Russian musical Aristotelism: «The garden of joy and sorrow» by S. A. Gubaidulina in the light of M. I. Lekomtseva’s semiotics
Although «The Garden of Joy and Sorrow» belongs to the most famous works by S. A. Gubaidulina, the function of the recitative coda and its general meaning are not entirely clear. The present article proves that this piece by Gubaidulina belongs to a peculiar Russian Aristotelism as an interpretation of the «golden mean» which needs some reconstruction as an intellectual program. The features of this Aristotelism are analyzed in detail on the example of the research by M. I. Lekomtseva who is one of the prominent representatives of the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school but is still overshadowed by its founders. For all his rationalism, the Tartu-Moscow school proceeded from combining Plato’s doctrine on forms as expressions with Kant’s doctrine on limits of the reason, while Aristotle remained aloof. Lekomtseva did not only turn to Aristotle’s philosophical and rhetorical legacy for some interpretations of poetics, but developed an original interpretation of Aristotle’s doctrine on topoi, thus “reassembling” Aristotelism. This reconstruction avoided a usual image of Aristotle as an encyclopaedist and initiator of sciences, and embedded his intellectual legacy in the context of modernist poetry and modernist music, in which poetics, rhetoric, logic and topic could issue from one and the same intuition or generalized symbol, such as «border», «border crossing», «place», «garden», etc. A careful study of the works by Lekomtseva who gives an original interpretation of linguistic phenomena on the basis of Aristotelism, allows us to clarify the meaning of the movements in Gubaidulina’s composition. The article also proves that the main plot of this composition is the lack of a heuristic comprehension of binary oppositions and poetic images of modernism, the need to overcome high modernism for a more direct expression, and this can be realised via a new reading of Aristotle’s «golden mean» not as a mediation between oppositions but as a provocation directed to establishing a new status and comprehension of creative activity.
Aristotle, S. Gubaidulina, M. Lekomtseva, topic, recitation, coda, symbol, semiotics, Tartu-Moscow semiotic school.
Markov A. Russian musical Aristotelism: «The garden of joy and sorrow» by S. A. Gubaidulina in the light of M. I. Lekomtseva’s semiotics // South-Russian musical anthology. 2020. No 1. Pp. 12–19.