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A performer's guide and new critical edition of Frank Martin's

"Quatre Pieces Breves"

Item type text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)

Authors McCabe, Brent Poe

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Bell & Howell Information and Learning

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Brent Foe McCabe

Copyright © Brent Poe McCabe 2000

A Dociiment Submitted to the Faculty of the

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document prepared by Brent Poe McCabe

entitled A Pprformer's Guide And New Critical Edition Of Frank

Martin's Quatre Pieces Breves

and recommend that it be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the Degree

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Date / 1
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I hereby certify that I have read this document prepared under my direction and
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AIR 52
AIR 64


1. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.1-2 .. 24

2. Martin, Chaconne, p.2, in.1-9 25
3. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.3-5 .. 26

4. Martin, Trio, p.17, 2m. after r.6 26

5. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.10-13 27

6. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.14-16 28

7. Martin, Quatre Pieces Braves, Plainte, m.1-16 . 29

8. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Gigue, m.1-10 ... 30
9. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Gigue, m.34-37 .. 30
10. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.3-4 .... 33
11. Martin, Leeb Manuscript, Prelude, m.3-4 34
12. Martin, piano score, Prelude, m.3-4 34
13. Martin, revised edition. Prelude, m.3-4 35
14. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.21 36
15. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Prelude, m.21 36
16. Martin, piano score, Prelude, m.21 36
17. Martin, revised edition, Prelude, m.21 37
18. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.38 37
19. Martin, piano score. Prelude, m.38 37
20. Martin, revised edition. Prelude, m.38 ,38

21. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.39-44 ,38

22. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Prelude, m.39-44 .... ,39

23. Martin, piano score. Prelude, m.39-44 ,39

24. Martin, revised edition. Prelude, m.39-44 .... ,40


25. Martin, Universal Edition 1, Plainte, m. 16-20 40

26. Martin, Universal Edition 2, Plainte, m.16-20 41
27. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Plainte, m.16-20 41
28. Martin, piano score, Plainte, m. 16-20 42
29. Martin, revised edition, Plainte, m.16-20 44
30. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.1-2 45
31. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m.1-2 45

32. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Gigue, m.1-2 45

33. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.26 45
34. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Gigue, m.26 46

35. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m.26 46

36. Martin, revised edition, Gigue, m.26 ,47

37. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.82-end ,47

38. Martin, Leeb meinuscript, Gigue, m.82-end .48

39. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m,82-end .48

40. Martin, revised edition, Gigue, m.82-end .50


This three-part study traces the history and chronology of

Frank Martin's Quatre Pieces Breves, provides an introduction
to Martin's compositional style, and examines elements of the
work in regard to their significance for the performer. This
study also addresses the discrepancies between the various
sources of Quatre Pieces Breves, defines the role of Martin's
collaborators, and justifies the new critical edition, which
is based upon the author's conclusions.

Frank Martin's 1933 piano score; GUITARE-Quatre Pieces

Breves, published by Universal Edition in 1976, number UE
15041, is used as the primary interpretive model for the new
critical edition because the author believes it preserves the
composer's original intentions regarding this work. The
result is a new, more authentic interpretation that is
designed to serve as an alternate to the current, published



One of Switzerland's foremost twentieth-century composers,

Frank Martin enjoyed a long, productive career. His large
catalog of work encompasses a wide range of musical forms and
genre, from the most simplistic folk arrangements to
symphonic, oratorio, and operatic works written on a grand
Frank Martin was born the last of ten children in the
Suisse Romande (French-speaking) area of Switzerland on
September 15, 1890, which makes him a contemporary of
Martinu, Prokofiev and Ibert among European composers of this
period. Martin was the son of a prominent Calvinist minister
whose French ancestors had fled Huguenot persecutions and
settled in Geneva where Frank Martin not only grew up, but
spent a major portion of his adult life.^
At an early age Martin displayed an unusual talent for
music. As a member of a large and active musical family, he
was often requested to perform or to accompany singers or
other musicians. His parents, who advocated a well-rounded
education, were encouraged to provide him with formal music

^ Charles W. King "Frank Martin: A Bio-Bibliography." New York:

Greenwood Press, 1990.

lessons. Martin's first and only instructor was Joseph

Lauber, a strongly conservative composer and professor at the
Geneva Conservatory. Professor Lauber refined Martin's piano
technique and also gave him a solid foundation in the basics
of composition.
After World War I, Martin lived in Zurich, Rome and Paris.
In 1926, having returned to Geneva, he participated in the
congress on rhythmic musical education convened by Emil
Jacques-Dalcroze. First as a pupil and, after a period of
two years, as a teacher of rhythmic theory at the Jacques-
Dalcroze Institute, working closely with its founder and
director. At the same time he was active as a pianist and
harpsichordist; he lectured on chamber music at the
conservatory and was director of the private music school
Tehnicum Modeme de Musique. From 1943 to 1946 he was
president of the Swiss Musicians Union. In 1946 he moved to
the Netherlands, first to Amsterdam and then to Naarden. From
1950 he held a composition class at the Cologne Hochschule
fiir Musik. In the 1960's, to an increasing extent, Martin
traveled all over the world performing his works. The
growing public regard for him at home and abroad was
reflected in many prizes and honors, and his work came to

enjoy a firm place in the repertories of orchestras and



This three-part study traces the history and chronology of

Frank Martin's Quatre Pieces Breves (1933), provides an
introduction to Martin's compositional style, and examines
elements of the work in regard to their significance for the
performer. It also addresses pertinent notational and
interpretive issues through a comparative study of four
relevant scores.
Chapter one covers the significant events that led to the
composing of Quatre Pieces Breves and identifies the
chronology of 9 different scores (3 are lost). It also
describes the interesting circumstances that led to the
numerous arrangements of QuaCre Pieces Breves. For this
study, I have used four scores: the Herman Leeb manuscript,
Universal Edition 1 and 2, and Martin's piano arrangement.
These four sources constitute the foundation for the new
critical edition.

