Grieg’s Lyric Pieces

As a piano player, I love romantic era’s pieces but I dislike contemporary pieces. However, Grieg’s 66 lyric pieces for solo piano happens to let me like contemporary music. They are all short and delicate. There are a few pieces that I don’t understand but most of them I would even be willing to play it. “the wedding day at Troldhaugen” and “butterfly” are the two piece I like the most. It’s beautiful to me.

I think North Europe is one of the most mysterious places in the world. The culture over there are really complicated and not common. I can’t think of any words to describe it. But due to they are cold all year and do not have dark nights all year. I think they have some more special ingredients to put in music than we do. To be honest, the knowledge of this part of the world is one of my weakest. I don’t know much but I would love to explore it when I can. How cool it will be if I can understand there life and play the right style of their music.

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Mussorgsky-Pictures at an Exhibition.

Picture at an exhibition is so famous that it has a lot of arrangements in the music world. I love this piece a lot, especially the orchestra version. Every fragments has its own style, representing a different picture. You can tell the differences easily. The dynamics and the tempo changes made this piece more dramatic and interesting. The brass section is so important and so powerful. They like soar high in the high register and play really solid in the middle register. For the most well-known melodies from this piece must be “promanade”. The glory feel  and the brilliant feel made me had goosebumps. The only thing I don’t understand is why it didn’t publish before Mussorgsky was died. It’s a pity that he didn’t get a chance to know how peoples’ feedbacks are. But I doubt someone will dislike this terrific work.

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Strauss-Der Rosenkavalier, Act I

Strauss really knows how to write orchestra music, even in an opera. The background music for this opera supported the story and action so well that you will be caught from the beginning. The first act of the Der Rosenkavalier is long but worth listen to it. I like the style an the feelings that it gave me, for examples, I rarely hear opera has waltz in it, but in this play I heard it and it wasn’t bad at all. I kind of like it when a composer put some new ideas in their works.

The orchestration seems to be a little like Wagner and early Mahler, but Strauss has his own style of writing his piece. I think this is why his pieces is so popular performed, especially, orchestra.

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Wagner-Parsifal

The last Opera composed by Wagner, the Parsifal, was based on a poem called Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach. The piece is a three movement opera, which Wagner wrote it with the inspiration of the life of Buddha. The whole piece actually let me feel kind of a modern movie soundtrack. Behind the music carries a heavy emotion in it, which it means the music is very hard and deep. You could hear the original sound of an instrument with its deep vibrato to express the strong thoughts needed to be expose. Not only the orchestra but also the vocalist. Telling stories in long phrases is commonly heard, especially the slow tempo parts. Many and many melodies are meant to be a motivation and should be well-treated. I would say that this piece is a nice ending for Wagner and his opera. We all listen to a lot of opera composed by him, but the thing is, every individual ones are unique and special. No one will doubt that Wagner set a standard for the opera world. His pieces are really legit.

Sunday, April 17th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Verdi’s Don Carlos

Don Carlos is a five- act composed by Giuseppe Verdi, this story is based on conflicts in the life. The length of this opera is very long, it last about 4 and a half hours.Whatever the version, the result is one of Verdi’s most sophisticated and moving creations, a sweeping tale of political and religious intrigues set against intimate scenes of family conflict. It is here that the Don Carlo and Elisabeth first meet, pledge their love and are depressed to learn she instead must marry his father, King Philip II of Spain, to restore peace between that country and Elisabeth’s native France. This opera is Verdi’s longest opera.

Monday, April 11th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Fanny Mendelssohn’s Trio in d minor and Clara Schumann’s Three Romances

Fanny Mendelssohn is the oldest in the Mendelssohn’s family. The piano trio was completed before her death, this piece has 4 movements, and due to the composer is a German, the trio has a strong German feel of romance in it.

The Final movement of this trio is the best movement above all in my opinion. The opening cadenza for piano is so good. In the middle of the piece is also really beautiful. It reminds me of Brahms and his music. The chord is so strong and so intense. There’s no weak part in the last movement and all the way to the ending.

Fanny might not be a really famous composer but some of her pieces are really important in the music world. Even this piano trio didn’t get any feed back from the audience when it was composed. This piece became famous after she died. It’s kind of a pity.

Sunday, March 20th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Rossini’s Guillaume Tell(William Tell)

Rossini’s Guillaume Tell is a well-know opera in four acts.  It also been know as william Tell.  The beginning of the overture is a famous excerpts, which used in lots of movies and cartoons.  This is a french style opera and also the last opera that Rossini had compose.  There’s no weak part in it and it happens to be a really intense opera.  Many years, people still like to listen and watch his works especially, William Tell.

