The development section is notable for a remarkable change in mood, a sudden break in the clouds signalled by a chiming accompaniment in the piano that introduces a completely new theme, a sort of hymn melody hauntingly intoned by the cello and violin playing near the bridge. The 2nd movement scherzo has a spirit of boundless energy and focused enthusiasm that would do credit to the cheering fanbase of a local football team.
Built on a series of driving scale figures echoing between the piano and strings in a peppy dotted rhythm, it smoothes out these scale figures in the more flowing central trio section, which is structured as a series of three-part canons. The dramatic centre of gravity of this work is its slow movement, a lyrical outpouring of emotion with the violin and cello as its major protagonists while the piano digs deep into its low register to provide a rich bed of sonic support from below.
The emotional range of this movement is exceptionally wide. The opening and closing sections are filled with forlorn sighs and seemingly aimless harmonic wanderings, but they enclose a rapturous middle section filled with expansive feelings of contentment and inner joy. The tune chosen by Schumann for this celebration is stitched together from motives from the opening of the first movement and almost has the character of a patriotic hymn.
A rondo-like alternation of moods cleverly disguises how the opening theme motivates the entire kaleidoscopic range of variations that drive this euphoric movement to its jubilant conclusion.
The tonal system in use throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, from Bach to Tchaikovsky, was predicated on the understanding that pieces would be in a home key — from which they would depart, and to which they would return — and that harmony would result from the interaction of chords constructed from a root, a third and a fifth, at a minimum.
The break-up of this understanding was presided over at the beginning of the 20th century by Arnold Schoenberg, aided and abetted by his pupils, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. It comprises a single sonata-form movement in the traditional layout of exposition repeated , development and recapitulation. Its principal melodic motives however, presented in its opening bars, are distinctly modern.
These include a the successive intervals of a perfect 4th and a tritone, spanning a minor 7th in a dotted rhythm, announced in the opening bar, and b a falling sequence of thirds, in the next bar. And yet the overall pattern of musical gesture remains strangely familiar. The music is doled out in distinct phrases, some arranged in repeating sequences with expansive swells of ecstatic emotion, just as in the music of Scriabin.
As to the overall architecture of the work, the listener is left in no doubt as to where the climax of the piece is. What may at first be off-putting is the dissonant harmonic vocabulary, but even here the composer keeps one foot in the chromatic practices of Late Romanticism, the unresolved harmonic yearnings of Wagner in particular. The overall impression created by this sonata, then, is of 19th-century musical emotions expressed in the bold new harmonic rhetoric of the 20th century, a Romantic picture viewed in a cracked mirror, an old watch picked out of the clear waters of a lake, encrusted with barnacles but still ticking.
Among its leading proponents among 20th-century composers is Francis Poulenc, whose picture-postcard piano suite Napoli whimsically evokes the seaside pleasures, the serene beauty and urban bustle of Italian life as seen through the lens of an urbane French tourist in Naples. The opening Barcarolle imitates the rocking of a small boat lapped by the choppy waves of the sea. Its left-hand triplets of widely-spaced sonorities are pedalled into blurry billows of watery wetness while cross-rhythms in the right add an extra element of wobble to its cheery melodic flow.
The middle-movement Nocturne is all stillness and moonlight, with open sonorities sounding out across a wide swathe of the keyboard over a stabilizing pedal tone in the bass, interrupted only by melancholy musings of a sharper harmonic colouring in its central section.forum2.quizizz.com/ama-el-arte-de-la-manipulacin.php
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The lyrical section at the centre of this movement is almost melancholy, its sudden outpouring of sentiment after so much cheekiness balancing precariously on the knife-edge of parody. Chopin was of mixed Polish and French parentage. He spent the first half of his life, up to the age of 20, in Poland. The last half of his life, until his death at 39, was spent in France. It should be no surprise, then, that his musical style is a similar cross-breeding of French elegance and Slavic soulfulness.