^ Bernhard Billeter . "Frank Martin" In The New Grove Dictionary

of Music and Musicians, 715-718. New York: Macmillan, 1980.

Chapter two summarizes Martin's philosophy regarding

tonality, atonality, cind serialism. It also provides a
structural analysis of Quatre Pidces Breves, which
incorporates stylistic and compositional techniques from the
years c.1925-33. Two compositions in addition to Quatre
Pieces Breves served as stylistic reference: Trio sur deux
melodies populaires irlandaises (1925) and Chaconne pour
violoncelle et piano (1931-32).
Divided into three categories, early, middle cind late,
Martin's work exhibits identifiable characteristics that
outline the evolution of his style.^ Some of his early
characteristics include Schoenberg-inspired chromaticism and
12-tone techniques, and J.S Bach's sequential and motivic
designs. Frank Martin's middle period, from c.1933-40,
features an increased use of chromaticism, distant key
modulation, thematic metamorphosis, and 12-tone procedures
that unify entire compositions. Martin's late period
incorporates techniques from his earlier periods, but expands
them to include bravura, passages requiring virtuosic writing
and a greater sense of technical refinement. Quatre Pieces
Breves, written in 1933, is the last composition from
Martin's early period. It represents one of his finest
achievements, utilizing many of the stylistic traits that

^ Janet Eloise Tapper "Stylistic Analysis of Selected Works by

Frank Martin." Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1964: p. 4.

characterize this period. In my analysis, I have utilized

the principles of functional harmony and form and additional
concepts that are closely allied with Martin's compositional
style, such as, pantonality, thematic metamorphosis, and a
modified 12-tone technique.
Part three is a comparative study of the four scores.
Inconsistencies in notation, interpretation, and re-writings
will be noted. The result of this research is a new critical
edition (found in Appendix 2) which demonstrates that the
piano score more accurately reflects Frank Martin's original
interpretation for Quatre Pieces Breves. Editorial
suggestions for slurs and fingerings are also included.


Frank Martin's Quatre Pieces Brdves is widely considered

within the guitar community to be one of the most significant
guitar works of the early twentieth century. It is imique
because it is the first composition to consistently use
modern compositional techniques for the guitar during this
period.'' Quaere Pieces Breves also pioneered a new trend for
a repertoire previously dominated by Spanish Romanticism. The

Tom and Mary Anne Evcins. "GUITARS." New York: Facts on File,

music of Torroba, Tedesco, and Turina formed the basis and

foundation of Segovia's public performances. This music
recalled an earlier style of writing, whereas, Martin's work
utilized the innovative techniques and concepts of leading
figures of the day, such as Stravinsky and Schoenberg.
Quatre Pieces Breves was written for and dedicated to
Andres Segovia while he lived in Martin's native city,
Geneva. According to Frank Martin's widow, Maria Martin, a
score was sent to Segovia in 1933. However, the composer
never received any confirmation or thank you note.
Subsequently, when the two met in the street one day, Segovia
greeted Martin with a short au revoir eind walked the other
way as if to avoid discussion.^ Therefore, it was Martin's
assumption that Segovia either did not like the piece, or he
considered it unplayable.
It is my contention that Segovia decided Quatre Pieces
Breves was too complex for guitar audiences in the early
1930s. His foremost priority at this time was to establish
the guitar as a major concert instrument, which initially
required a more accessible repertoire. He was also more
interested in composers who were willing to write in a
Romantic or Neo-classical Style. Segovia's rejection of
Quatre Pieces Breves is unfortimate because his acceptance

^ Jan de Kloe. "Frank Martin's Quatre Pieces Breves: A

Comparative Study of the Available Sources." Soundboard 20 (Summer
1993): p.20.

would undoubtedly have elevated the status of the work and

given it International recognition. It may also have led to
more solo guitar compositions from Martin, as well as from
other influential twentieth-century composers. As a result
of Segovia's rejection, Martin's guitar piece remained
neglected for several years. However, in 1933-34 Martin made
an orchestral and piano arrangement of Quatre Pieces Breves.
The orchestral arrangement was premiered in 1934 by the Swiss
conductor, Ernest Ansemet and the piano version was
performed by Martin (he was an accomplished pianist) at
various times prior to the guitar premiere.® Nevertheless,
Martin did find a performer for the guitar work, Austrian
guitarist, Herman Leeb. Leeb premiered Quatre Pieces Breves
in Laren, the Netherlands on October 9, 1947.
Quatre Pieces Breves was first published by Universal
Edition in 1959, edited by Karl Scheit. Prior to
publication, Quatre Pieces Breves underwent a process of
evolution. Following the 1933 guitar composition, an
orchestral arrangement and a piano version were written in
1933-34. Numerous guitar versions appeared at various times
leading to the 1959 publication. The original guitar
manuscripts were copied for Andres Segovia, Herman Leeb, and
Jose Azpiazu, (as well as for Universal Edition). Leeb and
Azpiazu conferred with Martin and made their own adaptations.

® Ibid., p.21

Presumably, Martin accepted these alterations which included

notational additions, deletions, and rhythmic changes. The
fact that Martin wrote the same material for different media
indicates that he considered the essential material to be
malleable. It is thus reasonable to assiime that this view,
combined with his limited understanding of the guitar allowed
him to be willing to accept performers' suggested
alterations. After Segovia's original recognition, Martin
was surely interested in suggestions that might lead to the
performance of his piece.
General interest in Quatre Pieces Breves did not occur
until several years after its publication by Universal
Edition. Julian Bream's albxm, "20th-century Guitar,"
released in 1966, was largely responsible for initiating this
interest. The album was the formal, debut recording of
Quatre Pieces Breves (Jose de Azpiazu previously recorded
Quaere Pieces Breves for Swiss radio in 1951) Bream used
the Universal Edition for his recording.® Apparently, he and
other guitarists were not aware of the existence of the other
sources at that time.
In the early 1980's a copy of the Herman Leeb manuscript
began to circulate within the guitar community. Some
guitarists consider it to be the true interpretive model for

' Ibid., p.20

® Julian Bream, 20th Century Guitar, RCA LM/LSC 2964, 1965.

