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ABennett

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ABennett last won the day on March 2 2015

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About ABennett

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  • Birthday 05/21/1990

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  1. Because of the pro-Italian classicist rage of the time, for a lot of Renaissance composers born away from Italy traveling there to learn the craft of composition was all but essential in order to be successful. Though I'm sure it's much less a matter of being inspired, these composers nonetheless were heavily influenced by their time studying in Italy. Some of the composers described above: Josquin des Prez Philippe Verdelot Adrian Willaert Jacques Arcadelt Cipriano de Rore Orlando di Lasso Heinrich Schütz (arguably transitional between Renaissance and Baroque)
  2. Tchaikovsky was very enamored with Italy during his sojourns there and wrote a few works commemorating his visits (e.g. Capriccio Italien, Souvenir de Florence). Though he did not leave what we call Austria today, Schubert thrived on travel. Being a self-claimed Schubert aficionado, I know from some research that his summer vacations to Steyr and Bad Gastein left very lasting impressions on his works, maybe most obviously in the ninth symphony. In fact summer was often Schubert's happiest times - though typically his least productive. Following his vacations he would be like a bat out of hell writing works of all kinds. The summers when he was forced to stay in Vienna because of his illness, while more musically productive, he was significantly depressed. I believe for Schubert, travel and taking breaks from composing was vital to his musical existence.
  3. The situation of classical no longer has the sense of practicality associated with writing music that the masters of old had. The key in the Viennese Classical era, for example, was to write music as quickly as possible to either appease the needs of a composer's patron or to invest it in the then budding publishing industry. Either option usually made them enough money to at least squeeze by. Families living in those times were musically inclined regardless of their actual ability, playing string quartets as a means of entertainment for example. I don't know of too many families doing that these days, but we do have an abundance of amateur guitarists and wannabe rock musicians playing/singing covers of well-known pop/rock tunes. Classical music today has simply gone by the wayside in terms of being the forefront of musical thought whether we like it or not. Jazz is becoming that way as well. Composers today are writing niche music for a niche audience, which allows great artistic freedom but at the same time makes being a composer rather nonviable as a profession - except for the extremely lucky. I think the best - if overused - example of an avant-garde composer living in a less-than-accepting musical landscape is Charles Ives - he realized that being original doesn't make money and living without money sucks. A little off topic but I thought I'd say it anyway.
  4. One disadvantage we have living in the present is the challenge of misunderstanding the affect of a work in the context of the time it was written in. Mozart and Haydn were arguably just as revolutionary - if not more so - than Beethoven when considering their accomplishments within the greater musical world at the time. I think there are a great number of examples of similar situations throughout musical history. Conversely, Bach, whose music is often subject to an unwarranted perception of being very complex, was quite backward-thinking in style compared even to Handel. Part of the problem is that nothing except the most avant-garde shocks listeners anymore, when there are no confines a listener can justly expect anything to happen - and I'm not saying that's an inherently bad thing. It's a blessing and a curse particularly for composers.
  5. But your hands would be worn down to nubbins if you tried to play the Dvorak straight through, Phil. For me it's a tossup between the Schumann concerto, the Bach suites, and Schubert Arpeggione sonata.
  6. It's too bad Slava plays so out of tune on the false harmonics, isn't it?
  7. Almost all the triumphant themes have a rising fourth (sol-do) in the beginning, e.g. Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Indiana Jones. The love themes tend to have the ascending major sixth like the second theme of the Dvorak Cello concerto 1st movement (Star Wars, Indiana Jones). Menacing themes have dissonant elements like tritones and minor seconds (Imperial March, Jaws). That pretty much sums up John Williams.
  8. I'm wondering why you find this monothematic. Certainly the primary theme is most obvious but I see the material of the quasi-cadenza after the first statement of the primary theme to be a kind of amoebous secondary theme. Since it's mostly rhythmic, I personally think how he develops the second theme is what ties the piece together and lets it go on for so long. I think Brahms uses some nice orchestration in this piece too, but it's very ordinary. I agree about the use of color change in this piece. I quibble with the idea that he was borrowing from the early beginnings of Impressionism. I see this piece as kind of its own coloration of a typical Classical-form piano concerto. It has some Romantic tendencies (for example harmonic color change just for the hell of it, and how rhapsodic it seems to the listener) but I still think it's very clear-cut in structure and form. The use of an broad and expansive primary theme, with a rather truncated and rhythmic second one allows for several developmental sections without losing interest. The result is a mammoth first movement along the lines of the Tchaikovsky Violin concerto or the Dvorak Cello concerto, but this piece handles the length much more effectively than either of those pieces simply by using those juxtaposed theme styles. I love this piece (it's probably one of my favorites of Brahms too), and I especially love the 3rd movement with the mini cello concerto since I'm a cellist.
  9. Maybe I'm the odd man out, but I've always been drawn to Schubert's later sonatas (e.g. the A major and the obligatory Bb major). While certainly not by any means virtuosic, there is a kind of humility and introspection that pervades these works, which to me overcomes the limitations that the music has to be "impressive". Compositionally I think the later sonatas are of the highest quality and maturity (coming from a man who was barely over 30 years old). Just my opinion.
  10. In the spirit of hyphenated Charleses, Take a look at Charles-Marie Widor! He's known now mainly for his organ symphonies but equally impressive are his works for chamber ensembles, solo instruments, duos etc.!!!
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