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Vladimir Horowitz 1950 / Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 “Funeral March”: unique musical moments



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Vladimir Horowitz 1950 / Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 “Funeral March”

Vladimir Horowitz 1950
Chopin
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 “Funeral March”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chopin, 1835

Frédéric Chopin‘s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, popularly known as The Funeral March, was completed in 1839 at Nohant, near Châteauroux in France. However, the third movement, whence comes the sonata’s common nickname, had been composed as early as 1837.

The sonata comprises four movements:

  1. Grave – Doppio movimento

  2. Scherzo

  3. Marche funèbre: Lento

  4. Finale: Presto

Funeral march

As noted above, the third movement is structured as a funeral march played with a Lento interlude. While the term “funeral march” is perhaps a fitting description of the 3rd movement, complete with the Lento Interlude in D-flat major, the expression “Chopin’s Funeral March” is used commonly to describe only the funeral march proper (in B-flat minor).

It was transcribed for full orchestra in 1933 by the English composer Sir Edward Elgar (in D minor), and its first performance was at his own memorial concert the next year. It was also transcribed for large orchestra by the conductor Leopold Stokowski; this version was recorded for the first time by Matthias Bamert.

The emotive “funeral march” has become well known in popular culture. It was used at the state funerals of John F. Kennedy, Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher and those of Soviet leaders, including Leonid Brezhnev. It was also played in the funeral of the Spanish poet Miguel Hernández and at thegraveside during Chopin’s own burial at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

 

George Enescu – Rapsodia Romana (op.2)



Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 in D major

The Second Rhapsody, like the first, was completed in 1901,[16][8] but is more inward and reflective. Its essential character is not dance, but song.[17][5] It is based on the popular 19th-century 

Carmen Sylva si George Enescu

Image by sylvaregina via Flickr

ballad “Pe o stîncă neagră, într-un vechi castel” (“On a dark rock, in an old castle”) which, like the opening melody of the First Rhapsody Enescu may have learned from the lăutar Chioru,[1], though again there is some doubt whether Enescu actually remembered it from Chioru,[12] and is about certain heroic episodes recounted in ancient Moldavian chronicles and characterized by a spirit of poetic rumination.[citation needed] After a development culminating in a canonic presentation, this theme is joined by a dance tune, “Sîrba lui Pompieru” (“Sîrba of the Fireman”), followed shortly afterward by the second half of a folksong, “Văleu, lupu mă mănîncă” (“Aiee, I’m being devoured by a wolf!”), which is treated in canon.[18] Toward the end there is a brief moment of animation, bringing to mind the spirit of country lăutari, but the work ends quietly.[9]

Unlike the First Rhapsody, there is no controversy at all about the scoring of the Second, which is given in the published score as: 3 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, 2 timpani, cymbal, 2 harps, first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.
( Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Rhapsodies_(Enescu)

George Enescu was born in the village of Liveni, Romania (Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County), and showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical composition at the age of five. Shortly thereafter, his father presented him to the professor and composer Eduard Caudella. At the age of seven, entered the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger, Jr., Robert Fuchs, and Sigismond Bachrich, and graduated before his 13th birthday, earning the silver medal. In his Viennese concerts young Enescu played works by Brahms, Sarasate and Mendelssohn. In 1895 he went to Paris to continue his studies. He studied violin with Martin Pierre Marsick, harmony with André Gédalge, and composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Many of Enescu’s works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901–2), the opera Oedipe (1936), and the suites for orchestra. He also wrote five symphonies (two of them unfinished), a symphonic poem Vox maris, and much chamber music (three sonatas for violin and piano, two for cello and piano, a piano trio, quartets with and without piano, a wind decet (French, “dixtuor”), an octet for strings, a piano quintet, a chamber symphony for twelve solo instruments).
In 1923 he made his debut as a conductor in a concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York City. In 1935, he conducted the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris and Yehudi Menuhin in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G major. He also conducted the New York Philharmonic between 1937 and 1938. In 1939 he married Maria Rosetti (known as the Princess Cantacuzino through her first husband Mihail Cantacuzino), a good friend of the future Queen Marie of Romania. While staying in Bucharest, Enescu lived in the Cantacuzino Palace on Calea Victoriei (now the Muzeu Naţional George Enescu, dedicated to his work).

He lived in Paris and in Romania, but after World War II and the Soviet occupation of Romania, he remained in Paris.

He was also a noted violin teacher. Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, and Ida Haendel were among his pupils. He promoted contemporary Romanian music, playing works of Constantin Silvestri, Mihail Jora, Ionel Perlea and Marţian Negrea.

On his death in 1955, George Enescu was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

MUMA LUI STEFAN CEL MARE de Dimitrie Bolintineanu

I
Pe o stanca neagra, intr-un vechi castel, Unde cura-n poale un rau mititel, Plange si suspina tanara domnita, Dulce si suava ca o garofita; Caci in batalie sotul ei dorit A plecat cu oastea si n-a mai venit. Ochii sai albastri ard in lacrimele Cum lucesc in roua doua viorele; Buclele-i de aur cad pe albu-i san,
Rozele si crinii pe fata-i se-ngan. insa doamna soacra langa ea vegheaza Si cu dulci cuvinte o imbarbateaza.
II
Un orologiu suna noaptea jumatate, in castel in poarta oare cine bate?
— “Eu sunt, buna maica, fiul tau dorit; Eu, si de la oaste ma intorc ranit. Soarta noastra fuse cruda asta data: Mica mea ostire fuge sfaramata.
Dar deschideti poarta… Turcii ma-nconjor… Vantul sufla rece… Ranile ma dor!” Tanara domnita la fereastra sare.
— “Ce faci tu, copila?” zice doamna mare. Apoi ea la poarta atunci a iesit
Si-n tacerea noptii astfel i-a vorbit:
— “Ce spui tu, straine? Stefan e departe; Bratul sau prin taberi mii de morti imparte. Eu sunt a sa muma; el e fiul meu;
De esti tu acela, nu-ti sunt muma eu! insa daca cerul, vrand sa-ngreuieze Anii vietii mele si sa ma-ntristeze, Nobilul tau suflet astfel l-a schimbat; Daca tu esti Stefan cu adevarat, Apoi tu aice fara biruinta Nu poti ca sa intri cu a mea vointa. Du-te la ostire! Pentru tara mori! Si-ti va fi mormantul coronat cu flori!”
III
Stefan se intoarce si din cornu-i suna; Oastea lui zdrobita de prin vai aduna. Lupta iar incepe… Dusmanii zdrobiti Cad ca niste spice, de securi loviti.

Autor: Dimitrie Bolintineanu
Poezia MUMA LUI STEFAN CEL MARE de Dimitrie Bolintineanu