherepnin quoted in Wuellner,
42.)
34 Ramey, 40, as quoted in Ibid., 22.
31

10

harmonic systems, and polyphonic procedures, often in combination.35 He also taught a number of
students, including his sons Serge and Ivan, Pierre Barbaud, Gloria Coates, John Downey, Phillip
Ramey, Aribert Riemann, and his first full-time American student, Robert Muczynski,36 who
benefited from these explorations. Downey recalled his lessons with Tcherepnin in this way:
We discussed trying to formulate my own personal vocabulary of chord progressions
with their own internal laws of harmony, of constructing my own personal scales, of
trying to establish my own system of contrapuntal relationships based on a much
broader concept of dissonance than I had been accustomed to. . . . I remember
vividly the excitement with which I observed Tcherepnin gradually unfold to me his
concept of interpoint as I was working on unraveling my own fugal perceptions. This
lively contrapuntal rhythmic style peppered the finale of my Second Piano Sonata
[which Downey was writing at the time], as I seized the implications of his novel
idea.37
Muczynski credits Tcherepnin with helping him find his own voice: His impact on me
personally was incalculable . . . he was completely supportive, optimistic, and inspiring as a teacher
and friend. Without his guiding vision I doubt Id be a composer.38 He denies, however, that
Tcherepnin had a direct influence on his compositional style. In fact, Muczynski wrote,
Tcherepnin used to laugh and remark, What I like about you, dear Bob, is that you listen to what I
have to say at our lesson and then, next week, you have discarded it and found your own way!39
Nevertheless, several of Muczynskis fingerprintsthe use of particular scales, techniques
analogous to interpoint, and the individual use of traditional formswere ideas taught by
Tcherepnin.
Scales: Like other late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century composers, including RimskyKorsakov, Bartk, and Messiaen, Tcherepnin created his own scale and wove it throughout his

Wuellner, 106.
Muczynski, letter to author, 28 July 2001.
37 Enrique Arias, Alexander Tcherepnin: A Bio-Bibliography (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press,
1989), 235-36.
38 Muczynski, as quoted in Arias, 241-42.
39 Muczynski, letter to author, 28 July 2001.
35
36

11

compositions. This nine-note scale developed from Tcherepnins interest in the sound of the majorminor tetrachord. He extended the 3 semitone1 semitone3 semitone iteration upward to reach
the octave to create the following six-note scale: C, E-flat, E, G, A-flat, B, C. Combining this scale
with its inversion (C, A, A-flat, F, E, D-flat, C), Tcherepnin then created a nine-note scale (C, D-flat,
E-flat, E, F, G, A-flat, A, B, C) that he used in melodic and harmonic structures.40
Similar scales appear frequently in Muczynskis music, but they tend not to be used
systematically. Instead, the scale Muczynski uses most frequently is created by the placement of two
adjacent tetrachords (either 0145, 0134, or an alternation of the two). These passages work especially
well for the pianist because the tetrachords fit naturally under the handswhen coming across this
pattern, the pianist should finger each 1 2 3 4. As a result, these passages, almost always found in
quick tempi, sound more difficult to play that they actually are.
Example 2-1: Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/iv, mm. 154-55
Allegro molto

0145

0145

0145
con brio


broadly

ff


marc.

sost. ped.

Example 2-2: Muczynski, Desperate Measures/xii, m. 19


0134

pi f

0134

40

0134

(molto)

0134

Arias, 41-43.
12

5
4

5
4

There are instances in which Muczynski uses scales for melodic material, Cisler observes, but
they are a result of subjective, not objective intention; the melody creates the scale, the scale does
not create the melody.41 One exception to this observation can be seen in the second movement of
the Cello Sonata as shown in Chapter III.
Interpoint: Guy Wuellner describes Tcherepnins procedure called interpoint as a type of
polyphony in which the independence of the voices is stressed, rather than their dependence on one
another.42 Willi Reich has described the goal of interpoint as follows: to construct polyphonic
form chiefly in broken, intersected lines, the thematic insertions being evoked and made clear
simultaneously by breaks in the part-writing.43 Tcherepnin has defined three types of interpoint:
vertical, horizontal, and metrical.44
Vertical interpoint, or hocket, is a combination of melodies that alternate their respective
attack points, avoiding coincidental attacks of normal contrapuntal procedure.45 A clear example is
seen in the piano part of Tcherepnins Piano Concerto No. 3 in B-flat.
Example 2-3: Tcherepnin, Third Piano Concerto, Op. 48/i, mm. 22-24

Bsns.

34

24

24
3

34

Pno.

24

Cisler, 99-100.
Guy Wuellner, Alexander Tcherepnin, Piano Quarterly 100 (Winter 1977-78): 30.
43 Reich as quoted in David Ewen, The World of Twentieth-Century Music (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall, 1968), 823.
44 Wuellner, 67.
45 Medieval term . . . for a contrapuntal technique . . . in which sounds and silences are
dovetailed through a staggered arrangement of rests in two or more voices. Stanley Sadie, ed., The
Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1988), s.v. hocket.
41
42

13

In horizontal interpoint, the composer staggers entrances of the same material (frequently
scalar passages of four or five notes) between the voices. Tcherepnins Piano Trio ends in constant
eighth-notes in horizontal interpoint which is abruptly ended in the last measure.46 The beginning
of the coda is shown in Example 2-4:
Example 2-4: Tcherepnin, Piano Trio, Op. 34/iii, mm. 130-31

4
4

Metrical interpoint, or polyrhythm, uses contrasting rhythms in different voices


simultaneously.47 For example, in Tcherepnins Prelude, Op. 85, No. 11, the notes in the treble clef
are organized into 3/4 + 7/8 + 2/4 while those in the bass clef are in a recurring 5/8.
Example 2-5: Tcherepnin, Prelude, Op. 85, No. 11, m. 18
mf

Wuellner, 337.
Simpler types [of polyrhythm], such as the use of 6/8 against 3/4, are usually called cross
rhythm, while the term polyrhythmic is used for the bold rhythmic clashes often encountered in
20th-century music. Willi Apel and Ralph T. Daniel, The Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music (New York:
Pocket Books, 1960), s.v. polyrhythm.
46
47

14

When asked whether a few of the fingerprints of his music were analogous to procedures
used by Tcherepnin, particularly interpoint, Muczynski replied, Its just silly about Sashas so-called
interpoint. He explained it to me in 1949 and, to this day, I dont know what the hell it is or why Id
need it. I am never drawn to nor enchanted by artificial means of composing a piece.48 Although
Muczynski does not use interpoint per se, part of the excitement and activity found in his music
comes from the use of techniques similar to vertical and metrical interpoint.
Whereas Tcherepnin uses vertical interpoint to combine two melodies, Muczynski alternates
the attack points of the melody and accompaniment. Two examples will show this clearly. The
opening of the Second Piano Sonata uses a regular alternation of attacks:
Example 2-6: Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/i, mm. 1-3
Allegro

5
4
f

q = 126-132

sostenuto

5
4

con ped.

34

3
4

The highly syncopated opening of the Flute Sonata uses an irregular alternation of attacks.
Example 2-7: Muczynski, Flute Sonata/i, mm. 1-3
Allegro deciso h = 96

Piano

This alternation of attack points propels the music by allowing rests in the melodic line (especially
important for a flutist!) without inhibiting the flow of the music.

48

Muczynski, letter to author, 28 July 2001.


15

Horizontal interpoint is not a technique Muczynski uses in his chamber music or solo piano
music. However, he utilizes metrical interpoint frequently and in the same manner as did
Tcherepnin. The second movement of the Second Piano Sonata, for example, combines recurring
4/8, 3/8, and 4/8 measures in the treble clef over a recurring 6/8 in the bass clef.
Example 2-8: Muczynski, Second Piano Sonata/ii, mm. 1-6
Con moto q = 132 , ma non tanto
sostenuto

38 48
38 48
p semplice

3 4 3 4

4
8
8
8
8
8
48

l.h. sempre stacc., senza ped.

Individual Use of Traditional Forms: Tcherepnin expressed the importance of form in his
musical thinking in 1962: It is form and not the musical language that makes a composition long
living. Every musical language becomes sooner or later outdated, but the message expressed by it in
adequate form survives.49 Tcherepnin used traditional formal designssuch as sonata-allegro,
variation, and song formin a highly individual manner. Often, he altered proportion and
procedures depending on the melodic material used and frequently employed cyclic procedures.
For example, Tcherepnin placed a second development section between the main theme
group and the subtheme group in the recapitulation of the Sonatine Romantique and substituted a
theme and variations in place of the development section in the one-movement Second Piano
Concerto. In his variations, Tcherepnin preferred to handle the material freely, without rigidly
conforming to the melodic contour, rhythms, character, or time span of the theme.50 Varied reprises
often found their way into movements in song form. In the Bagatelle in D Major, Op. 5, No. 3, the

49
50

Wuellner, 25.
Ibid., 29.
16

reprise of the opening material is varied in register and articulation, then a coda is inserted that adds
a new rhythmic motive and new harmonies.51
Muczynski also uses traditional formal designs in an individual manner. For instance, there
are several ways one can describe the form of the first movement of his First Piano Sonata. The
composer wrote that the structure is not orthodox sonata-allegro form but, rather, sectional,
alternating slow music with fast.52 Cisler sees the form as a large ABA form with a 32-measure A
section followed by a 126-measure B section and a concluding 23-measure A section.53 Since the
main theme and subtheme groups are developed in the B section of the movement, she also
analyzes the music in sonata-allegro form, noting that it does not follow many of that forms
characteristics.54
Muczynskis few movements in variation form (first movement of the Cello Sonata and
Desperate Measures) are fairly traditional, except for the first movement of the Third Piano Trio, which
will be discussed in Chapter III. As for movements in song form, varied reprises often occur. For
instance, in the Prelude, Op. 6, No. 4, the opening melody is paired with two triads a major second
apart (D-flat major and C-flat major). When the melody returns in octaves in m. 26, it is again
correlated with two harmonies (D-flat major 7th to E major 7th). However, the triads have been
transformed into major 7ths and are placed an augmented second apart.

51Celia

Mae Bryant, Teaching One of the Tcherepnin Piano Pieces, Clavier 13 (January
1974), 18-23.
52 Robert Muczynski, Muczynski Plays Muczynski, Vol. I, interview with Phillip Ramey, Laurel
Record, LR-114, 1980.
53 Although the A sections have fewer measures, the slower tempo creates a longer spatial
experience for the listener and thus the length of sections are perceived as balanced in time. Cisler,
157-58.
54 Cisler, 159.
17

Example 2-9: Muczynski, Prelude, Op. 6, No. 4, mm. 1-2


Allegretto meno mosso
2
4

legato

p e sempre ritardando

Example 2-10: Muczynski, Prelude, Op. 6, No. 4, mm. 26-29

Maestoso q = 112

ff

B. Other Fingerprints
Rhythm: Like many twentieth-century composers, Muczynski makes use of changing meters
over a basic pulse that remains constant (usually in eighth or quarter notes). As David Brin noted:
Driving, vigorous rhythms are Robert Muczynskis trademark. In his music meters
may change frequently, but the rhythms are never contrived. While not easy to
perform, there is something so natural about these rhythms that they create their
own momentum, carrying the performers along, never leaving them grasping for the
beat.55
To quote just one example, here is a section from the Scherzo movement of the Suite, Op. 13:
Example 2-11: Muczynski, Suite/vi, mm. 61-68
e =e

3
4

6
8

marc.

3
4

55 David

sf

ff

energico

M. Brin, In Print, Strings 5 (September-October 1990): 13.


18

3
8

sempre stacc.

3
8

Cisler pointed out that Muczynski often propels his rhythms by having two notes of equal length
followed immediately by shorter note values.56 She calls this pattern, usually seen as 3+3+2+2, his
signature rhythm, and notes that it is often accompanied by a change of meter.
Example 2-12: Muczynski, Third Piano Sonata/iii, mm. 133-36

2
3
2

4
4
4

3
4

(ff )

ff tempestoso

2
4

3
4

2
4

3
4

One variant often found in Muczynski's music is the rhythm 3+3+2/8. But, only once in his
output (variation 8 of Desperate Measures) does he explicitly tie it to the popular Argentinian dance,
the tango.
Example 2-13: Muczynski, Desperate Measures/viii, mm. 1-6

Tango (moderato)

4
4

4
4

56

Cisler, 82.
19

mf

pi

Another rhythmic trait is the avoidance of placing the downbeat in the melodic line, which
Muczynski accomplishes in a variety of ways. In his solo piano music, melody notes on weak beats
are accented, as Cisler observes, emphasizing each eighth note, strengthening syncopations.57
Example 2-14: Muczynski, Seven, No. 1, mm. 1-4

Allegro giocoso
2
4

q = 160

f marc.

2
4

sempre stacc.

Further evidence of the importance Muczynski places on rhythm comes from a letter he
wrote in response to hearing a recorded performance of his Desperate Measures by this author: In
VAR. 10/lines 4 + 5: mf you are not playing the bass part as written. . . . I want that syncopated
figure. Your way is easier and ordinary.58
Harmony: Muczynski derives his harmonies from traditional elements such as major and
minor triads, seventh and ninth chords, and the use of added notes. However, he tends to use these
elements in non-traditional ways, such as this series of consecutive seventh chords to create what
Cisler calls a jazz flavor.59

57

Cisler, 83

58 Muczynski,
59

letter to author, 31 July 2000.

Cisler, 95
20

Example 2-15: Muczynski, Dream Cycle, No. 2, mm. 49-51

accel.

4
4

2
4

2
4

As in the example above, ostinato patterns are pervasive in Muczynski's music and are used for a
variety of expressive purposes. For instance, the alternation of minor triads a whole-step apart
creates a static sense in this passage from Moments:
Example 2-16: Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 47-49

a tempo

mf

mf )

Hawkins notes that dissonance in Muczynski's music frequently results from the placing of
ostinato figures underneath melodies or chordal fragments of varying lengths.60 Cisler adds that
Muczynski prepares for changes in pitch center and produces harmonic stability through the use of
ostinato patterns and pedal points.61 These sections tend to be fairly brief, generally between five
and twelve measures in length.
In the first movement of the Third Piano Sonata, for instance, modulation from the primary
key of B-flat to the secondary key of E-flat is achieved through a repeated ostinato figure in the left
hand that consists of a C-sharp-D-sharp-G-sharp chord in the bass and the middle voice rocking

60
61

Hawkins, 45.
Cisler, 354-55.
21

back and forth between E and D-sharp. This dissonant middle voice resolves decisively in m. 49
when the D-sharp enharmonically becomes an E-flat and the new pitch center.
Example 2-17: Muczynski, Third Piano Sonata/i, mm. 43-50
Meno mosso

2
4

( )

2
4

3
4

3
4

con ped.

Andante espressivo

(pp)

rit. molto
mp

( = 100)

cantabile
sempre molto legato

In the third movement of Time Pieces, Muczynski almost immediately sets the key area of D
major by the use of an ostinato pattern in the left hand of the piano. This pattern, which alternates B
and F-sharp minor 7th chords, continues with slight alterations through the first theme area of 19
measures, the first nine of which are shown here:
Example 2-18: Muczynski, Time Pieces/iii, mm. 1-9
Allegro moderato ( q = 116-120)

4
4

gracefully

mp
4
4

sempre legato

poco

simile

22

gracefully

mp

In mm. 152-64 of Masks, Muczynski uses a C-sharp pedal to stabilize the tonal center that
signals the end of the piece:
Example 2-19: Muczynski, Masks, mm. 152-64
subito meno mosso, e sempre rit. al fine
3
8

3
8

e sempre dimin.

2
8

2
8

3
8

2
8

mf

(Andante)

3
8

3
8

2
8

3
8

mp

2
8

3
8

23

2
8

2
8

(poco Ped.)

2
8

2
8

molto rit.

2
8

3
8

3
8

sub. sff

pp
2
8

3
8

2
8

3
8

Muczynski frequently uses a similar device in his chamber music with piano: a long-held note
in the bass is followed by an eighth note on a different pitch then a return to the long-held note. As
the pitch does not decay entirely, this technique propels the motion of the passage and provides
harmonic stability.
Example 2-20: Muczynski, Moments/ii, mm. 32-37

35

Pi mosso (e = 126)
(Moderato)

58

p semplice

58
58

mf

mf

Example 2-21: Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 116-19


mf

p sempre

mf

24

espress.

Example 2-22: Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/i, mm. 50-57

55

mf

mf

The Muczynski Chord: Muczynski's unique sound comes from his manipulation of
particular intervals, including major and minor 2nds, 3rds and 7ths, and the perfect 4th.62 The
principal unifying factor in many of Muczynski's pieces, according to Cisler, is the combination of
the perfect 4th with either the major or minor 2nd, which may serve as primary motivic or melodic
material, and is frequently found in accompaniment patterns and connecting passagework.63 In the
third movement of the Fantasy Trio, this combination is found in the piano run in m. 9, the ostinato
accompaniment figure in mm. 10-15, and in the cellos falling line in mm. 10-11:
Example 2-23: Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/iii, mm. 9-18

sf

arco

mf

10

f
f

( )

mf

62
63

non legato

Ibid., 100.
Ibid.
25

mf

The same ostinato pattern occurs in the middle section of the third movement of Time Pieces.
Frequently, Muczynski adds a perfect 4th, tritone, or perfect 5th to this combination of
perfect 4th and added 2nd to create a vertical sonority that I have dubbed the Muczynski chord
because of its pervasiveness in the composers music. The 2nd can be placed anywhere within the
chord, yielding three possible inversions. The chord is most often seen in root position, as in the
opening of Variation 4 of Desperate Measures:
Example 2-24: Muczynski, Desperate Measures/iv, mm. 1-4
Scherzando
6
8
f

6
8

Placing the second in the middle of the chord provides the first inversion of the Muczynski
chord, as in the second movement of the Alto Saxophone Sonata:

26

Example 2-25: Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 108-09

24

24

(f )

24

pi

poco ped.

In the second inversion of the chord, the second is at the bottom of the sonority, as in the
last chord of Masks:
Example 2-26: Muczynski, Masks, m. 164

3
8

sub.

3
8

sff

When Muczynski wants to increase the harmonic tension in a passage where he places the
chord, he combines the tritone with the perfect 4th/2nd combination, as in the opening of
Festival from the Suite, Op. 13:
Example 2-27: Muczynski, Suite/i, mm. 1-9

Allegro (alla marcia)q = 120

24


marc.

(fieramente)

Piano

27

sub.

The same chord occurs just before the cadenza in the last movement of the Flute Sonata.
Although the Muczynski chord is used primarily as a harmony, in a remarkable passage
from the Alto Saxophone Sonata Muczynski uses the Debussyian device of chord planing in the left
hand with a series of upward-moving chords comprised of two perfect 5ths. Meanwhile, the right
hand plays the primary melodic motif of the piece as the top note of the Muczynski chord in
second inversion.
Example 2-28: Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/ii, mm. 183-86

184

9
8

ff


9
8

molto

ff

9
8

strepitoso

sf

ff

Widely-Spaced Sonorities: The composer often uses widely spaced chords other than the
Muczynski chord to provide harmonic support. As Hawkins notes, Muczynski is partial toward
triads placed in open position in the bass.64 This characteristic is apparent in Muczynskis earliest
pieces, as shown in the first few measures of the Sonatina from 1949.

64

Hawkins, 45.
28

Example 2-29: Muczynski, Sonatina/i, mm. 1-5

Allegro con spirito

24

L.H.

(PED)

These triads can also appear linearly.


Example 2-30: Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/ii, mm. 30-33

30

mf sost.

mf sost.

