Friday, April 01, 2005

"Soviet Anthem" by Prokofiev

Ok so another fun piece of randomness. I really like this national anthem, it's a shame you don't hear it any more (well, I mean it's better that way, but...ok I'm rambling) at the Olympics. It's one of those songs that just SOUNDS like a national anthem. This is a recording sung by the Red Army Chorus along with the Soviet National Orchestra. It starts with simply horns playing a single note, before the chorus, strings and horn all come in. Halfway through the phrase we have the snare roll come in as they crescendo through. The first section is all one phrase, with a half cadence after 4 measures and then another half cadence at 8. This leads to the consequent part of the phrase, which is contrasting material, another half cadence before a deceptive motion, extending the cadence by 8 measures (and playing with minor shortly) final PAC after measure 24. I would call this an assymmetric contrasting double period since it really has an overal phrase feel, with smaller divisions. I love the drums , rolling in and out, the tympany pounding , the cymbals crashing and especially the chimes tolling in the background. The chimes add this air of timeless regality to the piece. The horns blaring in a fanfare between each verse really lends to the mood of the piece. The long phrase is repeated 3 times (each verse). Each phrase builds up larger and larger, flowing into the other, before finally overflowing at the end of the third, as we ritard and end on a very powerful final PAC. This is what i feel a national anthem should sound like. I like the Star Spangled Banner well enough, but this anthem really has some oomph to it.

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