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This is going to shoulder with the 15th program in the series contemporary music in evolution. After spending the last three and a half programs on the very productive year nine thousand nine hundred eight we proceed now to the 909 with works by Claude DeVry see. They have been and that cloud everybody has long been accepted as one of the great transitional figures between 19th and 20th century music. In fact many of his works have become staples of the repertoire. Indeed conductors like Armande and munch seem hardly capable of making a programme without lamb in on it for example. In my opinion however the nature of this general acceptance has been a trifle superficial. There we see is generally thought of as the Impressionist color painter of music whose creations have a vague sensuousness and as thought of as more emotionally inspired than intellectually formed. While this is true of a good part of his music especially the early music up to about 900 two or thereabouts many of his later works are more than mere sensitive
color images. Works like the orchestral in number 1 and 3. The dance poem and some of the later piano preludes are structurally well integrated works with many innovations in terms of rhythm and continuity which lead directly to works like Stravinsky's Rites of Spring. Only lately have younger composers discovered the real importance of these works of devotees. These works. There is the importance of these works to contemporary music and specifically to composers like Stravinsky and their brain and their development as might be expected. These later works are not as well-known and as often performed as the earlier works nor are they understood as well by conductors and performers. In these works the kind of performances that sort of sail glibly across the music just skimming the color surface cannot do justice to them. And there are very few conductors who understand that aspect of devotees music. Perhaps in time a full
evaluation of it will come. The two are Kestrel. I will now play a subtitled G and on the plant spring rounds. G originally called g go to East because of the melancholy air of the morning the opening was composed in 109 but not fully orchestrated till 1912 with the help of Debbie C's friend on break up play that we seize. Illness is keeping him from consistent work ever since 1906. On the planet was composed and orchestrated in 1909. Indeed almost the entire work is built upon two themes which undergo various transformations. The first theme is heard in the flute. At the very beginning and a little later in a faster version in the bassoon. The second theme is the overdone more melody have already referred to. When a third slower theme does enter later on it is accompanied by permutations of the two primary themes. The thematic integration is done so ingeniously
that one is apt not to notice it in casual listening. That is to say unlike some composers divisi doesn't hit you over the head with his craftsmanship. On the planet are similar procedures build the work. Last week we saw the various approaches of Evan Baird and screen have been ranging from perpetual variation to repetition and sequence. While the embassy was all through his life beholden to the rich repetition and sequence concept certain works like. Combine this approach with one in which thematic material is rhythmically transformed. That is to say the notes or pitches of the theme remain the same but the rhythms by which these notes are stated vary. You know on the planet for instance a theme which we hear first in the oboe a sort of chattering theme. Appears transformed as follows in the violas heart and English horn.
Still later it appears as an expensive clarinet solo. Aside from thematic integration there are two innovation characteristics in this work. First what you might call the beginnings of an s the metrical concept of continuity. You will notice the music has a stop and go character. Sometimes pushing rhythmically forward at other times almost suspended in time. The second characteristic is the simultaneous use
of several superimposed rhythms to form a sort of rhythmic counterpoint. There are dozens of such examples in both. But perhaps two brief ones will illustrate my point. For instance this delicious cadence from around the plant in which a sustained chord is embellished with two figures moving at different speeds. The most complex organized rhythmic structure occurs at the very end of the piece here within each unit has some instruments playing in subdivisions of nine others in six. Still others in four and three in its totality. It makes a wonderfully shimmering subtly agitated sound pattern. A brief word about the recording that I will play tonight. Once again I'm
taking recourse to one of my 78 because the current recordings suffer from a variety of ailments. Some had too much reverberation to allow all the details of the work to come through. Others had no base. That is the fundamentals of the harmonies were missing or not audible enough. Another recording was beautifully recorded but in a temple almost twice of that indicated by the composer. So after listening to five versions now in the catalogue I came back to my own surprise to the 1946 Montero recording which all things considered although not perfect turned out to be the best of the lot best in the sense of being the truest representation of Debbie S. scores. The two orchestral imagine then of Debussy played by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Monterey. I am.
Your. Come home. Yeah.
