Mussorgsky-Pictures at an Exhibition

This piece gives us a huge imagination based on Mussorgsky’s title of each section, which represents Viktor Hartmann’s painting. This piece is SOO famous around the world. I feel so pieceful when I listen it. It is a piece about the painting, yet makes me feel it’s alive.

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Strauss RosenKabalier

Strauss’s music can represent the “ungly” and “sublime” and “disturbing”. In his RosenKavalier, I feel under the beautiful melody, he used some dissonant harmony for the bass accompany. This opera has three acts, and it words by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is called a “comedy for music”, and contains melodious phrase in number and variety, which rarely permit the bearer’s interest to flag.

Monday, April 25th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Wagner-PARSIFAL act3

This is really beautiful. All of the Wagner’s operas are great. :)

This Act illustrates that an old hermit Gurnemanz finds the penitent girl Kundry exhausted in a thicket, and revives her, a knight in armor approaches. Gurnemanz recognizes that Parsifal and the spear. The knight describes years of trying to find his way back to Amfortas and the Grail. Gurnemanz removes Parsifal’s armor. Kundry washes his feet, drying them with her hair. In return, he baptizes her, then exclaims at the beauty of the spring fields. Distant bells announce the funeral of Titurel. They walk toward the castle. The Communion table has disappeared from the Hall. No longer able to uncover the chalice, Amfortas begs the Knights to kill him to end his anguish, but Parsifal touches him with the spear, which heals the wound. Raising the chalice, he accepts the homage of the Knights as their new leader. Finally, Kundry released at last from her curse of wandering, falls dying.

Monday, April 18th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Verdi-Don Carlos

Don Carlos- 5-act grant opera by Verdi. The story is based on conflicts in the life of Calos.

Here is the PLOT SUMMARY

Act 1

Scene 1. Cloister of the Monastery of St. Just

Monks pray before the tomb of Charles V. Don Carlo thinks he recognizes King Charles V’s voice among the friars. He is upset because his father, King Filippo II, has remarried to Elisabetta, who he loves. Carlo’s friend, Rodrigo, tells him that the people of Flanders are calling for him. Don Carlo reveals his love for his stepmother, which horrifies Rodrigo.

Scene 2. The Garden Adjoining the Monastery

Princess Eboli, accompanied by Tebaldo, sings the Song of the Veil for the amusement of the ladies of the court. Rodrigo enters with a letter for the queen, which is actually from Carlo. Rodrigo begs an audience for Don Carlo. When Elisabetta agrees, Tebaldo brings in Don Carlo. Meantime, Princess Eboli wonders if the don is in love with her. Carlo begs permission to depart for Flanders; he also declares his love for the queen but she silences him. The king comes out, angry that the Queen is unattended to, and orders a lady-in waiting to return to France. The king orders Rodrigo to remain and encourages him to speak freely. Rodrigo pleads for a more liberal policy in Flanders but the king says it was necessary to be strict and on alert to subdue the rebellion. The king also confesses his suspicions of the queen and Carlo, asking Rodrigo to keep a watchful eye.

Prelude

Act 2

Scene 1. The Queen’s Garden in Madrid

It is night and Don Carlo waits for the queen. Eboli arrives instead and Don Carlo declares his love without realizing it was not the queen. Rodrigo appears and swears his fidelity to Carlo and takes the don’s personal letters and papers for safe keeping.

Scene 2. Square before the Cathedral

The people sing their praises to Filippo while those condemned by the Inquisition are led away. The procession is interrupted by six Flemish deputies who, led by Don Carlo, beg mercy for their country. The king denounces them as traitors. When Carlo asks again to be sent to Flanders, the king refuses and commands the guards to disarm his son, but when they do not move, Rodrigo does it himself. The procession moves forward.

Act 3

Scene 1. The King’s Study in Madrid

The blind Grand Inquisitor is led in. He agrees that religion will sanction the sacrifice of Don Carlo and demands the sacrifice of Rodrigo. The queen appears but refuses to open the jewel casket, so the king breaks it open only to discover Carlo’s portrait inside. After the king’s departure, Eboli confesses to the queen that she spied on her and stole the casket. She begs forgiveness and offered the choice of either exile or convent.

