Felix Mendelssohn pre concert introduction-rovick

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Drafted this presentation for a brief talk that I gave prior to a concert featuring pieces by Felix Mendelssohn.

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  • Romantic music as a movement does not refer to the expression and expansion of musical ideas established in earlier periods, such as the classical period, nor does it necessarily refer to romantic love, though that theme was prevalent in many works composed during this time period. More appropriately, romanticism describes the expansion of formal structures within a composition, making the pieces more passionate and expressive. Because of the expansion of form (those elements pertaining to form, key, instrumentation and the likes) within a typical composition, it became easier to identify an artist based on the work. For example, Beethoven favored a smooth transition from the 3rd to 4th movement in his symphonies, and thus his pieces are more distinguishable. Overall, composers during this time expanded on formal ideas in a new and exciting way. The era of Romantic music is defined in this article as the period of European classical music that runs from 1803 when Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote his "Eroica" Symphony to around the end of the 19th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. The Romantic period was preceded by the classical period , and was followed by the modernist period . Romantic music is related to romanticism in literature , visual arts , and philosophy , though the conventional time periods used in musicology are very different from their counterparts in the other arts, which define "romantic" as running from the 1780s to the 1840s. The Romantic movement held that not all truth could be deduced from axioms , that there were inescapable realities in the world which could only be reached through emotion, feeling and intuition. Romantic music struggled to increase emotional expression and power to describe these deeper truths, while preserving or even extending the formal structures from the classical period.
  • Felix Mendelssohn pre concert introduction-rovick

