GUIDE  TO  UNDERSTANDING  MUSIC

 

Stereo Review Magazine
Copyright 1973 by
Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.

 

 

Introduction

 

This set of records is designed for the person who can't read a note of music, and who has no technical training in music. The approach is entirely through the ear - the spoken explanation followed by the musical demonstration. My purpose is to increase your pleasure and appreciation of music through a greater understanding of it.

 

What is music appreciation? Frankly, I don't know whether anyone can define it completely, But we're fortunate in one respect: it's possible for us to appreciate music without having to arrive at an exact definition. The fact that you're reading these words now, and that you're interested in this set of records, means that you get a certain amount of pleasure out of hearing music; and that's essentially what music appreciation is. It makes no difference if you're one those many people who can't read a note of music. It also makes no difference whether or not you can tell one composer from another, or whether you have difficulty in distinguishing the sound of the oboe from the sound of the clarinet (both of which inabilities, by the way, we shared by a great many of your fellow listeners).

 

In this guide, we explore first the elements that are the basis of all music: rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, tone color (the segment titled Sense and Sensation, in which the instruments of the orchestra are identified and demonstrated) and form. ("Harmony" as such is a phenomenon of Western music; it is not known in Oriental music. Also, within the field of Western music, there are works for an unaccompanied voice, in which there is no harmony, but these are relatively rare.)

 

Before entering into the subject of form, which is the "shape" of music, I have included a discussion of How Music Is Unified. Its purpose is to demonstrate some of the ways in which composers make their music grow. It would be well to familiarize yourself with this segment before going on to the subject of form, which is perhaps the most elusive in the entire set. A word might be in order here as to how to approach the matter of form. Let me suggest that you not try to memorize the various musical forms that are discussed. They will always be there for you to refer to at your pleasure. Rather, after you have listened to Side 5 and have gained an overview of the subject, it might be a good idea to return to each form discussed, and repeat it, until you are certain that you understand it.

 

Let me make a similar suggestion in connection with another subject that might turn out to be somewhat elusive - the textures of music. Don't expect to be able to gasp at first hearing all the strands of melody that are presented in the more complex examples. As I have suggested, just before the rather lengthy excerpt from Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger near the end of Side 2, repeated hearings are necessary in order for the ear to hear all three melodies. Let me assure you that even the sophisticated, knowledgeable listener requires repeated hearings of that music, and of the excerpts from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Bach's Mass in B Minor, if he is to hear all the melodies they contain.

 

Two of the subjects, "Words and Music" (Side 6) and "Can Music Tell a Story or Paint a Picture?" (Side 7), are designed to protect you from the misconceptions that we too often presented in the name of Music Appreciation. The purpose of these discussions is to make clear the true nature of the art of music, so that you will not be led to expect from it something it is incapable of supplying. It is my thesis that music, itself, offers so many purely musical satisfactions and pleasures that it is not necessary to resort to verbal, pictorial, or other nonmusical matters in order to appreciate it.

 

The final section, "The Interpretation of Music" (Side 8), is meant to give some insight into the many approaches that can he taken to the performance of a piece of music. Rather than attribute the different interpretations merely to the performer's temperament -which really avoids the question - the discussion attempts to demonstrate the specific choices that are open to the interpreter in purely musical terms. This section should help you to become yew own music critic.

 

As you listen to these records, bear in mind the fact that the points that are made apply to all music. In essence, this set of records is an attempt to supply an insight into the nature of the musical experience as a whole. With that aim in mind, the examples have been chosen from all types of music - symphony, concerto, chamber music, folk music, choral music, and opera, and from the music of various centuries and different countries.

 

While I, of course, cannot control the manner in which you use these records, I should like to suggest that you not listen to all eight sides at one sitting. There is the danger of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of subject matter.

 

In addition to the information contained in this course in music appreciation, there is a further advantage in the exposure to a great number of excerpts from many works. If, among these examples of various  works, you find a piece of music that appeals to you, I suggest that you follow the lead. Get the recording of the complete work for your collection or go to hear a live concert performance of it. If something in a musical excerpt appeals to you, it means that that composer's idiom - his style - speaks to you directly. At the point at which you find yourself drawn to the music, it is not necessary to determine the reason.

