Permalink 12:36:04, 分类: 音乐厅, 古典音乐

Schubert and His Symphonies (Digest)

None of Schubert's symphonies received a public performance during his lifetime and he was only able to hear a very few of his other orchestral works professionally performed. Despite this, his writing for the orchestra shows remarkable assurance and an intimate knowledge of the tonal and technical characteristics of the instruments of his day; his scores are replete with glowing colours and effective textures. In fact, by the age of 21 Schubert had considerable first-hand orchestral experience. He was not only an accomplished pianist, but was also an efficient violin and viola player, and between the ages of 11 and 21 he regularly participated in good amateur ochestras, first as a pupil at the Vienna K.K. Stadtknovikt and then as a member of an orchestra which grew out of the Schubert family's music making and flourished between about 1814 and 1819. It was for performance by these groups that Schubert composed his first six symphonies and other orchestral works during the years 1813-1818.

At the time he wrote his Fifth sSymphony (the inscriptions on the autograph score indicate that he began it in September 1816 and finished it at a few weeks later on 3 October), orchestral practices took place in a large room in the house of Otto Hatwig in the Schottenhof and, according to Schubert's friend Leopold von Sonnleithner, the regular membership consisted of about 7 first violins, 6 seconds, 3 violas, 3 cellos and 2 basses as well as a variable complement of wind instruments. The general level of ability among the players seems to have been considerable, for Hatwig was leader of the Burgtheater orchestra and among the members of the group were a good number of other professional musicians. Schubert's brother Ferdinand played violin and Schubert himself played viola. Sonnleithner recalled that it was for this group that Schubert composed his 'charming symphony in B flat major "without trumpets and drums"'. In fact, the Symphony has no clarinets either and only one flute, probably reflecting some temporary gaps in the orchestra at that time. However, Schubert employed hislimited orchestral resources with imagination and sensitivity. The opening bars of the first movement, scored for flute, oboes and bassoon, make it apparent that heintends to make full use of his small band of wind instruments, and throughout the symphony they are employed, individually or in varying combinations, almost in the manner of chamber music.

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Permalink 21:44:33, 分类: 音乐厅, 古典音乐

Strauss Waltzes

Vienna has long been considered the hub of musical activity in Europe. A city of gaiety and elegance, of architectural magnificence, of glittering ballrooms and open-air restaurants, of colourful inns and beergardens and, above all, the waltz. For many years the waltz dominated the city, reaching its peak during the nineteenth century. The true origins of the waltz are uncertain. Ir is probable that various sources contributed to its introduction, but its roots would seem to be based in the old peasant dances and in particular the Landler, which the waltz, in its early form, closely resembled. During the latter part of eighteenth century many leading composers, amangst them Mozart and Haydn, were producing waltzes written for orchestra or piano. These were included in dance sets and were written entirely as dance music and not intended for concert presentation. It was Hummel who first composed concert dances for the piano and although these in themselves are of no great artistic merit, they are important in that they created the precedent which led to the concert waltzes of Weber, Chopin, Brahms, Lizt and other Romantic composers.

Much more successful than Hummel in this early form of concert dances for the piano was Schubert, whose waltzes best represent the style of the Viennese waltz at the beginning of the nineteenth century. But it was Weber who, with his popular Invitation to the Dance(1819), really established the waltz as a concert work, creating a prototype for the romantic concert waltz which was to be employed later by the waltz kings of Vienna.

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