Overture from La Cenerentola Overture from La scala di seta Overture from Semiramide A musical journey which covers 10 years of Opera production of one of the most imitated and admired composers in the history of music, both for the evocative power of his music and for the refined genius that runs through every page of his creations.
Cristiana Pegoraro, pianist who has managed to combine a brilliant international career from the United States to Asia, from Australia to Europe with a humanitarian and civil commitment testimonial Unicef, supporter of Amnesty International and Emergency , with this latest title fulfills a long-meditated project that gives new life to the genre of transcription, often wrongly stated as minor in the production of a composer, emphasizing its complete autonomy and artistic value. He uses three main motives in Also sprach Zarathustra, representing nature, longing, and disgust.
Beyond mankind in reality? Souls are as mortal as bodies. This is a tension that goes unsolved. Also sprach Zarathustra is scored for a large orchestra, including piccolo, three flutes the third doubling piccolo , three oboes, English horn, clarinet in E-flat, two clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet in B-flat, three bassoons, contrabassoon, six horns in F and E, four trumpets in C and E, three trombones, two tubas, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, glockenspiel, bell on low E, organ, strings, and two harps. Holst is one of the most beloved twentieth-century English composers and was a proponent of the Second English Renaissance.
He is most known for his orchestral suite The Planets —16 , and for his oratorio, The Hymn of Jesus The movements are all part of the same work, but each is also self-contained — like a character sketch. There is no program music in them, neither have they any connection with the deities of classical mythology bearing the same names.
If any guide to the music is required, the subtitle of each piece will be found sufficient, especially if it used in a broad sense. Holst opens the suite with Mars, the Bringer of War, started in and completed in , just before the fighting broke out in WWI that August. Holst did not work on or complete the movements in strict order.
Venus, the Bringer of Peace follows, composed at the same time as Jupiter, in the autumn of Venus is a bright point in our skies and has been associated in many cultures with the goddess of beauty and fertility since about 3, BCE. The third movement is Mercury, the Winged Messenger Mercury is traditionally the god of merchants, thieves, and travelers, and his Greek counterpart, Hermes, is also associated with shepherds, luck, and athletes.
As the messenger of the gods, he is responsible for showing the dead the way to the underworld. Holst depicts Mercury with a light scherzo in compound meter , and gives it an unsettled feeling by placing accents on weak parts of the beat. This is the shortest movement. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity depicts the largest planet in our solar system, named for the god of heaven. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age is the fifth movement. For centuries, Saturn was the farthest planet in the solar system and was generally thought of as an old man.
In , after the invention of the telescope, Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. In the astrological context, Uranus is associated with the powers of change, originality, and individuality, as well as with astrology. The final movement is Neptune, the Mystic. Holst uses long held tones in a soft dynamic with slow-moving melodic interjections more atmospheric than concrete to create a sense of endless space unfolding.
The Planets calls for four flutes two doubling piccolo and one also doubling alto flute , three oboes one doubling bass oboe , English horn, three clarinets, bass clarinet, three bassoons, contrabassoon, six horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tenor tuba, tuba, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, xylophone, orchestra bells, chimes, celesta, two harps, organ, strings, and in Neptune an offstage chorus of female voices.
From their first collaboration on Oklahoma! In Carousel, the partners decided to do away with the traditional overture and instead opened the musical with a pantomime scene set to the Carousel Waltz Hammerstein had a fondness for cutting-edge plot elements — Show Boat was the first racially integrated musical — and Carousel was no exception, with its story of an antihero, a concept new to Broadway, and its focus on the issue of domestic violence. The Carousel Waltz is a purely instrumental piece and was originally choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Well-placed use of the triangle and harp arpeggios adds brightness and elegance.
Jalousie: Tango Tzigane Jacob Gade — Gade was primarily a composer of and innovator in the genre of film music. When he was 16 he moved to Copenhagen to study composition. While there, he began conducting at several theaters, including the Palads Cinema, where he worked consistently with a twenty-four-piece orchestra.
Jalousie has two main themes, the first in D Minor and the second in D Major, and both are set over the traditional tango rhythm. Gade conducted the premiere of Jalousie himself at the Copenhagen premiere of Don Q. It is now considered a standard in the repertoire, and has been used in Hollywood several times. The waltz and the Strauss name are inextricably linked. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Strauss II began writing a new kind of waltz — one filled with a new energy and intricacy and set into varying phrase lengths rather than the traditional multiples of four bars.
