Monday, April 11, 2005

Franz Liszt- Totentanz

I heard Sarah Masterson play this piece today in the Concerto Concert, and it was absolutely amazing. It made me proud to be a music student but at the time ashamed that a music minor could play that well and that I should practice more. Anywho, structural divide of this piece deals mainly with changes in timbre, density and texture. The full orchestra may play on its own, with piano, or piano may play by itself, or a few instruments (like piano w/ pizzicato cello or a horn section) may play. Each of these changes usually occurs as a transition from one phrase or section to the next and helps to signal division. There is also frequent textural changes that typically relate to the changes in the density of voices and the timbre. The piano, for example, switches between melodic, slower passages with either no orchestra or just playing accompaniment and fast-moving scalar passages where the orchestra takes the melodic motive. With these melodic changes, the motive is also important in recognizing divisions, as the piece often shifts to and from the motive with the textural changes. In addition a rise in dynamics along with the increasing density helps to lead to climactic points especially in the final termination of the piece.

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