Tag Archives: beethoven 5th symphony

Great Compositions/Performances: Chopin Fantasy f minor Op 49. Valentina Lisitsa


[youtube.com/watch?v=5s2mtaQZQn0]

Chopin Fantasy f minor Op 49. Valentina Lisitsa

FROM VALENTINA:  “This is Chopin’s response to Liszt’s “Funerailles” ( I know, I know, Liszt wrote it AFTER Chopin died – so let’s say it was Liszt’s response to Chopin’s Fantasy) The same plan – starting with a funeral introduction , same f -minor, same abundance of octaves… But Funerailles is a great piano war-horse, favorite of any “virtuoso” with a decent octave technique – sure and cheap way to impress and thrill the audiences. Fantasy in comparison is a poor cousin , underappreciated and often misunderstood : the worst offenders are often female pianists ( LOL, huuuuuge grin goes here ) playing it in overly sentimental and romanticized way – complete with hands flailing , eyes rolling and hair flying 🙂 Guys just can’t do it  🙂
How did it happen? Liszt was a great self-promotion and marketing guy – he discovered a neat trick of “programming” in music , forcing music “to tell a story”- and listeners suddenly thought ” Gee, now we understand what this music is about , how cool !” This was his trademark -but it was certainly not his invention. In fact , most if not all music has a “program” , something composer thought of when composing and something we think of when we listen .It can be something very concrete and extremely detailed ( Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique for example)- or just a vague hint of an idea that makes us think further ( Beethoven 5th Symphony ).The problem with detailed programs is that music can become “dated” , tied to a certain event that might be of no importance to future listeners. People can relate in perpetuity to ” the fate knocking on the door” of the 5th symphony. But we can never again ( hopefully ) feel what French audience must have felt on Berlioz’ premiere during the third movement with its guillotine strike. I bet their hair was standing up and Goosebumps were covering the listeners who still remembered Terror some years before…I think that even watching Avatar in 3D is nothing in comparison to that experience 🙂
Chopin was much more subtle in his “programs”-he catered to more sophisticated smaller audience of salons rather than big concert halls. These people knew the historical context and could understand him without need to spell it out . In order to fully appreciate his music we must know at least a bit of history too. Then it becomes clear that Chopin was so different from a stereotyped effeminate ,sickly romantic virtuoso image. He was a true titan, not in body but in spirit – singlehandedly ( with few brethren poets ,artists etc.)keeping the whole people from oblivion and cultural destruction. For his people , his country, was at this time a mere geographic term . Formerly a proud and powerful nation ,one of Europe superpowers, Poland has fallen so low because of internal discord that it was picked piece by piece by strong and brutal neighbors until it disappeared. New “owners” were bent on wiping national identity and pride to secure their new acquisitions. They would have succeeded was it not for Chopin. You know that musicologists call him a first” national” composer. For a good reason – he created an epic of his nation in music just as Homer created his in Odyssey or Virgil in Aeneid… And we are not only talking about things like Polonaises or Mazurkas fitting into this “national” category. Fantasy is a prime example of thinly veiled national music. Why? Bear with me while I take you through last foray into history. Chopin and his family ended up in a part of Poland that was grabbed by Russian Empire. He traveled abroad with Russian passport ( Chopin , a Russian composer ? LOL) and he had to lie on his exit visa application ( yes, I am serious ) that he is in transit to New World, Americas. He lived for almost whole his life with a stamp ” in Transit”. The single event in history that changed his life was Polish uprising of 1830-31, a noble but doomed to fail attempt by patriots to overthrow occupying forces ( Revolutionary Etude was written the night he got the news of Russian Cossacks entering Warsaw , he didn’t know if his family even survived all carnage and rape ) . The rebels was brutally destroyed and all the hope of freedom was lost. Chopin realized that he will never see his native land – or even his family. All his life he was carrying in his soul – and in his music – the memory of this event and of its unsung heroes. Fantasy is an ode to all those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom.”

