Monday, April 18, 2005

Shostakovich Symphony no. 10 -mvt II

This movement is an incredible contrast to the first. This movement is cracked out. It is full of energy and tenacity the entire movement; it never stops; its a race to the end. Shostakovich said that this movement was to satirically represent Stalin. The movement starts with a pulse in the low strings, very agressive. The melody starts in the woodwinds and is a very syncopated melody with lots of chromaticism. Gestures from the brass and a snare addition change the melody over to the strings where all heck breaks lose. Rising swells from the brass and strings bring us into a powerful brass chorale played over freaking crazy string runs. The volume dies down a bit but the energy increases. The strings play a very intense and diabolic melody that has no business in anything but death. Many chromatic tones are used. The melody is continually sequenced and as the slight changes in orchestration and texture are heard. It gets thicker and thicker. The brass come in and the strings sound like theyre just playing in circles. Then a huge evil victorious chorale is played by the trumpets and trombones while the rhythmic gesture played in the beginning is heard in the background giving the piece pulse. This brass section is so brutal. The music recedes and seems like it has hit a terminative section. The music starts to hold its breath, waiting to explode. 16th note patterns are played in the strings and winds as the brass come in and the rhythmic motives are heard once again ending with a descending string flourish.

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