Daily Archives: May 23, 2014

GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Edvard Grieg – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16


Edvard GriegPiano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Leif Ove Andsnes, piano.
Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Mariss Jansons.

The concerto is in three movements:
  *Allegro molto moderato (A minor)
  *Adagio (D flat major)
  *Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Quasi presto – Andante   maestoso (A minor → F major → A minor → A major)

Edvard Grieg

Cover of Edvard Grieg

The first movement is noted for the timpani roll in the first bar that leads to a dramatic piano flourish. The movement is in the Sonata form. The movement finishes with a virtuosic cadenza and a similar flourish as in the beginning.
The second movement is a lyrical movement in D flat major, which leads directly into the third movement.
The third movement opens in A minor 4/4 time with an energetic theme (Theme 1), which is followed by a lyrical 3/4 theme in F Major (Theme 2). The movement returns to Theme 1. Following this recapitulation is the 3/4 A Major Quasi presto section, which consists of a variation of Theme 1. The movement concludes with the Andate maestoso in A Major (or in A mixolydian), which consists of a dramatic rendition of Theme 2 (as opposed to the lyrical fashion with which Theme 2 is introduced).
Performance time of the whole concerto is around 28 minutes.

Edvard Grieg: Born in Bergen 1843.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Cover of Berliner Philharmoniker

After being taught piano by his mother, he went to the Leipzig Conservatory at the age of 15 to study music where his teachers included Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke. He then lived in Copenhagen and came under the influence of Niels W.
Gade who encouraged him to compose a symphony and there also met fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak who inspired Grieg to champion the cause of Norwegian music. He went on to become his country’s greatest and most famous composer who excelled in many genres including orchestral, chamber, solo piano, vocal and choral. His output of purely orchestral music was small but included
his Piano Concerto, Symphonic Dances and the 2 Suites derived from his incidental music to Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt.”

Painters:
Ludvig Skramstad
Nils Hansteen
Philip Barlag
Ole Juul
Thorolf Holmboe
Sophus Jacobsen
Lyder Wenzel Nicolaysen
Niels Björnson Möller

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MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUOR LIFE SERIES: Symphony No.3 in D-major, D.200 (1815)


Franz Schubert – Symphony No.3 in D-major, D.200 (1815)

Picture: Carlo Bossoli – Paris Bourse

Mov.I: Adagio maestoso – Allegro con brio 00:00
Mov.II: Allegretto 09:35
Mov.III: Menuetto: Vivace 13:54
Mov.IV: Presto vivace 18:04

Orchestra: Failoni Orchestra

Conductor: Michael Halász

The Allegro con brio, which follows a broad introduction in a form which reminds us of the French Overture in two parts, the first slow and dramatic, the second more lyrical, is remarkable for its charm and the interplay of solo clarinet with syncopated strings, which developed pp from within the bounds of the style of chamber music to the larger sphere of the symphonic form. This is an extremely dramatic movement in sonata form. It owes much, as Michael Trapp points out in the liner notes of Günter Wand’s recording, to the influence of Rossini, whose music was quite popular at the time, particularly evident in the overture-like structure.

A delightful Allegretto in ternary form follows, full of grace and humor.

Then comes a high-spirited Minuet, which, with its accented up-beats, suggests a scherzo and a popular flavor due to this low and popular gesture, and is contrasted by a graceful Ländler-like trio.

The concluding Presto in tarantella rhythm is remarkable for its bold harmonic progressions and for its wealth of dynamic contrast. This movement is in sonata form with a looser conception.

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HISTORIC MUSICAL MOMENTS: Clara Haskil: Schumann – ‘Abegg’ Variations, Op. 1