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Fabulous Compositions/ Performances: Ludwig van Beethoven, Sesta Sinfonia Op. 68 in Fa maggiore, “Pastorale” (Beethoven’s Six Symphony in E major, Op. 68) – Riccardo Muti conducts the Filarmonica della Scala di Milano



Epoca: 1807 – 1808
Composizione:
ottavino, 2 flauti, 2 oboi, corno inglese, 2 clarinetti, 2 fagotti,
2 corni, 2 trombe, 2 tromboni, timpani, archi

Movimenti:
I Allegro ma non troppo 0:00
II Andante molto mosso 12:40
III Allegro 25:12
IV Allegro vivace 30:43
V Allegretto 34:37

Filarmonica della Scala di Milano
Direttore: RICCARDO MUTI

 

Riccardo Muti

Cover of Riccardo Muti

 

 

 

 

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Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C Minor (Beethoven Orchestra London)


Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The Destiny Symphony

Vienna Theater, the place where Beethoven's 5th symphony was presented in first audition on December 22nd 1808Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor, op. 67 is rightly considered a natural continuation of Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”, because it approaches the same themes and it expresses the relationship between particular and general. The name under which it sometimes circulated, ” The Symphony of Destiny “, is linked to the words of Anton Felix Schindler, his biographer, who, invoking an explanation given by the composer referring to the first bars in Part I of the fifth symphony, stated: ” So pocht das Schicksal an die Pforte! ” (That’s how destiny knocks on your door).

Significantly relevant is the chronicle written for this symphony at the January 1st 1841 concert: ” Beethoven’s symphony in C minor had closed the programme. Let us be silent! How often we hear it in public, but also in our deepest self, and how it projects its force upon all people of all ages, just like the great natural phenomena, which leave us in awe every time they appear. This symphony alike, will still resound centuries to come, for as long as there will be man and music.”

Part I – Allegro con brio – is unique through its sonata structure and a theme constructed with a rhythmical-melodic cell of just four notes, which is also the key motif of the entire symphony.

Excerpt form  Symphony No.5. Part IWe must emphasize that the generating motif of this part also appeared in other works, either in the composer’s creation (sonata Appassionata), either in Mozart or Haydn’s works.

Part II – Andante con moto – it has a lyrical theme with a hymnal resonance, even festive, permanently reminding of the somewhat dramatic tone of the first theme. The two thematic elements are the basis of the variational processes, at first lyrical and temperate and ultimately expressing bliss.

Excerpt from Symphony No.5, Part IIPart III – Allegro – has a free form, neither scherzo nor intermezzo, but constitutes itself as an epilogue to the dramatism in Part I and a prologue to Part IV. This is considered to be the key moment of the entire symphony, both psychologically and from the point of view of the musical construction.

Excerpt from Symphony No.5, Part IIIPart IV – Allegro – brings many new elements which constitute a genuine surprise. In the exuberance and joyfulness of the musical construction a lyrical theme suddenly appears – an oboe that comes closer to a recollection, reminiscence. This segment takes a festive march theme expressing joy and absolute victory.

Excerpt from Symphony No. 5, Part IVBeethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor op. 67 was presented in first audition on December 22nd 1808 in the concert hall of the Vienna Theatre with the composer himself as conductor. On this occasion, musician Johann Friedrich Reinchardt of Cassel asserted that ” it is a grand, very elaborate, too long of a symphony in C minor…” , thus once more demonstrating the novelty of Beethoven’s musical language and his contemporaries’ incapacity to understand his genius.

Read more about all the other Beethoven symphonies

 Read more about Beethoven’s music

  • The piano sonatas – Analysis of the sonata form and the most important Beethoven Piano Sonatas.
  • Trios – General discussion regarding Beethoven’s trios for various instruments and ensembles.
  • Sonatas for Cello and Piano – Discussion about Beethoven’s five cello and piano sonatas.
  • Sonatas for Violin and Piano – Overview of Beethoven’s ten sonatas for violin and piano.
  • String Quartets – Brief analysis of Beethoven’s seventeen string quartets.
  • The Opera “Fidelio” – The background, subject and influences of Beethoven’s only opera.
  • The Concertos – Beethoven’s five piano concertos, his violin concerto and triple concerto analyzed.
  • The Overtures – Brief overview of some of the most important Beethoven overtures.

