Yejin Lee's Blog

An Oberlin course blog

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Grieg, Lyric pieces

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

Sadly, this set of pieces are not very much known, even to pianists. But I was lucky enough to have listened to these pieces quite a few times. One of my favorite pianists, Leif Ove Andsnes, recorded this pieces with Grieg piano concerto, so of course I listened to these many times. I like them because they’re very charming, beautiful, romantic but not tacky. I hope to play several and perform them sometime in the near future. And I like how all these little pieces are titled!

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Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

This used to be one of my favorite pieces when I was in middle school. I went to a piano recital by this Russian pianist, and he captured the audience with this piece very well. I never got to listen to the entire thing that is orchestrated by Ravel. It was very refreshing listening to all these different instruments. They almost change the images that I imagined at the certain parts of the piece. I still like the piano version better :)

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Strauss, Rosenkavalier

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

Whenever I listen to Strauss music, my feelings towards the piece always change. Strauss always fills my heart with something; I don’t know what to call it, but sometimes it’s just too romantic that I feel it’s a little tacky at times. Bright colors, rich harmonies, grand melodies, for a person who likes intimate music like Schumann, yes, it could be a little too much. It was the first time for me to listen to Rosenkavalier. It was exciting but still very extroverted and too bright for me. But I did like hearing more of winds and brass instruments!

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Wagner, Parsifal

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

The first live Wagner music I listened to was the Tannhauser Overture. Not being familiar with the Wagner music, I was surprised that I didn’t lose my interest in listening (probably also because of the Cleveland Orchestra was just amazing). It is just truly extraordinary that Wagner could compose such a thing. As everyone already studied about him in this semester, he was very into make a “total art work” where he was interested in creating the entire thing by himself. This listening proved that Wagner wrote very think texture for orchestra and such demanding and powerful vocal lines. It was also interesting to listen to the instrumentation he used at the times when the mood changed.

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Verdi, Don Carlos

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

Don Carlos, the longest opera by Verdi, I thought, expresses Verdi’s style very well. It has its grand style yet it definitely has some Italian quality. It express the tension between parents and children/ love and hate which Verdi was obsessed with. So it’s considered one of the most well demonstrated of the feelings by Verdi. The main reason why it has not been performed very often is that the length and the scale of the opera requires so much energy and there are not many singers who can handle this through the entire opera. In the act IV, starting from the prelude, you can see how the orchestra reflects the dark mood and develop the grand texture.

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Mendelssohn, Trio and Schumann, Three Romances

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

If you say Mendelssohn, we automatically think of Felix Mendelssohn. If you say Schumann, we think of the great Robert Schumann. I am somewhat more familiar with Clara Schumann’s works through Piano literature class. It is not very surprising that most of her music is very beautiful because Robert Schumann was known for beautiful intimate style (though he had two opposite personalities), and I’m sure, like everyone knows, she was very much influenced by him.

Fanny’s piece, I wouldn’t say the greatest piano trio, but was very romantic. It was pleasing to listen to, specially the second movement with beautiful lines.

Violin, being my favorite instrument, I was very happy to listen to Clara’s three Romances for violin and piano. Subtle interaction with piano and violin was very beautiful. Certainly Schumanns are great!!

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Rossini, Guillaume Tell

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

The only opera I am familiar with is his Barber of Seville. I am glad that I get to listen to other opera by him. The overture.. I had no idea it was from this Opera. It’s always fun to listen to. There are a few famous arias from this Opera, and I really enjoyed the Mathilde’s aria. The melody is truly beautiful. It is very different from his famous arias where it requires some virtuosic style. The long phrases were very nice to listen to.

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Rossini, La Cenerentola

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

Rossini’s La Cenerentola was very pleasing to listen to. I tend to like light Operas like comic operas, so it was very enjoyable. The music was stylistically like traditional Italian Opera. I’ve always like the story of Cinderella, so the plot was very easy to follow, and was interesting to see how the story was delivered. It was also interesting to hear how singer uses their techniques to create “fancy” style of melodies when they sing the arias.

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Schubert, Die Forelle

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

Schubert trout is one of the pieces that I could enjoy listening to in the mornings. The melody is very cheerful/charming yet calm at the same time. Easy to follow and sing along. Because of the existence of the famous voice and piano piece, it was very refreshing to listen to the string instruments with piano playing this piece. Maybe because of the title? I thought it almost makes it programmic music, being able to imagine the water and the movement of trout while listening to the music. I wish to learn this piece at some point in my life.

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Beethoven, Missa solemnis

May 20th, 2011 by Yejin Lee · Uncategorized

I am not very familiar with Beethoven’s vocal works. I’ve heard some of his arias, song cycle and the 9th symphony a lot, but this is the first time I heard the mass entirely. To be very honest, it was not easy to get in the mood for listening to the mass. Being one of the late works, it showed his grand style very well. I especially enjoyed the solo parts in Credo. Also the choir build up was so grand that it made it very glorious.

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