 

Don't analyze the music; merely immerse yourself in it - enjoy it. It is more than likely that when you hear other works by the same composer, you may be drawn to them too, and thus enrich your musical background.

 

In order to assist you, should you desire to obtain a recording of any of the works from which these excerpts were drawn, I have included with these notes a list identifying the source of every single example. All the musical works are listed in the order in which they occur on the records. Included are the name of the composer, the title of the work, the opus number, the movement designation in the case of works in more than one movement, the artist or artists, the orchestra, the name of the conductor, and the record number.

 

It will be noted that many of the musical examples were specially recorded for this album by the pianist Michael May and the baritone William Metcalf. In almost every instance there are commercially available recordings of the works from which I have chosen these excerpts.

 

The notation "Op." after any musical work is the abbreviation for "Opus," which means "work." The numbers indicate, usually (although there are exceptions) the order in which the works were published. Every opus number serves to identify that work in the composer's output. The letter "K." and the number after each work by Mozart serve the same purpose. Mozart's compositions were catalogued by a man named Köchel, and his listing replaces what, for almost every other composer, would be an opus number. The works of Domenico Scarlatti were catalogued by a man named Longo. Thus. his name precedes what would ordinarily be an opus number for a composition by Scarlatti. The letters "BWV" after the works of Bach stand for Bach-Werke Verzeichnis, meaning Bach Works Catalogue, and the number serves to identify the work.

 

A word might be in order concerning that which has been left out of this course. When the editors of "Stereo Review" approached me with the idea of creating a "Guide to Understanding Music" on four records, my problem was one of selection. Needless to say, since the subject is virtually endless, as much landed "on the cutting-room floor" as finally appeared on these discs. Because so many instruments had to be covered on the side labeled Sense and Sensation, I exercised my judgment and did not break down the string section of the orchestra into violin, viola, cello, and bass, since they are all variants of the same means of producing tone. The organ was not demonstrated, first, because its sound is so widely recognized, and second, because I felt the space was needed for examples to differentiate among the sounds of the various woodwinds (as well as the sounds of all the other orchestral instruments).

 

Similarly, in view of the audience for which this set of records is intended, it was felt advisable not to include the fugue in the segment devoted to form, since it would lead us into complexities that more properly belong in a more advanced course.

 

Finally, where do you go from here - after you have absorbed the contents of this album? While I do hope that the experience will give you an increased insight into the understanding of music, don't let it interfere with your enjoyment of music. How shall you approach a musical work, after you have heard what I have said on these discs? Let me answer the question by telling you how I approach a new piece of music. I do of listen with an analytical mind; I do not try to intellectualize the experience. Instead, I simply give myself over to the music; I let it "roll over me"; I leave myself open to its immediate appeals, to its melodies, its rhythms, its harmonies, and to its sounds. In short, I ask myself "Do I like it?" Then, I try to determine whether it "holds together" - whether it has a sense of continuity. But that, too, is not a thought-out process; I would probably find that I did not like it, or enjoy it, if it didn't "hold together." Above all, I listen with a feeling of relaxation, and see if something "grabs" me. It is only after I have found a work appealing at that level that I may begin to analyze it and consciously listen for its form. About one thing, however, I am quite firm: I do not feel that I am able to get a real appreciation or understanding of a work after only one hearing. Granted, there we some kinds of music that are so obvious that they give all they have in one hearing. But a really fine work, while it may be appealing on first hearing - and even if it isn't - usually contains enough rewards to justify many hearings, and each one gives more satisfaction than the last. Good music keeps on giving, and you win every time!

 

DAVID RANDOLPH
1972

 

ABOUT THE WRITER-NARRATOR

 

David Randolph has devoted a major portion of his activities to bringing the layman closer to an understanding of music. His lectures at New York University, Philharmonic Hall and the New School have all been directed toward the listener with no technical training, as have his broadcasts, which have been heard over radio stations WNYC and WQXR in New York City.

 

As the conductor of The Masterwork Chorus, The St. Cecilia Chorus and the The United Choral Society, he has performed most of the major works of the literature for chorus and orchestra in Carnegie Hall and Philharmonic Hall.

 

Mr. Randolph book, This Is Music, published by McGraw-Hill, is also intended for the listener without technical training. The New York Times said about it: "This Is Music is an admirable fulfillment of Mr. Randolph's purpose: to produce a dependable, thoroughly entertaining guide for every reader who approaches music at a layman's level."

