Composed by Alessandro Scarlatti , performed by Sylvia Kind on a harpsichord of the type used by Wanda Landowska Problems playing these files? See media help. The Baroque toccata, beginning with Girolamo Frescobaldi , is more sectional and increased in length, intensity and virtuosity from the Renaissance version, reaching heights of extravagance equivalent to the overwhelming detail seen in the architecture of the period. It often featured rapid runs and arpeggios alternating with chordal or fugal parts. Sometimes there was a lack of regular tempo and almost always an improvisational feel.
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With their complex tonal languages, innovative incorporation of folk idioms, and emotional extravagance, these works are as paradigmatic of the musical twentieth century as they are divergent from other canonized compositions of the era. They are a testament to the diversity of aesthetic streams circulating throughout the Western art music world, and offer an argument against any simple narrative of progress based on harmonic tools or compositional techniques.
Lush Romantic and Classical symphonies constitute the bread and butter of orchestral repertories across the country, while more modernist works continue to sustain much smaller, specialized audiences. Does a statement like the above mean Rachmaninoff was dwelling in the past?
In contrast, Russian progressives like Prokofiev or Stravinsky—half a generation younger than Rachmaninoff—are often said to have ushered tonality into the new century with innovative forays into neoclassicism, primitivism, expressionism, and other quintessentially modernist techniques. With just three decades between their respective experiences at the Moscow Conservatory, Rachmaninoff and Khachaturian both saw themselves as descendants of Tchaikovsky, and both struggled to establish their musical voices in the face of continuously fraught relationships with their national identities.
His parents were poor, and despite being immersed in the folk music of his community, he did not have access to formal musical education as a boy. Khachaturian followed his brother to Moscow in without knowing a word of Russian to pursue a degree in biology, deciding to take up cello lessons on the side at the Gnesin Institute. Shortly after learning to read music, he began to write it abundantly, abandoning his scientific pursuits and enrolling at the Moscow Conservatory full-time.
The burgeoning young composer wrote ravenously, completing over fifty pieces during his student years. Soon after leaving graduate school, Khachaturian composed his Piano Concerto in D Flat Major in , his first major work that established his name both within the Soviet Union and abroad.
As noted earlier, was also the year Rachmaninoff finished his Third Symphony from his new American home. Khachaturian also became chairman of the Union of Soviet Composers. His enthusiastic incorporation of Armenian folk tunes and celebration of communist ideals in the plots of his ballets were embraced by audiences and governmental authorities alike—until However, we are Communists and we must not stand with folded hands and let chaos develop as it pleases.
We must systemically guide this process and form its result. And this feeling, this love of life, was transmitted to the music. The piece won the Stalin Prize in , and has remained a favorite twentieth century concerto for violinists worldwide.
Rather than expressing the fresh excitement of an impending birth, the symphonic masterpiece presented tonight reflects its tortuously slow conception—one haltingly progressing from despair to triumph. The boy received a robust musical education from a young age, however, and continued to pursue a musical career, first as a pianist and later as a composer and even later as a highly successful conductor.
He failed his general subjects in school after his sister died of diphtheria and his father left the family to move to Moscow. He struggled with concentration issues in composition while studying with Nikolay Zverev at the Moscow Conservatory.
He moved frequently throughout his early career, in search of a peaceful place that would allow him to complete works that he too often started and then abandoned. To us this music leaves an evil impression with its broken rhythms, obscurity and vagueness of form, meaningless repetition of the same short tricks, the nasal sound of the orchestra, the strained crash of the brass, and above all its sickly perverse harmonization and quasi-melodic outlines, the complete absence of simplicity and naturalness, the complete absence of themes.
He took up conducting to fill the vacuum left by his composing slump, eventually becoming quite successful internationally in that regard despite his continued despondence. In an act of desperation, Rachmaninoff turned to a friend and amateur violinist Dr. Nikolai Dahl, who also happened to be a practitioner of hypnosis. Rachmaninoff regularly attended sessions with Dr.
Out of gratitude I dedicated my Second Concerto to him. Though he had sworn never to write one again after the traumatic reception of his first, he secretly began work on his Second Symphony while living in Dresden, where he moved to escape the copious requests for his services as a conductor.
I finished it a month ago and immediately put it aside. It was a severe worry to me and I am not going to think about it anymore. His compositional style solidified during this fruitful period of into the richly melodic, opulent textures balanced by discerning orchestration—qualities copiously in evidence tonight. The composer had dramatically innovated his symphonic structure and techniques of thematic development since writing his first symphony.
This momentous symphony, when performed without cuts as it will be tonight , comprises four movements that last around an hour. The first movement is the longest, presenting an opening motive—an ascending half-step followed by a falling four-note oscillation—which recurs at the beginning of each major section serves as the foundation for every subsequent theme. The second movement is an animated scherzo in C major, where the initial vigorous theme is diffused by a memorably sweeping melody that fades just before an aggressive fugue is introduced in the strings.
The symphony closes with an Allegro vivace dance movement in E major, cleverly revisiting material introduced earlier in the work. The official blog of the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. With six concerts a year, the USO performs major pieces in the symphonic repertoire as well as playing with renowned soloists.
Toccata for piano in E flat minor
The Toccata is pianistic and brilliant in its use of the piano, while aspects of its melodic and rhythmic material are traceable to Armenian folk music. A powerful rhythmic drive establishes itself from the very beginning of the Toccata, which begins Allegro marcatissimo. With each repetition he moves to another harmony, but the rhythm remains insistent, and the melodic material consists almost exclusively of leaps of a fourth and a third. Thus, rhythm becomes the salient feature of the opening section. Sustained block chords break the motion and prove to be part of a transition to a new section that begins first with triplet repeated notes and moves to a swirling triplet figure. Repetition again takes over as leaps of various sizes become the only variable melodic material.
List of compositions by Aram Khachaturian
With their complex tonal languages, innovative incorporation of folk idioms, and emotional extravagance, these works are as paradigmatic of the musical twentieth century as they are divergent from other canonized compositions of the era. They are a testament to the diversity of aesthetic streams circulating throughout the Western art music world, and offer an argument against any simple narrative of progress based on harmonic tools or compositional techniques. Lush Romantic and Classical symphonies constitute the bread and butter of orchestral repertories across the country, while more modernist works continue to sustain much smaller, specialized audiences. Does a statement like the above mean Rachmaninoff was dwelling in the past? In contrast, Russian progressives like Prokofiev or Stravinsky—half a generation younger than Rachmaninoff—are often said to have ushered tonality into the new century with innovative forays into neoclassicism, primitivism, expressionism, and other quintessentially modernist techniques.
They had 5 children, one daughter and four sons, of whom Aram was the youngest. In Tiflis, which has historically been multicultural, Khachaturian was exposed to various cultures. In a article "My Idea of the Folk Element in Music", Khachaturian described the city environment and its influence on his career: I grew up in an atmosphere rich in folk music: popular festivities, rites, joyous and sad events in the life of the people always accompanied by music, the vivid tunes of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian songs and dances performed by folk bards [ ashugs ] and musicians — such were the impressions that became deeply engraved on my memory, that determined my musical thinking. They shaped my musical consciousness and lay at the foundations of my artistic personality Whatever the changes and improvements that took place in my musical taste in later years, their original substance, formed in early childhood in close communion with the people, has always remained the natural soil nourishing all my work. After over two years of fragile independence, Armenia fell to Soviet rule in late
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