His nocturnes, with their intimate songful melodies, breathe the perfumed air of the Parisian salon. The exotic scales and displaced accents of his mazurkas , by contrast, convey more the flavour of his native soil. While Liszt filled concert halls with his Freddy-Mercury-sized ego, Chopin wrote exquisite miniatures directed towards a select audience of aristocratic patrons playing or listening to his music in the comfort of their more-than-comfortable homes. In his entire career he gave no more than 70 public performances, and even at these the complaint was frequent heard that his playing was too soft to fill the hall.
His is music of refined sentiment and nuance, to be heard close-up. The opening section of his Nocturne Op. The middle section in doppio movimento double movement introduces an element of drama, with its insistently repeated dotted figures atop a rippling accompaniment of quintuplets, symbolizing the quickening heartbeat of an anxious soul. The return of the innocent opening material then seems to ask: was it all a dream?
There is an Eastern, Oriental flavour in the tonal realm occupied by the brief, melancholy Mazurka in F minor Op. The wincing bite of its opening melodic interval, a dissonant minor 9th, is further elaborated in the bittersweet chromatic wanderings of a plaintive melody constantly hovering between major and minor. The Mazurka in C minor Op.
Formally, the ballades bear some relationship to sonata form, with contrasting 1st and 2nd themes in different keys. Unlike sonata form, however, they are end-weighted: the story they tell increases in dramatic intensity as it goes along, culminating in either a grand apotheosis or, in the case of the Ballade in F minor , in a bravura coda that storms to its conclusion in a whirl of fiery figuration.
To hear the innocent bell-like opening of this work, there would be little to predict its end. Here the repeated bell tones heard in the opening carry real pathos, and are made more plangent and urgent when repeated with a countermelody in the alto. But then … magic! The bell tones of introduction return and we enter a kind of suspended animation as the narrative stops to gaze up at the sky. The 2nd theme follows, but it, too, finds itself riding on wave after wave of left-hand turbulence culminating in a showdown of keyboard-sweeping arpeggios and cannonades of block chords until … magic again!
Another pin-dropping pause. The work is a classic piece of Lisztian musical pictorialism. Subtitled Nocturne, it opens in the stillness of the evening with a distant carillon of bells that then gently transforms into the rocking accompaniment of a tender lullaby in honour of the newborn baby girl.
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The work progresses in a series of ingenious keyboard textures imitative of first the chiming, then the sonorous ringing, and finally the hefty swaying of bell-towers and churches throughout the city. It ends poetically with a return to the innocent bell sounds with which it began, their sonic resonance fading softly into the distance. While the connection with individual personalities is unclear and may even have been fanciful , these pieces remain among the most pictorially vivid—and technically challenging—in the piano repertoire.
Ravel vividly depicts the irregular flight of night moths in the first piece of the set, Noctuelles, which opens with a busy blur of chromatic flutter extending over vast swathes of the keyboard but centring on the upper range. The moths seem to settle on some object of mothy interest in the slower-paced central section, but soon lose interest and flit back to life in the closing section.
Ravel opens his depiction with a three-layered soundscape. A rich carpet of arpeggios sweeping up and down in the left hand suggests the action of the waves, while a chiming sequence of open intervals in the upper register outlines the vast expanse of the sea. Meanwhile, an unpredictable third voice emerges clearly but irregularly from the mid-range. Ravel uses virtually the entire range of keyboard colours in this scintillating depiction of the sea as a gentle giant cradling mankind in its embrace.
He is pictured singing an alborado, or morning serenade. The strumming of the guitar and distinctive punchy rhythms of Spanish folk music permeate this work. Among the technical challenges keeping pianists practising after midnight are extended passages in rapid-fire repeated notes and double glissandi in 3rds and 4ths played by the right hand alone. Sonorities based on 4ths and 5ths evoke the muffled metallic resonance that drifts in every direction as bell-clappers in towers near and far strike their target.
Luigi Boccherini was perhaps the greatest cellist of the 18th century, and like his compatriot of a previous generation, Domenico Scarlatti, he spent the most active portion of his professional life at the court of Spain. The addition of Boccherini to this ensemble was likely the creative prompt for the more than string quintets — in the unusual configuration of 2 violins, viola and 2 cellos — for which he is principally known.
