Claude Debussy after his CentenaryfootnoteRef:1], authors Francois Lesure and Denis Stevens review the legacy of Debussy's work and his life at the one hundred years anniversary of his birth. The authors are particularly concerned with exploring misconceptions, contradictions and areas requiring further study that have arisen as a result of the recent scholarship on the French composer. [1: Lesure, Francois and Stevens, Denis. Claude Debussy after his Centenary. The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3 (July 1963), pp. 277-288. ]
Among the issues addressed, the writers compare the findings of scholars Marcel Dietschy and Edward Lockspeiser, who study Debussy from different perspectives, the disagreement of the extent and origins of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov on Debussy's Pelleas, the obsession with Poe and composing the Fall of the House Usher and his turbulent but influential relationship with Ravel. Debussy's temperament is explored via excerpts of biting letters he wrote to friends complaining…… [Read More]
Schoenberg developed a kind of experimental method of music composition that was completely relativistic: the free use of 12 tones, in which the relationships are merely one-on-one and not related to a whole (in the traditional sense), mirrored the philosophical modern worldview of the times. This method was meant by Schoenberg to follow in the Germanic tradition of greatness. However, his break from traditional methods of composition (and even from revolutionary methods, such as Wagner's), served to effect a kind of musical equivalent to the future architectural methods of Breuer, who was renowned for Brutalism.
Stravinsky, like the other two, was an innovator who played with rhythm and harmony in an effort to devise an original style. Stravinsky would add or take away notes from a motif without addressing the ways in which this would affect meter. There was a spontaneity to Stravinsky's work, like the revolutionary Rite of Spring,…… [Read More]
DEBUSSY'S PELLEAS & MELISANDE
Debussy's Pelleas & Melisande
Debussy's Pelleas & Melisande
I found this opera to be enjoyable from the vey onset. I knew nothing of the opera and knew just a little of the story/myth from antiquity of Pelleas and Melisande. At the time of my viewing, I did have a solid background with the music of Claude Debussy, but I was excited to engage a work of Debussy's with which I was unfamiliar. The music here is idyllic and dystopic. Every act is filled with rich, vibrant, and emotionally charged music, marking this opera as a fine example of impressionist music.
Opposites attract; Prince Golaud and Melisande are very much opposites and the beginning of the story. Prince Golaud is male. He has facial hair. His hair is short, wavy, and brown. He wears a form-fitting suit, black and shiny, resembling metal. Melisande has a lighter…… [Read More]
And the goal of Impressionist painting is always just that -- to given an impression, rather than to suggest a coherent, linear picture of experience. Impressionists depicted emotions and subjective concepts, rather than attempted to convey a singular view. There is no 'point' to Monet's paintings of water lilies; there is merely the artist's reflection on color. The story goes nowhere in "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun," but the atmospheric canvas of light, shade, and sound creates a scene. Backdrops rather than plot; emotions and desires and dreams rather than clear movements characterize this Impressionistic work of art.
The original inspiration of the work was a poem by the French poet Mallmarme. However, the poem's uncertainty and daydream-like quality is not a literal 'synthesis' of the poem (Lloyd 154). Instead, Debussy created something entirely new in his work. The music allows for a greater ambiguity in its composition…… [Read More]
" This he maintained was the highest honor he could claim. " (Seroff, 1956, 113)
Some of the melodies that Claude Achille Debussy created for example the C'est l'Extase' -- based on the ninths and series of common chords has continuous modulations which are embedded with a lot of changing tones and may have been symbolic of a breeze and the sounds of small voices. Like wise the use of rhythmic characteristics and melody in 'Spleen' is like Chabrier the 'L'Ombre des Arbres' which modulates differently. This was at that time a very daring attempt in music during the 1880's. The performance of La Damoiselle Elue' by the Societe Nationale, was conducted by Gabriel Marie competed by the works of Paul Dukas - Overture to 'Polyeucte', Raymond onheur, 'Iris', and many by Paul Fournier; Ernest Chausson 'Poeme de l'Amour et de la Mer', Pierre de reville 'Medeia', Henri Duparc 'Phidyle'.…… [Read More]
Vienna and Paris
in the Decade 1900-1910
Vienna and Paris in the Decade 1900-1910
Europe of 1900 -- 1910 saw the rise of several cultural meccas, including Vienna and Paris. Vienna was a center of literary, cultural and artistic advancement in "middle" Europe, enjoying booming population and innovative developments in all those spheres, even as it endured the rising tide of anti-liberal, anti-Semitic Christian Social forces. In keeping with this innovation, Vienna's music enjoyed avant garde developments of Art Nouveau from Paris, notably represented in Vienna by the works of composers Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schonberg. As Vienna became the literary, cultural and artistic center of "middle" Europe, Paris became the literary, cultural and artistic center of the orld. Drawing exceptionally gifted people from the entire globe, Paris boasted the first Olympics to include women and the orld's Fair of 1900. Reveling in its invention of Art Nouveau, Paris also…… [Read More]
. . which fascinates by the mass of its beauties" (Goulding, 1995, 256). Much like Wagner, Tchaikovsky was influenced by several love affairs, first with Desiree Artot, an opera singer who deserted him to marry someone else and Nadezhda von Meck, a patroness of the arts. Thus, the relationship with Ms. Von Meck provided the stimulation Tchaikovsky needed for the completion of omeo and Juliet; she also was obviously his Juliet, a woman from a contrasting family (she provided him with much financial support) and someone that was out of reach for a simple composer.