Scene 2. The Prison of Don Carlo

Rodrigo visits Carlo in prison and predicts he will die in the don’s place since they found the papers with him anyway, so the Inquisition will think that he incited the Flemish rebellion. An agent of the Inquisition has crept in unobserved. He shoots Rodrigo, entrusting the cause of Flanders to Carlo. The king sets Don Carlo free, but Carlo is furious over Rodrigo’s death. Outside, a rebellion is in progress. The king orders the doors opened and the people rush demanding for Don Carlo. The Grand Inquisitor intervenes.

Act 4

Scene 1. Cloister of the Monastery of St. Just

Elisabetta kneels before the tomb of Charles V and implores God to ease her suffering. Don Carlo appears to say farewell as he goes to Flanders to raise the standard of rebellion. The would-be lovers are caught by the king and the Grand Inquisitor. Before the guards can seize Carlo, Charles V appears ands takes Don Carlo with him into the cloister.

Act 5

Carlos, calling on God, draws his sword to defend himself against the Inquisitor’s guards, when suddenly, the Monk emerges from the tomb of Charles V. He grabs Carlos by the shoulder, and loudly proclaims that the turbulence of the world persists even in the Church; we cannot rest except in Heaven. Philip and the Inquisitor recognize the Monk’s voice as that of the King’s father, former-Emperor Carlo V himself. Everyone screams in shock and terror, and the Monk/former-Emperor drags Carlos forcefully into the tomb and closes the outlet. The curtain falls.

Sources:

Opera, by Alan Riding and L.D. Downer. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2006

The Da Capo Opera Manual, by Nicholas Ivor Martin. New York: Da Capo Press, 1997

The Harrap Opera Guide, by Sir Alexander F. Morley. London: Harrap, 197

Monday, April 11th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Fanny Mendelssohn’s Trio in d minor & Clara Schumann’s 3 Romances

After moving to Düsseldorf in early 1853, Clara and Robert Schumann finally lived in a house large enough for Clara to practice and compose without disturbing her nervous husband. During that summer, she produced several works, among them the Three Romances for violin and piano, Op. 22, which was published in 1855 or 1856 in Leipzig.

In nineteenth century Germany, the vague term “romance” often meant simply a short piece for piano, or for another instrument with piano accompaniment. Clara Schumann dedicated her Three Romances to violinist Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), who later performed the pieces for King George V of Hanover, much to the musical monarch’s satisfaction.

The second of the Op. 22 set, in G minor, is representative of the three, and quite striking for its attractive lyricism. The plaintive main theme, syncopated and soaring, creates an atmosphere of melancholy that proves the perfect appetizer for the high-flying middle section. Now in the major mode, this second theme takes on an extroverted, almost majestic quality, best exemplified by its aggressive upward leaps and vigorous arpeggios. The B material alternates with sections of rapid imitation between piano and violin before giving way once again to the G minor opening tune; this time the piano plays a larger role in thematic presentation. A powerful, G minor version of the middle section’s soaring theme appears just before the close, which consists of a surprising, pizzicato chord.

Nos. 1 and 3 are similarly constructed, with contrasting middle sections enclosed by reprised lyrical material. Developing variation is less important than clear delineation of form through organization of melodies; it is clear from the intricate piano writing that the composer possessed an exceptional performing technique. The violin writing is equally effective and idiomatic.

Monday, March 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Rossini, La Cenerentola Act I

*A variation of the traditional Cinderella story*

I always love FAIRYTALE! : )

There are many colors changing within this piece.

La cenerentola (“Cinderella”) is one of Rossini’s longest comedies, and it bears little resemblance to Perrault’s famous fairy tale. However, there is no fairy godmother, no pumpkin coach with mice turned into horses, no glass slipper, and no ball at the Prince’s with a midnight curfew. What’s left is a sweet girl, mistreated by her stepfather and vain stepsisters, and a prince in search of a wife. The prince, Don Ramiro, seems to have narrowed his search for a bride to Don Magnifico’s household, and only Magnifico and his daughters are invited to the castle. Cinderella, here named Angelina, crashes the party and captures the Prince’s heart, although he is disguised as his servant Dandini. Instead of a glass slipper, Angelina has a pair of fancy bracelets. She gives Ramiro one of them and tells him to search for her, and she will be recognized by wearing the matching bracelet. Rossini didn’t like magical fairy tales.

