Thursday, April 28, 2005

Holst, First Suite in E flat

Yeah, I'm pretty worn out right now so I'm just going to write a little about this piece that we're playing in band and that I've played before without listening to it at this moment.

The first movement is called Chaconne and which means of course it is a Chaconne with the same harmonic line that is repeated several times throughout the movement. Holst does a good job of switching textures in the song by contrasting the lyrical melodic lines with some march like rhythmic passages in the accompaniment. There is also a great crecendo in the middle to end of the movement with very long cymbal and snare drum rolls that really highten the anticipation. It is also really cool how he makes an assymetrical phrase by adding one measure right before the climax.

The second movement is called intermezzo. Though this is a very brisk piece unlike a slower movement that is usually expected for a second movement, this piece has very light textures and flowing melodies that gives the movement a feeling of a piece that can't stand on its own. The melodies in this are very nice as is the very soft tambourine.

The final movement is called march and is has the feel of the march but isn't traditional in the sense of form. There is a loud boisterous march section in the beginning that switches to a softer lyrical melody but then near the end a very cool thing happens when the march feel from the beginning is played by the drums and some accompaniment lines but the lyrical melody from trio-esque section gets put on top of the march feel which has a really cool effect. This pushes to a very dramatic end that is very satisfying.

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