    1. 1. Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) First Monday Concerts New England Conservatory (NEC) Peter Rovick, BU’91 Katie DeBonville, BU‘95
    2. 2. We’ll be highlighting… <ul><li>NEC : concerts/programs </li></ul><ul><li>The Artist : biography </li></ul><ul><li>The Romantic Period </li></ul><ul><li>The Concert: themes </li></ul>
    3. 3. What do we know? <ul><li>What do we know about Mendelssohn? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you name any famous works? </li></ul><ul><li>What would you like to know? </li></ul><ul><li>Any classical music “buffs”? </li></ul><ul><li>Any classical music training? </li></ul>
    4. 4. NEC: First Monday Concerts Samples: 2008-2009 Academic Year <ul><li>October: Bach, Messiaen centennial </li></ul><ul><li>November: Puccini 150th anniversary, Stravinsky </li></ul><ul><li>December: Carter 100th with String Quartet No. 1 </li></ul><ul><li>March: Haydn 200th anniversary </li></ul><ul><li>April: Purcell 350th anniversary, Schumann, Stravinsky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Future concerts: Search “NEC First Monday” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or see: http://concerts.newenglandconservatory.edu/ </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. NEC: Events in May <ul><li>Multiple student performances </li></ul><ul><li>NEC Composers' Series - Tuesday May 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Second Annual Graduating Class Gift Concert </li></ul><ul><li>Thursday May 7 </li></ul><ul><li>Mendelssohn Chamber Music Recital - Monday May 11 </li></ul><ul><li>Classical Meets Jazz: Pictures at an Exhibition - Sunday May 24 </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing Education Chamber Music Recital - Sunday May 31 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Sample Day at the NEC in May http://concerts.newenglandconservatory.edu/index.php?Date_Year=2009&Date_Month=5
    7. 7. Mendelssohn: The Artist <ul><li>Born: Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy </li></ul><ul><li>German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. </li></ul><ul><li>Grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born to a notable Jewish family which later converted to Christianity. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognised early as a prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalize on his abilities </li></ul><ul><li>His father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it </li></ul>Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn
    8. 8. Early accomplishments <ul><li>Mendelssohn lived a happy life from the start. Like other virtuoso composers, he was a child genius when it came to music. </li></ul><ul><li>At age nine he gave his first piano concert, composed productively from the age of ten , and was ready to conduct the Sunday morning musicales that were the joy of his youth, by age thirteen. </li></ul><ul><li>At age seventeen , he composed one of his well known works, The Midsummer Night's Dream . </li></ul><ul><li>http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/history/history-rom-comp.htm </li></ul>
    9. 9. Later in Life… <ul><li>A period of travel and concert-giving introduced Mendelssohn to England, Scotland (1829) and Italy (1830-31); after return visits to Paris (1831) and London (1832, 1833) he took up a conducting post at Düsseldorf (1833-5), concentrating on Handel's oratorios. </li></ul><ul><li>But as a conductor and music organizer his most significant achievement was in Leipzig (1835-47), where to great acclaim he conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra, championing both historical and modern works Bach, Beethoven, Weber , Schumann , Berlioz ), and founded and directed the Leipzig Conservatory (1843). </li></ul><ul><li>Along with his friend Devrient, Mendelssohn raised money, engaged the soloists, sold tickets, trained the chorus, and played the organ for what were three sold out shows. Mendelssohn continually promoted J.S. Bach throughout his lifetime and is party responsible for the formation of the Bach Society. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Major Accomplishments <ul><li>Mendehlssohn went on to complete the Scottish and Italian Symphonies , and a new piano concerto called the Reformation Symphony . </li></ul><ul><li>One of his most famous works is Elijah , an oratorio that he composed and conducted. Mendelssohn also composed two other well known pieces, Fingals Cave Overture and the Wedding March. </li></ul><ul><li>Later in life he became the director of the first German Conservatory of Music in Leipzig, where he also taught. Mendelssohn's music is marked by a delicacy, sparkle, seamless flow, and clarity. </li></ul><ul><li>http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/history/history-rom-comp.htm </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Romantic Period <ul><li>Refers to period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in European music history, from about 1815 to 1910. </li></ul><ul><li>Classical era : strict laws of balance and restraint </li></ul><ul><li>Romantic era : artistic freedom, experimentation, and creativity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The music of this time period was very expressive , and melody became the dominant feature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased use of dissonance and chromaticism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New forms : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symphonic poem : portrayed a story or had some kind of literary or artistic background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art song : vocal musical work with tremendous emphasis placed on the text or the symbolical meanings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtuosos : Exceptionally gifted performers - pianists, violinists, and singers -- became enormously popular. </li></ul><ul><li>http://library.thinkquest.org/15413/history/history-rom.htm </li></ul>
    12. 12. Romantic Period Composers <ul><li>Brahms, Johannes (1833-1897) </li></ul><ul><li>Chopin, Frederic (1810-1901) </li></ul><ul><li>Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix (1809-1847) </li></ul><ul><li>Puccini, Giacomo (1858-1924) </li></ul><ul><li>Schubert, Franz (1797-1828) </li></ul><ul><li>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich (1840-1893) </li></ul><ul><li>Verdi, Guiseppi (1813-1901) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Nocturno for Winds <ul><li>Performed by a group of NEC students, conducted by Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras Hugh Wolff </li></ul>
    14. 14. Quintet in B-flat Minor, Op. 87 <ul><li>Performed by : Miriam Fried and her student, Annie Rabbat, violin, Kim Kashkashian, Paul Biss, viola; Paul Katz, cello </li></ul><ul><li>Movements </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allegro Vivace </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Andante Scherzando (playful) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adagio E Lento </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allego Molto Vivace </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream <ul><li>Arranged by the composer for two pianos four hands, with Randall Hodgkinson and Leslie Amper </li></ul><ul><li>Movements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scherzo (playful) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intermezzo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notturno </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wedding March </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Bucknell Club of Boston - Upcoming Events <ul><li>Launch of Bucknell Professional Networks: May 19 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The evening will begin with a panel discussion moderated by Bob Gamgort ’84: How to “bulletproof” your career and utilize your personal network. The panel will be followed by a Q&A session and network opportunity. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Red Sox Game! vs. Blue Jays: May 21 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indication of interest ends tonight (limited tickets available for purchase) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NCAA Lacrosse Championships: May 23-May 25 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bucknell has reserved a tent in the &quot;Hospitality Village&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://lax2009.kraftsportsgroup.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thank you for joining us tonight! [email_address] </li></ul>

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