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It was an immediate success on the concert stage and Liszt soon produced an orchestral arrangement in collaboration with Franz Doppler, a flute virtuoso. The Rhapsody is divided into two sections. A brief introduction, beginning deceptively in C-sharp major and with harmonies that foreshadow the latter section , opens the piece and establishes in heavy tones the melancholic tone of the first section—the Lassan.

Slow and turning to the key of C-sharp minor, the Lassan begins solemnly with weighted accompaniment against which the melody seems to trudge slowly onward. Shifting to the key of the subdominant, the Friska begins with its own prolonged introduction in F-sharp minor.

Despite the minor key, it ushers in a feeling of gaiety and builds in excitement until the dance proper arrives in quick tempo and the key of F-sharp major.

soirs gaiety op 5 no 2 Manual

Perhaps the most familiar part of the Rhapsody, the Friska from this point on is a showcase of virtuosic pianism at its finest. First and foremost, it is an astonishingly mature work for an eighteen-year-old. It is difficult to think of another multi-movement work that behaves like this.


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This influence can be seen in the advanced harmonic language, tightly knit counterpoint, recitative passages and use of motivic fragments for developmental purposes. Another Beethovenian device is the use of a three-word question as the source of inspiration.

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The quartet begins with a warmly consoling, richly scored, chorale-like passage that gives no hint of the emotional turmoil and contrapuntal displays about to be unleashed. It is the perfect foil. Its rhythm is everywhere, even if its melodic profile is not. As a further measure of the emotional heat of this movement, the second theme, announced by the first violin, is in E minor, not major, as would be the case in most any other sonata-form movement of the period. The spirit of Beethoven is nowhere more pronounced than in the adagio movement, with its soulful, hymnlike opening subject and aura of Innigkeit inwardness.

More Beethovenian influence is seen in the use of fugato a short passage in fugal style but not a fully developed fugue and in the highly advanced harmony of the central episode. Perhaps nowhere else did Mendelssohn ascend to such levels of expressive dissonance as he did in this movement. In fact, the similarity in both rhythm and melodic outline is remarkably close to the corresponding passage in Op. Thereafter it returns in varied form three more times interspersed with fresh melodic ideas.

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Again, as in the first movement, the second theme is in E minor, not E major. Mendelssohn saves his greatest surprise for the end. The music seems to be hurtling toward a thrilling conclusion. The fourth recitative passage interrupts the proceedings, and we revert to the tranquil music that opened the quartet nearly half an hour ago. Each is a four-part sequence of dance movements, all in the same key but varied in rhythm, tempo and mood: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue.

To this basic framework additional movements, usually of French origin are found between the Sarabande and Gigue. These dance movements are generally in binary form, with each half repeated. The Fifth French Suite opens with an Allemande of uncommon graciousness and closes with a Gigue requiring great technical facility and a firm sense of rhythm. The lively Courante takes its name from the French courir to run. This movement too is characterized by continuous motion, but is generally faster than the Allemande and is in triple metre. The Sarabande, slowest of the movements, is stately, dignified, and full of elaborate embellishments to the simple melodic line.

It is in triple metre, with the second beat of each measure heavily weighted. The Gavotte in this suite is a bright and breezy piece, often found in collections for young pianists to play. It originated in the Auvergne in the mid sixteenth century.


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  • Its name comes from bourrir , meaning to flap wings. The strongly defined contrast between the two movements has an apocryphal biographical explanation. Beethoven dedicated the sonata to his aristocratic friend Count Moritz von Lichnowsky, who was engaged to be married.

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    Some listeners like to hear the two movements as representing instead speech and song, or prose and poetry. The Four Piano Pieces Op. Within these general outlines Brahms lets his poetic imagination roam freely as he develops short, epigrammatic or enigmatic musical cells in some of his most personal and intimate compositions.

    Simplicity and concentration are the keynotes. It is as if the composer, at the end of his life, had compressed the essence of his musical and emotional thoughts into these miniatures. The delicate yet restlessly meandering first Intermezzo in B minor, with its muted, veiled colours, is followed by another featuring a contrasting central section tenderly evocative of a Viennese waltz.

    In the surprisingly lighthearted Intermezzo, the melody is found in an inner voice. The final piece also brings surprise, this time for the almost heroic quality it projects. Yet this is heroism thwarted, the Rhapsody ending not in triumph but in tragedy as the music takes a sudden shift into the minor mode during its dramatic final moments. Scholars lack definite evidence of its date and place of composition, but most are willing to grant that most likely Schubert wrote this sonata during the summer of while vacationing in Steyr in Upper Austria. The second subject, hardly less enchanting, arrives soon and without preamble.

    Of course Schubert manages all this so naturally that hardly one listener in a thousand notices, let alone cares. The central slow movement focuses insistently on a rhythmic pattern, one Schubert used often a long followed by four short notes.

    This dreamy idyll is derived from a single theme Schubert expands into a perfectly proportioned structure. The insouciant finale is again in sonata form, unremarkable aside from one glaring irregularity: the recapitulation begins not in the home key of A major but in the subdominant of D major. In lesser hands, the music can sound merely pretty, or puzzlingly disjointed. In the hands of one who has the emotional depths to identify completely with the mysteries of the music, these scores have the capacity to heal the deepest emotional wounds.

    The polonaise originated in the late sixteenth century as a stately processional dance in triple metre. Instead, the polonaise became a powerful symbol of Poland, a proud evocation of past splendor transparently designed to draw attention to present oppression. All these qualities are found within the first moments of the Polonaise on this program.

    There also exists a solitary additional Prelude, Op. It is a three-layered affair, with the middle one most prominent long-short , a non-stop flurry of even thirty-second notes in the uppermost level, and an equally unvarying series of three shorts and a long in the bass. A lesser composer might quickly have induced aural fatigue with such a formula; Chopin sustains interest with his sophisticated harmony and dynamic control. But this would not do justice to its spirit. He breaks and varies the conventionalized rhythm in half a hundred ways, lifting to the plane of a poem the heavy footed peasant dance.

    Its harmonic language is adventurous to the degree of being almost avant-garde, its melodic lines are richly ornamented with twists, turns and arpeggios, and its rhythm is highly sophisticated. The composer called each of his two sonatas Op. In these works, the improvisatory impulse, free flights of fancy and avoidance of conventional forms are carried further than ever before. While the first of the two Op. The subtitle, as many people are aware, was not given by Beethoven.

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    The musical and structural as opposed to the romantic and fictitious elements of the sonata are considerable. The Moonlight is written in a rarely-used key, especially for the periodC-sharp minor. Mozart did not write a single work in this key, and Haydn did so only once.