I will be looking at Hector Belioz’s Symphonie Fantastique’s Fifth movement known as “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” (Taruskin, 2005: 327). In this movement, Berlioz sees a horrific crowd of spirits, sorcerers, and monsters of every description, united for his funeral (Kamien, 2014: 296). Unfamiliar sounds, groans, shrieks of laughter, distant cries, which other cries seemed to answer and then through all of this the melody of his beloved is heard — the distorted Idée fixe melody. The presence of an idée fixe creates a motivic connection among all the movements resulting in what is called the cyclic form. The Idée fixe has lost its character of greatness and boldness and the tune is no more than danceable, ignoble, trivial and grotesque, Thus, …show more content…
There is a staccato chromatic descent repeated in the chords and then the strings leading to violins in piano with rapid ascent and crescendo. Cellos and basses are also in piano descending with long low tones introduced (Kamien, 2014: 297). A death bell of sonorous bells creates an amazing atmosphere to the next section of the movement. This melody is the medieval chant Dies irae which is traditionally 8 sung in the mass ceremony for the dead. The chant melody is soon shifted up to a higher register and is played by woodwinds and pizzicato 9 strings in a quick dance-like rhythm (Kamien, 2014: 297). Alterations with the violas in the beginning of the witches’ dance, followed by low tubas and bassoons in forte playing the Dies irae in long even notes. Higher horns and trumpets starts the beginning of the Dies Irae, but this time played faster (Kamien, 2014: 298). The woodwinds starts the section off with the Dies irae as a fast staccato …show more content…
The Low tubas and bassoons, continues playing the chant in long even notes, with bells accompanying, Higher horns and trumpets also continue playing the chant, but in a faster tempo and the high woodwinds continuing the chant in a fast dance tempo (Kamien, 2014: 298). Berlioz thus dared to parody a sacred chant by altering it into an insignificant melody, as he had previously done just a few bars earlier with the Idée fixe and therefore Berlioz conveys the insanity of a witches dance in a fugue-like section (Kamien, 2014: 297). There are violin syncopations, with piccolo and altered strings between the dynamics forte and piano to the repeated chords. The Witches’ dance is introduced in woodwinds and imitated with low strings and violins (Kamien, 2014: 298). The brass section of the orchestra plays rapid chords in fortissimo that are repeatedly answered by descending high woodwind section that descends to pizzicato in the cello and bass section of the orchestra. The varied witches’ dance is imitated by bassoons, horn punctuations that are followed by the low string section with a mezzo-piano dynamic and in the brass section the chant of Dies irae (Kamien, 2014: 299). The fugue theme of the witches’ dance is introduction by the lower strings and then imitated
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I think that there are two musical ideas in this piece with the pattern AABBAAB. Idea A starts at the beginning and ends at 0:16, then repeats itself until 1:21. Idea B occurs during 1:22-2:17 with a saxophone carrying the melody of the piece. Idea B is started again during 2:18-3:17 but this time, a piano takes the melody. Idea A begins again at 3:18-3:45 and repeats again at 3:46-4:15.
The stringed instruments were the accompaniment; therefor, they began with harmonics, chromatics, and tremolo for various measures rather than having a moving part. The melody was given to the flutes and soloist, Sami Junnonen, who was also very talented. The song was about 22 minutes long and he had the whole piece memorized. It sounded very sad, but soothing simultaneously. There were visuals around the theater, which made it easier to understand and visualize what Lopez was trying to describe when writing the song.
The same themes and chords cycle in this piece. The chords and continuous chorus do not sound like piano performance. The listeners could be aware of the resonance of the piano. I could notice that the music reaches the end of the work. However, the song could go on moreover, if the composer would keep playing the music.
It also repeats a lot making the relatively short piece on paper last longer. The dynamics stay mostly the same and the tempo does not change. The Third part, Farewell, Dundee is in 6/8 time and again start with the drums and then the flutes join in. This part also repeats a lot. The main melody is by the flutes.
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
Keghan Delacenserie MUST0802 The Art of Listening Audio Critique #1 – Meredith Willson’s “Till There Was You” 1. Musical characteristics: a. Melody: After an eight-bar introduction where Marian explains why she finally decided to meet up with Harold, she starts singing an A melody: “There were bells…”. After she repeats the A melody with a different set of lyrics – “There were birds…”
Instruments are introduced at the beginning of new sections, such as the pre-chorus and chorus. Dynamics each verse begins in mp and increases dynamically to mf at the pre-chorus; there is a slow crescendo to f during the transition from pre-chorus to chorus. Tempo the tempo of this song is moderato at approximately 116 bpm, however it feels much slower due to the emphasis being on the 2nd and 4th beats rather than on the 1st and 3rd.
The introduction of the piece is the same as that of “The Raiders March”, but with strings playing in the background. The A melody begins with the trumpet as the strings fade out (0:07). The first minute and a half of the song is played the same as that of “The Raiders March”, though due to differing sound equalization, some parts stick out more or less than they do in the original. For example, in the third repetition of the A melody, one can more clearly hear the xylophone accompanying the melody here than in “The Raiders March”. The piece begins to differ more significantly after the break following the third repetition of the A melody when the piece modulates down a half step instead of up like in the original (1:37).
This movement begins with a beautiful love song until a turbulent middle sections rudely interrupts its dream-like reverie. The finale, Andante-Allegro, begins with a quiet, introspective introduction in the piano alone which then leads into an exuberant Allegro. At the Allegro, the violin breaks forth with ascending, slashing passages from its lowest to its highest register, creating a sense of drama and importance. However, then comes a playfulness that sneaks into the music almost without notice. And then after a rush of virtuosic passages from both violin and piano, the sonata comes to an explosive end.
It is forceful and heavy and is very different to the accompaniment of the first section. The accompaniment has a sudden crescendo from the pianissimo of the first section to the mezzo forte of the second section, which shocks the audience. The harmonies are also more chromatic and dissonant, adding to the unease and discomfort felt, both by the character and the audience. In bar 23, instead of the dyads, the left hand begins playing octaves while the right hand plays chords, making the piece feel more menacing. The crescendos, diminuendos and sforzandos in the accompaniment, and the harmonies accurately portray the second and fifth stanzas of the poem, where the character is pulled from his lovely dream and sees his reality, where it is cold and he is alone.
This Chaconne begins with a singing violin melody almost beguiling in its character, with a natural sense of ebb and flow that traverses numerous episodes. With the addition of double stops and chordal textures, the intensity gradually rises until it reaches the breaking point where the violin charges forward through a frenetic, virtuosic passage. The tension and register continue to rise to the point where the violin sounds as if it is screeching. The drama resolves in the brief coda as the frantic energy unwinds and the violin fades away into the
There were many musical elements heard throughout these pieces and it was interesting to hear how they varied in each song and suite. In Intermezzo, it began with a quieter violin solo melody creating a monophonic texture. Soon after, it became accompanied by the other violins and cellos, then the full ensemble came in creating a moderate, flowing melody at about mezzo forte and switching to a polyphonic texture. Next, there was a harp solo at forte with many crescendos and decrescendos. The full ensemble enters again raising the dynamics to forte before decrescendoing and slowing down to end with a held note and final tone.