Presentation Title

French Modernists

Presentation Type

Performance

Abstract

Mandoline by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Poetry by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Performed by Sophie Emmons Faculty Mentor: Dr. Louise Lofquist

Mandoline is a short and simple French Melodie. The poem, written by the famous French poet Paul Verlaine, is set to music by French composer, Claude Debussy. It is about a painting by the famous eighteenth century French painter, Antoine Watteau, which depicts people listening happily to a mandolin player. Debussy sets this poem perfectly to music by mimicking a mandolin with playful chords of the piano, introducing each character with different musical themes and using a descending scale to sound like the breeze. The piece maintains an upbeat rhythm, bringing the audience in and making them feel as if they are actually in the crowd, watching a mandolin player. Then the piece changes keys and slows down to suggest the beauty of the women in the crowd and their clothing. Finally, the music returns back to the rhythm of the mandolin and ends with the singer singing happy “la la las,” ending the piece on a playful note.

Prison by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), Poetry by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Performed by Nathan Thompson Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melanie Emelio

One of Gabriel Fauré's most powerful pieces, Prison tells a sad tale of longing and wasted youth. The text was penned by Paul Verlaine, who, after attempting to murder his friend and fellow poet, Arthur Rimbaud, was sentenced to prison for two years. While paying his debt to society, Verlaine wrote this poem from his cell. Fauré brings this text to life with a melancholic and steady march of blocked chords throughout the piece. The texture of the harmonies begins thin and soft, expressing a sense of quiet sadness as the speaker looks out into the world he is kept from. Suddenly the piano bursts with thick, dissonant chords as the speaker cries out their regret, asking himself, "What have you done, you, with your youth?" The piece ends with a chromatic melody and the steady march of the piano as the speaker's sorrow sinks in, and his hope evaporates.

Sonata for Clarinet by Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)

Performed by David Oh Faculty Mentor: Prof. Mary Gale

Francis Poulenc was born in Paris in 1899. Publishing almost 200 works of music, Poulenc was an extremely successful and acclaimed composer. He composed music for a multitude of genres, ranging from operas, to orchestral, to choral, to various chamber and solo works, and even film scores. One of Poulenc’s many chamber music works was his Clarinet Sonata. It premiered in 1963 at Carnegie Hall in New York, featuring the most famous twentieth-century American clarinetist of the time, Benny Goodman, and pianist and composer Leonard Bernstein. The Clarinet Sonata features neo-classical techniques that Poulenc utilizes in his other pieces as well. These include the use of diatonic melodies, cyclic themes, textures, rhythms and harmony reminiscent of classic music (with a higher tertian structures), and quotations of themes.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Louise Lofquist, Dr. Melanie Emelio, and Prof. Mary Gale

Location

Raitt Recital Hall

Start Date

24-3-2017 5:15 PM

End Date

24-3-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 24th, 5:15 PM Mar 24th, 5:30 PM

French Modernists

Raitt Recital Hall

Mandoline by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Poetry by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Performed by Sophie Emmons Faculty Mentor: Dr. Louise Lofquist

Mandoline is a short and simple French Melodie. The poem, written by the famous French poet Paul Verlaine, is set to music by French composer, Claude Debussy. It is about a painting by the famous eighteenth century French painter, Antoine Watteau, which depicts people listening happily to a mandolin player. Debussy sets this poem perfectly to music by mimicking a mandolin with playful chords of the piano, introducing each character with different musical themes and using a descending scale to sound like the breeze. The piece maintains an upbeat rhythm, bringing the audience in and making them feel as if they are actually in the crowd, watching a mandolin player. Then the piece changes keys and slows down to suggest the beauty of the women in the crowd and their clothing. Finally, the music returns back to the rhythm of the mandolin and ends with the singer singing happy “la la las,” ending the piece on a playful note.

Prison by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), Poetry by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Performed by Nathan Thompson Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melanie Emelio

One of Gabriel Fauré's most powerful pieces, Prison tells a sad tale of longing and wasted youth. The text was penned by Paul Verlaine, who, after attempting to murder his friend and fellow poet, Arthur Rimbaud, was sentenced to prison for two years. While paying his debt to society, Verlaine wrote this poem from his cell. Fauré brings this text to life with a melancholic and steady march of blocked chords throughout the piece. The texture of the harmonies begins thin and soft, expressing a sense of quiet sadness as the speaker looks out into the world he is kept from. Suddenly the piano bursts with thick, dissonant chords as the speaker cries out their regret, asking himself, "What have you done, you, with your youth?" The piece ends with a chromatic melody and the steady march of the piano as the speaker's sorrow sinks in, and his hope evaporates.

Sonata for Clarinet by Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)

Performed by David Oh Faculty Mentor: Prof. Mary Gale

Francis Poulenc was born in Paris in 1899. Publishing almost 200 works of music, Poulenc was an extremely successful and acclaimed composer. He composed music for a multitude of genres, ranging from operas, to orchestral, to choral, to various chamber and solo works, and even film scores. One of Poulenc’s many chamber music works was his Clarinet Sonata. It premiered in 1963 at Carnegie Hall in New York, featuring the most famous twentieth-century American clarinetist of the time, Benny Goodman, and pianist and composer Leonard Bernstein. The Clarinet Sonata features neo-classical techniques that Poulenc utilizes in his other pieces as well. These include the use of diatonic melodies, cyclic themes, textures, rhythms and harmony reminiscent of classic music (with a higher tertian structures), and quotations of themes.