In addition, one often encounters two 5ths stacked upon each other, as in Example 2-28 and in the
Piano Concerto No. 1.
Example 2-31: Muczynski, Piano Concerto No. 1/ii, mm. 19-21

Tempo meno mosso

( = 54)

pp sempre legato

(con Ped., sempre)


24
p

24

29

e = e)

3
8
38

Piano Writing: Because he composes at the keyboard65 and is a highly proficient performer,
Muczynski writes for the piano in an expert and idiomatic fashion. He explores the wide range of
expressive possibilities of the piano, Cisler notes, from the very lyrical and reflective, to the highly
motoristic and percussive, often within one single piece or movement.66 In doing so, Muczynski
frequently calls for virtuosity (never solely for the sake of bravura display, however) and utilizes the
entire range of the keyboard.
Despite the differences in writing solo piano music as opposed to chamber music with
piano, such as the role of the instruments and the balance between them, Muczynskis piano writing
in both contexts is similar. Some elements already discussed include widely spaced sonorities in the
left hand and scales that call for the fingering 1 2 3 4 in each tetrachord that comprises the scale.
Other techniques noted by Cisler include octave unison passagework with the hands together:
Example 2-32: Muczynski, Desperate Measures/i, mm. 29-32

(short)

something most composers were embarrassed to admit until they found that Stravinsky
did the same, Muczynski, as quoted in Cisler, 127.
66 Cisler, 118.
65

30

rapid hand alternation:


Example 2-33: Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/iii, mm. 148-51
17

arco

tenuto

ff

arco

tenuto

ff

repeated staccato pitches, intervals and chords:


Example 2-34: Muczynski, Cello Sonata/iv, mm. 166-70
166

Con brio

arco

2
4

sub. p e sempre cresc.

2
4

mf e cresc.

sub. p e sempre cresc.

2
4

mf

Example 2-35: Muczynski, Time Pieces/i, mm. 93-96


93

marc.

31

and hand crossings:


Example 2-36: Muczynski, Flute Sonata/ii, mm. 131-34

ff

sff

con brio

con brio

sec.

sff


2 1
1
3

(cross over)

Melody: One of the most important elements in Muczynski's music is his gift for melody. As
Cisler observes, The fabric of his melodies comes from an inner intention to evoke a particular
character, mood or emotional state.67 David Brin adds, Expressive melodies of all kinds
compliment his rhythms; some boisterous, some inwardly reflective, some lushly romantic, others
jagged and rough, as if describing all sides of a complex and fascinating personality. 68
Boisterous:
Example 2-37: Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 1-5
Allegro

Flute

44

44
Piano

44

67
68

(q - c. 132+)

Cisler, 99.
Brin, 13. The musical examples are mine.
32

Inwardly reflective:
Example 2-38: Muczynski, Moments/i, mm. 32-39
Adagio

35

( = 54)

2
4

4
4

2
4

4
4

p sempre

mf

24

broadly

3
4

( )

3
4

3
4

Lushly romantic:
Example 2-39: Muczynski, Piano Concerto No. 1/i, mm. 71-78

(SOLO)
espr.

sostenuto

con ped.

Andante (q - 69)

44

(Strings)

44


poco


mf

44

mf

4
4

Andante (q - 69)

poco

(Clar.)

mf

33

espr.

(Strings)

mf

Jagged and rough:


Example 2-40: Muczynski, Toccata, mm. 53-57

pi

2
4

2
4

4
4

sf

4
4

These melodies tend to be grouped into phrase lengths of three to eight measures that
follow each other in often-irregular fashion. For instance, the second movement of the Fantasy Trio
begins with a solo cello melody over a repeated pitch in the piano. The melody is divided into
phrases of four and seven measures respectively, each beginning with a similar ascending motive. In
m. 8, Muczynski places an F-flat in the melodic line for the first time; this pitch recurs on the
downbeat of the following measure and provides the mechanism for avoiding the cadence, thus
extending the phrase.

34

Example 2-41: Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/ii, mm. 1-12


Andante con espressione

34

34
arco

p espress.

q - 56

Andante con espressione

q - 56

sempre p


mf

(Ped. simile)

34


sost.

34

cresc.

(non cresc.)


poco rit.
a tempo

poco rit.

mf

a tempo

poco rit.

12
a tempo

(p)

Muczynski's melodies, as in the example above, frequently cover wide ranges and contain
wide leaps, which Karen Marie Fosheim contends result in a searching quality.69 These leaps tend
to be within the context of melodies that also feature step-wise motion. In the opening of the Alto
Saxophone Sonata, the melody, which mostly contains seconds and thirds, also features a series of
leaps beginning with a major 6th, then a major 7th, and finally an octave.

Karen Marie Fosheim, Similarities Between Two Dissimilar American Piano Sonatas of
the 1960s: The Second Piano Sonatas of Robert Muczynski and Robert Starer (D.M.A. thesis,
University of Arizona, 1994), 32-33.
69

35

Example 2-42: Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/i, mm. 1-4


Andante maestoso q - 52

Alto
Saxophone

broadly
34
f espress.

44 34

34

sf molto legato (f )
Piano
34

44
f

34

44

34

The extensive use of wide leaps indicates that Muczynski uses an instrumental, rather than a
vocal, approach to melody. As his friend Karl Miller said, I think his ideas come mostly from
melody and pieces grow from there. His music is so instrumental, I can hardly imagine him sitting
down to write an opera, but I think he thinks totally melodically, but not vocally.70

Summary
Muczynski's fingerprintsthe use of particular scales, techniques analogous to
Tcherepnins interpoint, a strong and imaginative sense of form, rhythm, and harmony, widely
spaced textures, including the Muczynski chord, an instrumental sense of melody, and an in-depth
knowledge of the instruments for which he writesare what make his music personal and
distinctive. In the next two chapters, we will see how these fingerprints manifest themselves in the
chamber music with piano and in the First Piano Trio.

70

Cisler, 101.
36

CHAPTER III
AN OVERVIEW OF MUCZYNSKIS CHAMBER MUSIC WITH PIANO
Throughout his career, Muczynski has concentrated on writing works for solo piano and
small chamber ensembles. Seventeen of the forty-eight pieces to which he has assigned opus
numbers are for solo piano. Another twenty-two are for seven or fewer performers, including nine
chamber music works with piano: the Flute, Alto Saxophone, and Cello Sonatas; Time Pieces for
clarinet and piano; Moments for flute and piano; the Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano; and the
three piano trios.71
The main reason that Muczynski composed far more music for small ensembles than for
orchestra, especially in the 1960s, was the greater potential for publication, performance, and
recordings.
I observed that the ratio of orchestral performances for a young composer was about
one performance every 8-or-9 years. I felt it was FAR too much time & effort to insist
for what seemed to be a closed door. . . . Its no joy to pile-up those scores on the
dusty shelf! In turning my full attention to composing for various chamber music
combinations (plus solo piano works) it came to pass that I made the right choice. . . .
But also, I really enjoyed producing them!72
Within this relatively narrow creative range, Simmons observes how little [Muczynskis]
musical language has evolved over the course of four decades.73 This consistent musical language
makes the chronological division of Muczynskis career less than useful. As a result, this chapter will
be divided into three sections. The first will refer to sonatas, the second will discuss other pieces for

Not included in this survey is a group of American Songs for piano four-hands from 195354. Muczynski did not assign the set an opus number as he does not consider it to be concert
material. He has since withdrawn the work (Cisler, 152).
72 Robert Muczynski, letter to author, 26 November 2000.
73 Walter Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, Fanfare 24 (July/August 2001), 63.
71

37

two instruments, and the third will deal with trios, except for the First Piano Trio, which will be
discussed in Chapter IV.
For each piece, the circumstances of composition will be noted, followed by an examination
of the literature regarding it, including the composers remarks, reviews of performances and
recordings, and theoretical analyses. These observations will provide insight into particular
characteristics of these works, including compositional style, musical and non-musical influences,
and formal procedures. Each piece will then be discussed in terms of Muczynskis fingerprints.

A. SONATAS
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 14
Muczynski wrote the first two movements of the Flute Sonata in Oakland, California in the
spring of 1960 and completed the work in Chicago the following year. It is dedicated to his friend,
filmmaker Harry Atwood, for whom Muczynski wrote film scores between 1962 and 1974. During
the summer of 1961, Muczynski received a grant from the French government to attend the
Academie de Musique in Nice, where flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal coached several of his students on
the piece. One of these students, Curtis Webb Coffee, gave the first two performances of the Flute
Sonata with the composer in the ballroom of an aging French Riviera hotel.74
Awarded the Concours International Composition Award that summer, the Flute Sonata has
become Muczynski's most recorded composition and a standard part of the flute repertoire.75
Despite the works popularity with performers, only one thesis provides detailed analysis of the

Michael J. Budds, ed., CMS Proceedings: The National and Regional Meetings 1988, Boulder,
CO: College Music Society, 1990, 35
75 Anne Marie Thurmond, Selected Woodwind Compositions of Robert Muczynski: A
Stylistic and Structural Analysis of Muczynski's Sonata, Opus 14, for flute and piano, Sonata, Opus
29, for alto saxophone and piano, Time Pieces, Opus 43, for clarinet and piano, and Moments, Opus
47, for flute and piano (D.M.A. thesis, University of Georgia, 1996), 9.
74

38

piece.76 For a discussion of the Flute Sonata from a flute performance perspective, see John
Barcellonas article Performing Muczynski's Sonata.77
The Flute Sonata is perhaps the most demanding piece of Muczynskis chamber music. At
the first reading of the piece, Muczynskis flutist-friend told him that it was too difficult. Few will
choose to play it. 78 This difficulty arises in part from the difference between this work and other
pieces in the genre. As Muczynski observed,
So music of the flute-and-piano literature seems to me to be geared to two basic
types of writing: long, sustained lines which permit the flute to sing and pyrotechnic
passages of endless arpeggios and/or clichs now associated with the instrument
(variations on a series of chord structures). Since I found this avenue of writing to be
rather exhausted, if not exasperating, I tried to find other means of expression in
terms of rhythmic liberation from the flutes customary role of (only) a singing
instrument.79
More challenging from a performance perspective, however, is the complex rhythmic interaction
between the instruments.
In the opening measures of the Allegro deciso first movement (See Example 2-7), the flute
presents a syncopated, four-note motive as the piano plays staccato chords that fill in most, but not
all, of the spaces in which the flute has rests. As the first theme unfolds, two- and three-note
motives derived from the initial motive are tossed back and forth between the instruments an eighth
note apart. Even when the flute and piano play at the same time, as in the third beat of m. 2, one
instruments slurred eighth notes often contrast with the others staccato. The second theme,
presented by the right hand of the piano, offers a new ensemble challenge. Here, a countermelody in

Thurmond, 18-46.
John Barcellona, Performing Muczynski's Sonata: A Guide to the Rhythmic Vitality,
Flute Talk 16 (February 1997): 12-15.
78 Muczynski, liner notes to Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski, Stereo Recording LR 131, Los
Angeles: Laurel Record, 1984.
79 Muczynski, liner notes to Chamber Music of Robert Muczynski, Coronet Recording Company,
Stereo Recording 3004S, 1975.
76
77

39

the flute and a syncopated ostinato in the left hand accompany the theme. The ensemble difficulties
presented in the expositionthe restless urgency of the syncopations, trading off of brief motives,
and frequent brief ostinatiare exploited throughout the rest of the movement.
The challenge in performing the Scherzo second movement (Vivace) is twofold. First, there
are few rests in the movement, except for a grand pause in m. 121, so constant energy must be
maintained. Secondly, the performers must emphasize the frequent interruptions to the flow of the
music. In the first theme alone, there is hemiola in mm. 4 and 14, a subito f that interrupts the
leggero mood at m. 7, a marcato passage in m. 20, and a measure of 3/8 meter inserted at m. 21. At
other places in the movement, alternating measures of 6/8 and 3/8 meter, quasi glissandi passages,
accents and other sudden dynamic changes, hemiola, and the aforementioned grand pause are
interspersed. A variety of these techniques are employed in mm. 52-56, as shown in Example 3-1.
Example 3-1: Muczynski, Flute Sonata/ii, mm. 52-56
23

fp

6
8

mf p

68

3
8

3
8

6
8

3
8

6
8

3
8

6
8

6
8

3
8

3
8

6
8

6
8

mf

3
8

3
8

6
8

3
8

As a respite from the two energetic movements, Muczynski wrote, the Andante favors a
kind of intimate and sustained music wherein the flute is assigned expressive, soaring lines of high
intensity while the piano provides a subdued accompaniment throughout.80 Rhythmic interaction is

80

Ibid.
40

almost abandoned at the beginning of the movement as the unaccompanied flute presents the
opening material, elides into the pianos solo presentation of the material, then returns with the
material against a highly chromatic piano accompaniment. The rhythmic interest in the rest of the
movement comes from the contrast between the melody, which is predominantly in eighth notes
and includes eighth-note triplets, and the dotted rhythms in the accompaniment.
The final, fourth movement, in rondo form, resumes the impetuous character of the
opening music, Muczynski writes, and sweeps along until arriving at a reckless cadenza for the
flute followed by an outburst from the piano, as both instruments share in a conclusion of staggered
rhythms and all-out abandon.81 As Example 3-2 indicates, this Allegro con moto movement begins
with subtle allusions to earlier movements; the flute begins by itself in a passage with phrasing
alternating between 6/8 and 3/4 meter. The sixteenth note motive (M1) played twice in m. 1 and the
quarter-note motive (M2) in m. 2 are utilized within the first theme area, most frequently in the
combination shown in m. 3. However, these motives are used freely by the flute and piano within in
the context of frequent meter changes; for example, M1 is found in inversion, M2 contains different
intervallic content, and both are presented in canonic imitation.
Example 3-2: Muczynski, Flute Sonata/iv, mm. 1-5


3
4
Allegro con moto

34

M1

M1

81

M2

h . - 58

M2

M1

Ibid.
41

mf

leggero

After the piano presents the second theme alone, the flute and piano restate the theme
together a tenth apart, the flute sempre legato and the piano sempre staccato. Both instruments then
present staggered entrances of M1 interspersed with other first-theme material. Then, the flute
cadenza, as Barcellona writes, combines all the previous motives with persistent dynamic intensity
and rhythmic drive to the very end. 82 Frequent meter changes permeate the coda, which presents
and develops M1 and M2 in a variety of ways. Examples include the flutes presentation of M1 as
the piano plays M1 in inversion, the flutes presentation of M2 against widely spaced chords in
vertical interpoint (what Muczynski referred to as staggered rhythms), and the mutation of M1
into a fast-moving scale in the piano alternating 0134 and 0145 tetrachords over which the flute
presents M2 several times.
In summary, the Flute Sonata highlights Muczynskis imaginative use of rhythm and meter to
build and sustain excitement. Syncopations, hemiola, vertical interpoint, and frequent meter changes
(both regular and irregular) are just a few of the techniques that keep interest. These also serve to
create tremendous ensemble difficulties, especially within the context of the fast tempi and relentless
eighth-note pulse of three of the four movements. Muczynski succeeds in liberating the flute from
its stereotypical role as an instrument that can only sing or engage in pyrotechnics.

Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 25


The Cello Sonata was written in 1968 and dedicated to Muczynskis colleague at the
University of Arizona, Gordon Epperson; Epperson and Muczynski premiered the piece in a duo
recital at Crowder Hall at the University of Arizona on November 25, 1968.83 For its 1980

Barcellona, 15.
Also on the program were the Sonata in F Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 99 by Brahms and
the Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19 by Rachmaninoff. Gordon Epperson, letter to author, 25 May
1993.
82
83

42

Fall/Winter tour, the Ballet Repertory Company of the American Ballet Theater choreographed the
Sonata and performed it two dozen times.84 Walter Simmons wrote that the Cello Sonata is
possibly [Muczynski's] masterpiece. While aesthetically consistent with all his other works, it seems
to aim for a deeper, more probing level of expression.85 Until now, the Cello Sonata has not been
included in any doctoral thesis.
Unlike the Flute Sonata, which was intended to liberate the flute from its traditional role as a
singing instrument, the Cello Sonata was designed to emphasize the lyric line. Muczynski wrote, I
consider this to be the cellos most characteristic and impressive resource.86 The sonata celebrates
the lyricism of his stated objective, wrote Laurie Shulman. Perhaps Muczynski's greatest
achievement in this sonata is the immense respect he accords to traditional form and harmony,
without sounding conservative.87 Michael Jameson describes the piece as a modernist reappraisal
of a traditional genre.88
This reappraisal can be seen its form. In the Cello Sonata, Muczynski uses traditional formal
designs in a highly individual manner. The first movement is a theme and variations that can be
divided in three large sections. The theme and first two variations are marked Andante sostenuto; the
next five variations have Allegro or Allegro vivace tempo indications, and the final two variations are
marked Andante espressivo. The theme is based entirely on an octatonic scale, a particular version of
Muczynskis most frequently used scale based on two adjacent 0134 tetrachords. The movement
begins simply, with a solo cello presenting the theme:

Marguerite Kelly Kyle, American Composer Update, Pan Pipes 73 (Winter 1981): 37.
Walter Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, Fanfare 24 (July/August 2001): 64.
86 Muczynski, liner notes to Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano, Centaur
Records, CRC 2300, 1996.
87 Laurie Shulman, liner notes to Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano.
88 Michael Jameson, review of Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano,
Fanfare 20 (July/August 1997): 123.
84
85

43

Example 3-3: Muczynski, Cello Sonata/i, mm. 1-13


Theme and Variations
Andante sostenuto

Cello

34
Piano

q = 63

34
mf
p

espress.

3
4

poco rit.

poco rit.

In the theme, each of the four clearly defined phrases ends with a descending four-note
motive, after which the piano restates those four notes as a brief codetta. Each variation ends with a
similar codetta, or postscript in Shulmans words, which provides both transition and editorial
musings on the pungent musical segments that preceded it.89 Each variation is structured similarly,
with each fast variation consisting of two phrases that are then repeated. Although the variations
convey a wide range of moods, the original melody is almost always present, as is the four-note
motive. Unity is further achieved through the use of the solo cello in the final variation.
Muczynski describes the Scherzo second movement as a restless dialogue between cello and
piano,90 which trade off the thematic material. Despite its Allegro grazioso tempo indication, the
movement begins with insistent minor thirds in the melodic line, alternating triadic harmonies a
tritone apart, a texture in which both hands of the piano play in unison two octaves apart, frequent

89
90

Shulman, liner notes to Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano.
Muczynski, liner notes to Ibid.
44

accents, and pizzicato utterances in vertical interpoint. The highly chromatic trio section begins in
5/4 meter (3+2/4 for the most part) played sempre legato consists of long lines, the predominance of
half steps, whole steps, and minor thirds.
The form of the movement is traditional ternary with coda. However, Muczynski reprises
the first sections subtheme in the trio. Marked subito presto, the Coda utilizes Theme I and Theme II
material, all in the context of 3/4 meter.
TABLE 3-1
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SECOND MOVEMENT
Section
Meas.
Theme
Solo instrument

A
1
23
41
51
Ia
Ia
Ib
Ia
piano cello cello cello

B
65
74
91
101
IIa
IIa
Ib
IIa
piano cello cello piano

A
110
Ia
cello

Coda
133 148
Ia
IIa
cello cello

Theme Ib consists of the following scale played by the cello: C, D-flat, E-flat, E, F, G-flat,
A-flat, A, B. Unusual for Muczynski, the scale is not created by the placement of two adjacent 0134
tetrachords although it consists of the same pitches as his most frequently used scale (with an added
B).
The Andante sostenuto movement is essentially a song, Muczynski wrote. At first the music
unfolds as a gentle, simple statement but gains in intensity and complexity until the closing
measuresa fragile dialogue between pizzicato cello and piano.91 The main theme consists of a
series of three two-note motives, the first (FG) upward moving, the second (CB-flat) a sigh
motive, the third (E-flatF) again upward moving. This basic phrase shape (upwarddownward
upward on a lower pitch) undergoes continual transformation by pitch, interval, rhythm, meter, and

91

Ibid.
45

the number of notes in each motive. These motives also move seamlessly into solo sections and
ostinato accompanimental figures. As a result, there is an improvisatory quality to the movement,
even though it is clearly in A A B A form.
Muczynski notes that the finale is a relentless, driving movement with constantly shifting
meter . . . the tempo never slackens and the momentum continues until the sonata closes with a
furious coda.92 Simmons adds that the movement provides a grim and energetic sense of
determination.93 The A B A C B Coda formal structure contains elements of traditional rondo
form, but is unique because the C material is a rhythmically augmented version of the opening of the
first movement.
Example 3-4: Muczynski, Cello Sonata/iv, mm. 118-29
118
q- q

32

mf espress.

