Friday, April 29, 2005

Bernstein's "Anniversary No 4'

This piece is cool to analyze. It starts with an unusual form. To begin with, it is part of a cycle of 4 movements. Then, by itself it is a ternary form. This is cool because the piece only last for a couple of minutes, yet it fits all the ideas of ternary form in it. It starts with an exposition. This is made up of a couple of big chord bops and little running passages. Then there is even a brief polyphonic section. The structural phenomena that holds this whole piece together is the rests. The rests are almost as powerful as the notes. Then the development explores a lot of keys, registers, and densities. It doesn't have any rests. It just flies! The dynamic contrasts are really impressive though. Then after a big chordal transition section, the recap happens. A few additional chords are added to the similar themes from the expos. in the recap. Then there is a very exciting scalar passage coda that starts very soft and then grows with spizicato velocity until the last banging chord. This piece sounds really amazing with all the articulation and speed. It's like a compact package of everything we've studied.

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