Quatre Pieces Breves; in many respects this is justifiable

because it was the score used by Herman Leeb for the premiere
in 1947. It also corresponds, in part, to Martin's original
sketches. Nevertheless, there are still unexplained
alterations between this score and the other arrangements.
Possibly, Martin's intent was to simplify areas he thought
problematic. His unfamiliarity with the guitar and its
technical capabilities perhaps led to these changes.
Regardless of the motive, Martin prepared the Leeb manuscript
for a premiere performance, and later, publication, which
was his primary consideration.
As noted above, the 1959 Universal Edition was the primary
interpretive model prior to the emergence of the Leeb
manuscript. The Universal Edition differs from the Leeb
manuscript in that the first, third, and fourth movements
contain re-written sections. There are also interpretive and
notational variances between the two versions. Due to the
growing popularity of the Leeb manuscript. Universal Edition,
under pressure to accovint for the apparent discrepancies
between the two scores, was inclined to publish a second
edition of Quatre Pieces Braves in 1987. Prominent changes
include facsimile excerpts from the first (bar 40-end) and
fourth movements (bar 82-end) of the Leeb manuscript, a five-

bar ossia section (bars 16-20) in the third movement, and a

brief historical preface. Other changes include:

Prelude: bar 5, a natural on the last note; bar 8, Lent

above first beat and an accent mark below the low E; bar 10,
replaces p with p doux; bar 11, adds f on the high A; bar 24,
adds cres. under the first group of three notes; bar 34 adds
sf before the accent.
Air: bar 1, parentheses around the p; bar 5, below the
staff, mains doux (less soft); bar 7, parentheses around the

Plainte: bar 5, a tie between beat two and three; also bar
5, add an accent over the A; bar 7, a tie between beat two
and three; bar 16, adds ff under the first chord; bar 19, a
natural on the C in beat 2; last bar, corrects the typo; s to
sourd (deaf).
Coime une Gigue: bar 20, the accent of the high A# is
changed to Martin's personal double accent; bar 24, an accent
under the last note; bar 28, adds dim. under the second half
of the bar.^
Currently, performers are divided in their choice between
the three interpretive options: The Leeb manuscript, the
original Universal Edition, or the second Universal Edition
score. However, I consider there to be a more reliable
option. Frank Martin produced a 1933 piano score which he
performed himself. He has never altered this score.

3 Jan de Kloe. "FRANK MARTIN'S QUATRE PIECES BRilVES: A Comparative

Study of the Sources." Soundboard 21 {Fall 1993): p.27.

Therefore, this study will provide an edition that

includes an examination of the piano score, while also
considering elements of both Universal Edition's and the
Herman Leeb manuscript.


This chronology of Quatre Pieces Breves will begin with a

brief overview and discussion of nine scores from 1933-87:
(Msl) Martin's first complete manuscript is kept in the home
of his widow, Maria Martin. (Msla) The manuscript given to
Segovia which is now lost. (Mslb) The manuscript given to
Herman Leeb. (Ms2) The score incorporating Herman Leeb's
changes; it was used for the premiere performance in 1947.
(Ms2a) Martin sent this score (now lost) to the music
division at Radio Suisse Romande for a recording by guitarist
Jose de Azpiazu. (Ms3) This score contains Azpiazu's
modifications, (addition of fingerings, chord revisions, slur
markings, and harmonics) to make it more playable. (Ms3a)
Azpiazu hand copied his modified version for the director of
Radio Suisse Romande, Jean-Marc Pasche, which was returned to
Martin. (Ms3b) Azpiazu sent his version to Universal
(Ms4) Martin prepared a final version of Quatre Pieces
Breves to be submitted for the 1959 publication. Karl

Scheit, editor of guitar music at Universal Edition, was

given the responsibility to edit this final version, much to
the disappointment of Azpiazu who felt slighted. In 1959,
following the first publication of Quatre Pieces Breves, Jose
de Azpiazu was stunned to find an edition that was, despite a
few incidental changes, an exact duplication of his modified
version.Recognizing his own product, he wrote to Martin
and Universal Edition for an explanation. He presumably
never got one. (Ms5) A second Universal Edition was
It is likely that Martin sent Azpiazu's setting of Quatre
Pieces Breves to Universal Edition rather than his own. This
is probable since Azpiazu's score contained notation favored
by guitarists: fingerings and slur markings appropriate for
performance. Also, Martin was in the process of having his
complete works published by Universal Edition and was busy
preparing many other scores. Therefore, it is a strong
possibility that to save time Martin simply recopied
Azpiazu's performance-ready score.


Comparative Study of the available Sources." Soundboard 21 (Fall 1993):
p. 26.


Msl - Martin's first complete manuscript kept at the home of

Maria Martin, 1933.
Msla - The manuscript given to Segovia in 1933.
Mslb - The manuscript given to Herman Leeb in 1938.
Ms2 - The score that incorporates Leeb's changes.
Ms2a - The score that Martin sent to the Radio Suisse Romande
for Jose de Azpiazu's performance in 1951.
Ms3 - Azpiazu's modified version, 1951.
Ms3a - The copy of Azpiazu's modified version that was sent
to Martin in 1951.
Ms3b - The modified version that Jose de Azpiazu sent to
Universal Edition in 1955, believing they would publish
Ms4 - The second Universal Edition, 1987.


This second part of the study begins with a brief siimmary

of Martin's philosophy regarding tonality, atonality, and
serialism. It also includes a structural analysis of Quatre
Pieces Breves that incorporates stylistic and compositional
elements from Frank Martin's "early period," (1925-33).