32

q - q (lightly)


p sempre
32

mf

92
93

Muczynski, liner notes to Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano.
Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, 64.
46

l.h. over

mf

127

mf

mf)

4
4

4
4

4
4

This use of cyclicism is not uncommon in Muczynskis music. As Cisler notes, it appears in all three
of Muczynski's piano sonatas.94
In the Cello Sonata, Muczynski disturbs ones expectations in his use of traditional formal
designs. The first movement is both a theme and variations and a large ternary form. The second
movement uses the same contrasting material in each section of the ternary form. The third
movement sounds improvisatory despite being clearly in A A B A form. And, the use of cyclicism
within a rondo-like formal structure in the fourth movement ties together the piece in an effective
and coherent manner. Muczynskis individual and creative use of form may ensure the longevity of
the Cello Sonata.

94

Cisler, 77-78.
47

Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 29


Saxophonist Trent Kynaston commissioned Muczynskis Alto Saxophone Sonata and gave
the world premiere with the composer at the Second World Saxophone Conference in Chicago in
December, 1970. Muczynski had considered calling the piece Desert Sketches or Desert Serenade, but
Kynaston recommended the title Sonata, noting that the mind-set of the classical saxophonist at
that time was such that, if he used one of those [other] titles, many players might not consider it a
serious piece and overlook it.95 Now, Kynaston seems to regret his advice. When I play [the
piece], I have these visions of that desert scene and I wish we had followed his original thought.96
The piece has become a standard work in the saxophone repertoire. Walter Simmons wrote
that the sonata is neoclassical in form and style, warmly expressive in content, and articulated
through a harmonic language calibrated to a relatively mild level of dissonance, without producing a
bland or timid effect.97 A detailed analysis is available in Anne Marie Thurmonds thesis, Selected
Woodwind Compositions of Robert Muczynski.98 For a discussion of the sonata from a saxophone
performance perspective, see Steve Mauks article Creative Teaching Techniques.99
Formally, the Alto Saxophone Sonata is analogous to the binary aria form that developed in
the early nineteenth century, with a slow and majestic cavatina followed by a fast and energetic
cabaletta. The expansiveness of the first movement is created through the use of long lines, frequent
tenuto markings and slurs, and indications such as broadly, molto legato, sostenuto, con pedal, and espressivo.
The energy in the second movement comes from accents, staccatos, passages marked senza pedal, and
frequent meter changes over a steady eighth-note pulse. Despite the different moods and characters

Michael Molloy, Trent Kynaston, Saxophone Journal 17 (March/April 1993): 36.


Ibid.
97 Simmons, review of Saxophone Masterpieces, RICA-10001, Fanfare 22 (May/June 1999): 322.
98 Thurmond, 47-63.
99 Steve Mauk, Creative Teaching Techniques: Robert Muczynski's Sonata for Alto Sax and
Piano, Saxophone Journal 19 (September/October 1994): 20-22.
95
96

48

of the movements, their formal structure is quite similar; the first movement is A B A' Development
A, ending with a return of the opening motive senza espressione, whereas the second movement
consists of an A-B-A-Development-B-Coda structure.
In addition, the initial rhythmic motive (R1) is developed similarly in each movement. In the
first movement, R1 consists of a dotted quarter/eighth rhythm. In the second movement, R1 is a
syncopated 1+2+2+2+1+2 eighth-note figure presented over the span of alternating 2/4 and 3/4
measures. In each case, R1 changes frequently over the course of the movement. In the first
movement, for example, R1 becomes a dotted-quarter/quarter rhythm in the 5/8 section beginning
in m. 34. In the development section of the second movement, the rhythm is transformed into a
1+1+1+1+1+2 rhythm in 3/4 meter. Particularly noteworthy is the B section in the first movement,
in which the rhythm is maintained, but as an ostinato accompaniment figure in the left hand of the
piano while the right hand fills in the second and third sixteenth notes in vertical interpoint.
Example 3-5: Muczynski, Alto Saxophone Sonata/i, mm. 13-15

24

14

44

pp sempre

24 44
p sempre

44
24

ped. simile

The similarity of rhythmic figures in each movement is another hallmark of this sonata.
Vertical interpoint, which brings constant motion to the passage shown in Example 3-6, is found in
each appearance of the A material in the second movement, providing the downbeats that make the
syncopations so effective. Long-held notes are also found in each movement, but used for different

49

expressive purposes: as springboards for free quasi-improvisations in the first movement and as
rhythmic ostinati in the second. In addition, three- to ten-measure long ostinati are common.
The Alto Saxophone Sonata thus shows how Muczynski, through the use of formal
structure, motivic development techniques, and rhythmic elements, can unify two disparate
movements into a cohesive whole.

B. OTHER WORKS FOR TWO INSTRUMENTS


Time Pieces for clarinet and piano, Op. 43
Clarinetist Mitchell Lurie commissioned Time Pieces, giving the world premiere with
Muczynski at the Clarinet Conference of the International Clarinet Society in London on August 15,
1984,100 and recording it with the composer later that year. Lurie wrote that he heard Muczynski's
Flute Sonata played over and over by many flute students. I thought that if he wrote so wonderfully
and idiomatically for flute, he would surely compose as brilliantly for clarinet.101 In his review of
the works debut, James Gillespie wrote, It is a substantial work with a rhythmic vitality and
melodic appeal that mark it as a major addition to the repertoire.102 Walter Simmons added in
Fanfare that the piece is
tailor-made for the recital needs of any reasonably advanced player, Muczynski
extends his diligent craftsmanshipthe type that most composition teachers would
consider exemplaryto musical content that is above the routine, while
maintaining an ever-present concern with expressive values. Thus, unified by its own
engaging and infectious personality, the music never just goes through the motions
(which is, after all, the frequent problem with neoclassical chamber music).103

Gillespie, James. The International Clarinet Congress: London, EnglandAugust 12-17,


1984 [Time Pieces]. The Clarinet 12 (Fall 1984): 7.
101 Mitchell Lurie, liner notes to Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski.
102 Gillespie, 7.
103 Simmons, review of Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski, LR-131, Fanfare 8 (March/April 1985):
266.
100

50

A detailed analysis is available in Thurmonds thesis, Selected Woodwind Compositions of Robert


Muczynski.104
Muczynski wrote that the title is not a play on words but rather an awareness of the fact
that everything exists in time: history, our lives and . . . in a special way . . . music. . . . Time Pieces is a
suite of four contrasting pieces, each highlighting some specific characteristic of the clarinet in terms
of range, technical prowess, color and expressiveness.105 He later added, The music is made up of
a number of elements: energetic, syncopated rhythms, long and sustained melodic lines, cadenzas for
solo clarinet, tongue-in-cheek humor and an overall up feeling.106
The two measure piano introduction contains two motives that unify Time Pieces: an
ascending triplet figure in the right hand and an ostinato pattern in the left that alternates between
root position Muczynski chords on C and F.
Derived from the triplet figure, the first theme of the first movement consists of an
ascending three-note motive, a minor 3rd followed by a perfect 5th, that is immediately repeated a
major 2nd higher.
Example 3-6: Muczynski, Time Pieces/i, mm. 1-4
Allegro risoluto

Clarinet

Piano

24

24

24

( = 112)

Thurmond, 64-106.
Muczynski, liner notes to Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski.
106 Muczynski, liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Composer-Pianist In Recital Volume 2.
104
105

51

The outline of this motive is consistent in each appearance of Theme I, but is varied by intervallic
content and rhythmic profile.
The main motive in the B section, also in sixteenth-note motion, features similar intervallic
content: a major 3rd and a perfect 5th (in the context of an arpeggiated major triad) are followed by
a minor 2nd appoggiatura. The C theme contains elements taken from the A and B motives: two
minor 3rds, sequenced a major 2nd higher, are followed by a falling perfect 4th. Contrast is provided
through the use of quarter notes rather than eighths. This use of similar elements in all three themes
gives a sense of unity to the movement. Variety is achieved through the alternation of these
materials in a quasi-rondo form, A B A' B' A'' B'' A''' C Development A Codetta.
The Andante espressivo second movement, with its long melodic lines and slow harmonic
rhythm, provides a dramatic contrast to the first. The intensity of mood is created at the outset by
the accompaniment: two bitonal chords (an E-flat minor triad/D minor triad followed by a D-flat
minor triad/C minor triad) that alternate in an ostinato pattern for the first nine measures. This
pattern is analogous to the accompaniment that begins the first movement. The melodic line
contains a number of phrases that begin with the same four notesF F E-flat Fthen expand
outward in range and emotional content. The embellished repetition of themes or thematic
fragments, Thurmond notes, provides an improvisatory feel to the movement.107
Based on the octatonic scale, the spacious B section (poco pu mosso) consists of a melismatic
melodic line that begins with an ascending three-note motive, a countermelody consisting of a series
of ascending three-note motives, and ostinati that alternate between open 5ths and open 4ths a
tritone apart. This second theme is then developed subito pu mosso before the clarinet plays a cadenza
con rubato, il tema marcato in which the opening theme is played in a higher register than the

107

Thurmond, 74.
52

accompanimental figuration. A restatement of the opening material and an Adagio coda based on the
A theme conclude the movement.
The D-major first theme of the elegant and graceful Allegro moderato third movement is
characterized by a soft dynamic, octave leaps, and 3+3+2/8 rhythm in 4/4 meter. This theme and
its accompaniment (Example 2-18) are based on the opening material of the suite. The theme begins
with a three-note ascending motive taken from the initial triplet figure followed by an octave leap.
The accompanimental left-hand ostinato pattern comprises two ascending three-note motives, each
consisting of a perfect 5th followed by a minor 3rd (an inverted version of the suites first theme),
played a perfect 4th apart.
The contrasting B section gives the impression of a new tempo through the use of metric
modulation (q = q.). This theme consists of three motives, a descending quarter-note triplet figure (a
perfect 4th followed by a minor 3rd) played over the course of a measure, the leap of an octave, and
an ascending three-note phrase taken from the opening triplet figure. The pulse is maintained
through an accompanimental ostinato made up of Muczynskis signature motive, a perfect 4th and
a major 2nd. A return to the original tempo of the movement comes via metric modulation at the
beginning of a brief transition that uses 0134 tetrachords beginning on C and F in 32nd notes. (This
figure is the same as that in Example 2-2, beginning one octave higher.) After a reprise of the
opening material, the movement ends with a five-measure coda in 2/4 meter (marked Presto subito)
based on an octatonic scale.
In Muczynskis words, the finale is introduced by solo clarinet in a brooding, pensive
statement that gains in intensity and momentum, and leads directly to the Allegro energico, a
dance-like rondo where the clarinet and piano are reunited.108 As did the second movement, this

108

Muczynski, liner notes to Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski.


53

Andante section has an improvisatory character due to frequent tempo and meter changes, extreme
dynamic contrasts, and the ascending three-note motive, taken from the opening triplet figure, that
begins each phrase. The meter changes in the main body of the movementa persistent 3/8 + 3/8
+ 4/8 meter in the A sections and a rhythm that alternates between 4/4 and 3+3+2/8 in the B
sectionsprovide the dance-like quality described by the composer. His labeling the Allegro energico
as a rondo is more problematic, however, because the A theme appears just twice during the
movement: at the beginning and after the presentation of the B material. Therefore, Thurmond
persuasively argues that the movement is in ternary form with a cadenza and a brief coda.109
Similarities to the opening piano introduction include the accompaniment to the first theme, the
bass line of which alternates between C and F, and Muczynski chords that are found in several
places in the second theme area.
In conclusion, Time Pieces shows the different ways in which Muczynski uses a small amount
of material to create a large-scale structure. The opening triplet figure is presented melodically as a
scale figure in some places and with expanded intervallic content in others. Ostinati that alternate
between two intervals, particularly perfect 4ths, tritones, and perfect 5ths, appear in all four
movements. The consistent use of these motives is what gives Time Pieces such unity, and the manner
in which these motives are employed is what gives the suite such variety.

Moments for flute and piano, Op. 47


Flutist and Stanford University professor Alexandra Hawley commissioned Moments in 1992
and gave the world premiere with Muczynski at Merkin Hall in New York on March 14, 1993. The
piece is dedicated to the memory of the composers mother. The highly sectional nature of the piece
is the genesis of the title, as Muczynski implies when he writes about the finale: While there are a
109

For a diagram of the form of the last movement, see Thurmond, 92.
54

few dark moments along the way, they are quickly dispelled as the work concludes in a jubilant
flourish.110 In reviewing the piece, Walter Simmons wrote, it has the basic feel of a sonata,
although classical templates seem to be avoided. The work has all the Muczynski fingerprintsnifty
kinetic rhythmic syncopations, a sort of sinister moodiness, with a thoroughly integrated bluesy
flavor, and a phraseological symmetry somewhat reminiscent of Bartk.111 More detailed analysis is
available in Thurmonds thesis, Selected Woodwind Compositions of Robert Muczynski.112
The first movement (Allegro) begins, the composer writes, with the flute presenting a jaunty
subject of wide intervals punctuated by piano chords.113 The opening four-note motive consists of a
descending major 9th followed by an ascending perfect 5th and an ascending octave. This motive is
developed throughout the movement, which consists of a number of diverse sections, set off from
one another by mood and character as well as tempo, meter, and tonal center. The sectional nature
of the movement makes a succinct formal description difficult. For example, in the Adagio section
that begins in m. 32, a new theme based on 2nds and 5ths is presented together with a
countermelody that restates the opening subject and an accompaniment consisting of minor triads
with major 9ths. This combination of new and existing material leads Thurmond to describe the
structure as a theme and variations,114 whereas the composer mentions development and coda
in his description of the movement, implying a sonata-like structure.115
The second movement, marked Andante sostenuto, contains five sections (A B C B Coda),
again set off by mood, character, tempo, meter and tonal center. The principal motive in the A

Muczynski, liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute, Naxos 8.559001, 1998.
Simmons, review of Flute Moments, Laurel Record LR-857, Fanfare 22
(September/October 1998): 375.
112 Thurmond, 107-40.
113 Muczynski, liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute.
114 Thurmond, 107.
115 Muczynski, liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute.
110
111

55

section is a five-note ascending figure, first appearing in m. 3 as E F-sharp G B-flat A. Tension is


embedded within the motive by the E to B-flat tritone motion and the B-flat to A appoggiatura. A
similar motive (C D E G) is prominent in the B section, Pu mosso (Moderato), but it has a more
relaxed character due to the lack of tritone or appoggiatura. The two motives are developed in the C
section within the context of sixteenth-note passagework that emphasizes the common interval of
the perfect 4th. The coda, which includes the reprise of several measures from the C section, leads
into a two-part flute cadenza. The first part comments further upon the appoggiatura. After a
fermata, the second part introduces motives found in the finale, which begins attacca.
In the words of the composer, the finale (Allegro con spirito) takes off in rondo form.116
Again, Muczynski has altered the form to fit his expressive purposes by placing a development
section (which includes brief cadenzas for both piano and flute) before the final appearance of the
opening theme. Thus, the form is A B A B A' C A'' B Development A'''. Each section has a different
tonal center, with the contrasting sections featuring less activity for the left hand. Notable are the
slightly slower tempo, widely spaced chords, and 3+3+2/8 rhythm in the piano part of the C
section. In the A' section, a brief appearance of the medieval chant Dies irae is embedded within the
piano part, an obvious musical reference to the death of Muczynski's mother, to whose memory the
work was written.
Example 3-7: Muczynski, Moments/iii, mm. 43-46

45

f
(lightly)

mf

116

Ibid.
56

Each section of this movement is related intervallically through the use of a three-note
motive consisting of a descending interval followed by a return to the initial pitch. In A, this interval
is a minor 3rd presented in the following rhythm (jiq); in B, the interval is a perfect 4th with the
rhythm inverted and augmented (q iq). In the C section, the interval is an ascending minor 2nd in
eighth notes.
Muczynskis creative use of form is apparent in Moments, the sectional nature of which
affirms the works title. Variety is maintained through changes in mood, character, tempo, meter,
rhythm, and tonal center. At the same time, however, the motives are connected in subtle ways,
combined with new material, and placed in an unorthodox manner, creating an overall sense of
unity.

C. TRIOS

Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, Op. 26


Muczynski wrote the Fantasy Trio during the summer of 1969 at the request of two of his
colleagues at the University of Arizona, clarinetist Samuel Fain and cellist Gordon Epperson. The
three of us planned to present a program of music for the clarinet, cello and piano, and it was noted
that the literature for this combination . . . is scant.117 Fain, Epperson, and Muczynski gave the
works premiere on March 18, 1970 in Crowder Hall at the University of Arizona, and later recorded
the work for the Coronet label.118 The Fantasy Trio, dedicated to Harry Atwood, concludes a series of
pieces that Muczynski wrote in the late 1960s that include the cello (the others were Gallery for solo

Robert Muczynski, liner notes to 20th Century Clarinet Trios, Laurel Record, Stereo
Recording LR 122, 1983.
118 Samuel Fain, clarinet, Gordon Epperson, cello, and Robert Muczynski, piano, Chamber
Music of Robert Muczynski, Coronet Recording Company, Stereo Recording 3004S, 1975.
117

57

cello in 1966, the First Piano Trio in 1966-67, and the 1968 Cello Sonata). Nevertheless, he wrote
that he had no preconceived plan regarding composing for the instrument. Rather, he WAS drawn
to the idea of composing chamber music and loved the cello, etc.119
Simmons has called the trio an infectious work, grabbing the listeners attention
immediately with its grippingly assertive opening, and maintaining it throughout.120 More
circumspectly, A. F. Leighton Thomas wrote in The Music Review, the work is more extended, and
more sophisticated, than the others by Muczynski in this review [Impromptus for solo tuba, Duos for
Flutes, Voyage: Seven Pieces for Brass Trio]. . . . The instrumental studies are fairly anonymous, but this
Trio hints at a certain personal touch.121 Detailed analysis of the Fantasy Trio is contained in
Nicholsons thesis, Selected Woodwind Works of Robert Muczynski.122
In describing the Fantasy Trio, Muczynski wrote:
With the exception of the slow movement, the music is joyous and rather
extroverted. It never takes itself too seriously, but it wasnt intended as a frivolous
souffl either. There is a great deal of chamber music, from the 18th, 19th, and 20th
centuries, which is fun to perform and listen to though not necessarily geared to
profound statements at every turn. As a pianist I played and enjoyed much of the
music, and this is what the Fantasy Trio is all about.123
With the addition of a third instrument, there are four voice lines in the Fantasy Trio, clarinet,
cello, piano right-hand and piano left-hand. Muczynski utilizes each voice independently, exploring
various textural possibilities. In the first movement, two-voice textures are found where the piano
plays the melody in mm. 13-18, and in mm. 89-93 where the piano drops out of the texture. Various

Muczynski, letter to author, 26 November 2000.


Simmons, A Muczynski Retrospective, 64.
121 Thomas, 157.
122 Susan Elaine Nicholson, Selected Woodwind Works of Robert Muczynski (D.M.A.
thesis, University of Miami, 2000), 32-62.
123 Muczynski, liner notes to Chamber Music of Robert Muczynski.
119
120

58

three-voice textures are employed, created by either leaving one voice out of the texture or pairing
two voices together. For instance, the right hand is tacet in mm. 1-8 and the clarinet is tacet during the
third theme; voice pairings include right hand and left hand (mm. 31-42), clarinet and right hand
(mm. 77-84), cello and left hand (mm. 94-97), and clarinet and cello (mm. 97-111). Only rarely are all
four voices utilized at the same time.
Also noteworthy are several places, such as the opening measures and the relaxed and lyrical
cello solo that comprises the third theme, in which the left hand presents a long-held note in the
bass followed by an eighth note on a different pitch then a return to the long-held note. As noted in
chapter 2, this technique prevents the bass note from decaying entirely, thus propelling the motion
and providing harmonic stability to the passage.
Variety in the second movement, marked Andante con espressione, comes from the tonalities
used within a static framework. Beginning with what Thomas called a ruminative cello solo124 in F
minor, this movement hinges on a repeated pedal point that changes pitch as the movement
progresses. In the A section (see Example 2-41), this pedal point is an F, played in a repeated e q
e q

rhythm by the right hand and long-held Fs in the left. Unlike similar passages in the first

movement, these bass notes are repeated every two measures in a regular pattern. The pedal then
switches briefly to a long-held E in the clarinet played simultaneously with an A-flat in the cello. In
the 5/8 B section, the cello takes up a C-sharp in a repeated e q q rhythm. Here, the piano splits
into two voicesa melody in A minor is played by the right hand as the left hand repeats a widely
spaced, arpeggiated C-sharp-minor triad. After a brief transition, the B theme returns in a new
tempo, Adagio. In this final section, the repeated pedal point is an open 5th (G-sharp and C-sharp) in
the left hand.

