ENRIQUE GRANADOS.- Danzas Españolas
Performed by the Jasper String Quartet
at Soka Performing Arts Center
November 24, 2013
String Quartet Op. 76 No. 5 Joseph Haydn
II. Largo. Cantabile e mesto
III. Menuetto. Allegro
IV. Finale. Presto
The six String Quartets, Op. 76 by Joseph Haydn were composed in 1796 or 1797 and dedicated to the Hungariancount Joseph Georg von Erdödy[n 1] (1754–1824). They form the last complete set of string quartets that Haydn composed. At the time of the commission, Haydn was employed at the court of Prince Nicolaus Esterházy II and was composing the oratorioThe Creation as well as Princess Maria Hermenegild Esterházy’s annual mass.
Although accounts left by visitors to the Esterházy estate indicate that the quartets were completed by 1797, an exclusivity agreement meant that they were not published until 1799. Correspondence between Haydn and his Viennese publishers Artaria reveal confusion as regards their release: Haydn had promised Messrs. Longman Clementi & Co. in London the first publishing rights, but a lack of communication led him to worry that their publication in Vienna might also be, unintentionally, their first appearance in full. In the event, their publication in London and Vienna was almost simultaneous.
The Op. 76 quartets are among Haydn’s most ambitious chamber works, deviating more than their predecessors from standard sonata form and each emphasizing their thematic continuity through the seamless and near-continual exchange of motifs between instruments.
The Quartet No. 64 in D major, Op. 76, No. 5, is sometimes nicknamed Largo because the second movement with that tempo distinction dominates the quartet both in length and in character. The work consists of four movements:
The first movement (in D Major, 6/8 time) departs from the sonata form of the first four to what Robin Golding can only describe as “unorthodox variations”. The second movement, written in F-sharp major in cut time, is in sonata form. The third movement, in D major and D minor, is a standard minuet and trio, while the fourth movement’s D Major, cut time Presto is in an irregular sonata form.
Robert Schumann Kinderszenen, op. 15
Radu Lupu , January 1993
Kinderszenen (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪndɐˌst͡seːnən]; original spelling Kinderscenen, “Scenes from Childhood”), Opus 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838. In this work, Schumann provides us with his adult reminiscences of childhood. Schumann had originally written 30 movements for this work, but chose 13 for the final version. Robert Polansky has discussed the unused movements.
Nr. 7, Träumerei, is one of Schumann’s best known pieces; it was the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Robert Schumann. Träumerei is also the opening and closing musical theme in the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love, starring Katharine Hepburn as Clara Wieck Schumann.
Schumann had originally labeled this work Leichte Stücke (Easy Pieces). Likewise, the section titles were only added after the completion of the music, and Schumann described the titles as “nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation”. Timothy Taylor has discussed Schumann’s choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music in 19th century culture and economics.
Aram Il’yich Khachaturian (/ˈærəm ˌkɑːtʃəˈtʊəriən/; Russian: Арам Ильич Хачатурян; Armenian: Արամ Խաչատրյան, Aram Xačatryan;[A] Armenian pronunciation: [ɑˈɾɑm χɑt͡ʃʰɑt(ə)ɾˈjɑn]; 6 June 1903 – 1 May 1978) was a Soviet Armenian composer and conductor. He is considered one of the leading Soviet composers.
Born and raised in Tbilisi, the multicultural capital of Georgia, Khachaturian moved to Moscow in 1921 following the Sovietization of the Caucasus. Without prior music training, he enrolled in the Gnessin Musical Institute, subsequently studying at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Nikolai Myaskovsky, among others. His first major work, the Piano Concerto (1936), popularized his name within and outside the Soviet Union. It was followed by the Violin Concerto (1940) and the Cello Concerto (1946). His other significant compositions include the Masquerade Suite (1941), the Anthem of the Armenian SSR (1944), three symphonies (1935, 1943, 1947), and around 25 film scores. Khachaturian is best known for his ballet music—Gayane (1942) and Spartacus (1954). His most popular piece, the “Sabre Dance” from Gayane, has been used extensively in popular culture and has been covered by a number of musicians worldwide. His style is “characterized by colorful harmonies, captivating rhythms, virtuosity, improvisations, and sensuous melodies.”
During most of his career, Khachaturian was approved by the Soviet government and held several high posts in the Union of Soviet Composers from the late 1930s, although he joined the Communist Party only in 1943. Along with Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich, he was officially denounced as a “formalist” and his music dubbed “anti-people” in 1948, but was restored later that year. After 1950 he taught at the Gnessin Institute and the Moscow Conservatory, and turned to conducting. He traveled to Europe, Latin America and the United States with concerts of his own works. In 1957 Khachaturian became the Secretary of Union of Soviet Composers, a position he held until his death.