Through a collection of personal statements from the

composer, the following section helps to clarify Martin's
thoughts regarding tonality, atonality, and his adaption of
Schoenberg's 12-tone serial technique. The compositional
insight derived from his quotations will also serve as a
valuable reference for succeeding chapters of this study.
According to Janet Eloise Tupper:

Frank Martin feels that a tonal basis in music

is necessarily present due to the acoustical
fact of the overtone series. Therefore, no
matter how diffuse his harmonies may become,
there is an insistence upon some kind of
tonality. Many degrees of tonality are
present, and different means are used to
establish them. Vertical chord structures
may imply tonality through the tension and
relaxation of chords around a chord base or
tone. In addition, the horizontal formation
of a tonality that was present in some early
music, as in a Bach solo partita or in

Gregorian Chant, has once again become

increasingly important.

Although Martin was an admirer of Schoenberg's 12-tone

serial technique, his musical aesthetic would not allow him
to embrace fully the concept of atonality. He felt that the
abandonment of tonality would deny the composer an enormous
wealth of musical styles from past centuries. It was also
his belief that a composer could easily become reliant on the
ready-made system of rules corresponding to the 12-tone
system. A reliance that could become a form of entrapment
within the very system whose fundamental goal was one of
Although Martin rejected the idea of atonality at a very
young age, he considered the 12-tone technique a valuable
enrichment to his compositional style. He explained as
Partial use of the 12-tone technique has
helped me free myself from acquired customs
and ready-made fomulas. Where I never could
follow Schoenberg was in the area of
atonality, against which I place my entire
musical feeling. Considering atonality, I
have the same feeling as before an
architectural work in which the calculation of
the gravitational support is not carefully
done; as before a world in which there is no
vertical, no horizontal, in which even the
right angle is unknown.^2

Janet Eloise Tupper "Stylistic Analysis of Selected Works by

Frank Martin," p. 11.

Martin continues his views on the 12-tone system:

The associations with the Row teach us to
think and write in a new language, which
everyone must create for himself according to
his own feelings. The first thing that we
learn from it is the use of especially rich
melodies. Their richness is a product of the
utilization of all twelve chromatic tones
before the return of the first note. The
search for such melodies attracts us out of
the familiar roads of tonal or modal melody
and makes us extraordinarily sensitive to the
return of the melody upon itself.

In conclusion, Martin describes his thoughts on musical

aesthetics: "In music the result is beauty; in mathematics,
truth. The mathematical truth is compulsive and
indisputable. Beauty, however, must convince. In art there
is no other proof of success than the judgment of one's own
inner feelings, than the consent of inner feelings."^'®

Ibid., p. 13.
Ibid., p. 13.
Ibid., p. 14.


This section provides a comprehensible, practical analysis

which guitarists may easily utilize for concert performance.
Although an in-depth analysis is beyond the scope of this
paper, major structural areas will be highlighted on the
basis of form, melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic significance.
The Prelude from Quatre Pieces Breves demonstrates
Martin's early use of 12-tone melodic construction which
illustrates evidence of Schoenberg's influence in Martin's
music of the early 1930's. Example 1 shows how freely Martin
adapted the principles of 12-tone composition and applied
them within a tonal framework that is essentially B-natural.

Ex. 1. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.1-2



The Chaconne pour Violoncelle et Piano, written in 1931,

also exhibits similar, Schoenbergian influence. The piano
bass line utilizes a freely constructed 12-tone row, but
clearly suggests an A tonal center through a fifth-related
series of bass notes: c#-f#-b-e-a. Therefore, Martin adheres
to certain principles of tonal composition.

Ex. 2. Martin, Chaconne, p.2, m.1-9

Adafln •- «

Theme P4


Modified 12-cone bASS 9*-

BASS notes are CIFCH relAC«D

Canon Cncronce


A noticeable trait of Martin's compositions is the

complexity of rhythmic and metric design. His early works in
particular exhibit a strong tendency toward asymmetrical
rhythmic accents and a compoimd division of triple meter:
6/8, 9/8, and 12/8. Martin's stay in Paris c.1925, and
subsequent association with the Jacques-Delcroze Institute

for rhythmic theory undoubtedly had a great effect on this

aspect of his compositional style.
In example 3, from the Prelude of Quatre Pieces Breves,
the cadence is set off rhythmically by the faster note values
in 9/8 meter with an embellishing melodic line sequentially
related to the opening motive. Martin frequently utilizes a
compound division of triple meter to introduce new sections
and phrases.

Ex. 3. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.3-5

Another good example of Martin's use of polymeters is

shown in his Trio sur des melodies populaires irlandaises,
written in 1931-32:

Ex. 4. Martin, Trio, p.17, 2m. after r.6

Poco stringcndo

-i-r-ii in ' - * 1, . • s» ,„ K • . • ar

Poco ilringcndo

ft *it H J' j -j_ B J J = "J-J' gj -R-n' K yJ|J ^ J J -

#: * O (t •

H J ff 1* ir-rM -8-^^
is r r ~ ~T= r.T ' j

As previously stated (p.4), Martin frequently uses the

technique of thematic metamorphosis. This procedure allows
the composer to alter original themes or motivic units,
inorder to sustain interest in the basic material. In
example 5 the essence of the metamorphosis is through varied
repetitions of the opening motive (see ex.1). There are
interpolations of new tones and occasional reversals of
direction in the line. However, there is still an obvious
similarity between this theme and that of the original.

Ex. 5. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.10-13


ILL trrs rrtenu

I 4


The melodic contour of Martin's early period suggests a

vocal influence through its typically balanced, linear
phrasing with a central arch, and somewhat limited range.
These phrases are often unified through the use of sequence.
Martin also creates thematic unity by including common
intervals between themes, thus achieving a subtle
correspondence of design.

Example 6 shows how the opening motive appears

sequentially in the middle, Vite section of Quatre Pieces

Ex. 6. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Prelude, m.14-16

The Prelude from Quatre Pieces Breves is essentially a

monothematic piece that is divided into three main sections.
Martin achieves unification by extending the opening motive
through thematic metamorphosis, rhythmic variety, and the use
of a similar cadential structure.
The third movement, "Plainte" (lamentful), is also a
monothematic work. Martin varies the length of the
ornamental, loosely-phrased melodic line giving it an
improvisational quality (see ex. 7).

