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Impressionism and Symbolism, Primitivism. Impressionism and Symbolism In the Modernist movement, there were many parallels between music and other arts.

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Presentation on theme: "Impressionism and Symbolism, Primitivism. Impressionism and Symbolism In the Modernist movement, there were many parallels between music and other arts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impressionism and Symbolism, Primitivism

2 Impressionism and Symbolism In the Modernist movement, there were many parallels between music and other arts. Most important movement in painting was known as Impressionism, which revels in the play of light and color. Outlines are vague, and details are left to the viewer’s imagination. Parallel to the Impressionist movement in painting was the literary movement known as Symbolism, which attempted to convey ideas by suggestion rather than by direct statement. Impressionism in music refers to a style of composition in which the outlines are blurred and there is a great deal of harmonic ambiguity, often created by whole-tone, pentatonic, or chromatic scales.

3 Claude Debussy 1862-1918 The composer whose music most closely paralleled these styles was Debussy French composer Pianist as a child; accepted into the Paris Conservatory at the age of ten At 18, he began to study composition In 1884, he won the prestigious Prix de Rome, the highest award for French composers. Debussy’s music was little known until he was about 40. After the premiere of Pelleas et Melisande (opera), he became famous and traveled around Europe conducting performances of his work. He died of cancer in Paris at age 56

4 LISTEN Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the afternoon of a faun) Composed in 1894 for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 harps, antique cymbals, strings It suggests the thoughts and feelings of a mythical creature of the forest, who is half man and half goat He is half asleep in the hot sun and his mind is filled with sexual fantasies. He expresses his feelings by playing his panpipes. The opening flute melody is chromatic and serves as the basis for the remainder of the piece. Three sections in an ABA (modified) pattern. One of Debussy’s aims was to break down the clear formal outlines of traditional music.

5 Primitivism Primitivism is the name given to a movement in painting at the beginning of the twentieth century. Artists were attracted by what they saw as the directness, instinctiveness and exoticism of nonurban cultures. Their vivid scenes are designed not as representations of nature but as evocations of a state of mind. They wanted the work to be raw, primitive and shocking Can see deconstruction of the bodies, angularity of form, and especially the use of African masks for some of the faces.

6 Igor Stravinsky 1882-1971 Born in St. Petersburg, Russia. His father was an opera singer. He insisted that Stravinsky study law instead of music. At the age of 21, he gave up law and began formal music lessons with Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1910, Stravinsky moved to Paris, where he was asked to produce scores for Ballets Russes. He produced three of his most important ballet scores as commissions for Ballet Russes: The Firebird(1910), Petrushka (1911), The Rite of Spring (1913) The primitive atmosphere in Stravinsky’s music is enhance by his use of polyrhythms – different meters sounding at the same time, bitonality – two different keys sounding at the same time and ostinato – constantly repeated phrases.

7 LISTEN Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) Composed in 1913 for piccolo, 3 flutes, alto flute, 4 oboes, English horn, Eb clarinet, 3 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, 4 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns, D trumpet, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 tubas, 2 timpani, bass drum, side drum, triangle, antique cymbals, strings At its premiere there was a riot due to the shocking, violent and overtly sexual choreography and the pounding rhythms and clashing dissonances from the orchestra. This ballet features the largest orchestra ever used by Stravinsky Stravinsky conceived the ballet as a series of tribal rituals It begins with a bassoon solo, sounding in its high register.

8 Stravinsky’s Neo-Classic Period Stravinsky lived in Switzerland during WWI and returned Paris in 1920. His works during this period are smaller and more transparent, chamber pieces of varied instruments and sometimes influenced by jazz. Upon his return to Paris in 1920, his style changes and later becomes known as his neo-classic period. Neo-Classic composers adopted ideas from the Classic and Baroque era. They focused more on formal balance, clarity and objectivity. They also recall some of the Classic and Baroque genres, such as the concerto or symphony. Although the formal aesthetic is clearly influenced by the past, the style of the music has been updated and modernized with new harmonies, accompanimental figures, irregular phrase lengths and a lively rhythm

9 LISTEN First movement from Concerto in Eb (Dumbarton Oaks) for Chamber Orchestra Composed in 1938 for flute, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, 3 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, 2 basses From the Neo-Classic Period Called Dumbarton Oaks because it was commissioned by some wealthy patrons of the arts whose home near Washington, D.C. had that name. Stravinsky modeled the work after Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Compare the Back extracts with Stravinsky’s, pg. 334

10 Stravinsky’s late period In 1939, Stravinsky moved to America, as Europe headed toward a second World War. He settled in Los Angeles and was engaged by Hollywood to write some film scores. None of these were ever completed. After 1951, Stravinsky began to experiment with twelve-tone techniques and radically changed his musical style. He composed an elegy for President John F. Kennedy and a Requiem (written in anticipation of his own death) in this new style. Stravinsky died in 1971, near the age of ninety.

11 Stravinsky’s Music Style underwent several changes during his career. Composed music in the styles of Russian nationalists, Primitivism, adopted jazz techniques, Neo-Classism, and twelve-tone techniques He wrote for almost every known musical combination, both instrumental and vocal, choral and orchestral, chamber and stage. His genres include opera, ballet, oratorio, symphony, concerto, chamber music, sonata, piano solo, song, chorus, and Mass Common to all of Stravinsky’s Periods was his interest in rhythm, acute ear for tone color, use of harmony was highly original (use of ostinato)


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