A cellist of extraordinary technical skill, Boccherini, like Paganini after him, wrote for his own hand and acquired a reputation as a virtuoso performer through performances of his own works. One feature of his playing that astonished his contemporaries was his predilection for playing the violin repertoire, at pitch, on the cello, and indeed passages in which the cello plays in the high register are a recurring feature of his own scores.
His musical style stands at the intersection of two eras: floridly ornamental in the late Baroque manner, but early Classical in its slow harmonic rhythm and clear periodic phrasing, with direct repetition of short phrases a prominent characteristic. Its gracious but relatively unadventurous melodic lines are set within an elaborate filigree of appoggiaturas, trills and flamboyant scalar flourishes. An ascending arpeggio in the penultimate bar nearly sends the cellist off the fingerboard to reach a high E above the treble staff. Debussy made his first public appearance as a composer in in a performance of his Nocturne et Scherzo , a work originally scored for violin and piano but later that year revised for cello.
It is comprised of two sections, arranged in a rounded three-part A-B-A form. Despite the titling, the scherzo is actually the first section, imprinted throughout with the 2nd-beat emphasis and drone tones of a mazurka. The second section is the dreamy nocturne, that in its lilting rhythms seems to evoke the nostalgia of a gentle waltz more than the stillness of the night. The work comprises three movements, each successive movement shorter than the previous.
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The first movement Prologue announces its motivic foundations in the first bar: a quick triplet and long note, followed by a descending modal scale figure. Rhapsodic elaborations of the triplet figure form its first theme, tender ruminations on the descending scale figure its second. An animated middle section prepares for the triumphant return of the opening material and its serene farewell.
Capriciously paced and leering with portamento slides, this movement pursues its evening entertainment goals with infinite delicacy. In contrast to the spare scoring of the previous movements, the Finale simply bubbles over with running notes. This is a movement in a hurry to get somewhere, but the scamper is often rewardingly interrupted by—or superimposed with—long strands of lyrical melody.
Jean Sibelius Romance Op. Sibelius, though best known today for his symphonies and Violin Concerto, could not live off these large-scale works alone. And so it was that during The Great War he composed a set of four pieces for violin and piano, Op. These were simple tuneful pieces intended for amateur performance in the home. The second of this set, simply entitled Romance , soon became one of his most popular compositions, and this work has remained a staple of both the violin and cello repertoires. From the pain of this event came a work shortly thereafter for cello and piano entitled Malinconia Melancholy , a work in which the composer allowed himself to grieve.
The cello recitative with which it opens struggles upward, step by weary step, to arrive at an anguished cry of grief. In response, the piano rips up and down the keyboard as if to paint the flailing of pleading arms in the wind. Each instrument is given extended solo cadenzas that exploit the extremes of their range. Or they quiver at each other in turn, in passages of sustained tremolo. The six-stringed arpeggione was a kind of large bowed guitar that enjoyed a brief period of popularity after its invention in by the Austrian luthier Johann Georg Stauffer It was fretted and tuned like a guitar, but held between the legs without a floor peg and played with a bow like the cello.
Schubert may have been prompted to write a sonata for the instrument through his acquaintance with the Viennese arpeggione-player Vincenz Schuster. The work opens with a memorable tune, more wistful than melancholy, in the home key of A minor, delivered with the direct simplicity that would later characterize the opening theme of the Schumann piano concerto.
Constructed out of a series of harmonic sequences and carefree leaps, this second theme is what a Happy Face emoticon would sound like, if it could sing. Playing it in subways and public squares could collapse the market for anti-depressants. And while the development section spends much of its time in the minor mode, the underlying effervescence of its musical material keeps it from veering in a dark direction.
The Adagio second movement is hymn-like in its steady processional pace, with a Beethovenian earnestness of sentiment and a fireside warmth of tone that foreshadows Mendelssohn. It slows to a crawl at the end to provide a springboard for the moderately paced Allegretto finale that follows immediately on. The opening refrain theme of this rondo is so Brahmsian in its dignified pace and emotional restraint, one can almost hear the chorale theme from the finale of the Brahms First Symphony just waiting in the wings to be composed.
