Download Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide by James M. Keller PDF

By James M. Keller

Oxford's hugely winning listener's guides--The Symphony, The Concerto, and Choral Masterworks--have been extensively praised for his or her combination of desirable biography, crystal transparent musical research, and pleasant humor. Now James Keller follows those enormously popular volumes with Chamber song. imminent the culture of chamber tune with wisdom and fervour, Keller the following serves because the often-opinionated yet continually genial advisor to 192 crucial works by way of fifty six composers, delivering illuminating essays on what makes every piece special and admirable. Keller spans the background of this intimate style of tune, from key works of the Baroque during the emotionally stirring "golden age" of the Classical and Romantic composers, to trendy masterpieces wealthy in political, mental, and infrequently comical overtones. for every piece, from Bach via to modern figures like George Crumb and Steve Reich, the writer comprises an astute musical research that informal tune fans can simply enjoy but that more matured listeners will locate enriching. Keller stocks the colourful, usually amazing tales at the back of the compositions whereas revealing the delights of an paintings shape as soon as defined via Goethe because the musical an identical of "thoughtful humans conversing."

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The character changes greatly along the way, offering typically Bartókian vistas: Magyar folk-scales and rhythms, mysterious “night music” of chirping insects, brilliant excursions of harmonically dense counterpoint, dreamlike reminiscence of vaguely remembered music (from the opening part) in the Ricapitulazione, mystical secretiveness in the Coda. Among the early appreciators of this quartet was the philosopher-critic Theodor Adorno, who considered it the composer’s best work to date. In a 1929 essay, he pointed out in detail how in the Third Quartet Bartók returned to this favored genre enriched in specific ways by the musical experiments he had conducted since completing his Second Quartet a decade earlier.

The Fourth String Quartet, therefore, may be taken as a sort of palindrome (in a general sense), with the first and fifth movements (both being Allegros) bearing some kinship, the second and fourth similarly reflecting each other (both are scherzos), and the third standing as a fulcrum in the middle. That relaxed third movement, the central moment, is itself structured in a symmetrical form, its ternary A-B-A layout serving as an exquisite turnabout for the overarching A-B-C-B'-A' structure of the entire quartet.

6 (BB 119; Sz. 114) Mesto—Più mosso, pesante—Vivace Mesto—Marcia Mesto—Burletta Moderato, Mesto Work composed: August–November 1939, begun in Saanen, Switzerland, completed in Budapest Work dedicated: To the Kolisch Quartet Work premiered: January 20, 1941, in New York by the Kolisch Quartet Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, and cello Bartók’s life was growing uneasy by the time he reached his Sixth Quartet. The Second World War began while this piece was in progress, and although Hungary was not involved in the conflict at the outset, the war struck an everlasting blow to the composer’s idealistic, humanitarian spirit.

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