 

When the New American Library paperback edition of it appeared, it was designated by The New York Times as one of the "Best of the Year." The book is a further extension of many of the ideas contained in this set of recordings.

 

http://www.stceciliachorus.org/profiles/music-director.html

 

 

List of Musical Examples

 

In selecting the must appropriate recorded examples to illustrate specific musical points, we have chosen among a vast number of records. Since the dates of these recordings range from 1939 to 1972, obviously the recorded sound cannot be entirely uniform among the various excerpts. Although some of the older are no longer commercially available, they are included in the list of musical examples; in every case a modern alternative can easily be found. (Unless otherwise specified, the record numbers refer to Columbia Records)

 

 

RHYTHM
Record 1, Side 1, Band 1
MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Bantu music from British East Africa: Drum music, SL213

 

Pledge of Allegiance: recited by Master James Eric Mandell.

 

March: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor. On. 74 ("Pathétique") Third Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond., MS6689

 

Gregorian chant: "Salve Regina." Trappist monks of Gethsemane, ML52M

 

Lullaby; Brahms, Lullaby. André Kostelanetz and his orchestra, MS6711

 

Hymn: Martin Luther. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Mormon Tabernacle Chair, Richard P. Condie, dir.; Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy, cond., MS6951

 

Waltz: Johann Strauss. The Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314.  Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy cond. MS7506

 

Regularity of rhythm: Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A-Major, Op. 92, Fourth Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, cond. MS6112

 

Repetition of rhythmic pattern: Orff, Carmina Burana Part II, "In Taberna." Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy, cond.; Rutgers University Choir. F. Austin Walter dir. MS6163

 

Syncopation: Beethoven, String Quartet No 7 in F-Major, Op. 19 No. 1, First Movement. Budapest String Quartet. MS6185

 

Displaced accents: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K.525, Fourth Movement. Strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6081

 

Displaced accents: Beethoven. Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major Op. 55 ("Eroica"), First Movement, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond, MS6266

 

Displaced accents: Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F-Major. Op. 90, Fourth Movement. Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, cond. MS6685

 

Irregular rhythms: Stravinsky, L'Histoire du Soldat (Suite), Triumphal March of the Devil. Israel Baker (violin); chamber ensemble, Igor Stravinsky cond. MS6272

 

Polyrhythm: Ravel, String Quartet in F-Major, Second Movement. Juilliard String Quartet, M30650

 

Irregular rhythms: Bartók , Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Second Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, cond. MS6956

 

 

MELODY
Record 1, Side 1, Band 2

 

 

All piano excerpts played by Michael May.

 

Conjunct melody: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, cond. MS7016

 

Disjunct melody: Richard Strauss, Ein Heldenleben Op. 40, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6249

 

Slow, song-like melody: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 ("Pathétique"), First Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, cond. MS6689

 

Fast, exciting melody: Prokofiev, Concerto No. 1, in D Major, for Violin, Second Movement. Isaac Stern (violin), Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6635

 

Ancient liturgical chant: Gregorian chant, "Dies Irae" William Metcalf (baritone). Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy, cond. MS6248

 

 

HARMONY
Record 1, Side 1, Band 3

 

 

All piano excerpts played by Michael May.

 

Dominant to tonic ("Perfect" Cadence): Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor. Op. 67, First Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6109

 

Subdominant to tonic ("Plagal" Cadence): Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Op. 68, Fourth Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, cond. MS6202

 

 

THE TEXTURES OF MUSIC
Record 1, Side 2, Band 2
MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Monophonic texture: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." William Metcalf (baritone).

 

Homophonic texture (vocal): Verdi, Rigoletto, "La donna è mobile", Richard Tucker (tenor). MS6604

 

Homophonic texture (instrumental): Berlioz, "The Roman Carnival Overture", Op. 9. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS 6170

 

Homophonic texture: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 12, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS7016

 

Polyphonic texture (vocal canon): "Three Blind Mice"

 

Polyphonic texture (instrumental canon): Franck, Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, Fourth Movement. Isaac Stern (violin), Alexander Zakin (piano), MS6139

 

Polyphonic texture (canon for full orchestra): Franck, Symphony in D Minor, First Movement Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6297

 

Melody treated homophonically, then polyphonically: Three Blind Mice (piano versions). Michael May (piano).

