SmArt Art – the fugue

November 12, 2013

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In my previous blog entry about the origins of instrumental music I explored how polyphonic music and the emergence of bass accompaniment led to the development of new genres. Harmonic thinking, based on Pythagorean pitch relationships, with notes organised in chords (played simultaneously based on the harmonic triad – tonic / dominant / median) started […]

Posted in: Part 5

Renaissance fUsiOn – early structures of instrumental music – ground bass, theme and variations, passacaglia and chaconne

October 29, 2013

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The origins Instrumental music has gained an increasingly important role since the fourteenth century, after the shift in view brought about by the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman classicism (Renaissance). According to this view Music was regarded as the reflection of the eternal and divine order of the Universe. In the same time, the […]

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The Baroque Suite

October 25, 2013

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The term suite has been used for in different senses. In 17the century Europe, mainly in France, England and the Germanic countries, the suite referred to a collection of instrumental pieces composed around the popular dance forms. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries suite denoted instrumental extracts from ballets, opera, film or musical to make […]

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Early instruments – Renaissance and Baroque

October 19, 2013

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Lute Perhaps the most popular instrument of the Renaissance and Baroque era, the origins of the lute is way back somewhere in the depths of ancient history, when stringed instruments with a neck similar to the lute’s were used in Egypt and Greece. Musicians in countries, such as Persia, Armenia, China, Turkey and Bulgar had […]

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Igor Stravinsky – Pulcinella (ballet)

October 9, 2013

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Igor Stravinsky “fell victim” to the charm of classical music, when he stumbled into a project initiated by the choreographer Léonide Massine and Sergei Diaghilev. Their intention was to bring to life the Neapolitan commedia del arte play Pulcinella in the form of a Ballets Russes production. To understand the nature of this piece, I […]

Posted in: Part 4

Sergei Prokofiev – Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 “Classical Symphony”

October 9, 2013

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Composing his first symphony, Prokofiev’s declared intention was to create an original piece of music in classical style, drawing inspiration from the works of Joseph Haydn and other classical composers, such as the Mannheim group. But how could a composer who made a name for himself with modernistic pieces as his Piano Concerto No.1 or […]

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Historically informed performance – evolution or devolution?

October 6, 2013

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I have recently been to a piano recital at St Christopher’s Hospice in South London, where a Beethoven Sonata, Chopin Fantasies and Impromptus, and adaptations of Schubert’s songs by Liszt, Thalberg and Heller. The pianist being Elena Margolina, one of the leading interpreters of Schubert’s music, she played all these pieces with extraordinary technique, energy […]

Posted in: Part 4