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Thread: Russia

  1. #1
    Member vivaciouswagnerian's Avatar
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    Smile Russia

    Hey everyone. Sorry it's been so long since I have written anything. I just got back from a vocal tour of Russia with the George Mason Chamber Singers and the world renown mezzo-soprano Patricia Miller. We sang at some of the most amazing catherdrals and saw how music takes such a strong presence there since it was so forbidden for very long. Now to the reason why I posted this under composers:

    I'm writing a piano cycle (no one seems to know this term and its very possible I could have made it up, lol, but its basically a mimic of a song cycle [multiple songs on the same topic, same author, ect.] but for piano) based on my experiences. It is to be in two parts. One is religious oriented based on my experiences of the cathedrals and the other to represent a normal market outside of the big cities. I am using a semi-Schonberg effect (not 12-tone but structured based around 2's and 3's in the circle of 5ths, I wont bore you with the details, lol). Its supposed to represent bells but exhibit some of the frustration the Soviet's placed on places of worship. Let me know if anyone is interested in listening to this work in progress. The pianist Stephanie Beck is to premier it sometime this coming semester.

    Thanks ya'll!!
    "Don't bother to look; I've composed all this already"
    -Gustav Mahler to Bruno Walter, who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural Austria

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    Junior Member Weltschmerz's Avatar
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    Maybe take a less French-descriptive and more neo-German Brahmsian approach - simple beauty, not representation
    "When all hopes of recognition or honor have faded into distant memory, when purity of heart meets sorrow of mind, when all the world seems to walk in blindness, and yet a man works without wearying for that which he loves...only in this moment is passion truly understood." - Franz Schubert, 1827

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    Member vivaciouswagnerian's Avatar
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    No offense, but absolutely not. Representation is exactly what I'm after. I want it to be harsh with the existance of that simple beauty dug deep into the mixture. THe point of this piece is not to show the beauty of Russia but the opression they experienced and therefore the almost idolistic religious outsurge that evolved when the Communists left. I believe the atonal presence combined with the idea of thirds (a very simple, beautiful, and stable interval) will allow the audience to understand the torture even at its most simplistic level. A Brahmsian approach would be uncalled for in my opinion, at least for this task. Thank you for you opinion though.
    "Don't bother to look; I've composed all this already"
    -Gustav Mahler to Bruno Walter, who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural Austria

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    Junior Member Weltschmerz's Avatar
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    I understand. So, what do you think about tonal conflict and tension rather than atonality. I always felt that atonality was just an expression of directionless vaguery, and therefore incapable of expressing any sort of idea or emotion in any meaningful way. That may sound very closed minded, but I think your average listener connects more with tension-filled yet still tonal music, and it also makes the resolve so much more sweet.
    "When all hopes of recognition or honor have faded into distant memory, when purity of heart meets sorrow of mind, when all the world seems to walk in blindness, and yet a man works without wearying for that which he loves...only in this moment is passion truly understood." - Franz Schubert, 1827

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    Member vivaciouswagnerian's Avatar
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    I dont find your opinions close-minded but rather a difference of musical taste. I do agree that tonal dissonance has its place in the expressive body of music. However, I do not believe that atonality is without its place. In my opinion, time's change and human experiences change. Therefore, our ability to express our emotions sucessfully using examples and styles of the past becomes difficult. The actual 12-tone scale was indeed created as a "mathmatical" expression of music, which has its place, but most contemporary composers have taken it much further into the expressive area of music. As to your comment of atonality being vauge, it all depends on how you wish to anaylze it. The idea of atonality is still in its infancy. Tonality has hundreds and hundreds of years of evolution. The idea of tonality in the early days of written music was thought to be ridiulous but it became a way to express the emotions of the day. Atonality's analysis focuses much more on the audience having to think different than their normal train of thought.

    All of this is not to say the tonality is obsolete. I believe the knowledge of musical past is essential if you want to even touch the art of creating music. Its all about how you feel the most efficiant way to express your intent. As for the specifics of my peice. I dont wish to have the "sweetness of resolution" seeing as the social conflict has not ended, there has been no resolution.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    "Don't bother to look; I've composed all this already"
    -Gustav Mahler to Bruno Walter, who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural Austria

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