The livelier contrasting episodes flicker in and out of the minor mode in a way that suggests Hungarian folk music, but the major achievement in this movement is the way in which Schubert creates contrast while maintaining an unflappable evenness of mood. Their transparent texture of simple two- and three-part keyboard writing has one foot in the imitative counterpoint of the Baroque while anticipating the Classical era of Haydn and Mozart in their clarity of phrase structure and harmonic simplicity.
Especially appealing to modern performers is their pungently flavourful evocations of the popular folk music of Spain, not to mention the flurries of repeated notes, octaves and register-spanning arpeggios that make them such effective vehicles for pianistic display. The Scarlatti sonatas are typically in binary form, with a first half that ends in the dominant and a second half that works its way back from the dominant to the home tonality. The melodic line whimpers with plaintive little appoggiaturas as harmonic tension accumulates from the use of stubbornly immovable pedal points in the bass.
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Guitar idioms are heard in the repeated notes that dominate the last section of each half, making this piece an impressive showpiece of digital dexterity for the performer. In his Scarlatti liner notes, Yevgeny Sudbin lays stress on the spontaneous, improvisatory quality of these sonatas.
Throughout his career Beethoven had found the time and interest to compose small intimate pieces that placed limited demands on the performer. Some of these he published in collections, such as his seven bagatelles of Op.
A much larger set Op. The six bagatelles of Op. Composed at the same time as he was working on the mighty Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony, they display the concentration of musical thought that characterizes his late style. Typical of that style is a native fluency in contrapuntal writing, a freedom from formal constraints in applying it, and the boldness to write his contrapuntal voices several octaves apart.
Beethoven the architect of massive great formal structures shows himself in these pieces to be equally a master of the small miniature, deftly creating an immediate impression with his opening gestures and developing his motives with unfettered originality. There is noble simplicity about No.
It contrasts a strongly driven contrapuntal opening section with a dreamy section that alternates with it. This section starts out like a barcarolle, but then drifts off to explore a wealth of musical ideas, some of them coy and playful, other verging on pure sound theatre. It lacks the vehemence of expression that characterizes the other three ballades, Opp. The work is dominated by two principal themes of contrasting character but united by common elements of basic melodic structure. The first, announced at the outset, is a songful melody that begins by rising up six scale notes, echoed by antiphonal responses in the left hand.
Its contrapuntal profile is that of two voices expanding out in opposite directions from a central point, a pattern that intensifies on the following page into celebratory cadences exploding out into ecstatic arpeggios to the low and high registers simultaneously. The second theme changes the mood completely.
It is a dancelike melody of instrumental character that descends six scale notes, outlined in a series of coquettish leaps made all the more coy by the constantly syncopated rhythm in which they are presented. While this second theme dips often into the minor mode, it rarely stays there long, often slipping back into the major when cadencing. The minor mode is thus constantly restrained from taking on the mask of tragedy. While the first theme remains elegantly static throughout the work, the second undergoes considerable development in a texture of ornamental figuration that dances alternately above it and then resonantly rumbles below.
This development is the dramatic heart of the piece, and immediately follows a third theme area of remarkable flamboyance, with extroverted multi-octave arpeggios issuing into joyously rambunctious passagework over large swaths of the keyboard. Alexander Scriabin Piano Sonata No.
Oh how easy it is to become possessed by Scriabin, one of the most enigmatic and controversial artistic personalities of all time. Once one is bitten and the venom, in the form of his sound world, enters the body and soul, the e ects become all-encompassing, even life-threatening! Scriabin was not only the rst to introduce madness into music; he also managed to synthesise it into an infectious virus that is entirely music-borne and a ects the psyche in a highly irrational way.
He tapped sources as yet poorly documented or understood. The Sonata No. In fact, the sonata is headed with an extract from the poem, which accompanied the symphonic work:. I summon you to life, hidden longings! You, sunken in the sombre depths of creative spirit, You timid embryos of life, To you bring I daring! For that matter, it would be fun to collaborate a musical given an interesting play and libretto. Beyond bliss I returned to the United States on July 4th. I took up residence in the Los Angeles Arts District and with my first wife Elke, started a thriving fashion business and began my journey into Harmonics.