 

Thursday Matinee at the Concert: Chopin Fantasy in F minor Op 49. Valentina Lisitsa


From  Valentina Lisitsa: “This is Chopin‘s response to Liszt’s “Funerailles” ( I know, I know, Liszt wrote it AFTER Chopin died – so let’s say it was Liszt’s response to Chopin’s Fantasy) The same plan – starting with a funeral introduction , same f -minor, same abundance of octaves… But Funerailles is a great piano war-horse, favorite of any “virtuoso” with a decent octave technique – sure and cheap way to impress and thrill the audiences. Fantasy in comparison is a poor cousin , underappreciated and often misunderstood : the worst offenders are often female pianists ( LOL, huuuuuge grin goes here ) playing it in overly sentimental and romanticized way – complete with hands flailing , eyes rolling and hair flying 🙂 Guys just can’t do it 🙂
How did it happen? Liszt was a great self-promotion and marketing guy – he discovered a neat trick of “programming” in music , forcing music “to tell a story”- and listeners suddenly thought ” Gee, now we understand what this music is about , how cool !” This was his trademark -but it was certainly not his invention. In fact , most if not all music has a “program” , something composer thought of when composing and something we think of when we listen .It can be something very concrete and extremely detailed ( Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique for example)- or just a vague hint of an idea that makes us think further ( Beethoven 5th Symphony ).The problem with detailed programs is that music can become “dated” , tied to a certain event that might be of no importance to future listeners. People can relate in perpetuity to ” the fate knocking on the door” of the 5th symphony. But we can never again ( hopefully ) feel what French audience must have felt on Berlioz’ premiere during the third movement with its guillotine strike. I bet their hair was standing up and Goosebumps were covering the listeners who still remembered Terror some years before…I think that even watching Avatar in 3D is nothing in comparison to that experience 🙂
Chopin was much more subtle in his “programs”-he catered to more sophisticated smaller audience of salons rather than big concert halls. These people knew the historical context and could understand him without need to spell it out . In order to fully appreciate his music we must know at least a bit of history too. Then it becomes clear that Chopin was so different from a stereotyped effeminate ,sickly romantic virtuoso image. He was a true titan, not in body but in spirit – singlehandedly ( with few brethren poets ,artists etc.)keeping the whole people from oblivion and cultural destruction. For his people , his country, was at this time a mere geographic term . Formerly a proud and powerful nation ,one of Europe superpowers, Poland has fallen so low because of internal discord that it was picked piece by piece by strong and brutal neighbors until it disappeared. New “owners” were bent on wiping national identity and pride to secure their new acquisitions. They would have succeeded was it not for Chopin. You know that musicologists call him a first” national” composer. For a good reason – he created an epic of his nation in music just as Homer created his in Odyssey or Virgil in Aeneid… And we are not only talking about things like Polonaises or Mazurkas fitting into this “national” category. Fantasy is a prime example of thinly veiled national music. Why? Bear with me while I take you through last foray into history. Chopin and his family ended up in a part of Poland that was grabbed by Russian Empire. He traveled abroad with Russian passport ( Chopin , a Russian composer ? LOL) and he had to lie on his exit visa application ( yes, I am serious ) that he is in transit to New World, Americas. He lived for almost whole his life with a stamp ” in Transit”. The single event in history that changed his life was Polish uprising of 1830-31, a noble but doomed to fail attempt by patriots to overthrow occupying forces ( Revolutionary Etude was written the night he got the news of Russian Cossacks entering Warsaw , he didn’t know if his family even survived all carnage and rape ) . The rebels was brutally destroyed and all the hope of freedom was lost. Chopin realized that he will never see his native land – or even his family. All his life he was carrying in his soul – and in his music – the memory of this event and of its unsung heroes. Fantasy is an ode to all those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom.”