Sunday, March 13th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Rossini’s La Cenerentola

Rossini is a really talented composer in the Romantic era. He is famous of writing a lot of opera, which effect a lot of composers later on. La Cenerentola is a two act opera written in his young age and is considered his finest opera among his works.
People in modern time think that this is just like the story of Cinderella. Although the story is much the same but they replace the bad stepmother to stepfather. Maybe Disney really used Rossini’s idea on creating the animation. Along the music, although, i don’t know what the lyrics are but I still can feel the feelings of Angelina.(main actress)The overture of this opera set off a good start of telling a story. And in the sixtet aria “Signor, una parola” is the best part of the entire opera. The soprano uses high technique singing abilities to express the dreadful situation of whether going to the ball or not. And in the whole piece, the male singer also sings a lot of high sing abilities aria, which made this piece more fun and more attractive.

Saturday, March 5th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Schubert’s Die Forelle and Piano Quintet in A Major (Trout)

Piano Quintet in A Major (Trout , D 667)

The “Trout” quintet is the one of Schubert’s most popular chamber work. “Trout” is a very different piece, the general work is often only four movement, but this piece, there are five movement.
Piano quintet ” Trout”, the beginning of the first movement, there are power chord and then turn into the freedom rhythm. Then a new melodies alternating with each other to show murmuring water situation. The second movement is more gentle and beautiful lyrical movement. The third movement, the piano across the other four string instruments, the active speed, as Schubert’s ingenuity; and then join string ensemble, to the beginning of music for the end of the recapitulation section. The fourth movement is from Schubert’s “Trout”, this movement reproduce the same theme again and again, we seem to see the trout play in the gurgling brook. Final, the fifth movement, the beautiful melody into a vibrant atmosphere to the end.

“Die Forelle”

“Trout”(Die Forelle) was originally a poem composed by German poet Shu Bate in 18th century. This is a popular piece for solo voice and piano. This song is basis of a set of variations in the fourth movement of Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A Major (Trout , D 667). There is the song text:

In einem Bächlein helle, In a bright little brook
Da schoß in froher Eil, there shot in merry haste
Die launische Forelle, a capricious trout:
Vorüber wie ein Pfeil. past it shot like an arrow.
Ich stand an dem Gestade, I stood upon the shore
Und sah in süßer Ruh, and watched in sweet peace
Des muntern Fischleins Bade, the cheery fish’s bath
Im klaren Bächlein zu. in the clear little brook.
Ein Fischer mit der Rute, A fisher with his rod
Wohl an dem Ufer stand, stood at the water-side,
Und sah’s mit kaltem Blute, and watched with cold blood
Wie sich das Fischlein wand. as the fish swam about.
So lang dem Wasser Helle, So long as the clearness of the water
So dacht ich, nicht gebricht, remained intact, I thought,
So fängt er die Forelle, he would not be able to capture the trout
Mit seiner Angel nicht. with his fishing rod.
Doch endlich ward dem Diebe, But finally the thief grew weary
Die Zeit zu lang. Er macht, of waiting. He stirred up
Das Bächlein tückisch trübe, the brook and made it muddy,
Und eh ich es gedacht, and before I realized it,
So zuckte seine Rute, his fishing rod was twitching:
Das Fischlein zappelt dran, the fish was squirming there,
Und ich mit regem Blute, and with raging blood I
Sah die Betrogene an. gazed at the betrayed fish.
Die ihr am goldenen Quelle, At the golden fountain
Der sicheren Jugend weilt, of youth, you linger so confidently;
Denkt doch an die Forelle, But think of the trout,
Seht ihr Gefahr, so eilt! and if you see danger, flee!
Meist fehlt ihr nur aus Mangel, Mostly it is from lack
der Klugheit, Mädchen, seht, of cleverness that maidens
Verführer mit der Angel! miss the angling seducers.
Sonst blutet ihr zu spät! So beware! otherwise you may bleed too late!

Saturday, February 26th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Beethoven Missa Solemnis op123

The Missa Solemnis is structured into five sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. And is combined with with orchestra with four solo people, including soprano,alto,tenor, and bass and a big four part choir.
For my own opinion, I like the Gloria the best. It’s a piece that has a lot of passion inside. We could find this kind of passion in many Beethoven’s symphony. The strong and loud start from the piece set off an impeccable start of the Gloria. And in the middle of the piece we could hear some elegant call and respond phrases that connect two major climax. For some part in the rest of the movements I sometimes feel sadness in it. Maybe Beethoven’s motivation doesn’t mean any sadness, but the melodies made me feel this way.
In conclude, This is a huge major choral piece that was composed around 1819-1823. And got a lot of feedback and applaud. It has been set as the two greatest Missa ever composed.

Sunday, February 20th, 2011 Uncategorized 1 Comment