The piece known as Clouds is part of Debussy's Three Nocturnes for orchestra and as described by Debussy himself, Clouds represents "the unchanging aspect of the sky, and the slow, solemn movement of the clouds, dissolving into gray tints, lightly touched with white" (Goulding, 1995, 315). All of this is symbolized by the…… [Read More]
The basic materials might include tin cans, fragments of speech, a cough, canal boats chugging or natural snatches of Tibetan chant (all these are in a work called Etude Pathetique).
Musical instruments are not taboo: one piece used a flute that was both played and struck. Differences in balance or performance can also be used to extend the range of materials. All of this is very similar to the way that the sample integrated into popular music have included news actuality, political statements and fragments of other people's compositions." (2003) Nisbett additionally relates that the "preliminary concrete recording was described analytically in terms of a variety of sound qualities" as follows:
Instantaneous content - frequency spectrum or timbre (which might contain separate harmonics, bands of noise or a mixture of the two);
The melodic sequence of successive sound structure; and Its dynamics or envelope (the way sound intensity varies in…… [Read More]
Gershwin was influenced by French composers of the early twentieth century. The orchestrations in Gershwin's symphonic works frequently seem comparable to those of avel; similarly, avel's two piano concertos demonstrate an influence of Gershwin. Gershwin asked to learn with avel. Gershwin's own Concerto in F. was condemned for being connected to the work of Claude Debussy, more so than to the probable jazz style. The association did not discourage Gershwin from enduring to explore French styles. The title of an American in Paris replicates the very voyage that he had intentionally taken as a composer (Biography, 2010).
Aside from the French influence, Gershwin was fascinated by the works of Alban Berg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, and Arnold Schoenberg. He also asked Schoenberg for composition teachings, but Schoenberg refused. ussian Joseph Schillinger's persuasion as Gershwin's teacher of composition (1932 -- 1936) was considerable in providing him with a technique…… [Read More]
classical era which spanned from approximately 1750 to 1820.I shall discuss the stylistic changes sonata, string quartet and symphony and also the great composers of the time mainly Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Bach, and Joseph Haydn.
Sonata form is one, which is usually used as a part of multi-movement scheme, since it involves the musical structure of a single movement.
The basic structure of sonata comprises of the following three sections:
Recapitulation with a Coda added commonly.
The sonatas of Corelli Violin sonatas Op. 3 are a mixture of abstract and dance-type movements.
A string quartet is quite a complex style where the musical structure consists of four movements .It includes four string instruments which are two violins, a viola and cello.
In classical period string quartets were written for those who had a comprehensive knowledge of music since they were quite complex…… [Read More]
This lack, especially in the voices, lends a spectral quality to the piece. Even later in the piece, when the timbres of the various voices -- the strings especially -- grow in richness and fullness, this spectral quality remains. The various timbres of the piece, though necessarily different, sound very similar to each other, due in part to the repetition of the melodic line, but mostly because of conscious manipulation of the individual timbres.
There are far fewer voices in Chidori no Kyoku, and their timbres are far more distinct from each other. There are still strings and a human voice, as well as a woodwind, and these three voices are united -- though not identical -- in melody, but are entirely unique in timbre. The woodwind, flute-like instrument is soft yet very rich; different from the soft flatness at the beginning of Debussy's Nocturne and the intense fullness later…… [Read More]
Philip Glass: The Light and the Hours
This paper will examine two pieces by the enormously talented and tremendously gifted 20th century composer, Philip Glass. Philip Glass's compositions are frequently used or commissioned for the screen and that is no surprise. Aside from being melodic, his pieces frequently are able to touch upon an elusive and ephemeral aspect of human emotion. This paper will examine Glass's 1987 piece, The Light, and the first track from the score that he created for the 2003 film, The Hours: the Poet acts. These are dramatically different pieces, and this paper will attempt to analyze and illuminate the different factors which influence and shape each one.
Glass's 1987 piece, The Light, was apparently composed as a means of commemorating the 100th anniversary on the famous Michelson-Morley experiment which looked at the various properties of light. It was also the first work that Glass commissioned…… [Read More]