Thursday, April 14, 2005

Dvorak: Slavonic Dance no. 10

[A section] The first section of the piece isn't very interesting. Dvorak uses only strings and woodwinds, and the violins have the melody most of the time, which is accompanied by a simple pizzicato progression in the lower strings and sustained notes in the woodwinds. There is one significant build about 1 minute and 15 seconds into the piece, but this doesn't climax and, when the mood dies down again, the cellos have a short melody before the section ends at about 1 minute and 45 seconds.

[B section] At this point, the piece changes significantly - one big phenomena is the change in tonality, which goes from e minor to E major (I'm not sure it's E). The mood becomes almost joyful. The woodwinds take on a more prominent role, with the flutes playing a fluttering line above the waltz feel played by the strings. The woodwinds even get to play the melody with string accompaniment, which is a nice change in texture.

This evolves into a more rubato, expressive section played in the strings, in what may be called a new section. When the woodwinds come back in, they play their own pizzicato sound and accompany a string melody.

Three minutes and 45 seconds into the piece, the main melody returns, this time played a little more boldly. However, it doesn't feel like a very dramatic return because the piece never became incredibly different.

The B section returns again, this time concluding the piece instead of evolving into the passionate string melody.

I guess the overall form of the piece would be ABAB, while an argument could be made for a C section after the first AB. Overall, it wasn't very effective because of the lack of significant contrast or progess. It seemed very appropriate for dance music, though, as the meter stayed the same the whole time and it sounded good as background music. Maybe the whole set of slavonic dances makes more sense or impact as a group, but I wasn't very impressed with this single dance.

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