I would like some insight into what could be said of this piece in regards to anything that is generally spoken of a piece when it is being analyzed or critiqued.

It is called El Viaje Imaginario by Federico Ibarra (

) and I like it quite a lot. I am not asking for an indepth analysis but just something that could point me in the right direction so I could appreciate it better.

So far all I can seem to discern is that it is probably in minor key, and its tempo oscillates between slow and fast. The piano and clarinet mainly play arpeggios instead of chords.

  • 4
    Actually, clarinets never play chords. – user19146 Dec 10 '16 at 7:24
  • The instrumentation is rather unusual, but it's exactly the same as for Olivier Messiaen's famous quartet, and the general texture seems very similar as well. It might be a homage. – Kilian Foth Dec 10 '16 at 8:19
  • How about this? That first violin part is unbearably boring. – General Nuisance Dec 10 '16 at 17:43

The title is "Imaginary Voyage," and it seems like a nice piece of tone-painting, as the music chugs along (with the repetitive falling minor third in the violin (and eventually elsewhere) sounding either like a siren approaching and receding or the oscillation of wheels on a train or car.

It is neither major or minor, although that falling third might sound minor by itself. The tonality seems to be dominated by symmetrical scales (whole tone, etc.) that give a sense of floating motion -- very appropriate for a voyage of the imagination.

That's what I'm getting from the first 5 minutes. Ibarra seems to be writing in the style of Stravinsky, Bartok, et al., what a musicologist might call "interwar modernism." This style was about to be eclipsed in Europe by much more extreme avant-gardism, but it remained a typical style globally; indeed, you can write stuff like this today and not be seen as a pasticheur.

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