Monday, March 7th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Schubert Trout Trout Trout :)

The Trout Quintet (Die Forelle) was composed in 1819, when Schubert was only 22 years old. It is based on a rather cute but trite 1783 poem by Christian Daniel Schubart (haha no relation to Schubert :P )

Here is the poem :)

Original(German) English
In einem Baechlein helle,
da schossin froher Eil
die launische Forelle
vorueber wie ein Pfeil

Ich stand an dem Gestade
und sah in suesser Ruh
des muntren Fischleins Bade
im klaren Baechlein zu.

Ein Fischer mit der Rute
wohl an dem UFer stand,
und sah’s mit kaltem Blute,
wie sich das Fischlein wand.

So lang dem Wasser Helle,
so dacht ich, nicht gebricht,
so faengt er die Forelle
mit seiner Angel nicht.

Doch endlich ward dem Diebe
die Zeit zu lang. Er macht
das Baechlein tueckish truebe,
und eh ich es gedacht,

so zuckte seine Rute,
das Fischlein zappelt dran,
und ich mit regem Blute
sah die Betrogne an.

In a bright brooklet
briskly and gaily sped
the wily trout
like an arrow past me.

I stood on the bank,
and in sweet calm watched
the cheerful fish bathing
in the clear brooklet.

A fisherman with his rod
stood there on the brink
and cold-bloodedly watched
how the fish turned round.

As long as the bright water
is undisturbed, I thought,
he won’t catch the trout
with his angle.

But at last the robber found
the time too long. He made
the brooklet muddy, by a trick,
and before I realized it,

his rod quivered,
the fish dangled on it,
and I with boiling blood
beheld the cheated catch.

The Trout Quintet is a leisurely work, characterized by lower structural coherence

1. Allegro vivace The first movement is in Sonata form, complete with the traditional exposition, development and recapitulation. Unlike most quintets based on the traditional string quartet, the Trout features a violin, viola, cello, bass and piano. This provides for a very different color and texture.

2. Andante The second movement is composed of two symmetrical sections, the second being a transposed version of the first, except for some differences of modulation which allow the movement to end in the same key in which it began. Each section contains three themes, the second of which is notable for its poignancy.

3. Scherzo Presto The third movement also contains mediant tonalities

4. Andantino Allegretto The forth movement is a set of variations on the Trout song theme, and is the only movement of the quintet that relates to the song. The tune itself is played, more or less unaltered, by a different instrument in each of the first four variations, with the other instruments playing decoratively around it. In the last variation, violin and cello play alternate phrases while the piano ripples the original accompaniment from Schubert’s earlier setting.

Anyways, I LOVE this piece a lot!

Monday, February 28th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Beethoven-Missa Solemnis

Beethoven-Missa Solemnis-Kyrie

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Op. 123

The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123, from 1819-1823

Kyrie: Perhaps the most traditional of the mass movements, the Kyrie is in a traditional ABA’ structure, with stately choral writing in the first movement section and more contrapuntal voice leading in the Christe, which also introduces the four vocal soloists.

Gloria: Quickly shifting textures and themes highlight each portion of the Gloria text, in a beginning to the movement that is almost encyclopedic in its exploration of 3/4 time. The movement ends with the first of the work’s two massive fugues, on the text “In gloria Dei patris. Amen”, leading into a recapitulation of the initial Gloria text and music.

Many Beethoven fans consider this “Solemn Mass” among the greatest works in the entire repertoire. However to me, it is not that touchy or astonishing. What I like the most is the beginning part of Gloria, which the symphony sounds so great!

Monday, February 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

I’m Chia-Chi

hey guys nice to meet you all! <3

Beethoven piano sonata op.2 no.2

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 Uncategorized 3 Comments