Strauss continued to use the traditional outline of a slow introduction followed by waltz pairs and finishing with a coda. However, he lengthened the sections to create a larger piece. It is scored for two flutes, piccolo, two clarinets, bassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, percussion, harp, and strings.
The introduction is grand, and the waltzes that follow quote some of the opening gestures. Strauss gives melodic material to the inner voices not standard practice in waltzes , creating an especially rich sound. While he was working on it, Saint-Saens performed sections at the piano for some of his friends, who mostly seemed confused by the work. Discouraged, he put the opera on hold for a while. However, he picked it up again after the successful staging of his opera La princesse jaune in , finally finishing Samson et Delila in Unfortunately, no French theater including the Paris Opera would touch the work because of the treatment of its biblical subject matter, so the premiere was put off until its performance in Weimar the following year.
The exotic Danse Bacchanale is the most frequently performed excerpt from Samson et Delila. It begins with an oboe solo that sets the stage for the orchestra to overlay a soft pulse. Woodwinds and strings carry the dance theme forward, punctuated by the percussion. Weill proposed splitting the lead into separate singing and dancing roles to add a part for his own wife, singer Lotte Lenya. Both Weill and James were estranged from their wives at the time, and this project was meant to serve as an effort at reconciling. The Seven Deadly Sins was written in collaboration with the writer Bertolt Brecht in the midst of intense political uproar.
Brecht and Weill had already collaborated quite successfully in the past, most notably on The Threepenny Opera. In , the project was put on hold briefly while Weill left Germany for Paris to avoid the coming war, and while Brecht moved to Vienna. Later, Brecht followed Weill to Paris.
This was the last big project that Weill worked on while living in Europe; he emigrated to the United States soon after. It was also his last project with Brecht. Weill uses elements from popular music in the Seven Deadly Sins, specifically references to barbershop quartet.
However, he also references classical forms, such as the chorale. The Annas are really two sides of the same person. The Annas are sent away from home by their family to earn money to build a house; they travel to six different cities. Anna II succumbs to sin in each, always in a way that obstructs her goal, forcing Anna I to solve the problem. Capitalist ambition is the greatest Deadly Sin, and ultimately, in a capitalist world, the wages of such sins is success. Seven Deadly Sins opens with the Introduktion: Andante sostenuto. The pace slows a bit for Stolz pride to Allegretto, quasi Andantino.
In this section, the Annas visit Memphis. Anna II has acquired new clothes along with work as an exotic dancer. She tries to elevate what she does to art status, but her customers do not appreciate these efforts. Weill sets this as a waltz. Anna is working at a movie studio, and things seem to be going well.
Then, Anna II sees an act of cruel injustice and reacts rashly, after which she loses her job. Weill sets the action as a foxtrot. While there, the family learns that Anna II has been driving men to commit suicide by ruining them financially. The family worries that the Annas might have become too greedy. The house is finished and they are now reunited with the family. It includes a translation of the text by Chester Kallman and W.
However, Weill went on to have much more success in Broadway. He went so far as to stop listing some of his earlier works to avoid negatively influencing his Broadway career. Seven Deadly Sins is scored for two flutes second doubling piccolo , oboe, two clarinets, bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, piano, banjo or guitar , strings, soprano, and vocal quartet comprised of two tenors, baritone, and bass. The Dies irae derives from a Latin hymn melody traditionally performed as part of the Catholic Requiem funeral Mass.
Rossini - La Gazza Ladra - Trombone Excerpts
Thomas Aquinas, or the Angelicum, around the same time. Gregory the Great, who served as pope in the sixth century. Gregory composed a staggering amount of musical liturgy, helping to codify the repertoire that became known as Gregorian chant. The text of Dies irae is in medieval Latin. It describes the trumpet calling souls before God at the time of the Last Judgment, when the saved will rise into heaven and all others will be sentenced to eternal damnation and hellfire.
Liszt was one of the best performing concert pianists of his time. Despite his self-assured virtuosity as a performer, though, he was not confident as a composer. He was incredibly busy with touring and performing, and therefore had little time for composing.
