A Book of Burlesques

A Book of Burlesques

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A Book of Burlesques by H. L. Mencken

Published:

1916

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A Book of Burlesques

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Book Excerpt

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[Illustration: Musical Score]

A pedal point on B flat is heard at the end of this fugue, sounded fortissimo by all the brass in unison, and then follows a grand pause, twelve and a half measures in length. Then, in the strings, is heard the motive of warning:

[Illustration: Musical Score]

Out of this motive comes the harmonic material for much of what remains of the composition. At each repetition of the theme, the chord in the fourth measure is augmented by the addition of another interval, until in the end it includes every tone of the chromatic scale save C sharp. This omission is significant of Kraus' artistry. If C sharp were included the tonality would at once become vague, but without it the dependence of the whole gorgeous edifice upon C major is kept plain. At the end, indeed, the tonic chord of C major is clearly sounded by the wood-wind, against curious triplets, made up of F sharp, A flat and B flat in various combinations, in the strings; and from it a sudden m

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