 

Complex Polyphonic texture: Bach, Mass in B Minor, "Cum Sancto Spiritu." Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond; Temple University Choirs, Robert E. Page dir. M3S680

 

Homophonic treatment of melody: Berlioz, The Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6170

 

Combining of two melodies: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125, Fourth Movement. Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Richard P. Condie dir. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS7016

 

Combining of three melodies: Wagner, Die Meistersinger: Prelude. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS7141

 

Homophonic writing in "Polyphonic" period: Bach, St. Matthew Passion, "Erbarme Dich". New Yolk Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond, M3S692

 

Polyphonic writing in "Homophonic" period: Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, Second Movement. New York  Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6112

 

 

SENSE AND SENSATION IN MUSIC
Record 2, Side 3

MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Reading (woman's voice): Mildred Randolph.

 

Alternation of woodwinds and plucked strings: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, Third Movement, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. M30831

 

Same music, limited to single tone color of the piano: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, Third Movement  (piano version). Michael May and David Bradshaw (piano).

 

Strings: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nach Music, K. 525, Fourth Movement, Strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6081

 

Flute: Bach, Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067, Badinerie, Ornulf Gulbransen (flute): Marlboro Festival Orchestra, Pablo Casals cond. MS7378

 

Oboe: Brahms, Concert in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77, Second Movement, Isaac Stern (violin). Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6153

 

Clarinet: Mozart, Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major K. 581, Second Movement. David Oppenheim (clarinet), Budapest String Quartet. MS6127

 

Bassoon: Mozart, Concert in B-flat Major for Bassoon and Orchestra K. 191, First Movement. Bernard Garfield (bassoon), Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6451

 

Woodwind Quartet: Wagner, Die Meistersinger.

 

Piccolo: Sousa, The Stars and Stripes Forever. New York Philharmonic, André Kostelanetz cond. MS6806

 

English horn: Dvorák, Symphony No. 9 in E Minor Op. 95 ("From the New World"), Second Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6393

 

Bass clarinet solo.

 

Double bassoon solo: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor Op. 74.

 

Trumpet: Beethoven, Leonore Overture No. 3, Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS7068

 

French horn: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5 in E Minor Op. 64, Second Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. M30832

 

Three French horns: Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 ("Eroica") Third Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6266

 

Trombones: Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C Minor Op. 68, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS 6067

 

Tuba solo: Wagner, melody from Die Meistersinger

 

Full brasses - brass choir: Wagner, Die Meistersinger

 

Saxophone: Bizet, L'Arlésienne Suite

 

Timpani (kettle drums)

 

Brass drum.

 

Snare drum.

 

Triangle: Liszt, Piano Concerto No. l in E-flat.

 

Tambourine

 

Cymbals

 

Gong

 

Chimes

 

Xylophone: Saint-Saëns, Danse Macabre.

 

Celesta: Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker Suite Op 71a, Dance of the  Sugar Plum Fairy.

 

Glockenspiel: Wagner, Die Meistersinger.

 

Harp: Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a, Waltz of the Flowers. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. M30837

 

Guitar: Sor, Variations on a Theme by Mozart, John Williams (guitar).  MS7195

 

Electronically produced sound: Babbitt, Composition for Synthesizer. Columbia-Princepton Electronic Music Center. MS6566

 

Piano - clear bell-like quality: Mozart, Concerto No. 20 in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra K. 466, Second movement. Rudolf Serkin (piano); Columbia Symphony Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS6534

 

Piano - Thick, massive quality: Brahms, Concerto No. 2, in B-Flat Major, for Piano and Orchestra Op 83. First Movement. Rudolf Serkin (piano). Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS6967

 

Piano - dreamy quality: Debussy, La Cathédrale Engloutie. Michael May (piano).

