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Pictures at an Exhibition

I love Pictures at an Exhibition. I’ve played it twice, although the first doesn’t really count because it was just the watered down arrangement that we played in high school orchestra. It was a really strange arrangement, because the very famous trumpet solo was given to the horns as a soli! But seeing as I play horn and we never got any good parts in high school arrangements, I really enjoyed that arrangement. We also got the tuba solo in the Bydlo, which by the way is my favorite movement. It’s so cool!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

William Tell Overture

I love Rossini’s William Tell Overture. It’s a lot of fun to play (the fast section!), and I really enjoyed listening to it as well. It’s so exciting, and the beginning is beautiful as well. When I was little, my dad bought the Lone Ranger for really cheap (he was a huge fan when he was younger), so I watched it A LOT when I was really little. The actual story and everything wasn’t too exciting for me (I preferred Cinderella), but I always got way too into the Lone Ranger theme whenever it came on. My parents used to laugh at me. I was so excited when I realized that William Tell was the Lone Ranger theme!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Wagner-Parsifal

Act 3 of Wagner’s opera Parsifal is very dark. Something that is very typical of Wagner is that the orchestra is more prominent. The focus isn’t as much on the singers as it is in other operas, which I love because I’m a brass player. I watched this on youtube and one of the top comments was “pure funeral gloom.” I can’t really say it any better than that.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Verdi-Don Carlos

Verdi’s opera Don Carlos is Grand Opera that consists of five acts. It was first performed in 1867. Act 4 consists of two scenes. I felt that it was very long, but very beautiful. After listening to a lot of Wagner later, I hear a definite contrast. The scoring is lighter, with the orchestra being a lot less prominent. It sounds very Italian, which I guess makes sense because it’s Verdi.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Strauss-Der Rosenkavalier

Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) is a three act comic opera based on the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai. The first act consists of Princess Marie Therese von Werdenberg and Count Octavian Rofrano (who is much younger than she is) professing their love for one another. She is a married woman, so when her husband comes home unexpectedly, Count Octavian has to disguise as a chambermaid. After being mistaken for his illegitimate sister, he is told to deliever a silver engagement rose to Sophie, who he later falls in love with.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Clara and Fanny

Clara Schumann’s 3 Romances for violin and piano are very beautiful and emotional. I loved listening to them. Fanny Mendelssohn’s Trio for Piano and Strings in D Minor was gorgeous and just as emotional as Clara Schumann’s Romances. Until this class, I hadn’t heard of Fanny Mendelssohn, so I definitely didn’t expect to like her trio as much as I did.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Greig’s Lyric Pieces

Grieg’s Lyric Pieces are a collection of really short pieces written for solo piano. There are 66 total, in 10 volumes. They were published between 1867-1901. I really enjoyed listening to them, and I liked that they were short and sweet.

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Rossini’s La Cenerentola

Rossini’s La Cenerentola is based on the fairytale “Cinderella.” What I found especially interesting was that instead of the wicked step-mother, Angelina (Cenerentola) actually had a wicked step-father.

The overture is light and fun to listen to. It starts off softer and slower, and gradually builds up with the famous “Rossini crescendo” that was talked about in class. All in all, I found Act 1 to be really exciting. It actually helped me feel slightly more energized!

Monday, March 7th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in D Major

I was not at all familiar with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in D Major. It was first performed in 1824, the same year that his Ninth Symphony in D Minor was completed. While his Symphony No. 9 is thought by many to be his masterpiece, this particular mass did not receive the same popularity. I personally preferred his 9th Symphony (all of his symphonies, actually) to the mass. I felt that there was more to listen to and Beethoven immediately drew me in. I didn’t feel the overwhelming emotion and intensity that I had felt when listening to his symphony.

The Kyrie started out slow and lyrical. I feel terrible for saying this since Beethoven clearly put a lot of emotion into it, but I found myself tempted to skip ahead after awhile. It was gorgeous and I’m sure that it would be amazing to hear live, but I felt that it went on and on. I enjoyed the Gloria more, especially the ending. The beginning of the Gloria starts out loud, full, and exciting. Beethoven constantly changes the mood throughout, going from glorious/magnificent to calm/gentle. The voices are sweeter, as are the soft solos coming from the woodwinds. The Credo is very similar in that the mood, themes, and textures are frequently changing.

Monday, February 21st, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011 Uncategorized 2 Comments