Archive for the ‘Composition’ Category

Chant sans paroles (Song without words) Op. 2 No. 3 by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
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Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1820-1869): Chant sans paroles (Song without words) Op. 2 No. 3

It was originally written for piano as part of a collection of three short piano pieces called Souvenir de Haspal, a musical set of postcards commemorating a vacation Tchaikovsky and his brother took in the summer of 1867. It is more in the style of Romantic period than his typical full flowering orchestral arrangement. Nevertheless, it remained popular among public.

– From Wikipedia and other www sources

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Allegro appassionato in B minor for cello and piano, Op. 43 by Camille Saint-Saëns

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): Allegro appassionato in B minor for cello and piano, Op. 43

Saint- Saëns composed the piece shortly after he married Marie Laurie Emillie Truffot in 1875. The solo cello enters with a bouncy tune immediately after a few syncopated chords. It has a form of A – B – A – B (extended) in a new key. It has lively rhythms and remains one of the most popular works by Saint-Saëns.

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Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Clarinet and Viola, K498 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Clarinet and Viola, K498 (1786)

The standard statement about this piece is that Mozart signed the autograph copy of this trio “Vienna, 27 July, 1786, while playing skittles,” hence, the title “Kegelstatt,” which means bowling alley. However, this story is disputed by Stanley Geidel, as quoted below:

Plath and Rehm point out that the subtitle “Kegelstatt” was possibly erroneously transferred from Mozart’s set of Twelve Duos for Two Wind Instruments, K. 487. The manuscript of these Duos, dated nine days earlier than the Trio, bears the inscription “untern kegelscheiben” (i.e., “during a game of skittles”). Köchel, in his catalog of Mozart’s work, confirms this inscription in the Duos. No similar inscription appears in the manuscript of the Trio.

I have personally examined the manuscript of the Trio at great length, and written extensively on this great work. It is very clear that the “Kegelstatt” music is in fact the Twelve Duos, this fact confirmed by a note in Mozart’s own hand, which appears on the Duos. In the final analysis, all of this confusion most likely arose from a publisher’s error.

The trio, now irrevocably but as it turns out erroneously labeled as the “Kegelstatt,” is in three movements: a moderato, a minuet, and an allegretto, all sharing nearly the same tempo. Mozart wrote the piano part for one of his students and the clarinet part for a friend. As he often enjoyed being in the middle of the musical texture, he played the viola part himself.

-Notes by Stephen Senturia based on materials by Gary Meyer and Stanley Geidel.

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Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano by Max Bruch

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

These pieces were written for Bruch’s clarinetist son, Max Felix Bruch (1884-1943). Simrock published the work in 1910 shortly after its completion. The presentation of only three of the eight pieces complies with the desire of the composer, who stated that he did not intend the work to be performed in its entirety at any one time. Heard here in order of performance are No.7, No. 6, and No. 4. Each is a two- or three-part form with the thematic material skillfully dovetailed, shared, or alternated between the clarinet and violin, with the piano providing harmonic support. The “Nachtgesang” piece is illustrative of Bruch’s interest in folk resources, for in previous works he had set Scottish, Swedish, Hebrew, Russian, Welsh, and Celtic tunes. The composer’s gift for lyricism is apparent and gratifying in all of the Opus 83 pieces, leaving Bruch’s listeners wishing he had treated the genre of chamber music more generously.

– Based on notes by Mary Craford.

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Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 12, No. 1 by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ludwig Van Beethoven composed ten violin sonatas between 1797 and 1812. The set was dedicated to Antonio Salieri, who was one of Beethoven’s teachers for many years and also one of the most influential musical figures in Vienna at that time.

Most violin sonatas in eighteenth century were written in the style of the ‘sonata for keyboard with the accompaniment of a violin’. Beethoven’s sonata for violin and piano is an exception showing more interdependence between the piano and violin parts.

Opus 12, No. 1 is in D major. It has a fast first movement with many motifs introduced in first dozen bars and may have taken early audiences by surprise. The second slow movement is a theme and four variations and the finale Rondo generates a captivating vitality.

– Based on notes in the DECCA recording of 1988

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Piano Trio No. 39 in G major for Piano, Violin, and Cello by Joseph Haydn

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) wrote the piano trio while visiting London at the age of 63 in 1795. The best known of Haydn’s trios is also known as the “Gypsy” or “Gypsy Rondo” trio because of its Rondo finale in Hungarian style. The trio is in a standard three movements, but the first movement is Andante instead of fast movement (as in Sonata). Haydn spent most of his life in the courts of Esterhazy and Eisenstadt near the Hungarian plain. Haydn was familiar with and fond of the folk music of the region. He based the third movement Rondo on a gypsy theme. Haydn dedicated the trios to his friend Rebecca Schroeter.

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Cello Concerto in C Minor by Johann Christian Bach

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782) was the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and studied with J C Bach’s half-brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. J C Bach had more fame in his lifetime than his father. His successful opera caught Queen Sophie’s attention. The queen of England was German and was homesick and happy to hire a young German as her music teacher. He also wrote many orchestral and chamber works. Although the concerto in C minor is an example of classical-era concerto, there is a theory that J C Bach did not compose it. The concerto has disappeared since his brother CPE Bach’s death in 1788 and did not appear until 1947 via violinist Henri Casadesus and Camille Saint-Saëns.

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