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Olga's Recital
Andrews University
July 26, 2010


Beethoven: Romance No.2 in F Major, Op.50 | Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D Minor, Op.125 "Choral" |


Tonight's concert displays Beethoven and his art from two contrasting perspectives. One, as a master of melody introducing a simple formal structure while elegantly balancing soloist and orchestra and the other, presenting Beethoven at his most colossal, having taken the symphonic form from the elegance of the18 th century drawing room to the height of romanticism, proffering music to the masses in the concert hall.

Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827)
Romance No.2 in F Major, op.50

Lento, un poco maestoso
Molto vivace-Presto-Molto vivace
Adagio molto e cantabile
Finale: Presto-Allegro ma non troppo-Vivace-Adagio cantabile-Allegro-Allegro assa

The great Johann Sebastian Bach, creator of hundreds of works for all the keyboard instruments available to him, was himself a virtuoso performer, a teacher of many fine students, and the father/teacher of additionally superb keyboard performers/composers/teachers. He spent much of his life as a church musician, and in that role he created a vast body of work for the organ. It was during his time serving the Calvinist court at Cöthen (1717-1723) that he had the time and the resources to focus on harpsichord, orchestral and chamber music. This was a particularly fruitful period for harpsichord music, including the Inventions, French and English Suites, and the Well-tempered Clavier, Book I. Perhaps Bach's most unique keyboard work, the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, also came from this period. This virtuoso showpiece written by the “Prince of Clavier Players” was not published until 1821, but was known to his pupils as an example of the type of piece that Bach would improvise, but it was said that his improvised fantasies were even more free than what he wrote down.

The Fantasia begins by sporting toccata-like flourishes, extreme contrasts presented with dramatic abandon, while the harmonic structure takes full advantage of the chromaticism made possible by equal tempered tuning. The fireworks of the opening give way to a short expressive recitative section. The two elements are combined in the final section of the Fantasia . The Fugue commences in strict contrapuntal form making use of chromatic elements but as it moves along it breaks free adding full chords, octaves, and fantasia elements bringing the work to a triumphant conclusion.

 

 


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Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827)
Romance No.2 in F Major, op.50

lento, un poco maestoso
Molto vivace-Presto-Molto vivace
Adagio molto e cantabile
Finale: Presto-Allegro ma non troppo-Vivace-Adagio cantabile-Allegro-Allegro assa

The great Johann Sebastian Bach, creator of hundreds of works for all the keyboard instruments available to him, was himself a virtuoso performer, a teacher of many fine students, and the father/teacher of additionally superb keyboard performers/composers/teachers. He spent much of his life as a church musician, and in that role he created a vast body of work for the organ. It was during his time serving the Calvinist court at Cöthen (1717-1723) that he had the time and the resources to focus on harpsichord, orchestral and chamber music. This was a particularly fruitful period for harpsichord music, including the Inventions, French and English Suites , and the Well-tempered Clavier, Book I . Perhaps Bach's most unique keyboard work, the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, also came from this period . This virtuoso showpiece written by the “Prince of Clavier Players” was not published until 1821, but was known to his pupils as an example of the type of piece that Bach would improvise, but it was said that his extempore fantasies were even more free than what he wrote down.

The Fantasia begins by sporting toccata-like flourishes, extreme contrasts presented with dramatic abandon, while the harmonic structure takes full advantage of the chromaticism made possible by equal tempered tuning. The fireworks of the opening give way to a short expressive recitative section. The two elements are combined in the final section of the Fantasia . The Fugue commences in strict contrapuntal form making use of chromatic elements but as it moves along it breaks free adding full chords, octaves, and fantasia elements bringing the work to a triumphant conclusion.


Bibliography

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Program notes by Linda Mack. Copyright 2010.
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Program notes home Alphabetical Index of Composers Chronological Index of Pieces Chronological Index of Concerts