Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Sunday, 17 November 2013
From Classical collection:
Sicilienne was originally written in March, 1893 as part of the incidental music for Moliere’s “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” but was never used for that purpose; it was then used as a solo for cello (or violin) with piano accompaniment and first published in April, 1898, as his Op. 78, with a dedication to the British Cellist William Henry Squire (1871-1963).
Faure also included it in his incidental music (first performed in June, 1898) for Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1892 drama “Pelleas et Melisande” - a work which inspired many composers to write music for it: Claude Debussy (1902), Arnold Schoenberg (1903), Jean Sibelius (1905) and Cyril Scott (1912); however, Faure was the first. The Pelleas et Melisande Suite (Op. 80) for Orchestra is made up of 4 selections from the incidental music, with Sicilienne as the third selection.
A “Sicilienne” (in Italian “Siciliano”; in English “Sicilaina”) is an Italian dance, usually in a minor key, in the meter of 6/8, which uses the distinctive rhythmic figure dotted eighth, sixteenth, eighth (this rhythmic figure, of course, occurs in many other pieces in 6/8, “Greensleeves” and “Silent Night” are two examples). In this arrangement all of the rhythmic values have been doubled and the meter changed to 3/4 (the “Sicilienne” rhythm has, therefore, changed from dotted eighth, sixteenth, eighth to dotted quarter, eighth, quarter).
Sunday, 10 November 2013
This is an orchestral transcription by Gordon Jacob of the original piece and was performed by the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.
1. March: Seventeen Come Sunday 0:00
2. Intermezzo: My Bonny Boy 3:21
3. March: Folk Songs from Somerset 6:40
Written in 1923, the English Folk Song Suite is one of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams's most famous works for military band. Although it is commonly known by the title given above, it was actually published as "Folk Song Suite" - the title which is used on the score and parts. In 1924, the piece was arranged for full orchestra and later for brass band by Vaughan Williams' student Gordon Jacob, when the longer title was used, presumably with the composer's approval. It follows that performances and recordings by orchestras always use the later title, but those by wind bands as often use the original, shorter, title, even though bandsmen regularly talk of the "English Folk Song Suite".
The suite consists of three movements: March, Intermezzo and another March. The first march is called Seventeen Come Sunday, the Intermezzo is subtitled My Bonny Boy and the final movement is based on four Folk Songs from Somerset. Its premiere was given at Kneller Hall on July 4, 1923, conducted by Lt Hector Adkins. It originally had a fourth movement, Sea Songs, which was played second, but the composer removed it after the first performance and published it separately (interestingly, this included an orchestration by the composer himself, not one by Gordon Jacob).
The remix version by DJ is also very good. In fact, I found the original song after listening to the remixed version:
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a pavane by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but is better known in Fauré's version for orchestra and optional chorus. Obtaining its rhythm from the slow processional Spanish court dance of the same name, the Pavane ebbs and flows from a series of harmonic and melodic climaxes, conjuring a cool, somewhat haunting, Belle Époque elegance. The piece is scored for only modest orchestral forces consisting of string instruments and one pair each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns. A typical performance lasts about six minutes.