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A significant portion of his compositional output was necessarily devoted to piano works, especially sets of variations on works by other composers, which he could perform on concert tours. These pieces are technically demanding and featured the pianist Liszt himself heavily. Liszt retired from performing in the late s and accepted a position as a music director. This enabled him to spend more time composing and, more importantly, studying composition.
He was already skilled at writing for the piano, but now he worked hard to develop his orchestration skills. He had a fastidious nature, and would work and rework pieces, seemingly unable to decide when he had gotten them right. Sometimes he even sought advice from veritable strangers, which would then send him back to the drawing board. Scholars can now trace the stages of most of his compositions, and many now exist in multiple versions.
However, as commentator John Mangum points out, another probable source of inspiration for this work is a series of woodcuts illustrating the dance of death. This view is supported by several early writers about the work, some of whom were friends of Liszt. In addition to whichever visual he contemplated while writing Totentanz , Liszt also used the Dies irae theme , and his treatment of it pays proper homage to its origins in plainsong.
Liszt began work on Totentanz in Totentanz is a set of six variations on the Dies irae melody. These sections are lyrical and introspective, and inevitably interrupted. It is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, strings, and solo piano. Petersburg Conservatory.
Unfortunately, he displayed a prodigious lack of interest in practicing, which nearly resulted in the Conservatory withdrawing his scholarship — at which point his uncle, pianist Aleksandr Ziloti, intervened. Ziloti took young Rachmaninoff to the Moscow Conservatory to begin at the preparatory school, where he was accepted into the studio of a notoriously strict teacher, Nikolai Zverev.
From this point on, he made rapid progress, quickly developing a reputation as a performer with an impressive technique, a polished sound, and excellent interpretation skills. Rachmaninoff composed four piano concerti during his career, sometimes with years between his compositions. Like Liszt, his career as a performer interfered with his composition career.
He also frequently conducted. Beginning at nine in the morning I allow myself no respite until after eleven at night. It is a very long piece, about twenty or twenty-five minutes. That is the size of a piano concerto. The theme to which Rachmaninoff refers is from the Caprice No. Paganini reportedly displayed such a freakish facility with his instrument that people who saw him perform attributed to him dark powers, claiming that he must have sold his soul to have achieved such perfection. It was later discovered that Paganini himself planted this gossip about a deal with the devil. The variations are arranged in three broad sections, roughly emulating the fast-slow-fast pattern of a traditional concerto.
In the Rhapsody, Rachmaninoff used several more contemporary techniques, which couched as variations, work really well. First, he uses a touch of pointillism dividing thematic material between several instruments, which together form a sort of composite theme. He also sometimes presents the variation before the theme, a practice that became more popular later in the century. The Dies irae first appears in Variation 7 over the Paganini theme in the bassoons and celli.
He takes us through several more variations, including a sort of loose cadenza, a waltz in the minor tonality Variation Variation 14 is marchlike, but remains in the triple meter of the waltz. This creates an intriguingly unsettling effect. The next three variations move forward with increasing virtuosity. Instead of expanding toward the end as we might expect from Rachmaninoff, he leads us in that direction and then drops unexpectedly with a quick reference to the introduction, showing his humorous side.
The piece is scored for solo piano, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, snare drum, cymbals, triangle, glockenspiel, bass drum, suspended cymbals, harp, and strings. Berlioz is a composer with a somewhat unusual musical background. He was given some instruction on guitar and flute, but his training was less than rigorous.
Berlioz attended medical school briefly in Paris before enrolling, in , in music classes that prepared him for the composition program at the Paris Conservatoire. The first of his four symphonies, Symphonie displays some musical elements that were and still are quite shocking. In this case, this program was much longer and more closely detailed than early audiences would have been used to. This nudges at the delineation between abstract representation and literal depiction — an idea still being explored today.
In September , Berlioz attended a performance of Hamlet in Paris. There he saw the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. It was love at first sight — for him! He also fell in love with the poetry of Shakespeare. Finally, he became engaged to nineteen-year-old Camille Moke. Berlioz promptly plotted their murder, to be followed by his own suicide, but apparently only got as far as Nice before coming to his senses and abandoning the plan. And anyway, he was still in love with Harriet, with whomhe had yet toactually spend any time in person.
He thinks of her obsessively and, despairing of ever being loved in return, tries to poison himself with opium.
