Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Farandole - L'Arlesienne - Bizet

I like this piece for several reasons. First of all, I like it's upbeat, constantly-moving, and sometimes intense mood. The tempo is quick, and the dynamic is generally loud. Also, the texture never becomes very sparse. There are also very few long notes - the listener can depend on something happening on every quarter note.

I also like the dominance of the main theme - it makes the piece seem to have a clear direction and purpose. The main theme is also pleasant in its own way. It has a simple structure - a double period with a clear half cadence in the middle and a solid PAC at the end. The second two phrases are basically repetitions of the first two, except the very end is changed to include the PAC.

The piece begins with a dramatic statement of the theme, followed by a contrapuntal development of it where the strings are divided into two choirs that play the theme in a sort of round.

Next it changes mood to a fluttering woodwind soli, including some new melodic material with the strings just playing a simple accompaniment that develops into the principle theme again, which is further toyed with while the energy builds almost uncontrollably to the end.

Overall, it's a simple piece, but Bizet thoroughly explores the theme and accomplishes his musical goals, giving the listener a gratifying, if brief, musical experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just heard this piece for the first time. What a wonderful expansion of a commonly recognized motif!