Adam Bernstein's Blog

An Oberlin course blog

Adam Bernstein's Blog header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Grieg’s Lyric Pieces and Songs

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

Grieg’s work is always a little strange to me- he seems so refined in the small details and yet very clunky and old-fashioned in the bigger picture.  I enjoy the key modulations he uses and think they’re very original, but the rhythms he employs are rarely particularly noteworthy.  However, there is a definite beauty in [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Mussorgksy’s Pictures at an Exhibition

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

To me, this piece only really exists in the orchestrated version by Ravel.  The opening theme of the promenade should only truly be played on trumpet and accompanied by a brass section- to think of pianos playing the parts seems disconnected from the original intentions behind the music, as backwards as that may seem.  The [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier (Act I)

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

I always consider Strauss in a much more serious light, so a comedic opera strikes me as unusual coming from the author of Also Sprach Zarathustra and Death and Transfiguration, though it is reminiscent of Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.  The music has a sort of buoyancy which reminds me of Johann Strauss’ waltzes, which have [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Wagner’s Parsifal, Act 3

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

Wagner’s music is very difficult to for me to grapple with on a number of levels-  his music is obviously extremely important in a historical context, and though I don’t appreciate most of it I expect that at some point in my life I will love it.  His operas are the most extreme forms of [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Verdi’s Don Carlos, Act IV

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

Though I’m sure it would be more impressive in person, Don Carlos did not resonate strongly with me.  I rarely enjoy opera, so I’m not surprised, but I do love Verdi’s compositions- the grandiose over-the-top style of the music is very dramatic, but rarely is it surprising in terms of progression or orchestration.  I was [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

I haven’t heard much of Clara Schumann’s original work before, so it was a nice change from her husband Bobby.  The piece has a certain maturity to it which makes sense, given that the piece was composed towards the end of her life, but nevertheless is surprising.  It reminds me of R. Schumann’s compositions in [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Rossini’s William Tell, Act 2

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

The piece starts with a beautiful solo section from the winds which is one of the most famous sections of classical music.  Though it is difficult to approach from a serious musical perspective when the piece has been played out of context so often, the music is quite beautiful and deserving of the fame the [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Rossini’s La Cenerentola

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

The overture to La Cenerentola is an enjoyable piece, very lively with a wide range of themes which are all enjoyable and original.  The piece is a great example of classic Italian opera- very fluffy, nice melodies, but not a lot of real grit.  I loved the different lines repeating motives and themes, and the [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Schubert’s Trout Quintet

May 20th, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

Schubert’s Trout Quintet is an interesting piece- as a bassist I am always welcoming of additional chamber material for us to play, and I appreciate the option.  However, I find that very often the bass line is not particularly interesting or original- at a time when Beethoven’s use of counterpoint in the lower voices was [...]

[Read more →]

Tags:

Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123

March 1st, 2011 by Adam Bernstein · No Comments · Uncategorized

Beethoven’s Op. 123 initially struck me as a substandard representation of Beethoven’s genius, so I was shocked to learn that he considered it his favorite composition.  The piece does not exemplify Beethoven’s brilliant counterpoint, the orchestration is predictable, and the rhythms lack the usual vivacity and enthusiasm of Beethoven’s work.  The one trait which I [...]

[Read more →]

Tags: