Initial Topic Announcement Eric has


Initial Topic Announcement

Eric has announced his initial topic for discussion. Because no one seems to have comments working this morning (enetation or haloscan), I thought I'd post a couple of considerations I had over the weekend that might make for an interesting strain to trace first as a "complete" overview. If one were to do a setting that treats the same text through the different ages of music, it might be somewhat easier to observe through familiarity some of the differences that occur. It might be well to consider some very established poetic text and its treatment from plainchant/gregorian times to the present day. Particularly, something like the "Ave Maria" might lend itself well to such treatment. Heaven knows there are enough compositions based on the text--it would serve well to take us from the periods Erik characterizes as "pretonal" to "postonal." Another such text might be the "Stabat Mater." The advantage of these texts is that we are all familiar enough with the one that we can also examine how the composer treats the text in order to make of it the musical sense that he wishes to convey. For example in the Bach-Gounoud "Ave Maria" there is key repetition of text that is NOT repeated in the actual prayer. This repetition serves both a music/rhetorical purpose, and conveys something about the sense of the text that the composer wished us to have.

Moreover, the usual treatment of the "Ave Maria" is brief enough that it serves well. Finally, it would also allow Erik to make some comments regarding orchestration, conducting, and performance--other key factors that influence our enjoyment of the music, but which often go completely unremarked by most people. There are composers about whose music I am very concerned regarding the Conducter. Wagner is often horrid in the hands of a conductor not used to the weight of the music. Debussy, likewise has been mangled by those not sensitive to the delicacy of some of the structure ( I think here of an abysmal recording of "Prelude" under the baton of Herbert von Karajan, whose style I generally like in dealling with the German Composers). Anyway, it is just a suggestion that might serve well to give us a rapid overview to be followed by a more intense careful prowling through music and Art.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 9, 2003 8:03 AM.

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