Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rapsodie Espagnol, IV. Feria

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The piece begins with two flute lines consisting of two triplets in one part on do and six-one an octave higher in the other. This helps to establish the compound duple meter by emphasizing one but still keeping triplet feel. This also further reflects the more flighty, energetic theme of the piece. Another flute then enters carrying hints of the actual theme later in the piece on do-re-mi-fa-mi-re, and then repeated to do. This up and down scalar pattern can be heard several times throughout the piece, it is one of the aspects that give it such an energetic feel; later on especially. This marks the end of a subphrase, and functions as the antecedent of the entire phrase. The next subphrase is very contrasting to the flighty, airy, and lite. This next one begins with the trombones with a quarter eighth rhythm, and descending half steps to a delayed do, an octave lower. The strings then crescendo and then decrescendo in unison on an ascending and descending scale. This subphrase has a deeper, more dissonant sound to it. The entire phrase is then repeated. These two phrases act as an intro, and I did not look at them as cadences as much as an extension of do. They couldn't have been half cadences because both ended on do, but I didn't feel any deceptiveness or V-I either. After the intro, the piece begins to elaborate on the two themes more, the rhythm especially. The bass has eighth, four sixeenths, eighth, four sixteenths. The eighth emphasizes one, combined with the bass drum, and makes pulse into a one feel. The rest of the orchestra crescendos and decrescendos on an ascending and descending scale, reinstating the rolling feel that gives the piece its energy. Winds then have a staccoto sixteenth note line, while strings elaborate on the theme the solo flute had in the first subphrase- do-re-mi-fa-sol-fa-mi-re-do. Together, these two lines create a sort of singing effect. This entire time the piece builds and decrescendos several times, and maintains a good pulse. This creates a happy, energetic feel. The piece changes styles once, to a lazier feel. The bass plays straight triplets, which contrast to the sixteenths we are used to hearing, and the soprano lines play a quarter eighth on one. The piece eventually picks up to its original theme, and builds up to the ending finale. I think most the cadences in the piece were Half, or weak Imperfect Authentic, it seemed like the piece kept its phrases connected more to maintain energy. This piece was a great use of compound rhythms.

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