Klarinet Archive - Posting 000258.txt from 1995/03
From: Fred Jacobowitz <fredj@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Yet MORE Weber redux: about that "alla Polacca"...
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 11:25:20 -0500
I don't doubt for a minute that your sources indeed say that
"alla Polacca" means "as a polonaise". However, in asking an italian
about it I was told that (and the Harvard Dictionary of Music
article on the Polonaise confirms this) "polacca" can mean "a Polish
dance". The article further states that "In the 17th and 18th centuries,
under such titles as 'polonez', 'polonesse', 'polska', 'polacca',
'taniec polski', 'galanterie poline', etc., there appeared throughout
Europe a variety of pieces in numerous media, which occasionally but not
necessarily bear some resemblance to the classic polonaise." I will also
double-check this in the Oxford and Groves encyclopedias tomorrow when I
get back into the Peabody Conservatory library. I'll let you know what I
find out. Keep up the commentary. I love a good, well-written letter
like yours are.
On Tue, 7 Mar 1995, Jonathan Cohler wrote:
> Nichelle Crocker wrote:
> >I thought that a polacca was the same as a polonaise. Is it?
> Yes polacca is the Italian word for polonaise.
> >If it is, then why should the tempo vary from another polonaise? If it is no
> >then what is the difference? Any listening suggestions that might help me?
> The marking, "Alla Polacca," means "As a polonaise". A polonaise is "A
> stately, marchlike Polish dance in triple time". So, I would play it with
> that type of character in mind.
> >It appears that the issue of tempo, then, is dependent on the dance character
> >of the movement.
> >I always thought of a polonaise tempo as more stately...
> >Am I mistaken?
> Nope. You're right on the money, as the above definition from American
> Heritage shows.
> Jonathan Cohler