124

Thomas, 157.
59

The third movement (Allegro deciso) shows the numerous ways that Muczynski utilizes and
transforms what Cisler calls his principal unifying factor, the combination of major or minor 2nd
and perfect 4th. Presented in quarter notes, the opening motive, E, G, A (ornamented with the use
of the lower neighbor tone), and B-flat, consists of a filled-in perfect 4th (E to A) and a minor 2nd
(A to B-flat). The same motive, presented without ornamentation and in eighth notes, also begins
the second theme. The third theme expands this intervallic content to a perfect 5th and minor 3rd.
In addition to serving as the primary motivic material of the movement, this intervallic
combination is found in countermelodies, connecting passagework, and accompaniment patterns
throughout the movement. As noted in Example 2-23, the passagework that connects the first two
appearances of the opening theme utilizes the minor 2nd/perfect 4th combination, and both the
countermelody and accompaniment to the second appearance of the first theme utilize the perfect
4th/major 2nd combination. The third appearance of the first theme is accompanied by an inverted
version of the opening motive and the right-hand accompaniment to the second theme (Example 38) begins with the pitches A, C, D, E-flat.
Example 3-8: Muczynski, Fantasy Trio/iii, mm. 31-36

24 34
24

mf

24 34 24

agitato

24 34

34
mf
mf

24 34
34

mf

cresc.

31

24
24

34

34

24
24

34
cresc.

34

24

24 34

The fourth movement, an Introduction and Finale, has an innovative formal structure. In
the through-composed introduction (Andante molto e sostenuto), each instrument presents its own

60

34

theme espressivo. Related by key, intervallic content, melodic contour, and dynamic shape, these
themes interlock in various ways. There is a sense of return at m. 20, when the cello and piano
repeat what they played in m. 1. However, in m. 21 the clarinet anticipates the main theme of the
Finale, a theme that the solo piano takes up in a new tempo (Allegro) in a brief transition.
Marked listesso tempo, the Finale is highly sectional in nature, with a unique A B C C B A
Development Coda formal structure. Furthermore, each section has a clearly defined tonal center:
the movement proves to be very tonal, Nicholson observes, more so than any of the previous
movements.125 Although the Fantasy Trio contains no cyclicism, the Finale shares similarities with
the other movements. The A section and the beginning of the development are accompanied by
pedal points in the manner of the A section of the second movement. With its arpeggiated triads in
close position, the B-section accompaniment recalls the B theme of the second movement. The
accompaniment at the end of the C section uses the same intervallic content, perfect 4ths followed
by minor 2nds, as the third movement. In the coda, the use of four voices to create a two-voice
texture (the clarinet and cello comprise one voice and the piano plays brilliante passagework in octave
unison) further explores textural ideas explored in the first movement.
The usual definition of fantasy concerns formal structural considerations, 126 and the Fantasy
Trio explores these, particularly in the finale. I believe, however, that the free flight of fancy
implied in the title refers to the variety that Muczynski explores in the various movements. These
include the investigation of different textures, the exploration of pedal points and tonalities, the
transformation of thematic material, and the use of cyclicism.

Nicholson, 56.
An instrumental composition in which free flight of fancy manifests itself in one way or
another. . . . (3) Sonatas in a freer form, or of a freer character. Willi Apel and Ralph T. Daniel, The
Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music (New York, Pocket Books, 1960): s.v. fantasy.
125
126

61

Second Piano Trio for violin, cello, and piano, Op. 36


The Second Piano Trio, commissioned by the William Robertson Coe American Heritage
Foundation for the Western Arts Trio, was completed in June 1975 and first performed at the
Western Arts Music Festival at the University of Wyoming on November 13, 1975. The Western
Arts Trio then presented the piece on overseas tours between 1975 and 1977. Other notable
performances of the work include those by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble in
1979 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and by the Rachmaninoff Piano Trio at Merkin Hall in New
York in 1983.127 In addition, the Western Arts Trio performed all three trios for the College Music
Society's national meeting in 1988 and on its tour of Mexico in October 2002.128 Theodore Presser
published a facsimile of the composers manuscript in 1982.
The composer wrote, There is no program for this work. The music is self-descriptive, I
think, and I simply tried to compose a score containing rewarding parts for the respective
performers with the hope that the listener, too, might enjoy the excursion. That is a tall order, of
course, but that is the risk in being a composer: to please yourself, your performers, and your
audience. It is seldom realized but that is the nature of the pursuit.129
In The Strad, Tim Homfray wrote that the trio is at times ethereal, wistful and energetic. . . .
His harmonic idiom is basically tonal and effective, rather in the manner of some film music. . . . Its
three movements are well constructed, and certainly the piece bears all the hallmarks of a very
experienced composer at work.130 In Notes, Tom Cleman wrote that the trio was deserving of

Robert Muczynski, Curriculum Vitae sent to the author.


Dr. David Tomatz, telephone conversation with author, 22 April 2002.
129 Robert Muczynski, liner notes to The Western Arts Trio Vol. 2, Stereo Recording LR 106,
Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 1977.
130 Tom Cleman, review of the Second Piano Trio, Op. 36, by Robert Muczynski, Notes 41
(September 1984): 170.
127
128

62

attention. . . . Muczynskis style is tonal, tuneful, propelled by nervous rhythmic energy. . . . One has
a sense that the work resulted from a spontaneous flow of melodic ideas.131
The slow introduction begins with high string writing, dense chords, and a C-sharp pedal
point that create the ethereal quality to which Homfray refers. This Andante molto section has a highly
improvisatory quality due to its sectional construction, frequent ritardandos and stringendos, and
continuous development of the initial motives:
Example 3-9: Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-2
Introduction:
Andante molto
3
4

M2

M1

p
3
4

Introduction:
Andante molto (q = 58)
3
4

3
4

These motives unify the entire trio: M1 serves as the point of departure for the first movement, M2
governs the second movement, and both motives are embedded in the first two themes of the third
movement.
In the Allegro section of the first movement, Theme I utilizes M1 numerous times within the
context of a 4+3+5/8 meter, whereas Theme II (in 2/4 meter) is governed by a rhythmic and
intervallically compressed version of the same motive. The tripartite development section includes
the simultaneous presentation of various thematic fragments, a rag-like reinterpretation of M1, and a

Tom Homfray, review of the Piano Trio No. 2, op. 36, by Robert Muczynski, Strad 95 no.
1138 (February 1985): 776-77.
131

63

section that develops M1 and M2 in the context of a jiq rhythm and 4+3/8 meter. This
reintroduction of complex meter helps prepare for the return of Theme I, which is then restated ff
in the strings with a chordal accompaniment in the piano.
Perhaps because of the extensive use of sixteenth notes in the development section, Theme
II does not appear in the recapitulation. Instead, it is replaced by a new theme in vertical interpoint
with a regular alternation of attacks. Beginning with a rhythmically altered statement of M1, this
theme is analogous to the caccia from the Ars Nova period132:
Example 3-10: Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/i, mm. 110-11
M1

44

sempre tenuto


44
f

44

M1

sempre tenuto

44

After a brilliante passage created by the placement of two adjacent 0134 tetrachords (almost exactly
the same passage as in Example 2-2), a coda that utilizes M1 concludes the movement.
One other notable motivic element in the first movement is a linear statement of the
Muczynski chord in first inversion. This fingerprint connects the first and second themes,
serves as the closing theme, and is found in the accompaniment to the first part of the development
section.

A type of 14th-century Italian music . . . a two-voice canon supported by a free tenor in


longer note values Willi Apel and Ralph T. Daniel, The Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music (New York,
Pocket Books, 1960): s.v. caccia.
132

64

The ethereal and improvisational qualities of the slow introduction return in beginning of the
next movement, an Adagio in compound ternary form. Here, the violin and cello trade off the
melodic line, which subjects M2 to continuous development as the piano repeats a widely spaced
ostinato in quarter notes. Then, the violin and cello together present the second theme, for the most
part separated by an octave and a minor third. The basis for the theme is M3, a three-note motive
that consists of a leap of an unspecified interval followed by a falling 3rd (or augmented 2nd). This
motive is derived from the last three notes of M2, sharing the same contour but not the same
intervallic content:
Example 3-11: Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/ii, mm. 14-16

a tempo
ten.

M3

M3

p
ten.

M3

sempre cresc.

a tempo

sempre cresc.
M3

sempre cresc.

Further development of M1 and M2 then takes place before a ritardando leads to the middle section
of the movement.
The use of caccia-like techniques returns in Part II, marked Quasi a tempo (flowing, but not fast).
Here, the strings trade off a three-note motive in another example of thematic transformation: the
phrase has the same contour as M3 and the last three notes of M2, but with different intervallic
content, up a minor 3rd then down a minor 2nd. Furthermore, the piano is tacet in this elevenmeasure section, unlike the analogous place in the first movement. Part III returns to tempo primo as

65

the piano presents a three-measure introduction utilizing the primary motive of Part II before the
second theme returns da capo. The first theme is then restated by the cello in a continuous crescendo
against a series of ascending trills in the violin. The theme of the subdued coda, Lento, is a
transformation of the second theme, and it is again presented by the violin and cello separated by an
octave and a minor third.
The energetic third movement (Allegro con spirito) contains five main themes placed in an
ingenious narrative structure that contains some elements of rondo form, including alternation of
themes and frequent recurrences of material taken from the first theme. Elements of sonata-allegro
form are also present, including some developmental material, a recapitulation of the first theme and
a quasi-coda. The structure may be diagrammed as follows:
TABLE 3-2
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE THIRD MOVEMENT
theme

A'

A''

A'''

D'

A''''

measure #

25

35

48

55

66

79

86

94

101 111 134 148 160

As shown in Example 3-12, rhythmically varied versions of M1 and M2 are embedded


within Theme A in reverse order, thus connecting the third movement thematically with the first
two. The last interval of each motive is intervallically expanded, however, to conform to the quartalquintal motion of the bass line.

66

Example 3-12: Muczynski, Second Piano Trio/iii, mm. 1-5


(Allegro con spirito

34

34

pizz.

cresc.

(Allegro con spirito (q = 160)

34

4



p

cresc.

M1 and M2 return to their initial intervallic content in the B theme, in which they are placed in their
original order (M1 is inverted, however). In addition to using the same thematic material, the first
two themes have the same rhythmic profile: an opening eighth rest, two-note slurs, syncopated
figures, and 3/4 meter.
Themes C and D are also related in a number of ways: they share the same meter (both are
in 5/4, each notated in the score as 3+2/4) and rhythmic profile (both themes begin with a dottedquarter/eighth note rhythmic gesture), but lack the syncopation characteristic of the first two
themes. In addition, as Example 3-13 indicates, Themes C and D are derived from Theme B,
reflecting the broad ideas of thematic transformation embodied in the movement.
Example 3-13: Muczynski Second Piano Trio/iii
a) B melody, mm. 26-27

Violin

ff

b) C melody, m. 48
(3+2)

5
4

mp

Piano

67

D melody, mm. 65-67

Violin

54
(3+2)

mf

Consisting of a series of 4ths and 5ths over an E pedal, Theme E is only tangentially related
to the other themes in this movement. However, its caccia-like character is reminiscent of themes in
the first two movements. Thus, Muczynski adds an obvious element of cyclicism to the trio.
Following these four measures, widely spaced triads return in the left hand of the piano, preparing
for an exact return of Theme A. The recapitulation is followed by a quasi-coda, marked marcato
(secco). The thrilling conclusion of the piece is effected through f and ff dynamics, frequent
repetition of Theme A and Theme D material, extensive use of sixteenth-note ostinati, and a threeoctave scale played molto crescendo in the piano before the final E minor-major tetrachord.
The Second Piano Trio shows a thorough and imaginative use of thematic transformation
and formal procedures. Not only do M1 and M2 serve as points of departure for themes in all three
movements, but a caccia-like theme first presented in the recapitulation of the first movement is also
transformed and utilized in the following movements, and themes in the third movement are related
to each other in complex ways. The creative use of form is thus connected to motivic development.

Third Piano Trio for violin, cello, and piano, Op. 46


For the centennial of the University of Wyoming in 1986, the William Robertson Coe
American Heritage Foundation commissioned the Third Piano Trio for the universitys ensemble-inresidence, the Western Arts Trio. Before the premiere could take place, however, the trios cellist,
David Tomatz, accepted an appointment at the University of Houston. As a result, the trio
premiered the work at the Lyric Art Festival in Houston on June 16, 1988, then performed the piece

68

at the University of Wyoming later that year.133 Theodore Presser published the piece in 1990 with
printed string parts and a facsimile of the composers manuscript of the piano part.
To accompany the Western Arts Trios performance of all three trios at the College Music
Society national meeting in 1988, the composer wrote:
It never occurred to me that a Third Piano Trio would eventually occupy my
thoughts and attention, but a few years ago I received a call from [pianist] Werner
Rose offering me a commission to pursue the writing of such a piece. My admiration
for the Western Arts Trios artistry thus resulted in the creation of this work.134
The composer added that The Third Piano Trio is less formal in design [than the first two
trios].135
The design of the first movement is a theme and variations, as indicated by the composer.
However, the relaxed twelve-measure theme (Allegro moderato) and first four variations can also be
seen as the first large section of the movement, analogous to the exposition in sonata-allegro form.
These variations maintain the same thematic outline, tempo, and meter as the theme, but differ in
key center, surface rhythmic motion, and dynamic intensity. The end of this section is signaled by an
octatonic reinterpretation of the melodic material that leads to a double barline.
Subsequent variations vary widely in tempo, meter, character, and time span. The fifth
variation (Andante sostenuto) unexpectedly presents a new theme, ignoring the principal theme of the
movement altogether. The point of departure is Muczynskis signature motive, a descending major
2nd and perfect 4th first seen in the accompaniment to the first variation. The main theme of the
movement returns in the Allegro sixth variation, transformed into a tango rhythm (3+3+2/8). The
contemplative seventh variation (Moderato) serves as the emotional centerpiece of the movement.

Tomatz, telephone conversation.


Budds, 35-36.
135 Ibid., 35.
133
134

69

Here, the tango rhythm becomes into an ostinato metrical pattern of two 3/4 measures followed by
a 4/4 measure.
The eighth and final variation also serves as the coda to the movement. It is in three
sections, an Allegro ma non troppo in 6/8 meter that varies the first theme, a 6/8 section marked pu
mosso that varies the second theme, and an Allegro subito codetta in 2/4 meter that returns to the
octatonic set at the end of the fourth variation. The tonal ambiguity found earlier is not reprised
here due to the Muczynski chord in root position on F that concludes the movement.
The second movement, marked Andante maestoso, is in ternary form with coda. The A section
itself is in binary form, each half consisting of an eight-measure theme followed by an abbreviated
version of the same theme. The instrumentation is varied, however, as the melodic material is
presented by the piano, pizzicato cello, violin and cello in octave unison, and cello col arco respectively.
The B section is also divided into two halves, each consisting of a four-measure theme followed by
an extended version of the same theme. Again, the instrumentation is varied, with the piano, violin
with cello accompaniment, piano, and violin and cello in octave unison with piano accompaniment
respectively presenting the melodic material. This section contrasts with the A section, however, by
its poco pu mosso tempo, 5/4 meter, frequent modulations, and consistent two-voice texture that
comprises a simple melodic line and a chordal or single-line accompaniment in metrical interpoint. A
meno mosso cello solo in 3/4 meter serves as a retransition to a condensed restatement of the A
section. In the coda, marked Adagio, the piano and violin reinterpret the melodic material
octatonically in a manner similar to the fourth variation of the first movement.
The third movement consists of two main sectionsAllegro energico and Andante molto. The
first section can be seen as a theme with four variations, although the composer does not indicate it
as such. The variations are governed by the thematic transformation of the melodic motive M1,

70

which utilizes the major 2nd and perfect 4th combination. This ascending perfect 4th is expanded to
a perfect 5th then a major 7th over the course of the variations, as shown in Example 3-14:
Example 3-14: Muczynski, Third Piano Trio/iii
a) Theme, mm. 2-3
Allegro energico

24

24

(q = 126-130)

(senza sord.)

Allegro energico (q = 126-130)

24

24

b) Var. I, m. 37-38
4

ff

ff

ff

71

(poco ped.)

c) Var. II, mm. 51-52


pi mosso
7 poco
q

( = 136-138)

d) Var. III, mm. 73-74

mf

p non legato

( = 136-138)

mf

poco pi mosso
q

mf

e) Var. IV, mm. 90-91

mf

mf

mf

Moreover, M1 is an inversion of the second theme of the first movement, adding to the sense of
unity between the movements.
The transition to the second section of the movement is effected with a new motive
presented by the strings in rhythmic interpoint meno mosso e molto ritardando. This is followed by a
Lento that utilizes an octatonic set; this material serves as a subtle connection between the
movements. The Andante molto consists of a restatement of the meno mosso theme in 4/4 meter and a

72

return in rhythmic diminution of the material from the Moderato variation of the first movement. The
octatonic set returns in linear fashion in the coda, an Adagio in 3/8 meter, before the concluding
widely spaced F-sharp 9th chord.
With the return of the Moderato material at the end of the third movement, the cyclicism
inherent in the Third Piano Trio is obvious. The movements are further integrated through the use
of similar thematic, transitional and cadential material, including the octatonic set and Muczynskis
signature motive. They are also connected through the use of variation form in the outer
movements and the varied instrumentation found in the second movement. Perhaps this is what the
composer meant when he wrote that the trio is less formal in design than the first two trios.136

136

Ibid.
73

CHAPTER IV
First Piano Trio, Op. 24
Muczynski wrote the First Piano Trio in 1966-67 and dedicated it to his friend Harry Atwood.
Muczynski joined violinist Oscar Iotti and cellist Gordon Epperson for the premiere in Crowder
Hall at the University of Arizona on February 24, 1969. Reviewing the first performance of the
piece, Dorothy Moreton in the Tucson Daily Citizen wrote:
It lacked nothing in exciting originality. Its incisive themes thrown out to make their
own way in musical form, but always fearlessly finding their way to their own
development or to close relationship with kindred themes. . . . Vitality there was in
the swiftly changing rhythms, but always clarity. Muczynskis writing gives each
instrument its rightful opportunity to sing, to ripple or to ejaculate, but each mood is
clearly appropriate.137
Thirty years later, Wayne Lee Gay of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reviewed a performance of the
piece, writing that this succinct, skillfully crafted chamber work in classical form once again proved
that Muczynski deserves more attention than he gets; few other composers of our time so skillfully
apply the lessons of the romantic era in drawing a symphonic sound from the piano as he does.138
The First Piano Trio was not published until twenty years after its composition. Muczynskis
publisher at the time refused to even look at the manuscript score because . . . Sales of such works
are too scant to warrant our investment . . . and so, I put the piece on my shelf and nearly forgot
about it until Presser heard my taped performance and expressed a desire to publish it in 1987!139

137

Dorothy Moreton, Trio Sets Tone for Solid Concert, Tucson Daily Citizen (February 25,

1969).

Wayne Lee Gay, Musicians, Selections Shine in Chamber Society Concert, Fort Worth
Star Telegram (March 1, 1999): 10.
139 Robert Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994. The authors performance was the
first tape of the piece sent on the [Muczynski] since Presser released the published score/parts. . . .
I congratulate the three of you for your courage in undertaking a difficult work which, to date, has
no standard of performance!
138

74

The piece, which takes about 15 minutes to perform, is in four movements, beginning with
an Allegro con moto in sonata-allegro form, a scherzando Allegro giocoso, and a lyrical Andante that
moves attacca into the Finale marked Allegro con spirito. The movements are tied together by a fivenote rhythmic motive (labeled R1) that occurs at the beginning of each movement. After a threenote anacrusis in the piano, R1 (consisting of three eighth notes, an eighth note tied over the bar
line, and another eighth note) is stated in the second measure:
Example 4-1: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-3
Allegro con moto

24

Violin

Cello

(q = c. 132)

24

R1

marc.

marc.


2
4

Allegro con moto

Piano

24

marc.

R1

(q = c. 132)

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The rhythmic motive is found in the melodic line that begins the second movement:
Example 4-2: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 1-2
Allegro giocoso

24

(h = c. 84)

24

R1

Allegro giocoso

24
24

(h = c. 84)

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

75

In the third movement, the note values of R1 are altered and placed in the context of 5/4 meter:
Example 4-3: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 3-4

p espr., sost.


espr.

