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Bartok, Shostakovich, and Britten.  Born in Hungary  He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he later became professor of piano  He toured.

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Presentation on theme: "Bartok, Shostakovich, and Britten.  Born in Hungary  He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he later became professor of piano  He toured."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bartok, Shostakovich, and Britten

2  Born in Hungary  He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he later became professor of piano  He toured as a concert pianist and spent a great deal of time in Eastern Europe, Turkey and North Africa, recording and notating indigenous music. He ultimately published 2,000 tunes, notating as authentically as he could.  In 1930’s, Bartok spent more time composing  In 1940, Bartok and his wife, a concert pianist, moved to the U.S. They made a living playing concerts and Bartok worked for the folk music collection at Columbia University. He wrote no new music during this period  In 1943, though ill, Bartok received a commission from the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra to write a piece for orchestra.  The Concerto for Orchestra was first performed in  Even though working on this piece raised Bartok’s spirits and he began to compose again, he died on September 26, 1945.

3  Bartok was a ethnomusicologist (someone who studies indigenous musics), a concert pianist, and a composer.  The first two influenced his career as a composer.  His music includes rhythms and melodies of the indigenous music of Hungary (and Eastern Europe in general)  Bartok wrote a long series of piano pieces. The early ones are easy and they gradually get more difficult. They are called Mikrokosmos and is in six volumes. He also composed three piano concertos and a Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion  Best known for his Six string quartets and Concerto for Orchestra  His harmony is unique because he mixes modality, found in the indigenous music, with chromaticism and tonality.  He uses strict structures (sonata form, ABA form) in novel ways and he invented new forms. One of these new forms was called the arch form. In a five movement piece, movements 1 and 5 correspond and movements 2 and 4. Movement 3 is considered the peak of the arch.

4  Fifth Movement (Allegro molto) from String Quartet No. 4  Composed in 1928 for 2 violins, viola and cello  Uses the arch form (1 st and 5 th movement are related, 2 nd and 4 th are related and the 3 rd is the apex (point of culmination) of the work  Even though fifth movement is part of the arch form, it alone has a rough approximation of sonata form: it presents a first and second theme, a varied recapitulation and a fast coda.  The movement ends with the same heavy chords that ended the first movement.

5  Born just before the Russian Revolution and died just before the collapse of Communism  He lived most of his life under the Soviet system, attempting to find a balance between creative freedom and the demands of totalitarian state.  Wrote a memoir, Testimony, which was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published in  Music in the Soviet Union was supposed to represent the policies of the state. Shostakovich often had to withdraw several of his works from performance after they had been composed. He could not often publish his works due to the Soviet influence  Under Stalin, 20 million people were murdered, including many artists, writers and musicians.  In his lifetime, his majors works included 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets  He used traditional forms, but did so with great flexibility  He used a short musical motive in his works to put his signature on them. Shostakovich’s signature is based on his monogram “D.Sch.” His notes are D, Eb, C and B natural.

6  He concentrated on two major projects  The first was the production of several cello works for the great Soviet cellist Mstislav Rostropovich  The second was the War Requiem It was composed for the dedication of the new cathedral in Coventry, England, which had been constructed to replace the great medieval church destroyed during WWII.

7  Sanctus from War Requiem  Composed in 1962 for full orchestra, organ, chorus, soloists  Modern setting of the Catholic Mass for the dead. He includes both old and new.  Interspersed throughout the Mass are poems written by Wilfred Owen, who was killed in WWI.  The Latin text is sung by soprano soloist, chorus, and boys’ choir. The English poems are sung by the tenor and baritone soloist


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