Sunday, March 06, 2005

Morceau de Concours

Gabriel Faure
Michel Debost, flautist

The piece begins with four notes in the piano on do. Because of the way the metric accent is placed on the front of the note, combined with the slow tempo of the piece, a three eight time signature is immediately established. The piano sounds exactly like one of those soft sounding church bells. The soft dynamic introduces the listener to the calm motive of the piece, and when the flute part enters on the fourth repetitive do, it reinforces the three eight time signature with a quarter eighth rhythm. The first phrase ends on an IAC. The phrase ending is signaled by a retard in the flute part. When the flute first began the phrase, the notes were do sol sol (the second sol an octave higher), and then the sixteenths begin. The note duration of the second sol is a dotted half, and it contrasts with the line of sixteenths and further emphasises the end of a phrase. There are not many long notes,- the piano part has stagnate dotted halfs but after a while they become just a tempo mechanism, so the main stucture of the motive can be summed up as do sol do, the sol being up and octave. This bright motive, due to the leaps, contrasts with the sad sounding accompanient. Together, they give the piece a pulling feel, and maintain tempo without pointing it out. The next phrase is contrasting, and less noticed because the flute part doesn't have any long notes in it, like the beginning of the first phrase. It functions as a transistional function, the piano accompanient moves up but the flute part is still holding the listeners attention, so it goes somewhat unnoticed. As the flute part proceeds, it grows louder with the piano part, and climbs higher into the register compared to the previous phrase. This build up leads to a modulation to the dominant. The new phrase ends on a PAC, with the re in the flute part signaling the ending of the phrase combined with it being the ending of a descending line in the flute part. The next phrase signals a new motive, more curious and stable because of the rhythm and leaps in the flute part. There is also less half and whole steps, less sixteenths, which, compared to the first phrase give it a much stabler sound. The section ends with a PAC, signaled by a descending line in the flute part. The first section is the repeated, and the next begins a terminative function. This piece basically uses a fast rhythm to build things up, then descendings to signal the end of a phrase. To add a little color, it uses leaps, which are effective because of the half and whole steps dominating the piece. The ending cadence ends on a bright note, I expected it to end lower, because of the obvious pattern throughout the piece, but, instead of following a descending line to do, it ends on the high do. I liked the piece, it was simple.

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