R1

p sempre

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The original version of R1 returns in a different metrical context at the outset of the finale:
Example 4-4: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 1-3

FINALE
Allegro con spirito

2
4

2
4

(q = c.144)

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

FINALE
Allegro con spirito (q = c.144)

2
4

3
8

senza

R1

stacc.

2
4

2
4

3
8

2
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

76

First Movement
Form
The first movement utilizes an idiosyncratic sonata form combining an unorthodox
placement of materials with a subtle and individual use of key relationships. Instead of presenting
the first theme by itself in the opening sixteen measures, Muczynski presents the germinal motives
of the movement. These measures serve as a quasi-development of the first theme, which appears in
its entirety played by the violin at m. 17. The second themean espressivo cello solo taken up by the
piano and violinprovides a lyrical contrast before the closing material crystallizes the basic
elements of the opening piano motive. A third theme appears in a much slower tempo marking,
Andante espressivo, and does not return in this or any of the other movements of the piece. As a result,
this section is difficult to classify; I have dubbed it an interlude. The rest of the movement is more
traditional with a development section, recapitulation, and coda. Table 4-1 illustrates the overall
structure and includes the various tempo indications and thematic statements.
TABLE 4-1
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF FIRST MOVEMENT
SECTION
EXPOSITION
INTERLUDE
DEVELOPMENT
RECAPITULATION
CODA

mm. 1-30
mm. 30-48
mm. 49-61
mm. 62-84
mm. 85-109
mm. 109-25
mm. 126-37
mm. 138-64
mm. 165-81

TEMPO
Allegro con moto

THEME
Ib & Ia
II
closing
Andante espressivo
IIIa, IIIb, IIIa
Allegro vivace subito
Ib
II
Ib
Pu mosso subito (Tempo I) Ia & Ib
closing

77

KEY
F
e-flat
d-A
f-sharpAf-sharp
a-flat, a
e-flat
b-flate
f, f-sharp
F-sharp, b-flat

Themes and Motives


In Table 4-1 and the forthcoming analysis, I, II, and III identify the main theme areas
whereas a, b, and c represent separate statements of a themea is original, b and c are variants.
Because of its comparable rhythmic movement, intervallic content, and fast tempo, the second
theme is similar enough to the first that it might be considered another variant. However, there are
enough differences in its construction, articulation, and character to justify distinguishing it from the
first theme. The closing theme uses elements of the first and second themes.
Theme I. The opening bold and declamatory piano gesture in the first measure contains a
three-note motive in the right hand that descends a half-step and then ascends, root motion in
minor thirds in the left hand, and a distance of several octaves between the voices. This serves as an
anacrusis to the melody proper, which is presented by the strings doubled two octaves apart
beginning in the second measure. This upward-moving three-note motive, which uses the intervals
perfect 4th and minor 3rd, is followed by a half-step appoggiatura that introduces E-flat, a pitch that
becomes important later in the exposition.
Example 4-5: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 1-6
Allegro con moto

24

Violin

(q = c. 132)

Cello

24

24

Allegro con moto

Piano

24

marc.

marc.

marc.

(q = c. 132)

marc.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

78

marc.

This alternation between the piano and strings continues through the first 12 measures. A
four-measure transition played by the pianowhich includes a bitonal continuation of the opening
rhythm, a clear V-I cadence in F minor, and a sixteenth-note scale in F major with several added
notes, including B and E-flatleads into the main theme (Theme Ia), presented by the violin. The
strings have already played a fragmented version of this theme in the opening measures, as shown in
Example 4-6. The cello linewhich contains large leaps, scale passages in eighth notes, and a
frequent dotted-quarter/eighth-note rhythmanchors the key of F minor through the use of the
scale F, G, A-flat, B-flat, C, D-flat, E-flat, E. Meanwhile, the right hand of the piano continues with
sixteenth notes, elaborating on the minor-second presented at the opening and outlining the Fminor key area.
Example 4-6: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 17-20
17

arco

17

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Theme II. The cello begins with a syncopated version of its dotted-quarter/eighth-note
rhythm as it presents the long-breathed second theme, marked espressivo.

79

Example 4-7: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 30-38


30

solo

espr.

30

grazioso

mf

con

sub.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

This theme shares some characteristics with the first: it begins with a three-note motive (this time
moving downward and combining a minor 2nd and a perfect 5th), contains similar intervallic
content, and ends with an appoggiatura. The E-flat, which colored the first theme, is used here as
the key center for the left hand of the piano as the right hand outlines an F-minor chord. The violin
then plays a variation on this theme before the exposition concludes with a return to the opening

80

motives of the piece, as shown in Example 4-8. Thus, the first section (mm. 1-61) seems to have its
own ABA form by virtue of the movement away from then back to the original material.140
Example 4-8: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 51-52
51

51

secco

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Theme III. The mood and character of the interlude is slow and expressive, set off by a new
tempo (Andante espressivo), bowed articulation in the strings, and passages marked sostenuto. The first
theme in the section (Theme IIIa) is constructed in a way that allows one of the strings to
rhythmically fill in the gaps between the longer notes of the other, creating a composite rhythm of
constant eighth notes. It begins in a manner similar to the second theme, with a three-note motive
that combines a minor 2nd and perfect 4th141 and an abundance of appoggiaturas:

Cisler notes that Muczynski uses the same approach to first-movement form in his first
two piano sonatas. (Cisler, 226.)
141 As noted in Chapter 2, Cisler has called these intervals the principal unifying factor in
Muczynski's music. (Cisler, 100.)
140

81

Example 4-9: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 62-64

62 Andante espressivo

4
4

( = c.58)

arco

p sost.
arco

4
4

p sost.

62
4
4

Andante espressivo(q = c.58)

p sempre legato

4
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

After these five measures, Theme IIIb appears in 5/8 meter. It begins with a three-note
motivecombining a major 2nd and a minor 3rdfollowed by a two-note motive (Example 4-10a).
Over the course of the theme, the melody is sequenced and the 3+2 rhythm is repeated until the
downbeat of m. 75 (Example 4-10b), at which point the violin plays the highest pitch of the section,
an A two octaves above the pitch with which it began, and the piano begins a series of downwardmoving fourths in sixteenth notes.
Example 4-10: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i
a) Theme IIIb, m. 67

a) Theme IIIb, m. 75


5
8
e = e)

58

sempre cresc.

58

sempre cresc.

58

58
ff


5
8

e = e)

58

ff

sempre cresc.

pi

58

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

82

The interlude ends with a return to the 4/4 tempo and thematic material with which it began. This
section of the piece (mm. 62-84) has its own ABA form. Dynamically, the section is in an arch
structure, slowly building from p to pu f, then quickly diminishing to p. A ritardando molto in the
final measure leads directly into the development section.
Development. The development section is also in ternary form. In the A section, the
motives that make up Theme Ib are manipulated through rhythmic, textural, and intervallic
transformation as the meter frequently shifts between 6/8 and 9/8. Theme II is presented twice in
the B section, once by the strings two octaves apart in the original key, once by the piano a major
third lower. Each time, the theme is presented in duple meter over a repeated 6/8 meter in the
piano, creating a hemiola. Theme Ib motives are again manipulated before the retransition (mm.
134-37), which is set off by a change in meter to 2/4. Here, three separate and distinct lines are
presented: the violin repeats the motive from mm. 2-3 in the upper register, the cello in the lower
register recalls Theme II, and in the middle register the piano repeats a sixteenth-note ostinato
pattern.
Example 4-11: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 134-37
134

2
4

(q. =

q)

2
4

134

(q. =

q)

2
4

2
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

83

Recapitulation and Coda. Perhaps because the development section was based on Themes Ib
and II, the abbreviated recapitulation emphasizes Theme Ia; indeed, mm. 12-30 are brought back in
their entirety before Theme Ib is reprised. (Theme II is not found in the recapitulation.) The coda
develops Themes Ia and Ib in new ways, such as a walking bass line in the cello (mm. 165-69),
before closing with an allargando restatement in B-flat minor of the material from m. 2:
Example 4-12: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 179-81

allarg.

ff

fff

ff

allarg.

fff

ff

sff

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Harmony
The form of this movement is supported by its overall harmonic structure. In a traditional
sonata-allegro form, the first theme in the exposition is in the tonic area, whereas the second theme
is in the dominant. In the recapitulation, the first theme is in the subdominant and the second theme
in the tonic. Here, the F minor first theme modulates to E-flat minor for the second theme. The
exposition ends in A major, the bimodal mediant of the original key. The interlude follows in Fsharp minor, the relative minor of the key that ended the exposition. The development section
circles through the keys A-flat minor, E-flat minor, and B-flat minor as Themes Ib, II, and Ib are
reinterpreted, reprised, and reinterpreted again. After a brief retransition in E minor, the
recapitulation begins with Theme Ia in its original key, F minor. Theme II is not repeated in the
84

recapitulation, therefore a modulation to new key (F-sharp minor) is effected for the return of the
Theme Ib material and the beginning of the coda. Finally, F minor is tonicized and becomes the
dominant of the final V-I cadence in B-flat minor.
Modulation. Cisler notes that Muczynski's logic for harmonic sonorities and progressions
result[s] directly from the combination of independent voice lines. Linear integrity is maintained
through voice-leading and repeated or sequenced intervallic patterns.142 This assertion can be
shown in the different ways the composer treats the motion from Theme Ia to Theme II in the
exposition and from Theme Ia to Theme Ib in the recapitulation.
In both passages, Muczynski modulates through an imaginative use of voice leading. In mm.
29-30, the left hand of the piano plays the scale C, D-flat, E-flat, E, F, G-flat, A-flat, A. Instead of
moving to C and repeating the sequence anew, the scale here moves directly to B-flat, which
becomes the fifth scale degree of an E-flat minor triad, the tonic chord of Theme II. Meanwhile, the
right hand plays a variant of the opening string motive with an appoggiatura from B-natural to the
same B-flat pitch, although played an octave lower and with the left hand.
Example 4-13: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 29-30
30

sf

solo

30

espr.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher


142

Cisler, 239.
85

In an analogous passage in mm. 154-55, the left hand plays the same scale and the same Eflat-minor triad. However, this chord does not become the new tonic. Instead, the right hand
responds with a diatonic scale passage of its own (E, F, G, A, B, C), leading to a C-sharp on the
downbeat of m. 156. This C-sharp becomes the fifth scale degree of an F-sharp-minor triad, the new
tonic chord of Theme Ia. (The enharmonic change is also noted in the left hand, as the G-flat in the
triad at m. 155 becomes an F-sharp in the bass.)
Example 4-14: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 154-56
154

154

sf

sf

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Bass Line. The bass line serves an important role by providing a degree of harmonic stability
to melodic lines that frequently modulate into different key areas. Cisler notes that this constancy is
achieved through repeated intervallic or rhythmic patterns, linear movement, and the use of pedal
point.143 In the first theme group, for instance, the bass line stabilizes F minor through the use of a
repeated F to A-flat motion in Theme Ib, the use of pitches F, A-flat, and C in Theme Ia, and a clear
V-I cadential motion at mm. 15 and 27.
In other places, the bass line creates harmonic stability through the repeated alternation of
tonic and dominant pitches. In Theme II, arpeggiated B-flat minor and E-flat triads reinforce the

143

Ibid., 236.
86

key of E-flat (although the melody in the cello and the countermelody in the piano right hand
weaken the key at first by stubbornly remaining in F minor), whereas the bass line in mm. 126-30
alternates between F and B-flat, and in mm. 165-69 the cello plays a repeated measure-long ostinato
pattern that begins with C-sharp and F-sharp.
Pedal point appears prominently at the end of the exposition, with a long-held D in mm. 5154 that serves as the tonic pedal. Two measures later, the A, held for 6 measures, serves as the
relative major of the f-sharp-minor key center that begins the interlude. In the coda (mm. 170-71), a
C-natural, held by the sostenuto pedal in the piano, serves as the dominant pedal point of F minor,
which is tonicized three measures later.
Example 4-15: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 170-71

pizz.

sf

pizz.

sf

ff

Sost. ped.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Texture
Throughout the movement, each of the four voice linesviolin, cello, piano right-hand, and
piano left-handis utilized independently. In the exposition and recapitulation, Muczynski almost
exclusively uses widely spaced three-voice textures, the voice lines of which change at key structural
points. In almost every case in which this occurs, one of the voice lines plays in octave unison with
another or is tacet. Table 4-2 illustrates the variety of three-voiced textures exploited in this
movement:
87

TABLE 4-2
THREE-VOICED TEXTURES IN THE FIRST MOVEMENT
(the voice with the main melody is in bold)
TREBLE
piano right-hand
violin
piano right-hand
violin

MIDDLE
violin & cello
piano right-hand
cello
cello

THEME
Ib
Ia
II
IIIa (mm. 62-66)

violin

BASS
piano left-hand
cello
piano left-hand
piano right-hand &
piano left-hand
cello

piano right-hand &


piano left-hand
violin & cello
piano right-hand

piano right-hand
piano left-hand

piano left-hand
cello

II (mm. 109-17)
II (mm. 118-25)

IIIa (mm. 80-84)

In addition to the points at which two voices meld into one through octave unison, there are
several locations in the movement in which two voices meld into one as they play different, but
related pitches. Examples include the end of the exposition (Example 4-17, mm. 56-59), retransition
to the recapitulation (Example 4-11, mm. 134-37), beginning of the coda (Example 4-16, mm. 16569), and a few isolated examples in the development section (mm. 85-89, 92-93, 99-100, and 12630).
Example 4-16: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 165-69
165

3
4

ff

3
4

ff

165

3
4

pi

3
4

88

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In mm. 56-59, the three-voice texture drops to two voices as the violin and cello become
one voice and the right and left hands of the piano play in octave unison. The strings then drop out
entirely, leaving only one voice to prepare the new key area of the interlude:
Example 4-17: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 56-61

rit.

pizz.

molto

lunga

lunga

pizz.

rit.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The three-voice texture becomes four voices only at several key structural points. These
include almost all of Theme IIIb (mm. 67-76) and the build-up to the final three measures of the
movement (mm. 176-78). In each of these cases, ff is used. Four-voice textures also occur in
several places in the development section (mm. 89-91, 96-98, and 131-33).

89

4
4

4
4

lunga

molto

mf

4
4

4
4

Rhythm, Meter, and Tempo


The unifying rhythmic factor in the movement is the almost-constant motion in eighth
notes, a style characteristic found in much of Muczynski's music.144 Muczynski emphasizes the
importance of that note value by providing the marking q = q the first time the meter changes from
2/4 to 6/8 (m. 10); he provides the same marking one measure later as the meter returns to 2/4.
This persistent eighth-note motion provides continuity in areas such as mm. 8-14, which
moves from 2/4 to 6/8 to 3/4 to 6/8 to 2/4; Theme IIIb, which is almost entirely in 3+2/8 meter
and marked 5/8; and sections of the development based on Theme Ib, which alternate between 6/8
and 9/8. This steady motion also allows the syncopated figures embedded in Themes Ia and Ib to be
more effective (Example 4-6) and highlights the use of hemiola, most notably in the restatement of
Theme II in the development section:
Example 4-18: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/i, mm. 110-14
110

110
stacc.

mf

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The only exception to the primacy of the eighth note is at m. 134 (Example 4-11), where
Muczynski provides the marking q. = q as the meter changes from 6/8 to 2/4. For the next four

144

Ibid., 231.
90

measures, the sixteenth note becomes the common rhythmic currency to pave the way for the return
of Theme Ia. Aside from these measures, all of the tempo changes in the movement occur at key
structural points. The exposition and recapitulation are in the same tempo: Allegro con moto (q = c.
132). The interlude is marked Andante espressivo (q = c. 58) with the development sectionAllegro
vivace subito (q. = c. 112) beginning at m. 85more than twice again as fast.145

Second Movement
Form
The second movement (Allegro giocoso) contains some elements of sonata-rondo form,
including several statements of the rondo theme, each in the original key, and a development section
after the second appearance of the rondo theme. However, the first episode material is in the
original key and, as in the first movement, Theme III returns in the development section (albeit with
a different accompaniment) rather than in the recapitulation. The sections are outlined in Table 4-3:
TABLE 4-3
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SECOND MOVEMENT
Section
Meas.
Theme
Key

A
1
I
f

Section
Meas.
Theme
Key

C (development)
101
119
I
III
b-e-(a)
A-flat/D

25
II
a

B
41
58
III
transition
B-flat/FD f
A
137
I
f

162
II
a

64
III
f
175
closing
D-aug/C

A
76
I
f

96
closing
D-aug/C

Coda
180
I
f

At m. 85, the tempo needs to be pushed in order to maintain the necessary drive,
Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.
145

91

Themes and Motives


Theme I. In several ways, the theme is reminiscent of Theme Ia in the first movement:
1. the melody contains a combination of large leaps and passages moving in step-wise fashion;
2. the same syncopationthe last eighth note of the first measure is tied over the bar line into the
second measureis featured;
3. the cello line includes scale passages (here in quarter notes) and an occasional dottedquarter/eighth-note rhythm; and
4. the same scale (F, G, A-flat, B-flat, C, D-flat, E-flat, E) is used.
Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the theme, however, is its extensive use of a
motive consisting of two slurred eighth notes. This figure, followed almost every time by a staccato
eighth note or an eighth rest, occurs ten times. However, the motive (a) begins at a variety of pitch
levels, and its direction and intervallic content change over the course of the theme.
Example 4-19: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 1-7
Allegro giocoso

(h = c. 84)

24


24

a

Allegro giocoso

24
24

(h = c. 84)

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Beginning in m. 11, motive (a) appears as A-flat to F. This motive is repeated in the context of a 3/4
measure followed by a 2/4 measure, thus extending the theme and emphasizing the key of F minor.

92

Theme II. This theme begins with four eighth notes presented in a linear fashion that
contain the same intervallic content (0235) as the beginning of Theme I. However, Theme II begins
on the second eighth note of the measure, alleviating the syncopation by moving toward the
downbeat rather than away from it. Forward motion is achieved on a larger scale through a
composite rhythm of constant eighth notes as the theme is presented in canon between the violin
and cello at the interval of a 5th.
Example 4-20: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 25-29
26

3
4

34

26

34
34

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Theme III. This theme begins with a scale passage of four eighth notes (0235) presented by
the violin. Unlike the opening of Theme II, however, this motive is clearly an upbeat to the theme
proper that begins at m. 41. This theme, which begins with the same syncopated rhythm as Theme I,
contains two component parts: a four-note scale motive (a) and a five-note scale motive (b, b1):

93

Example 4-21: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 40-46


41

(a)

(a)

mf

(b)

(b')

41
(sim.)

(R.H.)

(L.H.)

mf non legato

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

After the theme is presented in its entirety, the cello plays the first half of it a third lower with a
slightly altered rhythm and different articulation. The piano imitates the cello one measure later.
After a freely composed transition that bears no explicit thematic relationship to Theme III, the first
half of the theme returns in a unique manner: the piano presents motive (a) followed by the
rhythmically compressed (b) and (b1) motives presented by the strings.
Example 4-22: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 64-69

24

24



2
4

(a)

( )

24

69


pizz.

(b)

(b')

pizz.

(b)

(a)

(b)

(a)

(a)

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

94

69

Closing Theme. The closing theme consists of two upward-moving four-note arpeggiated
figures in the strings. Presented in tandem with off-beat chords in the piano, the motion in this brief
section is propelled by a composite rhythm of constant eighth notes combined with the energy of
syncopation.