 

Violin played legato: Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade Op. 35, Anshel Brusilow (violin); Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6365

 

Violin played staccato: Mozart, Concerto No 4. in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, K. 218, First Movement. Zino Francescatti (violin); Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter cond. MS6063

 

Violin played spiccato: Tchaikovsky, Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6062

 

Orchestral strings played spiccato: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, K. 525, Fourth Movement. Strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6081

 

Violin - throaty quality: Ravel, Tzigane. Zino Francescatti (violin). New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6617

 

Entire string section played pizzicato: Debussy, Ibéria. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jean Fournet cond. 22160188

 

Glissando: Bartok, Quartet No. 6. Juilliard String Quartet MS6704

 

Contrast of various choirs of the orchestra: Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond, MS 6248

 

All choirs of orchestra playing simultaneously: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 ("Pathétique") Third Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6689

 

 

HOW MUSIC IS UNIFIED
Record 2, Side 4

MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Repetition of one brief figure: Beethoven, Quartet No. 16 in F Major Op 135, Second Movement. Budapest String Quartet. M4S616

 

Repetition of a melody in a later movement: Brahms, Symphony No 3 in F Major Op. 90. First Movement, Fourth Movement. Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS6685

 

Repetition of a melody in a later movement (in a twentieth century work): Prokofiev, Concerto No 1, in D Major, for Violin and Orchestra, Op 19. First Movement, Third Movement. Isaac Stern (violin); Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6635

 

Theme and variations: Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, Second Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6468

 

Ground bass: Bach, Mass in B Minor, "Crucifixus." Piano version of ground bass played by Michael May (piano); orchestral version, Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy cond; Temple University Choirs, Robert E. Page dir. M3S680

 

Ground bass varied in higher registers: Bach, Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor. E. Power Biggs (organ). MS6261

 

A melody becomes the bass of a later section: Bach, Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067, Polonaise. Ornulf Gulbransen (flute); Marlboro Festival Orchestra, Pablo Casals cond. MS7379

 

A melody reappears in the same movement, but transformed: Brahms, Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op 98, Third  Movement. Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walters cond. MS6113

 

A melody reappears, transformed, in all four movements: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6109

 

The concept of "development" of a single theme: Beethoven, Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3, Second Movement. Michael May (piano)

 

Development in which two themes are combined: Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet. London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult cond. 32160238

 


FORM IN MUSIC

Record 3, Side 5
MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

The phrase: Yankee Doodle. Michael May (piano)

 

The song form (ternary form): Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms. Michael May (piano).

 

Binary form (extended): Scarlatti, Sonata for Harpsichord in C Major, Longo 104. Michael May (piano).

 

Ternary form (extended) - the minuet: Mozart, Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K 551 ("Jupiter") Third Movement. Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS6969

 

The rondo: Beethoven Concerto, in D Major. for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61, Third Movement. Isaac Stern (violin); New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6093

 

Repetition: Schubert, Das Wandern from Die Schöne Müllerin, William Metcalf (baritone); Michael May (piano)

 

Sonata form: Mozart, Symphony No. 40 in G Minor K. 550, First Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6018

 


WORDS AND MUSIC
Record 3, Side 6

MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

The same music used for different words: Handel, Messiah, 'For unto us a child is born". New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. Westminster Choir John Finley Williamson dir. MS6018

Handel, "No, di voi non vo fidarmi, ciero amor, crudel beltà", Joyce Gerber (soprano), Michael May (piano).

 

The distortion of natural word rhythms by music: Francis Scott Key, The Star-Spangled Banner, Michael May (piano).

 

Supremacy of words over music: Schubert, Der Erlkönig. William Metcalf (baritone), Michael May (piano).

 

Supremacy of music over words: Bach, Mass in B Minor, "Cum Sancto Spiritu", Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond; Temple University Choirs, Robert E. Page dir. MS6417

 

Repetition of words: Handel, Messiah, "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted."  David Lloyd (tenor); New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. M2S603

 

Recitative: Mozart, Marriage of Figaro, William Metcalf (baritone), Michael May (piano).

 

Ascription of symbolic meaning: Bach, Mass in B Minor, "Credo in Unum Deum." Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy cond. Temple University Choirs, Robert E. Page dir. MS6417

 

Music conveys only mood of words: Schubert, Am Meer, Der Doppelgänger. William Metcalf (baritone), Michael May (piano).

 

Musical subtitles in a song: Schubert, Der Doppelgänger. Michael May (piano).