Khachaturian was the most renowned Armenian composer of the 20th century and the author of the first Armenian ballet music, symphony, concerto, and film score.[B] While following the established musical traditions of Russia, he broadly used Armenian and to lesser extent, Caucasian, Eastern & Central European, and Middle Eastern peoples’ folk music in his works. He is highly regarded in Armenia, where he is considered a “national treasure”.
In mid-December 1947, the Department for Agitation and Propaganda (better known as Agitprop) submitted to Andrei Zhdanov, the secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, a document on the “shortcomings” in the development of Soviet music. On 10–13 January 1948, a conference was held at the Kremlin in the presence of seventy musicians, composers, conductors and others who were confronted by Zhdanov:
We will consider that if these comrades [Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Khachaturian, Kabalevsky and Shebalin] namely who are the principal and leading figures of the formalist direction in music. And that direction is fundamentally incorrect.
Thus, Khachaturian and other leading composers were denounced by the Communist Party as followers of the alleged formalism (i.e. “[a type of] music that was considered too advanced or difficult for the masses to enjoy”) and their music was dubbed “anti-people”. It was the Symphonic Poem (1947), later titled the Third Symphony, that officially earned Khachaturian the wrath of the Party. Ironically, he wrote the work as a tribute to the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution. He stated: “I wanted to write the kind of composition in which the public would feel my unwritten program without an announcement. I wanted this work to express the Soviet people’s joy and pride in their great and mighty country.”
Musicologist Blair Johnston believes that his “music contained few, if any, of the objectionable traits found in the music of some of his more adventuresome colleagues. In retrospect, it was most likely Khachaturian’s administrative role in the Union [of Soviet Composers], perceived by the government as a bastion of politically incorrect music, and not his music as such, which earned him a place on the black list of 1948.” In March 1948, Khachaturian “made a very full and humble apology for his artistic “errors” following the Zhdanov decree; his musical style, however, underwent no changes.” He was sent to Armenia as a “punishment”, and continued to be censured. By December 1948, he was “restored to favor later that year when he was praised for his film biography of Lenin”—Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (ru).
The Nutcracker, a celebrated ballet by Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a young girl whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker turns into a prince and leads her to a magical land. In 1954, George Balanchine choreographed and premiered his New York City Ballet version, which was later made into a feature film. Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographed another enormously popular version for the American Ballet Theatre. What novel instrument did Tchaikovsky use in the Nutcracker score? More… Discuss
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Song titles for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker in order:
1. Op. 71 – 2. March 0:00
2. Op. 71 – 4. Dance 2:47
3. Op. 71 – 5. Scene & The Grandfather Dance
4. Op. 71 – 6. Scene
5. Op. 71 – 7. Scene
6. Op. 71 – 8. Scene
7. Op. 71 – 12. Arabian Dance, “Coffee”
8. Op. 71 – 13. Waltz Of The Flowers
9. Op. 71 – 14. Pas De Deux
10. Op. 71 – 15. Closing Waltz & Grand Finale
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937) -composer
Véronique Gen -soprano
John Axelrod -conductor
Loire National Orchestra
Playlist “The art of French song: Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Satie…”: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Ravel was drawn to the sensual allure of the Orient as early as 1898, when he composed the “Ouverture de Shéhérazade,” a work which quotes a Persian melody while drawing on the spiritual ancestry of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sheherazade” of 1888. He returned to its title in 1903 for this cycle of three songs for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, based on the exotic texts of the French poet Tristan Klingsor. With “Shéhérazade,” his first major statement for orchestra, Ravel demonstrates his mastery of muted and climactic orchestral details, while eliciting equal measures of ecstasy and restraint for the human voice.
Like the story in Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous suite, “Shéhérazade” conjures up Eastern tales of indulgence, perversity, death and danger. The first poem, “Asie” opens with a hushed string tremolo, followed by a meandering oboe melody, establishing a seductive atmosphere of Oriental fantasy. The opening four lines are declaimed syllabically and recitative-like (“Asia, Asia, Asia/marvelous old land of nursery tales/where fantasy sleeps like an empress/in her forest filled with mystery”). Pentatonic scale figures, grace notes and fluttering strings further impart the poem’s chilling decadence, leading to an accelerating climax on the words “I would like to see those who die for love as well as those who die for hatred.” The piece falls silent and shimmers to a close, as the recitative of the opening concludes the tale over a faintly rolling timpani.