Harmony
Theme I emphasizes the key of F minor through the extensive use of the first four notes of
the F-minor scale in the cello and piano parts, the repeated F to A-flat motion in the melodic line,
the motion between C and D-flat (V-flatVI) in the piano in mm. 8-15, and a clear V-I cadential
motion at mm. 5 and 15. The second appearance of the rondo theme at m. 76 is scored differently,
but presented at the same pitch level as the opening.
Theme II is also tonally stable, achieving the key of A minor through the extensive use of
the A melodic-minor scale in the violin and cello played over a long-held dominant pedal in the left
hand of the piano. A V-I cadence at m. 33 followed by the repeated use of the pitch A confirms the
key.
Theme III is bitonal, as the violin melody is in the key of B-flat major and the other
instruments are in F major. The piano alternates between E minor, C minor, and F major
arpeggiated triads in a hemiola-like 10/8 ostinato. The cello alternates between the pitches F and C,
reinforcing the key of F. The bitonality of Theme III is resolved in m. 64, where it returns in the key
of F minor.
The closing theme is tonally ambiguous, consisting of arpeggiated A-augmented and Daugmented triads in the strings, alternating major and augmented triads in the right hand of the
piano, and a bass line that moves from an E-flat dominant-7th chord to a C dominant-7th. This

95

harmonic uncertainty is enhanced by the placement of a measure of rest at the end of the theme,
leading the listener to wonder what will happen next.
Example 4-23: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 96-100
96

96

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The development section begins in B minor, moves to E minor, then cadences on A. This
harmonic motion is analogous to that in the development section of the first movement. In this
case, however, the pitch A serves as a dominant pedal point and is played by the left hand
concurrently with Theme III in D major. At the same time, the violin and cello reinforce the key of
D through a five-beat ostinato figure of open fifths as the right hand creates a bitonal framework by
presenting Theme III in A-flat major and an E-flat pedal simultaneously.

96

Example 4-24: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 119-24


119

119

stacc.

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Tempo and Meter


The tempo, Allegro giocoso, remains consistent throughout the second movement until the last
four measures, marked Meno mosso. The meter is predominantly 2/4; however, a 3/4 measure is
placed at the thirteenth measure of each appearance of the rondo theme (mm. 13, 88, 149). As noted
earlier, this placement extends the theme and emphasizes the tonic key. To provide symmetry
among the themes, Muczynski places 3/4 measures at mm. 30, 34, and 36 at the end of Theme II
(and mm. 166, 170, and 172 in the corresponding return of the material), and in m. 73 at the end of
Theme III. During the transition between the appearances of Theme III (mm. 57-63), the primary
meter becomes 3/4 with a 2/4 measure placed at m. 60. In preparation for this change, the left hand
of the piano plays a hemiola (3+3/8 or 6/8) pattern in mm. 51-56.

97

Example 4-25: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 51-56


51

mf

51

mf

poco

3
4

3
4

3
4

mf )

3
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Mixed meters also occur in other places in the movement, including the melodic line of
Theme I, as shown in Example 4-19. Here, the opening rhythmic motives, the syncopation on the
last beat of the measure, and the two-note slur followed by an eighth note or eighth rest create the
sense of a 3+2+3/8 meter. In Theme III (see Example 4-21) this rhythm is transformed into
3+2+3+2+2/8. At the same time, the piano repeats a 3+3+3+1/8 ostinato pattern and the cello
plays on downbeats to allow these mixed meters to be effective.
Within the brief coda, which provides a synoptic review of the opening material, an allargando
is indicated before the final chord. Despite its eighth-note length, this chord should be held with the
pedal for longer than one eighth note. As Muczynski writes, please dont clip the very final chord
quite so severely. It does need just a touch more sound/resonance (more piano pedal) for that
allarg. 146

146

Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.


98

Texture
There is a great deal of textural similarity between the first and second movements. In each
case, the voice lines are utilized independently, the predominant texture is three voices (a fourth
voice line is either in octave unison with another or tacet), and changes in structure are accompanied
by changes in texture. In addition, transformations of texture and dynamic allow for varied
presentations of the thematic material. For example, both hands of the piano present the second
appearance of the rondo theme (m. 76) two octaves apart in a ff rather than a p dynamic, but at
the same pitch level as the opening.
Example 4-26: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/ii, mm. 76-82
76

ff

ff

76

ff

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Third Movement
With its espressivo and sostenuto character, long-breathed melodic lines, consistent 5/8 meter,
limited dynamic range, and lack of accents, the Andante serves as a relief from the syncopated
rhythms and declamatory nature of the surrounding movements. Wayne Lee Gay of the Fort Worth
Star Telegram has described the movement as dreamy.147 Formally, the movement, which

147

Gay, 10.
99

Muczynski characterizes as one long song,148 is a simple ternary form with a middle section of
similar character but in a contrasting tempo and meter. As a result, the movement is best described
as an Andante and Trio.
TABLE 4-4
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE THIRD MOVEMENT
Section
Meas.
Theme
Key

A
1
12
22
Ia
Ib
Ic
b-flat e-flatf d

B
33 44
II II
g eg

A
55
Ic
d

64
72
Ia
Ib
b-flat/d e-flatf

Andante I
The Andante contains three sections of similar length in which the cello, violin, and piano
respectively, take up the melodic line over differing ostinato accompaniment figures. The melody,
which has an octave-and-a-half range, contains large leaps and step-wise motion. The division of the
5/8 meter into 2+3, as indicated by the composer above the initial signature, is realized in the
rhythm of the melodic line: q (or

) followed by either q e or iq e. Consistent in the

accompaniment is a repeated V-I motion in the bass line that indicates and stabilizes the key, which
changes from section to section.
In the first section (mm. 1-11), the cello plays the melody over a piano accompaniment; the
violin is tacet, resulting in a three-voice texture. The melodic line, which uses all the pitches of the Bflat natural-minor scale, begins with the whole-step motion B-flatC. As the theme unfolds, the
intervals employed expand to a minor 3rd, perfect 4th, minor 6th, and octave. The expressiveness of
the melody comes from these expanding intervals as well as the 2+2+1 (or 2+1+1+1) subdivision

148

Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.


100

of each measure. Judicious use of articulation further emphasizes the unbalanced meter, as
downbows are indicated on each downbeat and upbows on the third beat of each measure.
Example 4-27: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 3-5

p espr., sost.

mf



espr.

p sempre

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The accompaniment, marked sempre legato, features vertical interpoint between the voices.
Beginning on the second beat of each measure, the right hand of the piano plays an ostinato that
consists of a three-note figure: an appoggiatura followed by a falling minor 3rd. Meanwhile, the
rhythm of the bass line alternates between 4+1 and 2+2+1 and provides an unchanging V-I cadence
in B-flat on each downbeat.
Beginning at m. 12, the violin takes up the main melody of the Andante as the cello takes
over the accompanying line from the right hand of the piano. The melody is played an octave
higher, and subtle alterations in phrasing, particularly the addition of a two-note phrase at the
beginning of most measures, emphasize the intervals of a major and minor second:

101

Example 4-28: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 12-14

12 a tempo

espr., sost.



p
12

a tempo

mf

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

These phrase markings also considerably weaken the 2+3/8 meter by de-emphasizing the third beat
of the measure. The right hand of the piano further weakens the rhythm by prolonging the
appoggiatura on the second beat. The bass line changes slightly as well, both in terms of rhythm
(here, each note fills an entire measure) and key, which shifts to E-flat.
After a brief transition in F, the melodic line is taken up by the piano yet another octave
higher. In this third section of the Andante, the contour and rhythm of the melody remain the same,
but a number of elements are different including pitch, key, intervallic content, and phrasing. Here,
the melody is in the key of D-natural minor, perfect 4ths and 5ths replace minor 3rds and minor
6ths, and the phrasing re-emphasizes the third beat of each measure:

102

Example 4-29: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 22-24


22

p sempre

p sempre



22

p cantabile

mf

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Meanwhile, a repeated six-note ostinato in the accompaniment obscures the 5/8 meter entirely. This
figure, comprised of perfect 4ths and 5ths, features the violin and cello as one voice in vertical
interpoint.
The piano effects a transition at m. 29 through a change of meter to 3+2/8 for two
measures, thus anticipating the meter of the Trio. A return to a 2+3/8 rhythm with a pedal G for
two measures leads directly into the Trio.

Trio
The Trio contrasts with the Andante in its semplice character, slightly quicker tempo, 3+2/8
meter, and melodic line that consists of a series of two-note phrases. As Example 4-30a indicates,
this melodymost notably the two-note slur at the end of each measureis derived from the
accompaniment of the Andante (compare to the piano line in Example 4-28).
The Trio is made up of two eleven-measure periods, each of which consists of two fourmeasure phrases followed by a three-measure transition. In the first period, the phrase structure is
clearly antecedent/consequent in effect: the first phrase cadences on the dominant (see Example
30a) whereas the parallel construction of the second phrase prepares the listener for a VI cadence
103

on the tonic. Instead, as shown in Example 4-30b, the phrase ends with a VIV 6/4 deceptive
cadence. This chord introduces the pitch E, which will become the new key center of the second
period.
Example 4-30: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii
a) mm. 35-36

b) mm. 39-40

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In the transition that follows, E minor is tonicized through repetition of the cadential motion
followed by the presentation of tonic ninth chords in a melodic manner.
Except for changes in orchestration and key, the second period is in strict correspondence
with the first. The first phrase, in the key of E minor, features a contrast between the legato melody
in the piano and the pizzicato accompaniment in the strings. Frequent appearances of the relative
major in these measures both weaken the tonic and prepare for the return of G minor, which occurs
in the first measure of the second phrase with the reintroduction of the pitches F natural and B-flat.
Other notable changes in the second phrase include a return to a four-voice texture, an
accompaniment figuration in sixteenth notes, and a louder dynamic, which swells from mf to f back
to p. The pitch E-flat is introduced in the third measure of this phrase to prepare for another
deceptive cadence (Example 4-31), in which the melodic note G becomes the 7th of an A-flat
major-7th chord.
104

Example 4-31: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 50-51

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

A brief retransition, consisting of a 5/8 ostinato pattern in the left hand of the piano,
prepares for the return of the Andante in terms of registration, tonality, tempo, and meter. The
ostinato, a quartal variant of the accompaniment figure first seen in mm. 22-28, presages a return to
that figure. A modulation is effected as each measure begins with the pitch D, a ritardando prepares
for a return to the original tempo, and the score indicates a return to the 2+3/8 meter of the
opening. The listener does not perceive the latter change, however, as the A-flat major-7th chord in
the other voices is held for six additional beats, each measure comes under one phrase grouping, and
each measure is pedaled.

Andante II
In the restatement of the Andante, the thematic material presented at the opening of the
movement is simply reordered, as Theme Ic is presented before Themes Ia and Ib. Throughout the
course of the section, however, some interesting issues of texture, harmonization, and key
relationships arise, bringing about some additional variation.
The return of Theme Ic contains two changes. First, the orchestration is different as the
violin and cello play the melodic line two octaves apart in the upper registers of their respective
105

instruments as the piano plays the six note ostinato figure. Wayne Lee Gay notes that the violin and
cello floated on a cloud of gentle piano arpeggios in this section of the movement. 149 Second, the
theme is elongated by three measures beginning in m. 61 as the piano repeats the last measure of the
theme, then presents a variant a minor 3rd lower.
Theme Ia returns in m. 64 in a bitonal fashion. For the first time in the movement, the
strings are tacet: the right hand of the piano presents the theme in B-flat minor and the left hand
continues with the ostinato pattern in D minor. As the theme is eight measures long and it takes five
occurrences of the six-note ostinato pattern to equal six full measures in 5/8, Muczynski alters the
ostinato so Theme Ib can return at m. 72. As seen in Example 4-32, the bass line was constructed
with enough repetition to easily allow for this through octave displacement of the pitch A, which is
the fourth note of the phrase.
Example 4-32: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iii, mm. 70-71
poco rit.

72 a tempo

con sord.

p sost.

con sord.

sost.

72

p
p



poco rit.

a tempo

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The movement ends with a literal da capo return of Theme Ib and its associated transition in
the key of F. Instead of ending with a conclusive cadence, four bell-like G-flats in the final measures

149

Gay, 10.
106

provide a sense of tonal ambiguity that is only resolved with the downbeat of the finale, which
begins attacca.150

Fourth Movement
Form
Marked Allegro con spirito, the final movement returns to the rhythmic energy found in the
first two movements. Although it contains features of sonata-rondo form, including the restatement
of the opening theme at key structural points in the movement, the form is clearly sonata-allegro
with the addition, as in the first movement, of a new theme in the development section. Unlike the
first movement interlude, however, this theme is related intervallically to what came before.
Cislers observation about the piano sonatas proves true here, too: In general, Muczynski tends to
be far less formal with structure in final movements.151
TABLE 4-5
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF FOURTH MOVEMENT
SECTION
EXPOSITION
DEVELOPMENT

RECAPITULATION
CODA

mm. 1-45
mm. 46-87

TEMPO
Allegro con spirito

mm. 88-09
mm. 110-36
mm. 137-81 Pu mosso
mm. 182-94
mm. 195-208
mm. 209-28 a tempo

THEME KEY
Ia, Ib, Ia F/gE-flat/fD
II
c-sharpE-flatfsharpE-flat
I
GD
II, Ia, II eE-flatf
III
E-flat/fA-flat/D-dor
Ib
A-flat/DF
Ia
F/g
Ia, II
C

The pianos three measures of [molto rit.] carries the fading sound via pedal as it arrives
at the fermata. . . . But then, there should not be a prolonged break in sound before entering the
Finale. Robert Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.
151 Cisler, 286.
150

107

Themes and Motives


Theme I. An eight-measure theme begins the fourth movement. The theme and variants
thereof are stated six times during the course of this section, as the following diagram indicates:
TABLE 4-6
STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST THEME AREA
Meas.
Theme
Key
Soloist

1-8
Ia
F/g
piano

9-16
Ia
F/g
violin

17-24
Ib
E-flat/f
violin

25-32
Ib
E-flat/f
piano

33-37
Ia (abbreviated)
F/D-flat
piano

38-45
Ia
D
cello

Thematic elements found in previous movements return in the opening measures of the
finale. The bell-like G-flats that ended the third movement are split between the hands to become
the first pitches of Theme Ia. Through voice leading, the top G-flat moves upward to become the
G-natural that begins the melodic line whereas the bottom G-flat is changed enharmonically to
become the F-sharp that begins the highly chromatic accompaniment.
Theme Ia can be divided into three smaller units. The first of these begins with the opening
G played twicea variant of the anacrusis from the opening of the first movementbefore R1 (see
Example 4-4) is combined with x1 in m. 2 to create a new and highly compact motive. As Example
4-33 shows, x1 is derived from mm. 5-6 of the third movement:

108

Example 4-33: Muczynski, First Piano Trio


a) iii/mm. 5-7

58

58

mf

8
58

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

b) iv/mm. 1-3

FINALE
Allegro con spirito

q = c.144)

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

FINALE
Allegro con spirito

q = c.144)

x'

2
4

3
8

3
8

2
4

3
8

3
8

stacc.

2
4

senza

2
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The second unit of the theme consists of a repetition of R1 in mm. 4-5. (The return of x1,
with slight intervallic changes, is delayed until the third beat of m. 4.) The third unit of the theme
begins at m. 6 and includes two additional motives: an ascending melodic line (x2) and a rhythmic
motive (R2) that consists of two sixteenth notes and an eighth note. These two motives are
combined in m. 7 then immediately repeated. In addition to its appearances in the melodic line in

109

mm. 7, 17, and 44, an inversion of R2 ( jq) serves as accompaniment in mm. 9-16 and mm. 38-45.
Rhythmic motive R2 will become important in a variety of contexts as the movement unfolds.
Example 4-34: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, m. 7

24

38

24

38


2
4

R2

24

38

R2

38

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In terms of melodic content and motivic continuity, Theme Ib is a variation on Theme Ia.
The opening Gs are transformed to two Gs played an octave apart. R1 returns in the second and
third measures (mm. 18-19 and 26-27), but with expanded intervallic content. The R2/x2
combination appears in the fifth and seventh measures of the theme, and x2 is inverted in the
second half of m. 7.
Jazz elements, beginning with the syncopation inherent in the opening motive, are important
in this section. The structure itself is taken from jazz, as the head motive is presented, varied, then
restated. The alternation of motives in eight-measure increments corresponds with the jazz practice
of trading eights. In addition, the bass-line motion, played here by the cello using the pitches of a
0135 tetrachord (G, A-flat, B-flat, C), is analogous to a walking bass line.
Theme II. Consisting of a series of two-measure phrases, Theme II transforms several
motivic elements from Theme I. A five-note rhythmic motive in the first measure (R3) is divided
into two melodic motives, a eighth-note version of R2 followed by a B-flatA slur, which was also

110

embedded in Theme I. The second measure features a three-note motive (x3), a combination of a
minor 2nd and a perfect 4th that Cisler has called Muczynski's principal unifying factor. 152
Example 4-35: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 46-47
46

3
4

mf
3
4

mf

sost.

sost.

2
4

2
4

3
4

3
4

x3

46

x3

R3

e = e)

R3

e = e)

3
4

3
4

mf sempre

34

2
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

As with Theme I, the second theme is presented in its original form (beginning at m. 46)
then varied (here thrice, beginning at m. 55, m. 64, and m. 75). The ending of the first variation is
elongated as R3 then R2 are played several times in stretto. In the second variation, the violin
returns with the theme as the cello plays a countersubject that prominently includes melodic motive
x3 as well as F-sharp7 and D-sharp7 arpeggiated chords. A five-measure tag then reinforces the key
of F-sharp minor through the prominence of the pitch A in the melodic line and the repeated Csharp to F-sharp motion in the cello. In the third variation, E-flat minor is firmly established as the
strings repeat variation two an augmented 2nd lower and the piano returns with a highly chromatic
rhythmic variation of Theme Ia. The final four measures of the tag that ended the second variation
are repeated to conclude the section, and the exposition.

152

Cisler, 100.
111

Development. Proportionally, the development section takes up a substantial share of the


movement. The first section begins with a forthright restatement of Theme Ia in G major. A
transition that includes several statements of the R2/x2 combination leads to a variation of Theme
Ia in D major. R3 and x1 are then repeated and fragmented over the course of several measures. The
piano rounds out the section with a sostenuto bass line that anticipates the next section of the
development.
The second section of the development begins at m. 110 with a return of the melodic line
from Theme II. The pitches are the same as in Example 4-35, but the line contains neither
syncopations nor chordal interjections. Instead, the series of eighth notes is subdivided into units of
six and two and placed in a 9/8 context:
Example 4-36: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, m. 110
110

9
8

9
8

110
9
8

98

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In mm. 114-26, this new rhythmic motive is presented numerous times using the R3/x1 motivic
combination at a variety of pitch levels. Interspersed in all three instruments are syncopated
fragments of x1. The section concludes with further development of this rhythmic motive using
melodic material from the second theme area.

112

Theme III. The third subsection in the development area presents an energetic new theme.
Consisting of a series of two- and three-measure subphrases, Theme III is constructed in the same
way as earlier themes. There are also similarities in melodic contour: the anacrusis returns, here
similar to the opening of the first movement with the addition of note a perfect 5th below, R2 then
returns in eighth notes, and the phrase ends with a two-note slur. The first phrase of the theme is
shown in Example 4-37:
Example 4-37: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 139-41
139

arco

24

24


arco

139

mf

R2

R2

24

24

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Yet another new rhythmic motive (R4) consisting of four sixteenth notes is presented in the
accompaniment beginning in m. 174. R4 is combined with one of Muczynski's fingerprints, the 0134
tetrachord, and presented simultaneously in both hands beginning on different pitches (F and C).

113

Example 4-38: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 174-75


174
al

q = 80

ff


ff

174

al q = 80

R4

R4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

This combination is presented numerous times in subsequent measures.


The development section ends with a retransition beginning in m. 182 in which the R1/x1
combination and octave leaps from Theme Ib are recalled.
Recapitulation and Coda. The recapitulation is quite brief, consisting of one statement of the
opening theme followed by several measures in which the anacrusis and R2/x2 combination are
juxtaposed to serve as a transition to the coda. After a one-measure rest (a grand pause is not
indicated in the score), the coda opens with several statements of the R2/x2 combination. What
follows R2/x2 is of particular interest: instead of an falling arpeggiated triad as we have seen
throughout the movement, we find two pitches a tritone apart.

114

Example 4-39: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 209-10


209 a tempo
arco

( = c. 80)


arco

209 a tempo (q = c. 80)

R2/X2

poco

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

As the violin enters Theme II at m. 216, the piano line contains a series of two-note slurs in the left
hand as the right hand embellishes the slur with an upper neighbor. Prior to the final chord is one of
Muczynskis fingerprints, a scale created by the placement of two adjacent 0145 tetrachords.