Ex. 7. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Plainte, m.1-16

Sim Icntcur
rrh en dehors

F ^ '-F ^ h F ^ '
femprr urpegg.

I — n . n ^ i — . - n ^ r a i J!n?3-JTn

-4- ' a.11

J'jjuiH 7

un piKo mm

pi" p

The intervallic range of the melody is very small, moving

primarily in conjunct motion. Occasional leaps of a third,
one leap of a fourth (the climax in m.ll), and a decending
fourth are introduced to provide melodic contour to an
otherwise registrally limited opening line. Thus, the main
item of interest is rhythmic variety. However, Martin
successfully achieves a sorrowful mood, which, as the title
suggests, is the primary expressive theme.

The Gigue of Quatre Pieces Breves is also constructed on a

loosely formed, 12-tone pattern. The first ten measures of
the movement are unaccompanied creating their own tonality in
a manner much the same as Bach does in his partitas which
rhythmically stress the tonic and dominant. See example 8:

Ex. 8. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Gigue, m.1-10

Con moio •

r r r f rr
lutti legato

'•j ^ 4
r r

The overall form of the Gigue is an A B A form which

employs a three-octave, three-note motive as the beginning to
the main theme in the first section. It also signifies a
return to the tonic throughout the movement. Transposition
of this motive allows a tonal contrast in the B section as
the phrases incorporate repetition and sequence. The first
few bars of the B section are shown in example 9:

Ex. 9. Martin, Quatre Pieces Breves, Gigue, m.34-37




In 1933, after a series of preliminary sketches, Frank

Martin completed the first copy of Quatre Pieces Breves.
Martin then presented the work to Andres Segovia, whom he
envisioned giving the premiere performance. He hoped Segovia
would add the work to his touring, concert repertoire.
Unfortunately, this never transpired. It was not until 1947
that Quatre Pieces Breves received it's formal guitar
premiere. However, during the interim Martin made a piano
and an orchestral arrangement of the work, each of which was
performed in the year it was written, in 1933 and 1934

As previously outlined in chapter 1 there were several

versions of Quatre Pieces Breves that preceeded the 1959
publication. Although some scores were lost, i.e., the score
written for Segovia and the copy Martin sent to Jose de
Azpiazu, the existing scores differ sufficiently to create a
degree of confusion as to Martin's original compositional
intent. Currently, the versions most commonly used for
performance are the Herman Leeb, (1938) Universal Edition 1,
(1959) or the second Universal Edition (1987). The
discrepancies between these commonly used versions raise the
question of which score most accurately represents Martin's
true intentions.

It is my belief that the piano score of Quatre Pieces

Breves has not received adequate attention from guitarists
and historians. After all, Martin performed the work several
times on the piano prior to the guitar premiere in 1947. And,
today's piano score remains identical to its first
arrangement in 1933 (the same interpretive terminology,
phrasing, etc.). This would indicate that Martin had a clear
idea of his artistic and compositional goals for Quatre
Pieces Breves, which he initially expressed through the
piano. Why then, were there so many variances in the
subsequent guitar scores? As with most questions there are
many possible answers. However, it is my hypothesis that
Martin notated the guitar scores according to what he
presiamed easiest for guitarists to comprehend, even if it
sacrificed some of his original interpretive ideas. Karl
Scheit, guitar editor for Universal Edition, may have also
encouraged Martin to simplify areas to make the piece more

playable. In addition, while there were a few extraordinary

virtuosi at the time, it is relevant to note that guitarists'
technical abilities were not generally as strong as they are
today. This fact along with Martin's desire to have the work
performed may explain some of his interpretive flexibility
and subsequent modifications.


The intention of this chapter is to support my contention

that Frank Martin's 1933 piano arrangement represents the
most reliable interpretive source for Quatre Pieces Breves.
Through a comparison of four scores (Leeb manuscript,
Universal 1,2, and the piano arrangement), specific sections
are identified based on their inconsistencies with the piano
arrangement. The principal revisions that I have made are
located in the first, third, and fourth movements, modeled
after Martin's piano score. Appendix A will provide a list
of notational additions and corrections which have been
included in appendix B, the revised score of Quatre Pieces
The following discussion introduces the changes I've made
based on comparisons of specific passages from the
aforementioned scores. The first comparison takes place in
bars 3-4 of the Prelude. The following examples are
extracted from the Universal, Leeb, and piano scores.

Ex. 10. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.3-4


Ex. 11. Martin, Leeb Manuscript, Prelude, m.3-4

Ex. 12. Martin, piano score. Prelude, iti.3-4

Plus vile

In bar 3 the primary issue is note duration. Karl Scheit

(Universal Edition guitar editor) notates the first three
beats as an eighth-note figure, without tying the notes.
Similarly, the Leeb manuscript also indicates eighth-notes,
but includes a quarter-note sustain on beat one. In the
piano score, however, the notes are tied so that it sustains
for ten counts, serving as a pedal harmony to the melody.
This produces a greater emphasis on the overtone quality of
each note, thereby enhancing the overall sonority of the
figure. On the guitar, this effect can easily be duplicated
with a fifth-position arrangement of the figure, accompanied
by the appropriate notation for the sustaining notes.
Universal Edition and the Leeb manuscript omit several of
Martin's phrase markings. In most instances the groupings
are apparent; the contour of the melody clearly defining the
beginning and ending. In other instances, the absence of
specific phrase indications can make accurate interpretation

difficult, such as bars 3-4 of the Prelude. In bar 3 the

melody line suggests a phrase ending on the eleventh beat,
with the new phrase beginning on beat twelve, leading into
the 9/8 passage of bar 4 {see example 10). However, in the
piano score, Martin notates a phrase mark for beats eleven
and twelve (bar 3, c#-d#), followed by the three-phrase
groupings of the sixteenth notes. By clearly indicating that
the phrase ends on c#, Martin implies a downbeat resolving
tone rather than simply a pick-up note to the Plus Vite
passage. Therefore, the inclusion of this phrase mark will
serve to eliminate any subjective interpretation that might

Example 13 illustrates the revised version of bars 3-4:

Ex. 13. Martin, revised edition, Prelude, m.3-4

VI Plus vile

The next comparison is located in the Vite section of the

Prelude, bar 21. The following excerpts are from Universal
Edition, the Leeb manuscript, and the piano score.

