Presentation Title

German Romantics

Presentation Type

Performance

Abstract

Scherzo from Piano Sonata in F Minor by Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897)

Performed by David Fraley Faculty Mentor: Prof. Edward Francis

The Scherzo is the third movement of Brahms’ massive five-movement sonata. It is written in triple meter and ternary form (ABA). The A section is called the scherzo, and the B section is called the trio. The scherzo is playful and whirling, a devilish waltz. After the tumultuous sweep of the scherzo, the trio provides welcome relief with stately major chords. Brahms’ music is often categorized by these sharp contrasts. Sometimes Brahms likes to emphasize similarities between each of the hands -- listen for the octave echoes between the right and left hand. After the trio ends, Brahms introduces a transitional section of music, which reintroduces the scherzo . Notice the return of the boisterous waltz and the way it transforms the major key of the trio back into the minor key of the scherzo.

Selige Nacht by Joseph Marx (1882-1964), Poetry by Otto Erich Harleben (1864-1905)

Performed by Jessica Ragsdale Faculty Mentor: Prof. Ida Nicolosi

Written by Joseph Marx around 1913, Selige Nacht is a quintessential German Lied of the late German Romantic style. Otto Erich Hartleben’s poem uses imagery from nature, a common theme in Romantic poetry, to describe the poet’s peaceful night in bed with a lover. Joseph Marx uses chromaticism and polyrhythm to heighten the expressivity of the poem and embraces the impressionistic techniques that are characteristic of the late Romantic style. The accompaniment plays in triplets while the vocal line stays in duplet eighth notes. This creates a cross-rhythm that keeps the vocal line floating above the rolling piano texture. The piece centers around the key of A-flat but never really settles fully into the key, and there are no full cadences, leaving the listener in suspense and dependent on the vocal line to give direction and closure to the piece.

Nachtgang by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Poetry by Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865-1910) Performed by Andrew Leidenthal Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Coclough

Richard Strauss was a late Romantic composer who was mostly known for his Lieder and opera. Emerging from the shadow of the romantic genius of Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner, Strauss's compositional style emphasized pluralism, combining contemporary styles with traditional technique. This allowed him to compose a wide range of eclectic works over the course of eight centuries. Strauss was indifferent to the philosophic intentions in music which Wagner and Mahler exemplified, instead choosing to set texts of modern poets. His "philosophy" was to shine light on the paradoxes and inconsistencies of everyday life. In Nachtgang, Strauss turns a casual evening stroll into a highly emotional and spiritual encounter.

Faculty Mentor

Profs. Edward Francis, Profs. Ida Nicolosi, and Dr. Keith Coclough

Location

Raitt Recital Hall

Start Date

24-3-2017 4:45 PM

End Date

24-3-2017 5:00 PM

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Mar 24th, 4:45 PM Mar 24th, 5:00 PM

German Romantics

Raitt Recital Hall

Scherzo from Piano Sonata in F Minor by Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897)

Performed by David Fraley Faculty Mentor: Prof. Edward Francis

The Scherzo is the third movement of Brahms’ massive five-movement sonata. It is written in triple meter and ternary form (ABA). The A section is called the scherzo, and the B section is called the trio. The scherzo is playful and whirling, a devilish waltz. After the tumultuous sweep of the scherzo, the trio provides welcome relief with stately major chords. Brahms’ music is often categorized by these sharp contrasts. Sometimes Brahms likes to emphasize similarities between each of the hands -- listen for the octave echoes between the right and left hand. After the trio ends, Brahms introduces a transitional section of music, which reintroduces the scherzo . Notice the return of the boisterous waltz and the way it transforms the major key of the trio back into the minor key of the scherzo.

Selige Nacht by Joseph Marx (1882-1964), Poetry by Otto Erich Harleben (1864-1905)

Performed by Jessica Ragsdale Faculty Mentor: Prof. Ida Nicolosi

Written by Joseph Marx around 1913, Selige Nacht is a quintessential German Lied of the late German Romantic style. Otto Erich Hartleben’s poem uses imagery from nature, a common theme in Romantic poetry, to describe the poet’s peaceful night in bed with a lover. Joseph Marx uses chromaticism and polyrhythm to heighten the expressivity of the poem and embraces the impressionistic techniques that are characteristic of the late Romantic style. The accompaniment plays in triplets while the vocal line stays in duplet eighth notes. This creates a cross-rhythm that keeps the vocal line floating above the rolling piano texture. The piece centers around the key of A-flat but never really settles fully into the key, and there are no full cadences, leaving the listener in suspense and dependent on the vocal line to give direction and closure to the piece.

Nachtgang by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Poetry by Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865-1910) Performed by Andrew Leidenthal Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith Coclough

Richard Strauss was a late Romantic composer who was mostly known for his Lieder and opera. Emerging from the shadow of the romantic genius of Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner, Strauss's compositional style emphasized pluralism, combining contemporary styles with traditional technique. This allowed him to compose a wide range of eclectic works over the course of eight centuries. Strauss was indifferent to the philosophic intentions in music which Wagner and Mahler exemplified, instead choosing to set texts of modern poets. His "philosophy" was to shine light on the paradoxes and inconsistencies of everyday life. In Nachtgang, Strauss turns a casual evening stroll into a highly emotional and spiritual encounter.