Harmony
Bitonality: The alternation of bitonal sections and sections that are not bitonal provides
harmonic stability and instability within the first theme group. With its scalar content and triadic
motion from F major to C major to F major, the melodic line of Theme Ia is clearly in the key of F
major. The first appearance of Theme Ia is accompanied by a highly chromatic countermelody that
uses the pitches of the G harmonic-minor scale and a G pedal point. The G-minor tonality is more
clearly fixed in the themes second appearance through the repeated bass line motion I IV I
VII I. As the chart below indicates, the scales are very close in pitch content:
F major:
G harmonic minor:

F, G, A, B-flat, C, D, E, F
G, A, B-flat, C, D, E-flat, F-sharp, G

115

To connect these tonalities even further, Muczynski uses the modal seventh scale degree in each
voice for coloration. This can be seen in the melodic line (mm. 4, 12) and countermelody (mm. 1, 5)
throughout the theme area.
Although the A-flat in the second measure of Theme Ib would indicate a move to the minor
mode, the pitch is instead the fourth scale degree of the new key of E-flat major in the melodic line.
(D-flat is used as melodic inflection in the second measure of the theme and returns to the correct
D-natural in subsequent measures.) Bitonality is again featured as the bass line played by the cello
uses the first five notes of the F-minor scale exclusively, and the countermelody in the piano
emphasizes GF and B-flatC root motion. In the last measure, all three voices move to F major
to parallel the motion that ended Theme Ia.
Beginning at m. 33, Theme Ia returns in octaves, leading the listener to conclude that the
end of the opening section of the piece is imminent. However, only the first three measures of the
theme are presented, accompanied by a long-held D-flat open fifth in the bass to provide a new
instance of bitonality. In mm. 35-37, yet another bitonal relationship is presented in a sixteenth-note
passage that alternates arpeggiated C-sharp-major and A-minor triads.
Harmonic stability is achieved in the last section of the first theme group. Here, Theme Ia is
presented unambiguously in the key of D major. The melodic line here uses the pitches of the D
major scale (with the modal seventh scale degree for color, as in the previous appearances of the
theme) as the violin plays a repeated open 5th on D. Meanwhile, a sequence of perfect 4ths in the
top voice of the piano moves harmonically from V9 I as the bass line consists of a dominant pedal
point with a lower neighbor at the end of each two-measure unit (this is a variant on a fingerprint
noted in Chapter 2).

116

Example 4-40: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 38-40


38

3
8

2
4

2
4

3
8

f
arco

3
8

3
8

marc.

38
3
8

mf secco
(R.H.)

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

Bitonality is also present in Theme III as the strings present the theme in E-flat major over a
walking bass line in the piano that features a syncopated ostinato figure consisting of the first five
pitches of the F-minor scale. The effect created by the bass line in this passageand indeed the
pitch contentis the same as the cello line in Theme Ib. Note that there is a mistake in the score;
the first beat in m. 138 in the piano part is printed as an F-flat. This F-flat to A-flat motion is
inconsistent with the octave motion found elsewhere in this section, and indeed the same figure two
measures later. This pitch should be an A-flat, as indicated in Example 4-41.153

When asked if this was correct, the composer wrote, of course, its A-flat and not F-flat,
but since there is a similar L.H. shortly after, I am certain any literate musician would see the
contradiction! Muczynski, Tucson, AZ, letter to author, 7 November 2002.
153

117

Example 4-41: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 137-41

139

Pi mosso (h = c. 96)
q

( .=

h)

arco

24

24

arco

Pi mosso (h = c. 96)

139

C
24

f
mf

C
24

( .= )

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In the second appearance of Theme III (m. 154ff), the piano presents the theme in A-flat
major as the violin repeats a figure centered around the pitch C that reinforces the new key.
Bitonality is maintained, however, as the cello repeats a three-measure ostinato figure I V VII in
D dorian, and the left hand of the piano has its own nine-beat ostinato pattern consisting of three
arpeggiated seventh chords in D dorian.
The third appearance of Theme III is a particularly striking section in which the violin and
cello present the theme in A-flat major and D major simultaneously while the piano repeats an
ostinato consisting of two 0134 tetrachords beginning on F and C. The resulting polytonality creates
a tremendous amount of harmonic instability before the opening thematic material returns in a
bitonal fashion with the melody in A-flat major and the accompaniment in D major. The section
concludes with the harmonic stability of F minor in all four voices.
Scales: As noted in Chapter 2, Muczynski tends to use scales for coloristic and soloistic
purposes rather than in a systematic way. In this movement, the uses of these scales are
comparatively few and significantly more important. The most common scale in his oeuvre, created
by the placement of two adjacent tetrachords, is not found until the recapitulation:
118

Example 4-42: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 174-81


174

al

q = 80

ff


ff

174

al q = 80

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In this passage, the tonic-dominant relationship between the bass notes of each tetrachord, C and F
(enhanced here by the fact that the hands do not play in unison), solidifies the key of F. In addition,
the use of D-flat, E-flat, G-flat, and A-flat in the accompaniment give a much stronger connection
to the violin line than would a diatonic scale.
The 0134 tetrachord can also be understood as an extension of the R2/x2 combination seen
throughout the movement. As if to emphasize the connection between these motives, Muczynski
presents them in combination in mm. 215-16 in preparation for the final measures of the piece.

119

Example 4-43: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 215-16

R2/x2

R2/x2



0134

0134

0134

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

These motives are developed still further as the accompaniment to the final presentation of Theme
II. In mm. 217-24, as shown in Example 4-44, the tetrachord is presented as a series of two-note
slurs, a variant of x2 is played in combination with R2, and the inversion of x2 is embedded within
R4. The piece ends with a scale in the right hand made up of two 0145 tetrachords combined with
R4 and paired with an outline of those motives in the left:

Example 4-44: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 221-28

R2/x2

R2/x2

R2/x2

R2/x2

R4

R4

R4

120

225

sff

225

allarg.

sff

0145

0145

0145

0145

allarg.

0145

0145

sff

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The melodic line of Theme II begins with two two-measure phrases consisting of the
following pitch collections: E, F-sharp, G, A, B-flat, C-sharp followed by G, B-flat, C, D-flat, E-flat.
Together, these comprise an octatonic set, a scale not often used by Muczynski. Each subsequent
occurrence of the melodic line includes transposed versions of the same sets. However, when placed
together, the two-measure phrases do not necessarily make up an octatonic set. For instance,
beginning in m. 64, the pitches that comprise the two phrases create the following set: C-sharp, Dsharp, E, F-sharp, G, G-sharp, A, A-sharp. This validates Cislers observation that these scales are a
result of subjective, not objective intention; the melody creates the scale, the scale does not create
the melody.154
In addition, the repeated C-sharp-minor triads that accompany the themes first occurrence
do not share the octatonicism of the melodic line. Nevertheless, the pitches that make up the triad
C-sharp, E, G-sharpare those on which the first three appearances of the melodic line begin.

154

Cisler, 99-100.
121

Rhythm, Tempo, and Meter


Themes I and II employ regularly changing meters but retain a consistent eighth-note pulse.
Each theme, however, has a distinctive metrical quality. In Theme I, the 2+3/8 meter of the third
movement is mutated into alternating measures of 2/4 and 3/8, thus transforming the meter into
2+2+3/8. This change allows R1 to return in a new metrical framework and retain its syncopated
quality.
In the first two appearances of Theme II, the rhythm continues to shift between triple and
duple meter, in this case alternating measures of 3/4 and 2/4. In 3/4 measures, the 4+2/8 (or
2+1/4) rhythmic pattern is pervasive; when combined with 2/4 measures, a 2+1+2/4 rhythm
results. The first stable meter comes in the third and fourth appearances of Theme II, in each of
which the first six measures are in 3/4 before the alternating 3/4 and 2/4 measures return. The
stability is short-lived as the second measure of each two-measure unit contains hemiola through the
strettic use of melodic motive x3.
Example 4-45: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 64-67
x3

64

3
4

p sost.
3
4

cresc.

p sost.

cresc.

x3

64
3
4

34

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

The structural divisions within the development section roughly correspond with changes in
the metrical organization thereof. After the reprise of Theme Ia with its regularly changing meter,
mm. 98-109 fall into a consistent 6/8 rhythm. The second section of the development begins and
122

ends in 9/8 as Theme II is developed; in between, the development of Theme Ia contains both 9/8
and 6/8 measures. Theme III brings with it a new meter (cut time) and new tempo (pu mosso h = c.
96).
Just three measures after the new tempo has been established, however, 2/4 meter is
indicated and continues throughout the rest of the development and returns in the coda. This
change in meter allows for smaller subdivisions, including a one-measure triplet in the melodic line
in mm. 144 and 160, and the repeated sixteenth-note accompaniment (R4) beginning in m. 174. It
also allows for a simple elision into the recapitulation with its alternating 2/4 and 3/8 measures.
Thus, the momentum continues, as Muczynski indicates, until the very end [of the movement].
Otherwise, the effect is rather sluggish and robs the music of its intended vigor and excitement.155

Texture, Dynamics, Register, Articulation


Texture, dynamics, register, and articulation work in conjunction with other musical
elements to delineate thematic material, the overall musical form of the movement, and sectional
changes within each theme group. To emphasize the irregular meter of Theme I, each appearance is
highlighted with accents, downbows, or both in all voices. For instance, in mm. 38-45, Theme Ia is
played by the cello f e marcato as the violin reinforces the 2+2+3/8 character of the melodic line and
the piano accents the beginning of each two-measure grouping.

155

Muczynski, letter to author, 28 February 1994.


123

Example 4-46: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, 38-45


38

3
8

2
4

2
4

3
8

2
4

f
arco

3
8

3
8

2
4

marc.

38
3
8

mf secco(R.H.)

2
4

3
8

3
8

2
4

2
4

2
4

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

2
4

2
4

3
8

2
4

3
4

3
4

3
8

2
4

3
8

3
8

3
4

3
4

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

In the second theme area, certain elements create a spaciousness that provides a significant
contrast with the rest of the movement. The theme features a sostenuto melodic line, rests and long
held notes in the accompaniment, and a dynamic that generally ranges from p sempre to mf
(although there is a brief f indicated in mm. 70-72). The percussive nature of the first theme is
reduced in the second to a series of C-sharp minor triads played by the piano. In addition, frequent
crescendi and diminuendi replace the constant f dynamic that characterized the first theme area.

124

Within the development section, contrast is achieved through frequent changes in texture,
dynamics, register, and articulation. There are two particularly creative uses of these elements within
the development section. The section begins with a p restatement of the opening material that
makes a crescendo to a sf variation of Theme Ia played col arco by the strings. As this melodic line is
presented beginning in m. 98, the piano is instructed to lightly play a series of staccato open seventh
chords in contrary motion. The effect is like that of cascading waterfalls: a wash of sound without a
clear tonal center.
Example 4-47: Muczynski, First Piano Trio/iv, mm. 98-105
98

arco

sf

sf

sf

sf

sf

sf

arco

(f )

(lightly)
mf stacc.

sf

sf

sf

sf

(mf )

(f )

98

(sim.)

(f )

(f )

(sim.)

1987 Theodore Presser Company, Used by Permission of the Publisher

125

Perhaps the most striking texture, however, begins at m. 168. After the second appearance
of Theme III, in which each of the four voices play single notes, the accompaniment changes
abruptly as the strings play the pitches of an E-flat major triad pu f in quadruple stops accompanied
by a poco allargando. Despite these dramatic changes in dynamic and texture, the melodic line in the
piano is still heard: it is presented in triple unison with a pu f dynamic in the upper register. The
dynamic increases six measures later, as the strings present the melody ff. The overall amount of
sound emanating in the accompaniment remains the same, despite a decrease in dynamic to f,
through the use of sixteenth-note 0134 tetrachords in both hands. A molto crescendo leads to a sff
pedal point in the piano, the melodic line played f, and alternating pizzicati in the strings.

126

CHAPTER V
Summary and Recommendations
Despite the critical acclaim Robert Muczynskis music has received for almost half a century,
academia has generally ignored the composer and his music. During the formative stages of his
career, from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, Muczynski was denied recognition by the
academic musical establishment because he was a traditionalist composer. I am never drawn to nor
enchanted by artificial means to composing a piece using some sort of musical laxative, he wrote.
I am and always have been a composer who writes almost entirely by instinct, impulse, etc.156 This
disregard still affects his reputation today, as shown by the small number of commissions Muczynski
receives, particularly for orchestral music, and the small number of doctoral theses devoted to the
composer, none of which until now have treated the chamber music with piano.
Muczynski's fingerprints, as elucidated in Chapter II, are what make his style so attractive
to performers and audiences. Several of these fingerprints were related to Muczynski's studies at
DePaul with his only composition teacher, Alexander Tcherepnin. These include the use of
traditional formal designs in a highly individual manner, techniques analogous to interpoint, and
scales. Other elements that make Muczynskis music personal and distinctive include widely spaced
harmonies, including the Muczynski chord, a strong and imaginative sense of rhythm, harmony,
and texture, and an instrumental sense of melody. These fingerprints pervade the chamber music
with piano, including the First Piano Trio.

156

Robert Muczynski, letter to the author, July 28, 2001.


127

Form
The First Piano Trio shows how Muczynski uses traditional formal designs in a highly
individual manner. The first and last movements are in sonata-allegro form, each with a new theme
in the development section. In the second movement, Theme III returns in the development section
rather than in the recapitulation. Other individual touches include the quasi-development of the
opening thematic material to begin the first movement, and the first episode material in the sonatarondo second movement played in the original key. The third movement is a simple ternary form
with a middle section of similar character contrasted by tempo and meter.

Themes and Motives


The trio is unified by the rhythmic motive first seen in m. 2, the intervallic combination of
minor 2nd and perfect 4th, and frequent V-I cadences that provide a clear tonal framework. Themes
often begin with simple motives that are transformed into larger structures through repetition and
the restatement of intervallic content. For instance, the melodic line in the main theme in the
Andante movement begins with whole-step motion. As this theme unfolds, this interval expands to
a major 3rd, perfect 4th, minor 6th, and finally octave. Each theme is constructed similarly,
consisting of a series of two- to eight-measure phrases that follow each other in an often irregular
fashion. The range of these melodies is generally less than an octave and a half, but the use of wide
leaps is common. These leaps, along with the frequent use of staccato and marcato articulation, and
effects such as pizzicato and sordino indicate an instrumental rather than vocal approach to melody.

Scales
The first, third, and fourth movements of the First Piano Trio are related through the use of
an F harmonic-minor scale with an added modal seventh scale degree. The bass line in Theme Ia of

128

the first movement is comprised of the scale F, G, A-flat, B-flat, C, D-flat, E-flat, E, as is the
melodic line in Theme I of the second movement. The last four notes of this scale (an 0134
tetrachord) are utilized as part of an octatonic set in Theme II of the first movement and at key
structural places in the fourth movement when placed alongside an 0134 tetrachord beginning on F.
Another scale created by the placement of adjacent 0145 tetrachords is found in the passagework
before the final chord of the piece.

Vertical Interpoint
By Tcherepnin's definition, vertical interpoint is a combination of melodies that alternate
their respective attack points. Muczynski combines two melodies in similar fashion in the First Piano
Trio, as well as combining melody and accompaniment and uniting two accompanimental voices. In
the Interlude section of the first movement, the cello countermelody rhythmically fills in the gaps
between the longer notes of the violin melody to create a composite rhythm of constant eighth
notes. In Theme Ib of the first movement, the melody presented by the strings is alternated in
dramatic fashion with the piano accompaniment. In the third section of the Andante, Muczynski
alternates the attack points of the ostinato accompaniment as the violin and cello take turns playing
segments of a repeated six-note figure.

Harmony
Muczynski combines traditional elements, such as triads, seventh and ninth chords, and
major and minor scales, with nontraditional elements, such as bitonality, octatonicism and the
Muczynski chord, in his compositions. This combination is what accounts for the Frequently in
the First Piano Trio, these elements are juxtaposed in different voice lines to create bitonality.

129

Sometimes, as in Theme Ia of the fourth movement, two scales played simultaneously are relatively
close in pitch content. In other places, the tonalities are a perfect 4th, perfect 5th, or tritone apart.
Five- to twelve-measure ostinati are pervasive in the First Piano Trio. They can create the
sense of mixed meter, as in Theme III of the second movement. They can also signal changes in
pitch center and thematic material, as in the end of the development section of the first movement.
Here, the piano lays the groundwork for a return to the F minor key center and sixteenth note
passagework of the recapitulation through an ostinato pattern of sixteenth notes that outline a triad
on the seventh scale degree. In addition, ostinato patterns can be used to provide harmonic stability.
In numerous places, new key centers are created and sustained, however briefly, through a repeated
V-I bass motion.
New key centers are also defined and stabilized through the use of tonic and dominant pedal
points. These pedals are sustained for as many as ten measures through the technique of holding a
note in the left hand for several measures, then presenting an eighth note or sixteenth note on a
different pitch, then returning to the long-held note for several additional measures. Since the sound
decays the moment the piano is struck, this ingenious technique allows for longer pedal points.

Rhythm and Meter


Much of the excitement in the First Piano Trio comes from Muczynskis imaginative use of
rhythm. A steady eighth-note pulse allows for frequently changing rhythmic patterns, mixed meters,
and additive rhythms. Frequently changing rhythmic patterns are exhibited in the first movement, in
which the eighth-note pulse provides continuity in 2/4, 3/4, 5/8, 6/8, and 9/8 sections, and the
finale with its alternation of 2/4 and 3/8 measures. Only in Theme Ia of the finale are these
changing meters accompanied by Muczynskis signature rhythm, two notes of equal length, in this
case two quarter notes, followed by three eighth notes. Additionally, an inversion of this rhythmic

130

motive is found in Theme I of the first movement, in which three eighth notes are followed by two
pitches with longer note values.
The most common mixed meter in the First Piano Trio is hemiola, found in several places in
the first, second, and fourth movements. Metrical interpoint is utilized extensively in the third
movement, in which a six-beat accompanimental pattern contrasts with the 5/8 melody. A more
complex rhythmic interrelation between the instruments is found in Theme III of the second
movement, in which accents and stress marks transform the rhythm of the melodic line into
3+2+3/8 as the piano repeats a 3+3+3+1/8 ostinato pattern, and the cello plays on downbeats.
Other themes comprised of additive rhythms include the first theme in each of the first two
movements. In the first movement, a 3+3+2/8 rhythm is created over two 2/4 measures by placing
a dotted-quarter note over the bar line. Similarly, a 3+2+3/8 rhythm is created in the second
movement by the placement of a quarter note over the bar line. In addition, each 5/8 measure in the
third movement is subdivided into either 2+2+1/8 or 2+1+1+1/8 meter.

Texture
With the independent use of four voice lines, widely separated three- and four-voice textures
are utilized consistently throughout the trio. As a result, the accompaniment is predominantly linear
rather than chordal, and the triadic and quartal harmonies are usually arpeggiated and played in open
position. In the loudest sections of the finale, however, the strings present triads in triple- and
quadruple-stops. There are no examples of the Muczynski chord, as defined in Chapter II, in the
trio. Notwithstanding, the widely-spaced arpeggiated ostinato pattern accompanying Theme Ic in the
third movement consists of D, A, E, A. These are the same pitches found in a Muczynski chord in
first inversion, although the D is displaced an octave lower.

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Piano Writing
As one might expect from a pianist who has professionally recorded all of his solo piano
music and much of his chamber music with piano, Muczynski writes for the instrument in an expert
and idiomatic fashion. In the First Piano Trio, he utilizes almost the entire range of the keyboard,
employing virtuosic figuration and a variety of distinctive techniques. A compass of more than six
octaves is employed, extending from the highest E-flat to the lowest C on the keyboard. Virtuosity is
achieved through sudden leaps from one register to another (sometimes accompanied by the
sostenuto pedal to hold the lower notes), arpeggiated triads in open position, broken octaves played
either staccato or as two note slurs, and sonorities (triads, open 7ths, and bare octaves) played in
contrary motion. Individual characteristics include the presentation of the melody, countermelody,
or bass line in both hands in octave unison, the highly pianistic placement of two adjacent
tetrachords (usually 0134 and 0145), and the sustaining of a pedal point by moving away from then
back to a long-held note so as not to allow that note to decay entirely.
Despite the technical challenges contained within the First Piano Trio, the pianist must be
careful not to overwhelm the strings in performance. Muczynski wrote that the piano part is a
chamber member which, while it is always prominent, needs to dip in and out from time to time:
from headliner role to background role, etc., or else it becomes a sort of piano concerto
accompanied by one violin and one cello.157

157

Muczynski, correspondence with the author, February 4, 1999.