Clara Haskil: Schumann – ‘Abegg’ Variations, Op. 1

Clara Haskil (7 January 1895 – 7 December 1960) was a Romanian classical pianist, renowned as an interpreter of the classical and early romantic repertoire. Haskil was particularly noted for her performances and recordings of Mozart. Many considered her the foremost interpreter of Mozart in her time. She was also noted as a superb interpreter of Beethoven, Schumann, and Scarlatti. Haskil was born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Bucharest, Romania and studied in Vienna under Richard Robert (whose memorable pupils also included Rudolf Serkin and George Szell) and briefly with Ferruccio Busoni. She later moved to Paris, where she started studying with Gabriel Fauré’s pupil Joseph Morpain, whom she always credited as one of her greatest influences. The same year she entered the Paris Conservatoire, officially to study with Alfred Cortot although most of her instruction came from Lazare Lévy and Mme Giraud-Letarse, and graduated at age 15 with a Premier Prix. She also graduated with a Premier Prix in violin. Upon graduating, Haskil began to tour Europe, though her career was cut short by one of the numerous physical ailments she suffered throughout her life. In 1913 she was fitted with a plaster cast in an attempt to halt the progression of scoliosis. Frequent illnesses, combined with extreme stage fright that appeared in 1920, kept her from critical or financial success. Most of her life was spent in abject poverty. It was not until after World War II, during a series of concerts in the Netherlands in 1949, that she began to win acclaim. Well regarded as a chamber musician, Haskil collaborated with such famed musicians as George Enescu, Eugène Ysaÿe, Pablo Casals, Joseph Szigeti, Géza Anda, Isaac Stern and Arthur Grumiaux, with whom she played her last concert. While renowned primarily as a violinist, Grumiaux was also a fine pianist, and he and Haskil would sometimes swap instruments. She played as a soloist under the baton of such conductors as Ansermet, Barbirolli, Baumgartner, Beecham, Boult, Celibidache, Cluytens, Fricsay, Giulini, Inghelbrecht, Jochum, Karajan, Kempe, Klemperer, Kubelík, Markevitch, Monteux, Münch, Paray, Rosbaud, Sawallisch, Solti, Stokowski, Szell, among many others. One of her most prominent performances as a soloist with an orchestra is recording of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 24 in November 1960 with Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux conducted by Igor Markevitch (issued on CD by Philips Classics under No. 464 718-2); this recording features an unusually slow, pensive performance of K466′s part III and a very subtle, highly lyrical and yet, in some way, vigorous playing of K491′s part II. Haskil died from injuries received through a fall at the staircase of a Brussels train station. She was to play a concert with Arthur Grumiaux the following day. An esteemed friend of Haskil, Charles Chaplin, described her talent by saying “In my lifetime I have met three geniuses; Professor Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Clara Haskil. I am not a trained musician but I can only say that her touch was exquisite, her expression wonderful, and her technique extraordinary.” (Swiss Radio interview, 19 April 1961.) The Clara Haskil International Piano Competition is held biannually in her memory. The brochure reads: “The Clara Haskil Competition was founded in 1963 to honour and perpetuate the memory of the incomparable Swiss pianist, of Romanian origin, who was born in Bucharest in 1895. It takes place every two years in Vevey, Switzerland, where Clara Haskil resided from 1942 until her death in Brussels in 1960. A street in Vevey bears her name. The Competition welcomes young pianists from all over the world, who pursue the musical ideal that is inspired by Clara Haskil and which will always remain exemplary.”… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Ha…

A link to this wonderful artists personal Website: http://www.deccaclassics.com/cat/sing…

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TODAY’S SAINT, MAY 23: St. John Baptist Rossi


Image of St. John Baptist Rossi

St. John Baptist Rossi

This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in the diocese of Genoa and was one of the four children of an excellent and highly respected couple. When he ws ten a nobleman and his … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

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TODAY’S HOILIDAY: National Family Month


National Family Month

National Family Month is observed during the five-week period between Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June. It was started by KidsPeace, a private, not-for-profit organization. The organization believes that such observances provide opportunities for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to be more involved in the lives of the children for whom they are responsible. Families are urged to spend time doing things together during this five-week period, whether it is taking a family vacation or simply doing chores around the house. More… Discuss

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QUOTATION: E. M. Forster


 

The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Franz Anton Mesmer (1734)


Franz Anton Mesmer (1734)

Mesmer was a German physician who experimented with an early form of hypnosis, known as “mesmerism.” He developed a doctrine of “animal magnetism,” believing that harmony could be restored in the human body by inducing “crises”—trance states often ending in delirium or convulsions. He carried out dramatic demonstrations of his ability to “mesmerize” his patients using magnetized objects. Accused by Viennese physicians of fraud, he left Austria for France. What scandal plagued Mesmer’s career? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Bonnie and Clyde Ambushed and Killed (1934)


Bonnie and Clyde Ambushed and Killed (1934)

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were notorious robbers who went on a 21-month crime spree in the central US from 1932 to 1934. They captivated Americans during the “public enemy era” and continue to do so today through films and songs. Betrayed by a friend, Bonnie and Clyde were tracked, ambushed, and killed on a desolate stretch of Louisiana highway by a posse of officers using armor-piercing rounds. Though remembered primarily as bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde actually preferred to rob what? More… Discuss

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Thai Army Declares Coup


Thai Army Declares Coup

The Thai military’s imposition of martial law in order to “preserve order and bring back peacefulness” has officially evolved into a full-blown coup. After gathering government and opposition leaders for talks, Thailand’s army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced to the assembled leaders—and shortly thereafter in a televised address to the nation—that he would be taking power, marking the country’s 12th successful coup since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. The constitution has been suspended and nighttime curfews put in place. More… Discuss

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Persephone


Persephone

In Greek mythology, Persephone is the goddess of fertility and, having been taken captive by Hades and made his wife, queen of the underworld. Though Hades eventually allowed her to return to Earth, he first tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds—the food of the dead—thus tethering her to the underworld and making it necessary for her to return to him for several months each year. What changes are said to come over the Earth each time she leaves for or returns from the underworld? More… Discuss

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WORD: mawkish


mawkish

Definition: (adjective) Excessively and objectionably sentimental.
Synonyms: bathetic, hokey, maudlin, schmaltzy, sentimental, mushy, drippy
Usage: His pathos is often exaggerated until it passes into mawkish sentimentality. Discuss.
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