From the impressionism of the PCs emerge as played by the San Francisco Symphony
Orchestra conducted by Pierre Monterrey to the expressionism now they've been first Schoenberg's 5 pieces for orchestra in which the Pantanal or at all vocabulary discovered in the opposit Levon piano pieces and the second string quartet are for the first time applied to the orchestra. These are fantastic musical campuses with the utmost intensity of expression and an absolutely wild imagination. One can imagine how these pieces sounded to the audience at their world premiere in one thousand twelve in England under Sir Henry Wood. A few years before his death the Schoenberg reduced the original outsized orchestration to a normal orchestra and at the same time supply each movement with subtitles which give a clue to Schoenberg's original inspirational impetus. I spoke a great deal on the last two programmes about the exact nature of Schoenberg's and the events discoveries at this time and how they lead to later
developments. Now current among young composers. So I shall dispense with lengthy Recapitulations most of what I said last week applies to this music as well as most of the music I will be playing from now on. I would like to say one brief word though regarding the second piece in this Schoenberg work it reveals for the first time an instrumentation will cover a device called by Schoenberg in German clan Farben melody which means tone color melody. It refers to the concept of creating a melody or a chordal progression in which each component of that melody or progression has a different instrumental color. This idea was first used by Sharon but at this time you will hear a constant chord which changes colors in a variety of ways. Later other musical interjections are added but the substructure of the entire piece is this almost kaleidoscopic Li changing chord pattern. The first piece in the 5
pieces for August are up with 16 by Cher and Derek is entitled premonitions. The second piece is called fog and innocence which roughly translated means
things of the past. The way I.
Eat. Yeah. I made an error before I spoke about the grandfather melody being used in the second
piece. I shouldn't say that in the third piece which is coming up now and which subtitled later the changing chord summer morning by a lake colors. You're. The fourth piece is called para peace which is defined as a
sudden reversal in dramatic action. You are ignorant. You. Were. Near.
The end. The fifth and final piece is called the president.
Arnold Schoenberg's 5 pieces for orchestra Opus 16 played by the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by about Kubelik from expressionism for orchestra. We go now to a more rarefied expressionism on the chamber music level. The five pieces for string quartet by Anton may have been in this music. Aside from the points I raise last week regarding the variation principle we hear an increasing tendency to concentrate musical ideas into the shortest possible forms thus intensifying the expressiveness. One can hear this throughout these quartet pieces where a single note or a chord becomes a sigh or an outburst of intense expression. In a sense the single note or at least at this stage in the wins over a few notes replace the long cumulative phrases of the nineteenth century. Also they have been uses for the first time in any extensive way the extreme low dynamic level. At one point in the recording college's own breathing competes audibly with the delicate size of the music.
The five pieces for string quartet are played now by the quartet without calling a great interpreter of Atlanta music and friend of Schoenberg and may have been as first violinist. Come. On.
Right. Why.
The oath. Mm.
Hmm. Yeah.
Whew. The at times almost this embodied atmosphere of the five movements for string quartet Opus 5 by and on they have been played by the corelation prologue to
quartet. We have time for a very short song by Avalon they're also composed in 1909. It is the last of the four songs of Opus too. Here we hear almost a mixture of Impressionism and expressionism the richness of Baird's imagination blended with his sensitive use of the voice. Make this his most remarkable Fairley effort. Incidentally it is said to be the first use of the glissando in the realm of song. Also note the startling effect of the very low reiterated note in the piano. The last song of it was to by Ben Baird sung by the French soprano even us with an orchestra conducted by it when a loud limits. A.
Whole has been a. Big reason just. Eliminate. This vocal piece by dads provides us with a link to two 909
composed operas which we will hear next week. Schoenberg's mana drama expectation and excerpts from Strauss's Elektra. It will make for some interesting comparisons. This is going to show you are inviting you to join me again next week for another program in the series contemporary music and evolution.
Contemporary Music in Evolution
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Contemporary Music in Evolution is a radio program hosted by Gunther Schuller, which traces the evolution of Western classical music from 1899 to 1961. Each episode focuses on a specific year and chronicles some of the significant works, schools, and composers of the time. Schuller introduces several performance recordings in each episode, and gives commentary and analysis that also touch on previous episodes.
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Host: Schuller, Gunther
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-36-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Contemporary Music in Evolution; 3; 1909,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
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APA: Contemporary Music in Evolution; 3; 1909. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from