132

Recommendations for Further Research


Previous research regarding Robert Muczynski's compositions has concentrated on the
piano sonatas and works for woodwinds. Further areas of research might include:
Analyses of Muczynskis solo piano works other than the sonatas;
Analyses of chamber music for strings (including the Second Piano Trio, Third Piano Trio, and
String Trio);
Analyses of chamber music for brass and percussion; and
Analyses of orchestral compositions. Muczynski wrote that he favored orchestral writing but
chose not to do so often because of limited performance opportunities.158 He composed a dozen
compositions for orchestra, including two symphonies, two concertos, and shorter orchestral
compositions.

158

Muczynski, correspondence with author, November 26, 2000.


133

APPENDIX A
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135

Horan, Catherine Anne. A Survey of the Piano Trio from 1800 Through 1860. Ph.D. diss.,
Northwestern University, two volumes, 1983.
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(July/August 1997), 123.
Kirby, F. E. Music for Piano: A Short History. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995.
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_______. American Composer Update. Pan Pipes 75 (Winter 1983): 37.
Lockspeiser, Edward. Debussy. New York: McGraw-Hill (first paperback edition), 1972.
Mauk, Steve. Creative Teaching Techniques: Robert Muczynski's Sonata for Alto Sax and Piano.
Saxophone Journal 19 (September/October 1994): 20-22.
McCalla, James. Twentieth-Century Chamber Music. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996.
Middleton, Norman. Review of Time Pieces, Op. 43, by Robert Muczynski. Charles Stier, clarinet, and
William Bloomquist, piano. Washington Post (December 9, 1987): B4.
Molloy, Michael. Trent Kynaston. Saxophone Journal 17 (March/April 1993): 34-43.
Moreton, Dorothy. Trio Sets Tone for Solid Concert. Tucson Daily Citizen (February 25, 1969).
Morgan, Robert P., ed. Modern Times: From World War I to the Present. London: Grenada Group and
The Macmillan Press, 1993.
Muczynski, Robert. Letters. Fanfare 5 (September/October 1981): 2.
Nicholson, Susan Elaine. Selected Woodwind Works of Robert Muczynski, D.M.A. thesis,
University of Miami, 2000.
Ping-Robbins, Nancy. The Piano Trio in the Twentieth Century. Raleigh, NC: Regan Press, 1984.
von Rhein, John. Review of Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich Cello Sonatas, Centaur 2300. Chicago
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Sadie, Stanley, ed. The Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.,
1988. S.v. Hocket.
Secretary General, Organization of American States, ed. Muczynski, Robert. Composers of the
Americas 9 (1963): 100-04.
Simmons, Walter G. A Muczynski Retrospective. Fanfare 24 (July/August 2001): 62-66.
_______. Muczynski, Robert. In The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, ed. H. Wiley
Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie. New York: Groves Dictionaries of Music, 1986.
_______. Review of Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski, LR-131. Fanfare 8 (March/April 1985): 265-66.
_______. Review of Alexa Still, flute, CD-7144. Fanfare 16 (July/August 1993): 293-94.
_______. Review of Flute Moments, LR-857. Fanfare 22 (September/October 1998): 375-76
_______. Review of Saxophone Masterpieces, RICA-10001. Fanfare 22 (May/June 1999): 312-23.
Smallman, Basil. The Piano Trio: Its History, Technique, and Repertoire. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.
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York: Facts On File, 1995.
Thomas, A.F. Leighton, ed. Review of Impromptus for solo tuba, op. 32; Duos for Flutes, Op. 34;
Voyage: Seven Pieces for Brass Trio, op. 27; and Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, op. 26,
by Robert Muczynski. The Music Review 40 (May 1979): 156-57.
Thomson, Oscar, and Nicolas Slominsky. International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. 9th ed. New
York: Dodd Mead Publishers, 1964. S.v. Muczynski, Robert.
Thurmond, Anne Marie. Selected Woodwind Compositions of Robert Muczynski: A Stylistic and
Structural Analysis of Muczynski's Sonata, Opus 14, for flute and piano, Sonata, Opus 29,
for alto saxophone and piano, Time Pieces, Opus 43, for clarinet and piano, and Moments,
Opus 47, for flute and piano. D.M.A. thesis, University of Georgia, 1996.
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Pasler. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1986.
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South Carolina, 1991.
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137

_______. The Complete Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin: An Essay Together With a
Comprehensive Project in Piano Performance. D.M.A. dissertation, University of Iowa,
1974.
Liner Notes
Muczynski, Robert. Liner notes to Chamber Music of Robert Muczynski. Stereo Recording 3004S,
Columbus, OH: Coronet Recording Company, 1975.
_______. Liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute. Compact Disc 8.559001, Franklin,
TN: Naxos, 1998.
_______. Liner notes to Robert Muczynski: Composer-Pianist In Recital Volume 2. Compact Disc LR 863,
Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 2000.
_______. Liner notes to The Western Arts Trio Vol. 2, Stereo Recording LR 106, Los Angeles: Laurel
Record, 1977.
_______. Liner notes to 20th Century Clarinet Trios. Stereo Recording LR 122, Los Angeles: Laurel
Record, 1983.
_______ and Mitchell Lurie. Liner notes to Lurie and Baker Play Muczynski, Stereo Recording LR 131,
Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 1984.
_______ and Laurie Shulman. Liner notes to Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and
Piano. Compact Disc CRC 2300, Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 1996.
Correspondence and Interviews
Epperson, Gordon. Letter to the author, Tucson, 25 May 1993.
Muczynski, Robert. Letter to the author, Tucson, 20 April 1993.
_______. Letter to the author, Tucson, 28 February 1994.
_______. Letter to the author, Tucson, 22 June 1994.
_______. Telephone conversation with the author, Tucson, 24 June 1994.
_______. Letter to the author, Tucson, 26 November 2000.
_______. Letter to the author, Tucson, 28 July 2001.
Tomatz, David. Telephone conversation with the author, Houston, 2 May 2002.

138

Musical Scores
Muczynski, Robert. Dream Cycle, op. 44. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1985.
_______. Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, op. 26. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co.,
1969.
_______. First Piano Sonata, op. 9. Delaware Gap, PA: Shawnee Press, Inc., 1976.
_______. First Piano Trio, op. 24. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1987.
_______. Masks for piano, op. 40. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1980.
_______. Moments for flute and piano, op. 47. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1993.
_______. Second Piano Sonata, op. 22. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1989.
_______. Second Piano Trio, op. 36. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1982.
_______. Seven for piano, op. 30. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1972.
_______. Six Preludes for piano, op. 6. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1961.
_______. Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, op. 29. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1971.
_______. Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 25. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1968.
_______. Sonata for Flute and Piano, op. 14. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1961.
_______. Sonatina for piano, WoO. New York: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., 1952.
_______. Third Piano Trio, op. 46. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1987.
_______. Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, op. 43. Bryn Mawr, PA: Theodore Presser Co., 1983.
_______. Toccata for piano, op. 15. New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1971.
Tcherepnin, Alexander. Piano Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, op. 48. Mainz, Germany: B. Schotts Shne,
1932.
_______. Trio for violin, cello, and piano, op. 34. Paris: A. Durand, 1925.
_______. Twelve Preludes for piano, op. 85. Frankfurt: M.P. Belaieff, 1972.

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Recordings
Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 14 (1961)
Baker, Julius, flute, and Lisa Emenheiser Logan, piano. Julius Baker In Recital, Volume 1. Compact
Disc VAIA 1022, Pleasantville, NY: VAI Audio, 1993.
_______, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Robert Muczynski: Composer-Pianist In Recital Volume 1.
Compact Disc LR 862, Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 2000.
Coffee, Curtis Webb, flute, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Robert Muczynski, Sonata for Flute and Piano,
op. 14. Stereo Recording 6998, San Francisco: Music Library Recordings, 1961.
Daoust, Lise, flute, and Louise Bessette, piano. Rhythm n Flute. Compact Disc MVCD 1101,
Toronto: CBC Musica Viva, 1997.
Garzuly, Anna, flute, and Dorian Keilhack, piano. Flute Visions for the 20th Century. Compact Disc
HCD 31655, Budapest: Hungaroton, 1996.
Hawley, Alexandra, flute, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute.
Compact Disc 8.559001, Franklin, TN: Naxos, 1998.
Kemler, Kathryn, flute, and Jan Grimes, piano. Virtuoso American Flute Music. Compact Disc 2146,
Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 1993.
Maurer, Laurel Ann, flute, and Joanne Pearce Martin, piano. American Flute Works. Compact Disc
TROY 167, Albany, NY: Albany Records, 1995.
Still, Alexa, flute, and Susan DeWitt Smith, piano. Alexa Still, flute. Compact Disc KIC 7144,
Westbury, NY: Koch International Classics, 1993.
Stinton, Jennifer, flute, and Malcolm Martineau, piano. An American Recital. Compact Disc 13852,
London: Collins Classics, 1994.
Swanson, Philip, flute, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Chamber Music of Robert Muczynski. Stereo
Recording 3004S, Columbus, OH: Coronet Recording Company, 1975.
First Piano Trio, Op. 24 (1966-67)
Robert Davidovici, violin, Carter Enyeart, cello, and Adam Wodnicki, piano. Robert Muczynski: Piano
Trios; String Trio. Compact Disc 2634, Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 2003.
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 25 (1968)
Epperson, Gordon, cello, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Duos for Cello and Piano. Stereo Recording
3001, Columbus, OH: Coronet Recording Company, 1970.
Enyeart, Carter, cello, and Adam Wodnicki, piano. Dzubay, Muczynski, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello
and Piano. Compact Disc CRC 2300, Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 1996.

140

Fantasy Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Op. 26 (1969)

Muhlfeld Trio. 20th Century Clarinet Trios. Stereo Recording LR 122, Los Angeles: Laurel Record,
1983.
Fain, Samuel, clarinet, Gordon Epperson, cello, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Chamber Music of
Robert Muczynski. Stereo Recording 3004S, Columbus, OH: Coronet Recording Company,
1975.
Trio D' Echo. Muczynski, Szunyogh: Chamber Music. Compact Disc HCD 31877, Budapest:
Hungaroton, 2001.
West, Charles, clarinet, Roger Drinkall, cello, and Dian Baker, piano. Trios for clarinet, cello, and piano.
Compact Disc KCD, Boca Raton, FL: Klavier Records, 1998.
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 29 (1971)
Kynaston, Trent, alto saxophone, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Chamber Music of Robert Muczynski.
Stereo Recording 3004S, Columbus, OH: Coronet Recording Company, 1975.
Rousseau, Eugene, alto saxophone, and Jaromir Klepac, piano. Saxophone Masterpieces. RICA-10001,
Bloomington, IN: RIAX, 1999. Also released on Americas Tribute to Adolphe Sax. Compact
Disc 3068. Tucson, AZ: AZ University Recordings, 1999.
Tse, Kenneth, saxophone, and Kari Miller, piano. Kenneth Tse, saxophone. Compact Disc CD 656,
Camas, WA: Crystal Records, 1998.
Second Piano Trio, op. 36 (1975)
Robert Davidovici, violin, Carter Enyeart, cello, and Adam Wodnicki, piano. Robert Muczynski: Piano
Trios; String Trio. Compact Disc 2634, Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 2003.
Western Arts Trio (Brian Hanly, violin; David Tomatz, cello; and Werner Rose, piano). The Western
Arts Trio, Volume 2. Stereo Recording LR 106, Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 1977.

Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43 (1983)

Horn, Andras, clarinet, and Gabor Eckhardt, piano. Muczynski, Szunyogh: Chamber Music. Compact
Disc HCD 31877, Budapest: Hungaroton, 2001.
Lurie, Mitchell, clarinet, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Robert Muczynski: Composer-Pianist In Recital
Volume 2. Compact Disc LR 863, Los Angeles: Laurel Record, 2000. Also released on Mitchell
Lurie, Clarinet, and His Composer Colleagues. Compact Disc CD 737, Camas, WA: Crystal
Records, 2000.
West, Charles, clarinet, and Susan Grace, piano. Clarinet & Piano. Compact Disc KCD 11073, Boca
Raton, FL: Klavier Records, 1996.
Williams, Nathan, clarinet, and Andrea Andrist, piano. Spontaneous Lines: 20th Century American Music
for Clarinet and Piano. Compact Disc TROY 311, Albany, NY: Albany Records, 1999.

141

Third Piano Trio, op. 46 (1987)


Robert Davidovici, violin, Carter Enyeart, cello, and Adam Wodnicki, piano. Robert Muczynski: Piano
Trios; String Trio. Compact Disc 2634, Baton Rouge, LA: Centaur Records, 2003.

Moments for Flute and Piano, Op. 47 (1993)

Beaman, Teresa, flute, and Jane Davis Maldonado, piano. Flute Moments. Compact Disc LR 857, Los
Angeles: Laurel Record, 1998.

Hawley, Alexandra, flute, and Robert Muczynski, piano. Robert Muczynski: Complete Works for Flute.
Compact Disc 8.559001, Franklin, TN: Naxos, 1998.

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APPENDIX B
Compositions by Robert Muczynski
Works List by Genre
CHAMBER MUSIC WITH PIANO
Opus

Title and Date of Composition


American Songs for piano, 4 hands (1952)
Sonata for Flute and Piano (1960)
Fuzette the Tarantula for narrator, flute, alto saxophone, and piano (1962)
First Piano Trio (1967)
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1968)
Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano (1969)
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1971)
Second Piano Trio (1975)
Time Pieces for clarinet and piano (1983)
Third Piano Trio (1986-87)
Moments for flute and piano (1993)

Op. 14
Op. 24
Op. 25
Op. 26
Op. 29
Op. 36
Op. 43
Op. 46
Op. 47

OTHER CHAMBER MUSIC


Op. 4

Op. 11/1
Op. 11/2
Op. 16
Op. 27
Op. 31
Op. 34a
Op. 34b
Op. 45

Allegro Deciso for brass sextet and timpani (1952)


Fragments for flute, clarinet, and bassoon (1958)
Trumpet Trio (1959)
Three Designs for Three Timpani (1960)
Fanfare for Brass and Percussion (1961)
Movements for wind quintet (1962)
Voyage for trumpet, horn, and trombone (1969)
String Trio for violin, viola, and cello (1971-72)
Duos for two flutes (1973)
Duos for clarinet and flute (1973)
Quintet for Winds (1985)

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WORKS FOR UNACCOMPANIED INSTRUMENTS


Op. 18
Op. 32
Op. 42
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Dedication Recessional for organ (1957)


Statements for percussion (1961)
Three Preludes for unaccompanied flute (1963)
Gallery, Suite for Unaccompanied Cello (1966)
Impromptus for Solo Tuba (1972)
Profiles for harpsichord (1982)

G. Schirmer, Inc.
Theodore Presser Co.
Shawnee Press, Inc.
Hinshaw Music, Inc.
Associated Music Publishers
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CONCERTOS
Op. 2
Op. 7
Op. 41

Divertimento (1951)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1954)
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra (1981)

SOLO PIANO
Op. 1
Op. 3
Op. 6
Op. 8
Op. 9
Op. 13
Op. 15
Op. 19
Op. 21
Op. 22
Op. 23
Op. 30
Op. 35
Op. 37
Op. 40
Op. 44
Op. 48

Sonatina (1949)
Five Sketches (1952)
Six Preludes (1954)
Variations on a Theme of Tcherepnin (1955)
First Piano Sonata (1957)
Suite (1960)
Toccata (1961)
A Summer Journal (1964)
Fables: Nine Pieces for the Young (1965)
Second Piano Sonata (1966)
Diversions: Nine Pieces for Students (1967)
Seven (1971)
Third Piano Sonata (1973-74)
Maverick Pieces (1976)
Masks (1980)
Dream Cycle (1983)
Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations) (1994)

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ORCHESTRAL MUSIC
Op. 5
Op. 10
Op. 12
Op. 17
Op. 20
Op. 28

Op. 38
Op. 39

Symphony No. 1 (1953)


Galena: A Town (Suite for orchestra) (1958)
Dovetail Overture for orchestra (1960)
Dance Movements for orchestra (1962)
Symphonic Dialogues (1965)
Charade for orchestra (1971)
Second Symphony (1974)
Serenade for Summer for orchestra (1976)
Symphonic Memoir for orchestra (1979)

FILM SCORES

The Great Unfenced (1963)


Yankee Painter: The Work of Winslow Homer (1963)
American Realists (1964)
Cajititlan (1965)
Charles Burchfield: This Art (1966)
The Clowns Never Laugh (1967)
Terra Sancta (1967)
Bellota: Story of Roundup (1969)
Journey Thru Eden (1975)

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CHORAL MUSIC
Op. 33

Alleluia for chorus (1961)


I Never Saw A Moor for chorus (1967)
Synonyms for Life for chorus and piano (1973)

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Works List by Date of Composition


Opus
Op. 1
Op. 2
Op. 3
Op. 4
Op. 5
Op. 6
Op. 7
Op. 8
Op. 9
Op. 10
Op. 11/1
Op. 11/2
Op. 12
Op. 13
Op. 14

Op. 15
Op. 16
Op. 17
Op. 18
Op. 19
Op. 20
Op. 21
Op. 22
Op. 23

Title and Date of Composition


Sonatina for piano (1949)
Divertimento for piano and orchestra (1951)
Five Sketches for piano (1952)
Allegro Deciso for brass sextet and timpani (1952)
American Songs for piano, 4 hands (1952)
Symphony No. 1 (1953)
Six Preludes for piano (1954)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1954)
Variations on a Theme of Tcherepnin for piano (1955)
First Piano Sonata (1957)
Dedication Recessional for organ (1957)
Galena: A Town (Suite for orchestra) (1958)
Fragments for flute, clarinet, and bassoon (1958)
Trumpet Trio (1959)
Three Designs for Three Timpani (1960)
Dovetail Overture for orchestra (1960)
Suite for piano (1960)
Sonata for Flute and Piano (1960)
Alleluia for chorus (1961)
Statements for percussion (1961)
Fanfare for Brass and Percussion (1961)
Toccata for piano (1961)
Movements for wind quintet (1962)
Dance Movements for orchestra (1962)
Fuzette the Tarantula for narrator, flute, alto saxophone, and piano (1962)
Three Preludes for unaccompanied flute (1963)
score for the film The Great Unfenced (1963)
score for the film Yankee Painter: The Work of Winslow Homer (1963)
A Summer Journal for piano (1964)
score for the film American Realists (1964)
Symphonic Dialogues (1965)
score for the film Cajititlan (1965)
Fables: Nine Pieces for the Young for piano (1966)
Gallery, Suite for Unaccompanied Cello (1966)
score for the film Charles Burchfield: This Art (1966)
Second Piano Sonata (1967)
Diversions: Nine Pieces for Students for piano (1967)

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Opus #
Op. 24

Op. 25
Op. 26
Op. 27
Op. 28
Op. 29
Op. 30
Op. 31
Op. 32
Op. 33
Op. 34a
Op. 34b
Op. 35
Op. 36
Op. 37
Op. 38
Op. 39
Op. 40
Op. 41
Op. 42
Op. 43
Op. 44
Op. 45
Op. 46
Op. 47
Op. 48

Title and Date of Composition


First Piano Trio (1967)
I Never Saw A Moor for chorus (1967)
score for the film The Clowns Never Laugh (1967)
score for the film Terra Sancta (1967)
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1968)
Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano (1969)
Voyage for trumpet, horn, and trombone (1969)
score for the film Bellota: Story of Roundup (1969)
Charade for orchestra (1971)
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1971)
Seven for piano (1971)
String Trio for violin, viola, and cello (1971-72)
Impromptus for Solo Tuba (1972)
Synonyms for Life for chorus and piano (1973)
Duos for two flutes (1973)
Duos for clarinet and flute (1973)
Third Piano Sonata (1973-74)
Second Symphony (1974)
Second Piano Trio (1975)
score for the film Journey Thru Eden (1975)
Maverick Pieces for piano (1976)
Serenade for Summer for orchestra (1976)
Symphonic Memoir for orchestra (1979)
Masks for piano (1980)
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra (1981)
Profiles for harpsichord (1982)
Time Pieces for clarinet and piano (1983)
Dream Cycle for piano (1983)
Quintet for Winds (1985)
Third Piano Trio (1986-87)
Moments for flute and piano (1993)
Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations) for piano (1994)

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