Rossini – La Gazza Ladra
Finally, witches — one of which is his beloved — dance on his grave, celebrating his death. That is, he plays with the thematic material, molding and shaping it to fit the context of each use. Un bal is the first hint at literal depiction, describing not so much the feeling of a ball but what it might be like to actually be at one. Berlioz sets this as a lovely duet between English horn and offstage oboe. The bucolic scene is interrupted by disquieting thoughts of the beloved, and the movement is underpinned by the distant thunder of the timpani. These are meant to represent noises coming from the assembled characters.
Listen for it initially in the bells and the low brass. The author imagines that a young musician, afflicted with that moral disease that a well-known writer calls the vague des passions, sees for the first time a woman who embodies all the charms of the ideal being h has imagined in his dreams, and he falls desperately in love with her. That is the reason for the constant appearance, in every movement of the symphony, of the melody that begins the first Allegro.
The passage from this state of melancholy reverie, interrupted by a few fits of groundless joy, to one of frenzied passion, with its gestures of fury, of jealousy, its return of tenderness, its tears, its religious consolations - this is the subject of the first movement. The artist finds himself in the most varied situations — in the midst of the tumult of a party, in the peaceful contemplation of the beauties of nature; but everywhere, in town, in the country, the beloved image appears before him and disturbs his peace of mind.
Finding himself one evening in the country, he hears in the distance two shepherds piping a ranz des vaches in dialogue. This pastoral duet, the scenery, the quiet rustling of the trees gently brushed by the wind, the hopes he has recently found some reason to entertain - all concur in affording his heart an unaccustomed calm, and in giving a more cheerful color to his ideas.
He reflects upon his isolation; he hopes that his loneliness will soon be over. At the end, one of the shepherds again takes up the ranz des vaches; the other no longer replies. Convinced that his love is unappreciated, the artist poisons himself with opium. The dose of the narcotic, too weak to kill him, plunges him into a sleep accompanied by the most horrible visions. He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned and led to the scaffold, and that he is witnessing his own execution.
At the end of the march the first four measures of the idee fixe reappear, like a last thought of love interrupted by the fatal blow. He sees himself at the sabbath, in the midst of a frightful troop of hosts, sorcerers, monsters of every kind, come together for his funeral. Strange noises, groans, bursts of laughter, distant cries which other cries seem to answer. The beloved melody appears again, but it has lost its character of nobility and shyness; it is no more than a dance tune, mean, trivial, and grotesque: it is she, coming to join the sabbath.
The sabbath round and the Dies irae are combined. Following the premiere of Symphonie fantastique, during which Berlioz performed on percussion, Berlioz was finally granted a meeting with Harriet, who was in the audience. She had had no idea before the premiere that the piece she would be hearing was his or that she was its primary subject, and was moved afterwards to reconsider her earlier rejection.
There is no question of our marrying at the moment. I shall never leave her. It is my destiny. She understands me. Yes, I love her! I love her! And my love is returned. Oh, my dear fellow, there is justice in heaven after all! I used not to believe it.
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It is to my art, to my brain, that I owe her love! My beloved symphony! She, she, H. Hers is the heart which answers to mine. The two were married in But the marriage was not followed by marital bliss. The marriage collapsed in The Fantastique, that most amazing of first symphonies, sounds and behaves like nothing ever heard before. Symphonie fantastique is scored for two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, E-flat clarinet, four bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, three trombones, two tubas, timpani, bass drum, field drum, cymbals, chimes, two harps, and strings.
Born in Washington, DC, composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington was the son of pianist parents. He began taking lessons when he was seven. So he called me Duke. Ellington became more serious about the piano in his teens, and at that time began taking lessons in harmony and learning to read sheet music.
Both of these skills enabled him to start gigging. In he was offered a scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for art, but he turned it down in favor of freelancing — putting groups together and playing as much as possible. This took time, of course, but a modicum of success followed.
This turned out to be a fortuitous move, but again, success was not immediate. So by the early s, Ellington appeared to have taken a step back in his career, once again playing whatever gigs he could find and hustling pool on the side. Then finally, Ellington landed a four-year contract with the Hollywood Club — his big break — and it was during this time that his reputation as a bandleader began to solidify. The Cotton Club recorded and broadcast their performances, and this gave Ellington a national audience.
From classical symphonic music concert jazz took something of its character. But concert jazz was more than simply a mix of musical idioms; it was a style that helped to bridge the racial gaps in high society, closely relating as it did to both black and white New York. For the first time in over twenty-five years, Strayhorn appeared on the cover with Ellington.