Ex. 14. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.21


Ex. 15. Martin, Leeb manuscript. Prelude, m.21

Ex. 16. Martin, piano score. Prelude, m.21

This comparison is similar to the previous one in that the

main issue is also bass note sustain. In Ex. 14, Karl Scheit
notates each eighth-note equally, as shown in the Universal
Edition example. This would require the interpreter to
dampen the E, A, and G# (beats 1, 5, and 7), inorder to
prevent the notes from ringing throughout the measure. At a
quick tempo this dampening technique is very difficult to
execute and is also unnecessary. The Leeb manuscript and
piano score, allow the bass notes to sustain, creating a
distinct accompaniment to the melody. The revised version of
bar 21 utilizes the Leeb manuscript notation, but extends the
duration of the fifth-beat A, in compliance with Martin's
piano score.

Example 17 illustrates the revision of bar 21 of the


Ex. 17. Martin, revised edition. Prelude, m.21


In examples 18 and 19 I will compare bar 38 of the

Prelude. The excerpts are from Martin's piano score and
Universal Edition (Leeb's manuscript is identical to
Universal Edition).

Ex. 18. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.38

nrr ft

Ex. 19. Martin, piano score. Prelude, m.38


The Universal Edition example complies with the piano

score in that beats 4-9 exhibit the same voice leading
arrangement; a repeating B, C#, and D bass figure. However,
unlike the piano score. Universal Edition does not double any

of the chordal notes. In part, Karl Scheit's decision is

understandable; the bass notes (B, C#, D) cannot be doubled
within the context of the measure and the additional octave,
E, would appear to confuse the voice leading. However, when
positioned on the first line, the integrity of the line
remains intact and ultimately gives the passage a fuller,
chordal texture. Example 20 illustrates the revision of bar
38 of the Prelude.

Ex. 20. Martin, revised edition. Prelude, m.38

The last manuscript and score comparison of the Prelude

takes place in a six-bar transitional section, entitled Lent.
The following examples are extracted from the Universal
Edition, Leeb, and piano score.

Ex. 21. Martin, Universal Edition, Prelude, m.39-44


Ex. 22. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Prelude, m.39-44

L«iU I Vite Ldit _

\emprr sr

Ex. 23. Martin, piano score. Prelude, m.39-44


From the examples shown it is clear that there are

variances between scores. Notational differences occur
between the Leeb excerpt, and both piano and Universal
Edition excerpts. The Universal Edition example follows more
closely to the piano score, whereas the figure preceding the
trill in the Leeb excerpt utilizes a sixteenth note pattern
rather than triplets, (see Ex. 22) and alters the rhythmic
stress of the figure.
I believe the Universal Edition is more reliable than the
Leeb manuscript, however it does not account for the lower
octaves indicated in the piano score. This is unfortunate
because the octaves, particularly when combined with the
trill, add a completely different character to the section.
Therefore, I have modeled my revision of bars 39-44 after
Martin's piano score (see Ex. 23). The result is a fuller
texture that more authentically represents Frank Martin's

original compositional ideas. Example 24 illustrates the

revised section.

Ex. 24. Martin, revised edition, Prelude, m.39-44


The next section in review is located on p.5, bars 16-20

of the Plainte. Excerpts from Universal Edition 1, Universal
Edition 2, the Herman Leeb manuscript, and the piano score
are used for comparison. Examples 25-28 illustrate the
following excerpts.

Ex. 25. Martin, Universal Edition 1, Plainte, m. 16-20

r II
•J I J >

.t lempit

Ex. 27. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Plainte, m.16-20

—j i jjJQ- jJQ-' i j i J J ^ -
1= § = = = =^ i f - 9 = 1,^ =-JS = -

"F ^ F f ^ 7 f


Ex. 28. Martin, piano score, Plainte, m. 16-20



55, J

As shown in the examples, each score demonstrates its own

interpretive characteristics. Universal Edition 1 takes the
entire passage down one octave. It also employs open string
chords such as the first three beats of bar 16. The second
Universal Edition offers an ossia alternative featuring the
upper octaves similar to both the Leeb manuscript and piano
arrangement. The Leeb manuscript is notated entirely in the
upper register. Martin's piano score incorporates a double
octave figure in the upper stave which is extremely difficult
to accomplish on the guitar, as well as musically
The chord structure of Universal 1,2 and the Leeb
manuscript contain the same notes as in the piano score,
however, there are differences in register and placement. In
bars 16,17, and the first two beats of bar 18, Universal
Edition 1 employs a rolled, open note chord pattern which is
quite easy to accomplish (see Ex. 25). However, I believe

this combination greatly reduces the dramatic quality of the

passage, creating a more mundane effect. The ossia section
of Universal Edition 2 utilizes the upper octaves, but
notates the opening chords in the twelfth position. This
would demand a full bar on the twelfth fret, making clear
articulation nearly impossible. The Leeb manuscript offers a
better solution by leaving the low E and A as open notes,
permitting only a half bar on the twelfth fret. This
achieves a more desirable balance between upper and lower
registers (see Ex. 27).
For the section, bars 16-20, it is my editorial suggestion
to combine elements from the Leeb manuscript and Universal
Edition 1. The first two bars will correspond to the Leeb
manuscript because it utilizes the upper octaves, offers a
more accessible chordal placement, and retains the lower bass
notes. The following three bars will remain in the lower
octaves as indicated by Universal Edition 1. Thus, producing
a contrast of timbre between the two phrases. The revised
bars are illustrated in example 29.