It wasn't until that I built my first computer, a Sinclair ZX From there advancements seemed to move very fast for access to the computer world and computer music. By the time I married my second wife Katherine, my son Karsten from my first marriage was already seven years old. From that time onward, I compose algorithms and experience a beautiful simple elegance by writing code, that is music. Music based on the use of Harmonics and elements from the visual world. Although I'm trained as a composer I've always had a predilection for the visual arts.
Most of my audio works have a visual component. Indeed the visual generates an impetus for the audio in my work. I began working with visual artists in collaborative projects in Since that time I participated in numerous collaborations and have shown my visual art in group shows. I consider myself neither more of a composer than a visual artist. This has created some confusion as to what it is that I actually do. My reclusive nature allowed me to realize a body of work.
The following interview was conducted by Paddy Campanaro and is exerpted from her book of 8 artist interviews titled, "subjects matter" Portraits Interviews Drew Lesso: That's right. What is a harmonist. DL: A harmonist is one who has a world view. So it's very large in scope. What we do is study proportion according to the ancient Pythagorean methods. Are there harmonists that aren't in music. DL: Yes, Yes. Music is just a by-product of the Harmonics, but the Harmonics deals with a world point of view.
In other words, you can graph any discipline onto the harmonic grid as long as it has a proportional base, and that includes language. And is that the basis of all your compositions. DL: Yes, yes, for years now. Since I've based all of my work on harmonics, except of course when I sit down to write a song and just feeling good write a song or feeling sad and write a song.
How have you dealt with differing labels over the years; musician, composer, electronic music composer, new music composer. Of all those labels what feels right now. DL: Well, I mean basically, I'm still a computer music composer. I've gotten lost, I mean, you brought up the idea of different labels, I've stumbled through all of those monograms, all of those titles.
I say stumbled because since the 7Os I've considered myself a computer music composer because I write algorithms. But like I said a little earlier, I like to write songs. You know, growing up in America I have this commercial music background, considering that my father was a Swing era pianist. It's hard to shake. It's something that's taken me half a century to come into a better identity for myself and now I'm much more at home with the idea of being a computer music composer.
In the late 6Os pop artist Peter Max produced some of your music. What were you doing then and what attracted him to you. Actually it was a very strange occurrence because it was a dream. In the dream what I saw was an infinite space. I had a 72O degree vision, considering the 3 dimensions. And in this infinite space I perceived 2 points of light, 1 red and 1 white. As I perceived them in the far, far distance I heard them as well. As the lights came closer to my vision the sound got louder and as the light shot through my vision I heard the Doppler effect. That's where the sound goes up and then goes back down again as it retreats.
The lights went back out to points and then they formed a loop and then they came back through my vision and vanished from whence they came. Now, that dream was seminal in my discoveries. It's what led me on to look for something different. So it was and I was in New York city. I'd been discovered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I'd played in Rock and Roll bands from the age of 14, played with some of the members of The Sky Liners. When the other kids were going to the high school dances I was on the bandstand.
So I had an early education. All those players that I worked with when I was 14, there wasn't one under Were you working in that band when Peter Max saw you. DL: No. When I was 14, I was doing that music. As I got to be 16, 17, after playing cover songs, you know, Wooly Bully, some James Brown, Animals songs, Temptations songs, I decided I was tired of playing other peoples songs and I wanted to just write my own songs. I had a manager at the time.
I had 3 or 4 different groups of musicians I was playing with at the time and put together my own group to play my own compositions.
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Within a period of six weeks I wrote an album's worth of songs and had all the tunes rehearsed. They played him some tapes. So then we went to New York and recorded the album. We were given a 2O thousand dollar advance, which was a lot of money in those days, to buy equipment and get dressed up and go out on the road. Laughs They were caught later and went to jail, but that voided my contract with Max Productions.
Actually, I was under contract with them for the next 4 years. I couldn't really do anything after that. I continued with a different group after that and new material, but from that point on I wouldn't play any cover songs. I'd only play material that was written by me or the group or by other people.
