:: The articles in this series were originally
:: published in Daniella Thompson on Brazil.


The Boeuf chronicles, Pt. 14

Cycle II ends with a mystery.

Daniella Thompson

25 June 2002

“The Waltz Dream” by George Grosz

The first cycle of Le Boeuf sur le Toit concluded with tune no. 7. Now, with clock-like precision, tune no. 14 brings the second cycle to a close.

Manoel Aranha Corrźa do Lago’s structural analysis, published in the Latin American Music Review (see an adaptation of his Table 4 here), provides this overview of the second cycle of Le Boeuf:

Cycle II

Rondo 5
1. “Gaścho” [Corta-Jaca] (section A)
2. “Flor do Abacate” (section A)
Rondo 6
1. “Tristeza de Caboclo” (sections A+B)
2. “Maricota, Sai da Chuva” (section A)
Rondo 7
1. “Carioca” (section A) + “Escovado” (section A)
2. “Escovado” (section A) + “Carioca” (section A)
Rondo 8
1. “Ferramenta” (section A)
2. Waltz [unknown no. 1]

Tune No. 14: Waltz (unidentified)

As in Cycle I, the fourth iteration of the rondo theme in Cycle II is followed by Ernesto Nazareth’s “Ferramenta,” which in turn yields to another tune before the third cycle begins.

This final tune of the cycle is a lovely waltz, still unidentified. In Cocteau’s ballet it accompanied the policeman’s dance and is therefore known as “La Danse du Policeman.” In Louis de Froment’s recording of Le Boeuf sur le Toit, the waltz begins at 7:26 minutes.

It has been suggested by several musicologists and musicians that “La Danse du Policeman” contains a quotation from Chopin’s Barcarolle. Pianist and composer Glenn Jenks provides a precise orientation:

The quote from Chopin is from bar 15 of the Barcarolle and it occurs in Le Boeuf 5 bars before rehearsal letter Q in the four-handed piano score, primo part (LH), just at the end of the first half of the unidentified waltz (Danse du Policeman). I can hear it in the orchestral score as well. Listen for parallel sixths.

I’m afraid this will be the shortest of the Boeuf chronicles. With luck, some reader might stumble upon this page and solve the mystery.



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