Ex. 29. Martin, revised edition, Plainte, m.16-20

/T1 J"T3 '>1 Tti'n' '~in

^'. [ ' 'L " ^ i 1' .f I
•r r r r r f r ^

The first manuscript and score comparison of the fourth

movement, Gigue, takes place in bars 1-2. The Gigue begins
with an introductory note B, which is repeated three times,
forming the opening motive of the movement. Universal
Edition 1 and 2 present the opening motive in a double octave
format while the Leeb manuscript incorporates a third octave
to the figure. The piano score indicates four octaves for
the opening motive. However, this exceeds the guitar's
range, making it impossible to accomplish. Therefore, the
best compromise would be to employ the Leeb manuscript's
additional octave. Although it is slightly more difficult
than the Universal Edition version, it is still quite
manageable. Examples 30-32 illustrate the different versions
of the Gigue's opening motive.

Ex. 30. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.1-2

Con molo

Ex. 31. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m.1-2

Ex. 32. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Gigue, m.1-2

The A section of the Gigue reaches its climax in bar 26

with the return of the opening motive. Again, the published
Universal Edition score selects the lower register, whereas
the Leeb manuscript utilizes the guitar's twelfth position
placing the high F# on the fourteenth fret. Examples 33-34
demonstrate both versions of bar 26 while example 26, bar 26
of the piano score, is shown for reference.

Ex. 33. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.26


Ex. 34. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Gigue, m.26


Ex. 35. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m.26

y* xemprr

As shown in example 34, the "Leeb" chord exhibits a fuller

texture compared to the Universal Edition example. The notes
are doubled in accordance with Martin's piano score. And,
the guitar's fourteenth fret F# transpositionally matches the
pitch of the piano's fifth-line F#. This chordal format
emphasizes the climax in bar 26 and more accurately complies
with the piano version.
It is my assumption that due to the difficulties of the
upper register chord placement Universal Edition opted for
the easier, second position alternative. However, if the
fifth-line F# is omitted, the chord, while still difficult,
is much more attainable. Example 36 illustrates the revised

Ex. 36. Martin, revised edition, Gigue, m.26

f itmprr

The final comparison takes place in bar 82, the return of

the Gigue's modified A section. The following examples will
demonstrate the significant differences between the Universal
Edition ending, Leeb, and piano endings.

Ex. 37. Martin, Universal Edition, Gigue, m.82-end



Plus lent Ir^ dKlamt


Ex. 38. Martin, Leeb manuscript, Gigue, m.82-end

Tempo I

W W m a'r'rv fv |'f n. Pf'fe

ifuirvatu Jeclame rail, crrtc.

Ex. 39. Martin, piano score, Gigue, m.82-end

Tempo 1

w w w . o

U tj 1 J J [ 1' = =
f = r ^ j1

Plus lent >

As evident in example 37, Universal Edition extends the

ending of the movement. Essentially, the additional nine

bars act more as a recapitulation of the original A material.

Whereas, the endings of the Leeb manuscript and Martin's
piano score function more as a coda rather than an
abbreviated, restatement of the A section. Nevertheless,
either version completely changes the conclusion of the
The justification for Karl Scheit's extended ending of the
Gigue remains a matter of speculation. Certainly, as shown
in the previous examples, it does not comply with Martin's
original piano score or the Herman Leeb manuscript. And, it
is assumed that Martin saw and approved Scheit's Universal
Edition score prior to publication. Then, who was
responsible for this editorial decision? Unfortunately,
there is no documented evidence of this editorial choice and
what role Martin may have played in this decision.
It is possible that Karl Scheit (Universal Edition guitar
editor for Quatre Pieces Breves' 1959 publication) may have
initiated this adaptation. Or, as discussed in chapter 1,
Scheit may have simply recopied the Gigue's ending from Jose
de Azpiazu's version of Quatre Pieces Breves. However,
without concrete documentation, this question, like many
other questions regarding Martin's Quaere Pieces Breves
remains something of a mystery. Therefore, due to the
inconsistencies found within the published edition, it is
imperative for performers to examine the other available
sources prior to making final, interpretive decisions. And,

it is the goal of the present study to initiate further

interest and acceptance towards Frank Martin's 1933 piano
score, which may easily regarded as Quatre Pieces Breves'
original, interpretive model.
Example 40 illustrates the revised ending of the Gigue,
bars 82-end:

Ex. 40. Martin, revised edition, Gigue, m.82-end

Tempo I


UhUt! It J

plui tent' Je'clamf


Frank Martin's Quatre Pieces Breves is one of the most

innovative guitar works of the early twentieth century. It's
complex tonal and harmonic design, which incorporates
Schoenberg's 12-tone techniques, distinguishes Quatre Pieces

Breves from earlier, more conservative guitar works.

Unfortunately, due to Segovia's rejection and several score
alterations from various collaborators, Quatre Pieces Breves
did not achieve immediate recognition. Additionally, it is
the author's opinion that many of Martin's original
interpretive and notational intentions were lost as a result
of this process. Therefore, the purpose of this study has
been to address the discrepancies between the various sources
of Quatre Pieces Breves, define the role of the
collaborators, and to justify the new critical edition which
is based upon the author's conclusions.
In my new edition I have used Martin's 1933 piano score of
Quatre Pieces Breves as the primary interpretive model
because I believe it preserves his original intentions
regarding this work. I have also combined the best ideas of
Martin's illustrious collaborators, creating a new, more
authentic interpretation of this work. I am confident that
this new edition has clarified many of the long-standing
interpretive issues and will serve as an alternate to the

current, published edition.






Bars 1-3: included accent symbols, cresc. markings.

Bar 4: added Piano marking.
Bar 7: added en elargissant from the Leeb and piano scores.
Bar 8: added forte and accent marks.

Bar 10: added rinf. and accent marks.

Bar 11: tres chante over beat 4 and a flat on last A.
Bar 13: dim. under fourth beat.
Bar 27: a sf under the ninth beat.
Bar 29: a sf under the first beat and a dim. under the sixth
and seventh beat.
Bar 3 5: a mf under the fourth beat.
Bar 39: accent mark on the first beat, C.