 

Musical subject matter of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Fourth Movement. John Macurdy (bass); Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Richard P. Condie dir. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS7016

 

 

CAN MUSIC TELL A STORY OR PAINT A PICTURE?
Record 4, Side 7
MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Imitation of thunder: Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, Third Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6248

 

Imitation of a bird: Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6193

 

Imitation of a hen: Rameau, La Poule (The Hen), Igor Kipnis (harpsichord). MS7326

 

Alleged depiction of a storm at sea: Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult cond. 32160238

 

Alleged depiction of a quiet family scene: Beethoven, Sonata No. 4 in E-flat Major, Op. 7, Second Movement. Michael May (piano).

 

Wagner's leitmotiv (leading motive): Wagner, Tristan and Isolde, (a) Desire (b) The Love Philtre (c) The Magic Casket. Michael May (piano).

 

Alleged description of a river: Smetana, The Moldau from My Fatherland. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6879

Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op 68 ("Pastorale") Fifth Movement, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6549

National anthem of Israel: Hatikvah. Thomas Z. Shepard arranger. MS7217

 

Symbolism: Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture, Op. 49. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6073

 

Arbitrary ascription of meaning: Richard Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op 28. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. (Piano versions played by Michael May) MS6678

 

Alleged portrayal of character in opera: Mozart, Don Giovanni, "Là, ci darem la mano", "Madamina! Il calalogo è questo." William Metcalf (baritone). Michael May (piano).

 

Alleged portrayal of character in orchestral music: Richard Strauss, Don Juan, Op 20. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6324

Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration, Op 24. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6324

 

Ascription of specific meaning to music: Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, Fourth Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6468

Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major Op. 55 ("Eroica"), Fourth Movement Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6266

 


INTERPRETATION OF MUSIC

Record 4, Side 8
MP3, 32 kbps, 6 MB, 25 min.

 

 

Tempo: Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 ("Eroica") First Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS6774

Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major Op. 55 ("Eroica"), First Movement. Rochester Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf cond. HL7053

 

Tempo and dynamics: Handel, Messiah, "Amen." New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein cond. Westminster Choir, John Finley Williamson dir. MS6041

Handel, Messiah, "Amen." Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond.; Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Richard P. Condie dir. M2S607

 

Tempo: Bach, St. Matthew Passion, Closing Chorus. Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen cond. Courtesy Westminster Records. WAL401

Bach, S. Matthew Passion, Closing Chorus. Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Willem Mengelberg cond. SL179

 

Change of tempo (the retard): Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major, BWV 1051, Third Movement. Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Szymon Goldberg cond. BC1044

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major, BWV 1051, Third Movement. Marlboro Festival Orchestra, Pablo Casals cond. MS6783

 

Tempo rubato: Chopin, Prelude in C Major, Op. 28, No. 1. Nelson Freire (piano). M30486

 

Dynamics: Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 4 in A-Major, Op. 90 ("Italian") First Movement. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham cond. ML4681

Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 4 in A-Major, Op. 90, First Movement. Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell cond. MS6975

 

Variations in both dynamics and tempo: Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Op. 68, Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6067

Brahms, Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Op. 68 Fourth Movement. Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter cond. Y30311

 

Variations in dynamics added by conductor: Bach, Cantata No. 106 "Gottes Zeit Ist die Allerbeste Zeit." Courtesy Vanguard Recording Society. BG-537-B

Bach, Cantata No. 106, "Gottes Zeit Ist die Allerbeste Zeit." Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen cond. Courtesy Westminster Record,  XWN18394

 

Phrasing: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op.74 ("Pathétique"), Fourth Movement. New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein cond. MS7233

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 ("Pathétique"), Fourth Movement. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS6160

 

The influence of tradition: Bach, St. Matthew Passion. "Erbarme  Dich." Courtesy Vanguard Recording Society. BGS5025B

 

The nineteenth-century "Romantic" tradition applied to eighteenth-century music: Bach, St. Matthew Passion, "Erbarme Dich." Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Willem Mengelberg cond. SL179

 

Vibrato in Romantic music: Mendelssohn, Concerto in E Minor, for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64, Second Movement. David Oistrakh (violin); Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. ML5085

 

Vibrato in music of the "Classical" period: Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 4, in D Major, K. 218, Second Movement. David Oistrakh (violin). Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. ML5085

 

Size of performing body - large group: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525. First Movement, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. MS7507

 

Size of performing body - small group: Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525, First Movement. I Musici BC1040

 

Double-dotting: Bach, Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV1068, First Movement. Courtesy Vanguard Recording Society. BG-530-B

 

THE  END