Bach worked as a composer for royalty in Germany during the Weimar and Baroque period and contributed over 200 original cantatas. Bach was most well known for playing the organ, and his most important work contributed to music was The Well-tempered Keyboard that involved 48 preludes and fugues, a pair for each major and minor key. The significance of his work was the full range of keys used and the distinct difference from each key. Towards the end of Bach’s life he performed for the court of King Fredrick II and was beloved in Prussia. At the end of his life Bach had composed over 1,000 works and was a major influence on Haydn and Mozart.
Towards the end of this movement, we get a long series of magical-sounding ascending and descending piano trills which then fall into a very low, but ambitious bass line which carefully (but quickly) builds up into a climactic and cheerful finale that concludes the movement with an exciting boom at the
The first violin phrase is played again in piano with fluctuating rhythm in the background played by violas. The piece moves to Phrase 2 where woodwinds join and move the music from piano to forte for a few seconds, then phrase 1 is modulated with accompaniment of the woodwinds. Then in the transition, the piece goes back to the tonic key (first key) and switches between upper and lower strings, and ending in sustained chords with the addition of woodwinds instruments in subito forte. The piece jumps to the second theme presented initially in the
G. F. Handel and J.S Bach were both composers who were born in Germany. Bach came from a family with a rich musical background, while Handel did not (Kamien, pg 143). The compositions of Handel and Bach, Messiah and Wachet Auf, both have a religious context and include the ritornello technique. As for the texture of these compositions, both are characterized by a polyphonic and imitative texture. Additionally, string instruments are used in Messiah and Wachet Auf.
Special Topic #4: J. S. Bach Ricercar This piece of music, The Musical Offering, is a set of pieces composed by J. S. Bach in 1747. King Frederick II of Prussia challenged J. S. Bach to improvise a six-voice fugue on the theme of “Regis Iussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta", and so he did. The first letters of each word of the theme spell out the word “Ricercar”, which was a well-known genre of that time. Throughout this piece, J.S. Bach uses many of the basic elements of music to all work together to create the shape, along with the dramatic flow of this piece.
Beginning in the somber key of D minor, the overture begins slowly with the melody alternating between the low strings and low brass sections (Fiedler, Arthur). Although the overture has a relatively long introduction, the suspense built up is abruptly shattered by a sudden modulation to D major and an eruption into the first statement of the motif by the violins. Characterized by a descending sixteenth note pattern, the motif has a tremendous energy that eventually gives way to a calm, relaxing atmosphere led by the woodwind section (“Overture, Prince Igor”). After a lengthy interplay between the woodwinds, brass, and the strings, the overture then gains momentum again, reintroducing the motif. Although somewhat broken up this time, the motif is apparent, being embellished in short spurts again by the violin section.
It is varied with the addition of the woodwind instruments in the offbeat. The next variation is played in measure 44 with rhythmic expansion of the theme to half and quarter notes. A new melody, played by the oboe and clarinet, is introduced in measure 76 but
It features two main themes, plus many melodic episodes. The structure - in A-B-A form - is clearly identifiable through the themes that mark each of the sections: the lyrical melody that opens the work, the exciting piu animato that ends with a demanding cadenza, and the final recapitulation that is followed by a cheeky and vivacious codetta that brings the work to a dramatic close. Possessing a memorable melodic theme, the piece tests the performer through the unending phrases, virtuosic c and the resultant nimble fingerwork required. It has remained one of the great standards amongst the
Bar 17 introduces another sudden change from piano to forte and semiquaver arpeggiations in both hands. In the second time bar, the rising A major scale, also found in bar 9, propels the coda. The coda swiftly introduces new material: from beat three of bar 20 there is a decorated descending scalic motion from E to B in the melody line which is afterwards restated in semiquavers, finally reaching the tonic A. The piece ends with powerful perfect
The introduction part of the first movement started with a moderately slow tempo of Andante with accompaniment of violin sound. It then continued with a solemn music of brass chord which depicted the conflict between the two families. Then, there was one repetition of the sequence before it went to a heavy, angular march theme music accompanied by a dull trombone sound, which replaced the mood into a rapid tempo of Allegro with a shifting in the melody of around an octave higher, and a louder dynamic. The second part of “The Young Girl Juliet” began with the skittering play of flutes and cheerful sound of light percussion that portrayed Juliet as a young teenager, with a gentle clarinet sound perfectly represented the innocence of Juliet.
The last piece of the performance was Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Opus 54, written by Dmitri Shostakovich. This piece also has three movements, and they are Largo, Allegro, and Presto. The piece starts off with a homophonic texture, followed by several changes in tempo and dynamics. The middle of the piece was mostly very quiet and slow.
From bar 41, the texture of the winds gradually fills up as the flute now joins the bassoons. Clarinets and horns enter at bar 45. At bars 46-48, antiphonal treatment of strings against woodwinds. Inner strings play an ostinato descending 4-note scale motif in tremolo. The music becomes more agitated.
The chords throughout this piece are all heard in first inversion in order to make shifts between keys easy, however, each cadence is played in F major. Chords move through the circle of fifths starting on G and ending with Bb, with chords changing at the end of each statement on the last syllable. The use of the circle of fifths reflects the conflict happening on stage, giving the effect of a darkened mood, underlined with a sudden modulation to D minor. Figaro begins to lack comprehension which is portrayed through a modulation to A major, the corresponding false relation. A modulation to D major is heard as Susanna teases Figaro by saying ‘you are my servant, no?’ and brightens the mood.
This is then followed by a sing-song like eight-note figure that features a pointed forward momentum. The rhythmic building blocks of the theme is constructed in two bar phrases which then sequences upward by step (Example 1). The accompaniment to the theme is sustained half notes played by the second violins, Violas, and Cellos The home key and the harmonic content of the exposition is also very clear in its presentation. The opening of the movement is in A major and remains primarily diatonic in its harmonic content, with only the occasional passing tone. The primary theme is played twice having a four-bar transition in between each quotation (Example 2).