Bar 6: the first beat F is has been changed to a quarter

note; omit the rest under the second eighth note.
Bar 8: added a 8va. E to the second beat chord.


Bar 1: added tres en dehors and mf.

Bar 2: added sempre arpegg.

Bar 10: added staccato symbols.

Bar 11: the rest over first beat has been omitted.
Bar 24: accent mark and sf on the third beat.
Bar 25: a sf on the second beat.
Bar 26: a Tempo 1 indication has been added and a piano
symbol under the second beat.
Bar 29: accent on the first beat and rail, above the fourth

Bar 31: the first chord has been changed to whole notes with
a hold symbol above. A hold symbol has been added to the E
harmonic and the half-note rest has been omitted.
Bar 32: A ppp symbol.

Bar 35: added quasi gliss., cresc., and tres sourd et tres


Bar 2: added non legato.

Bar 17: added cantabile.
Bar 26: added forte sempre.
Bar 36: added tres chante.
Bar 79: added sempre.
Bar 84: added espress.
Bar 86: added cresc. Mark.
Bar 88: added dolce.




Dour la Guitare Ntmm
^ 1933
cdiitfd by
L Prelude Brent Pue McCahe

Lent VI

® ©

Plus vile


un peu rrtenu

trrs chante

III tres rrtenu


• The rmmbers indicated throughout this score represent editorial

revisions. The corresponding letters (P, L, U) indicate Piano, Leeb,
Universal Edition scores, which the revisions are based upon. The
reference examples may be found at the end of this edition, -editor.


n >

^ [J£f f f f f f



p I p I

i m 11


J mbito
umprt y

II. Air

Lent cl bitn rythm<

iJ d
^P^doux LJ

mains </r;u.r

JV' rrrs Jaux

j'lVrTn..nrm m ij=^
" (a i

HI. Plainte
Sans Icntcur

"!/• semptr arpegg-

j^n • n^j—>u .-ra^rsn JTOS-Jm

j i J b j i a i i j j i j ' j j j / j j j i l l b j .
i:.. 2 J . •i'-i

^ - ' ' 4 } b ' - n=rr^

un pnca nten.

'' P n
1 • ^
l'J• g j 5=1
r "V
^ x:ii-. XII

. ' i H — l i r a — J T lJ T O

jjlT] rr-j"3 , ,
mo/m string.

^ Tempo I

Mu/otin FPP

p S L 9 : 4 p 9

(trh sour4 tt trH bn/J

»^!ii:4l i » 3 ^^
Iquati glut.I

IV. Comme une Gigue

Con moio •
4 VI •

2 ' ^
0 4)

i .'4•T
^ 4
r r i
i p j'siir-'^ 'j'm;-r ,a'

• a pa
-j J.j. • .' -J,: -J-J


^ %emprr


pp tempre

Lirr r r—r

o:t t

r—r rjr

s •)[ "" ^.. J.Td .1 "I'.'I ^,. 1| il.a Vj

a'—^c = i= = = = 1* 3 ^
-r ^ ' r—r r r r-r r r — = /r r-


ti/i poco nt d tempo


" i i tr ifmpre ff •® jn subito


s mm m m m m .nni fii! [CT .nn m ICT m rn p


» r-III
3) P.L
Tempo 1
A If. f^r'T-r.
i r r p [esprruj


I' h' ['"''r-r |f nr g'Ff |f,' ,, j-m^l

—==:ir mf ' ' '•"«/

plus lent' dedame

•0 2\ iS ^ , I
} t. iid %J' ,,-J



[1] P
Piano score, bars 3-4
Pliu vile

[2] P,L
Piano score, bar 21

Leeb manuscript, bar 21

* piKo crrsc.

[3] P
Piano score, bar 38

[4] P
Piano score, bars 39-44


[1] p

Piano score, bar 6


[1] P,L,U
Piano score, bars 16-20

Leeb manuscript, bars 16-20

J J-


Universal Edition 2, bars 16-20



[1] P,L
Piano score, bars 1-2

J ^—• iJ
V wS '

"!/• non Itjtato

Leeb manuscript, bars 1-2

[2] P,L
Piano score, bars 26-27

Tff f C
F -r— f gi*
y umprr
s ^ f
^1—r r ^

Leeb manuscript, bars 26-27


[3] P,L
Piano score, bars 82-end
Tempo I

;4_J ,J

^ i1
" "•/ ^. dokr crrKT.

rr ^ rp if

Ptiu lent • (Wclam<

Leeb manuscript, bars 82-end

Tempo I

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20 (Summer 1993): 19-27.


Comparative Study of the Available Sources." Soundboard
21 (fall 1993): 21-27.

Evans, Peter. "Music of the European mainstream: 1940-1960."

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Oxford UP, 1974.

Evans, Tom and Mary Anne. "GUITARS," p.124. Facts on File,

New York, NY: 1977.

Greene, David Mason. Greene's Biographical Encyclopedia of

Composers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985.

Hamilton, Ian. "Swiss Contemporary Music." In European Music

in the Twentieth Century, 121-22. Routledge & Kegan
Paul, London: 1957.

Jonkers, Hans. "The Guitar in Switzerland." Classical Guitar

11 (July 1997): 14-21.

Kilvington, Chris. "Eliot Fisk plays Scarlatti, Martin,

Ponce, Raffman, Paganini." Classical Guitar 3 (March
1985): 65-66.

King, Charles W. "Frank Martin: A Bio-Bibliography." New

York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

Kozinn, Allen. "The Guitar Literature: Beyond Segovia's

Influence." Guitar Review 58 (Summer 1984): 10-13.

Reich, Willi. "On Swiss Musical Composition of the Present."

Musical Quarterly 51 (1965): 78-82.

Tupper, Janet Eloise. "Stylistic Analysis of Selected Works

by Frank Martin." Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1964.