The cover also presents Ellington, Strayhorn, and Tchaikovsky as equal composers of the Suite. One element that likely contributed to the success of The Nutcracker Suite is the way in which Ellington crafted the individual parts for specific members of his orchestra rather than for a specific instrumentation. This is something he was always excellent at. Unfortunately, the success of the The Nutcracker Suite was somewhat short-lived, and it dropped into relative insignificance.
We are strolling from th Street up Seventh Avenue, heading north through the Spanish and West Indian neighborhood towards the th Street business area … You may hear a parade go by, or a funeral, or you may recognize the passage of those who are making Civil Rights demands.
He commissioned Ellington to write the piece illustrating Harlem, which Ellington accepted and worked on mostly in the spring of However, despite his excellent use as always of jazz idioms, there are certain uniquely classical elements even in the version for big band. This is not unusual for concert jazz, though. Harlem is organized in episodes, each of which describes a different aspect of community life. In sum, for Ellington, Harlem represented a microcosm of African-American experience. Harlem begins with a slow introduction led by a solo trumpet. This opening motive is meant as a musical representation of the word Harlem, and forms the thematic base of the work.
Ellington uses a call-and-response pattern, which influences the texture throughout. Also throughout, Ellington manages to combine jazz and classical elements fairly seamlessly. Ellington leaves plenty of space in Harlem for solo improvisations, and the Harlem motive creates coherence and connectivity across them. The big band and the symphony alternate their statements, though the saxophones are never really missing from the color.
Writing for the symphony orchestra is a technique, you know. Of course. Which was very hard on me. Because I loved the Duke. Most of the connections are not superliteral, though, and can be difficult to spot at first listen. Awarded a posthumous Pulitzer in , Ellington along with Strayhorn is credited with elevating jazz to an art form equal to other traditional and more at least at the time established genres.
Gomez seeks to explore the spirit of ethnicity through the language of contemporary music, highlighting the essence of the various cultures. Currently Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, Paul Schoenfield taught at the University of Toledo shortly after receiving his doctorate. In , Schoenfield premiered his Four Parables with the Toledo Symphony; it has since been championed by many contemporary pianists, including Jeffrey Kahane and Andrew Russo.
Natasha Paremski pays tribute to the 35 th anniversary of the world premiere with this performance. The result was the Four Parables for piano and orchestra written during and Each of the four movements musically treats an actual life encounter along the lines that I imagine an author would develop a story. In this case, almost all the aspects of the music style, harmonic language, texture and even form were determined by the encounters and my own reflections upon them. The murderer had disposed of his victims in a particularly heinous fashion, and now the courts were deciding what further purpose prison could serve a quadriplegic in his seventies.
The gruesomeness of the whole incident raised in me not so much the question of why evil exists, but the teleological argument of why anything exists at all and the irreverent feeling that perhaps we are in some cosmic zoo performing inane acts for our spectators. While living in Vermont I had met a man who was slowly going senile.
In his sounder moments he would reflect on his present condition and his youth. Nostalgically, he would speak of his past vigor, his love of dancing, his life in South America, and how now this had all been taken away. The rituals, which were later related to me, conjured up the form and most of the material of this movement. The performance was supposed to be Monday [about a week earlier].
But they said they realize that one needs time to write a piece like that, and that next year they would try to give me more notice. That rankled me. I gave it some thought that evening and began my score. The piece is skillfully crafted and orchestrated. The Overture follows basic sonata form — the conventional choice at that time.
Mendelssohn opens with a slow and dignified introduction, in which the strings hint at the outline of the main thematic material to follow. This opening motive is repeated and leads into the second theme, presented in the clarinet, bassoon, and celli. The themes appear in order in the development section, and Mendelssohn finishes the Overture with an energetic coda. The Overture is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings. The s, during which this piece was written, was also a very good decade for him; arguably his best works, including Candide and West Side Story, come from this period.
Incidentally, he exceeded in sheer volume composers such as Claude Debussy and Johannes Brahms, landing more in the vicinity of Gustav Mahler or Anton Bruckner. For those who might be unfamiliar, this is an enormous amount of music. Moreover, Bernstein was a master craftsman.
He worked meticulously on each project, and often revised extensively.
Related La Gazza Ladra, Overture (Piano)
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