What music weren't you listening to at that time. DL: At that time I was totally unaware of Stockhausen for example. I was listening to opera, classical music. I was listening to polka music, to 4Os Swing era music, of course. So I was listening to a lot of music. But you weren't listening to the music of the person you would eventually study with. At that point in my development I was unaware of the avant-garde or of my contemporaries even.
I knew about Arnold Schoenberg. I had heard some of his works. But at that point in time I had not heard anything beyond Schoenberg. In O you went to Cologne and studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and you remained there for 6 years. What got you there. DL: I have to back up a wee little bit. Getting out of high school in , right around the time of the Max Productions deal, I had applied to go to music school at Duquesne University.
So I came into Duquesne University for my interview, my audition, I sat down at the piano and I played a piano sonata I'd written, and half way through the moderator stopped me and he said, What about the repertoire, you haven't prepared anything from the repertoire, have you? Could you play something, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, something. And I said, Well, I played Bach and Mozart when I was in grade school, and now I was writing my own music and I'd hoped to study composition so I could further my career.
And they said that I wasn't suited for their music school. So I studied business law at Duquesne University for 2 years. At the time I thought maybe I could manage a motel like a Holiday Inn and play the organ in the cocktail lounge. That didn't work out. When I turned 21, I knew what I wanted.
I wanted to study music. And I said, This time they won't turn me down, because I know what I want. And I had more control. I was accepted at all those places. Higgins, the head of the music dept, took a look at what I was doing because at that time I was working with geometry. I was trying to devise systems to bring geometry to life tonally.
That goes back to that dream of mine, this idea of seeing and hearing. So I was already on that quest. He said, Gee, you can study here at West Virginia State but wouldn't it be great to study with somebody who's at the top of the whole thing right now, who's a real pioneer in new music. I said, Yeah, that would be great. Who is that? He said his name was Stockhausen and he proceeded to pull out some scores and some writing and had me read while he wrote a letter of introduction to Stockhausen for me.
We mailed that off and I went to Germany, had an interview with Stockhausen and he accepted me into his class. That's how that happened. Could you be creating the music you are today If you hadn't studied with him. DL: Probably not. We talk about this idea of fate in our lives and fate may have a dark side at times, but it's actually been very good to me. I was very fortunate because when I explained to Stockhausen that I was looking into geometry and sound, and that that was my quest, to find out which composers had written music in the past from a visual basis rather than from first listening.
I was fortunate that fate gave me a person like Stockhausen, who may not have understood what I was looking at, but readily accepted that. He enjoyed my piano pieces at the time and I even played him some pop songs that I'd written. I played and sang for him. He enjoyed that. Did the electronic music start then or after that. DL: Way after that period. That was in November of I stayed in Germany from that point on. I didn't really start writing music until I started writing a year and a half before I left Germany.
I started working in the electronic music lab with my dear friend Jim Whitman, Dr. Whitman, who's now deceased of course. What was the first computer you were composing on. He was a Bach fanatic. Everyone in his class of course was part of the computer science department at the university and there were only 3 of us in the class that were composers. It was so odd because the first day he started the class and introduced these reiterations that he was working on, manipulating tonal fragments.
Ha, explosive laughter It couldn't have been better. It was handmade. You were applying number systems to all the tones on the piano and applying numbers systems to all the rhythms. You know, to the five elements of music. Tone, time, amplitude, color and space and you had variables for all five. I was in heaven. It was wonderful. It was exactly what I wanted. Since then you have created a large body of work over 3O years. DL: Over 3O years now, yes. Could you venture to say how many compositions. DL: Well you know it's so funny because I just opened the filing cabinets last year, but I didn't do a count.
Perhaps 4O, near 4O. Are some years completely nonproductive. DL: Some years, yes. And it went on for years and years at times. When I managed a very successful fashion design company, for 12 years all I did is what I call, almost music. I did diagrams and studied harmonics because I didn't find out about the actual harmonics until it was already say , and as soon as I found out about it, I started working on it.
It's very difficult work. How did you find out about it. And Johannes had a class in harmonics and specifically Hans Kayser harmonics. So that was my introduction. It's an art school. We want the information on this website to be the best it can be and we know we can't do this without you. Let us know what you thought of this page and if there is other information you were expecting to find.
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