Michael Casimir's Blog

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Verdi, Don Carlos (Act IV)

April 11th, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

I don’t really know much about this duet, but it seems like it starts out like a recitative, and then moves to something else. Verdi treats the voice like the Italians treat the voice. The orchestral texture is very light, and seems to only accentuate the melody of the voice. It is a shame that Verdi doesn’t have the two voices sing together until the very end. This duet reminds me of the mozart sinfonia concertante because the violin and viola don’t really play together until the very end (excluding the beginning). By not having the two voices sing together it really shows that the characters and the words are more important than the beauty of the music.

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Clara Schumann Three Romances

March 21st, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

I feel like she writes in style that combines the tonal pallet of Brahms with the quirky stylings of Robert Schumann. These three romances sound like a song cycle in which the words were removed. The first movement is very sad and passionate. The second movement has a spritelier character, and the third movement sounds like the first movement of a Brahms violin sonata. I find it interesting to wonder if these “romances” have anything to do with her own personal romances. And if each romance describes a different man. Or maybe, the first and third movement is a tonal painting of her relationships with Robert and Brahms, and the 2nd movement could be her romance with the piano? I am not sure but since Robert wrote those short character pieces on Paganini and Chopin, maybe Clara followed suit and wrote character pieces about Robert and Brahms.

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Act II of Guillaume Tell

March 14th, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

I listened to the trio, “Ses jours qu’ils ont osé proscrire”. Probably the most heart wrenching vocal trio I have ever listened too. Not that I listen to lots of vocal trios, but this one I will remember for the rest of my life. The best part starts at 2:17, where the tenor answers with “mon pere” and then his line keeps rising, and the opera singer does a great job of showing the sadness of the line by his emphasis on “je ne te verrai plus” the second time it comes. By taking time and doing a vocal “portamento” on each note. Absolutely outstanding. One of the comments on this video read, “Act 1 and 3 were composed by Rossini, but Act 2 was composed by God”. I find that to be very interesting, I would agree based off just this piece.

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Rossini’s La Cenerentola

March 7th, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

I think that Rossini’s style of composition is very similar to Mozart’s. He uses a small, cute, and simple melody and then extrapolates that, and uses numerous sequences and scalar patterns to fill in the rest of his piece. Also I feel like this music could go be played in the background of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, or a Bugs Bunny Cartoon. His pieces have a very playful character. And this modern day take on La Cenerentola is very amusing. I like how the music goes along with what the actress is doing. The music has a playfully busy character which goes along well with the scene.

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Die Forelle

February 28th, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

The theme and variations movement of  Die Forelle is a happy version of the 2nd movement of the Der Tod und das Madchen quartet by Schubert. There is an interesting documentary on youtube about one of the most legendary performances of the Trout. Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Barenboim, Jacqueline Du Pré, Zubin Mehta and Pinchas Zukerman get together at the peak of their careers and perform a public concert in London. What I find interesting is how well they played together. I feel like it would be hard to have that many egos in the room without any confrontation. And here is a link to some interesting things about Schubert and the concert.

“The intention was two-fold: to film the concert itself live on stage, exactly as it happened, with five of the newly invented, silent 16mm film cameras and to make an introduction to it during the preceding week, documenting the preparations and, in particular, the spirit behind the event.”  (allegrofilms.com)

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Beethoven’s Op. 123

February 21st, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

As I listen to this piece, I fell it’s very hard for anyone to not believe in some type of greater divine entity. In particular the Kyrie, I had a strong connection with more so than the other two. I really like the opening and how the horns are very prominent, almost as if the gates of heaven opened. Following the horns, Beethoven then uses many beautiful melodic sequences at a mezzo piano dynamic and then concludes with a cadence to then introduce the chorus at a thunderous forte. I love how from the thick texture of the chorus, Beethoven brings forth a solo voice, and that drastic transition works seamlessly. The solo fugue between the 4 voice parts is also a nice touch.

The opening of the Gloria reminds me of the “Hallelujah Chorus” if it was injected with some steroids. The strings moving up and down in a scalar/ arpeggiation makes it seem a little bit more amped up than the “Hallelujah Chorus”. A nice similarity between the Kyrie and the the Gloria is the fugue using solo voices and then the chorus responds with fortitude. I think this pattern is used a lot in masses.  I think if I remember correctly the Bach B minor mass does something similar.

There is one section of the Credo that I find particularly beautiful, and it begins a little before the 7th minute (D minor section) where the solo vocal quartet trade off the word “passus” in the different registers, and then after that, a little transition to a very wonderful moment where the chorus holds a petal “A”, the orchestra has a rising sequential pattern and uses the A as a pedal point, and then the vocal quartet trades off the word “passus” again. It is very “Mozartian” tool.

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Hello world!

February 16th, 2011 by Michael Casimir · Uncategorized

Welcome to your blog. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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