“La Flute enchantée” and “L’indifferent,” are considerably shorter than “Asie,” and each song concludes with a brief yet subtly modified reference to the opening theme. “La Flute enchantée” is a timeless portrait of a girl listening to the sounds of a flute, while “L’indifferent” — sometimes regarded as the most beautiful of all of Ravel’s songs — concerns the attraction of the unattainable. If all three of the Tristan Klingsor settings in the cycle are expressions of longing, this final one finds a particularly personal tone, through false modality, and a final pandiatonically extended triad with a major ninth. After “Shéhérazade,” Ravel wrote no song with an erotic theme until he completed “Chansons madécasses” in 1926.
Buy the CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Berlioz-Hermini…
Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24) : Richard Strauss
Although called a “Spanish Symphony” (see also Sinfonia concertante), it is considered a violin concerto by musicians today. The piece has Spanish motifs throughout, and launched a period when Spanish-themed music came into vogue. (Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen premiered a month after the Symphonie espagnole.)
The Symphonie espagnole is one of Lalo’s two most often played works, the other being his Cello Concerto. His “official” Violin Concerto in F, and his Symphony in G minor, written thirteen years later, are neither performed nor recorded as often.
A typical performance runs just over one-half hour. One of the shorter recordings, conductor Eugene Ormandy’s 1967 recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra, featuring violinist Isaac Stern, runs 32 minutes and 43 seconds.
The Symphonie espagnole had some influence on the genesis of Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concerto in D major. In March 1878, Tchaikovsky was staying at Nadezhda von Meck‘s estate at Clarens, Switzerland, while recovering from the breakdown of his disastrous marriage and his subsequent suicide attempt. His favourite pupil (and possibly his lover), the violinist Iosif Kotek, shortly arrived from Berlin with a lot of new music for violin. These included the Symphonie espagnole, which he and Tchaikovsky played through to great delight. This gave Tchaikovsky the idea of writing a violin concerto, and he immediately set aside his current work on a piano sonata and started on the concerto on 17 March. With Kotek’s technical help, the concerto was finished by 11 April.
Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischem Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik
Allegro affettuoso (A minor) 00:00:00
Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso (F major) 00:15:43
Allegro vivace (A major) 00:21:27
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, is a Romantic concerto by Robert Schumann, completed in 1845. The work premiered in Leipzig on 1 January 1846 with Clara Schumann playing the solo part. Ferdinand Hiller, the work’s dedicatee, conducted.
Schumann had earlier worked on several piano concerti: he began one in E-flat major in 1828, from 1829–31 he worked on one in F major, and in 1839, he wrote one movement of a concerto in D minor. None of these works were completed.
In 1841, Schumann wrote a fantasy for piano and orchestra, his Phantasie. His pianist wife Clara urged him to expand this piece into a full piano concerto. In 1845 he added the intermezzo and finale to complete the work. It was the only piano concerto that Schumann completed.
The work may have been used as a model by Edvard Grieg in composing his own Piano Concerto, also in A minor. Grieg’s concerto, like Schumann’s, employs a single powerful orchestral chord at its introduction before the piano’s entrance with a similar descending flourish. Rachmaninov also used the work as a model for his first Piano Concerto.
After this concerto, Schumann wrote two other pieces for piano and orchestra: the Introduction and Allegro Appassionato in G major (Op. 92), and the Introduction and Allegro Concertante in D minor (Op. 134).
The piece, as marked in the score, is in three movements:
There is no break between these last two movements (attacca subito).
Schumann preferred that the movements be listed in concert programs as only two movements:
The three movement listing is the more common form used.
The piece starts with an energetic strike by strings and timpani, followed by a fierce, descending attack by the piano. The first theme is introduced by the oboe along with wind instruments. The theme is then given to the soloist. Schumann provides great variety with this theme. He first offers it in the A minor key of the piece, then we hear it again in major, and we can also hear small snatches of the tune in a very slow, A flat section. The clarinet is often used against the piano in this movement. Toward the end of the movement, the piano launches into a long cadenza before the orchestra joins in with one more melody and builds for the exciting finish.
This movement is keyed in F major. The piano and strings open up the piece with a small, delicate tune, which is heard throughout the movement before the cellos and later the other strings finally take the main theme, with the piano mainly used as accompaniment. The movement closes with small glimpses of the first movement’s theme before moving straight into the third movement.
The movement opens with a huge run up the strings while the piano takes the main, A major theme. Schumann shows great color and variety in this movement. The tune is regal, and the strings are noble. Though it is in 3/4 timing, Schumann manipulates it so that the time signature is often ambiguous. The piece finishes with a restating of the previous material before finally launching into an exciting finale, and ending with a long timpani roll and a huge chord from the orchestra.
The Symphony No. 9 in D Minor is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the best known works of the Western repertoire, it is considered one of Beethoven’s greatest masterpieces. Incorporating part of Johann Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” sung by soloists and a chorus, it is the first symphony in which a major composer utilizes human voices on the same level as instruments. How many standing ovations reportedly followed its premiere performance in 1824? More… Discuss