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Chapter 19: Janacek Sinfonietta

            Right from the beginning we get a feeling military sounds with all the brass instruments. It is very expressive and festive and a late work for large orchestra.
            It was intended to express contemporary free man, his spiritual beauty and joys, strength, courage and determination to fight victory.
            We really get a feel of that and it is evident with the note choices as this sounds in the Major key showing the triumph. All the different instruments relate to the words above and work very well in captivating the listener as I really enjoyed listening to this piece, 
             I know this would sound cliché to say but reminds me of an opening of a old classic film. With its rich thick textures in parts and the strings and horns just sound beautiful working together all in all a great listen to.  

Chapter 18: Charles Ives – Central Park in the Dark

            This is the first I have ever heard of Charles Ives and I must say this piece is pure bliss. The slowness of the strings shows and brings out the real feeling of being in the park at night with the elongated lengths the strings play.
            It sounds quite soothing to the ears and very tonal, as you don’t seem to hear much if any dissonance. The instrumentation choice used in this piece was piccolo, flute, and clarinet in E flat, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, strings and two pianos.
            This is just a beautiful piece and you can really hear with the distance with each instrument and get a feel of a night alone and peaceful. This is a wonderful piece to listen to and I would recommend you to listen to it to! 

Chapter 17: Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta

            Bartok was one of the twentieth century’s leading composers writing works in all forms and genres, including operas, concertos, choral works and six string quartets.  
            This piece had a chilling atmosphere to it and I rather enjoyed it, it felt as if the first movement was written in no key signature and based around the note A in which I felt that each movement starts and ends on.
            There are thick textures through out this piece with mutes often removed and the celesta playing arpeggios.
            All in all I really enjoyed this piece, listening to the harmony’s and the instruments working together and with the different textures and tempos. 

Chapter 16: Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring

            This is a Russian Ballet; his score contains many novel features for its time, including experiments in tonality, metre, rhythm, stress and dissonance. The music has influenced many of the 20th Century leading composers and is one of the most recorded works in the classical repertoire.
            This piece is one of three famous pieces and is a beauty to listen to, one thing I enjoy the most is that even though written for a chamber-fashion that the large orchestras add depth to the piece. 
             Reading and listening to this piece is different as when you are listening to this piece your senses of the musical genius behind it are heightened as you get to hear the horns, the clarinets amongst other instruments work well together and create a masterpiece.  However if you are just reading about it you don’t get a sense for the musicality of it just the facts about it. I suggest if you have the time just listen to this piece I promise you, you don’t be disappointed. 

Chapter 15: Arnold Schoenberg – Perriot Lunaire

             This piece was very interesting the first time I heard it but over the months it has grown on me. The use of Sprechstimme style that delivers the poem is sung/spoken by a soprano accompanied by a piano.
            This was referred to as a ‘Melodrama’. It is a setting of 21 selected poems. The work is atonal but does not use the twelve-tone technique that Schoenberg which was created 8 years later.
            The piece is very interesting to listen to as one might not be accustomed to this type of sung speech therefore you will not enjoy it however I can assure you that as you listen through the piece it does become lovely to listen to and understand how the connection between the voice and piano work together to depict the poem. 

Chapter 14: Oliver Messiaen quartet for the end of time

             This is apiece scored for clarinet in B flat, violin, cello and piano and typically lasts for 50 mins.
            The opening movement begins with the solo clarinet imitating a blackbird’s song with the violin imitating a nightingale’s song with the cello and piano providing a pulse.
            This piece was very beautiful to listen to and you could hear the different sections with the piano and cello keeping tempo and the communication between all four instruments when they come in at the same time. 

            All in all it was a very scenic piece and I did enjoy the instrumentation and the use of them together with the weaving harmony’s and melodies working well together.  

Chapter 13: John Cage – String Quartet in Four parts

            This piece is based partly on the Indian view of the seasons; in which the four season are associated each with a particular force those of creation, preservation, destruction and quiescence.
            The general quietness and flatness of sound in the quartet may be an expression of tranquillity and the uniting emotion if the nine permanent emotions.
            There were only three pieces of this kind created and now I understand why, even through the sheer beauty of the instruments I didn’t enjoy listening to this, I felt very jaded after the first few minutes and wondered why they all were playing like that. The strings in each part were leaden and tedious to me personally I didn’t fine an interest in listening to the whole piece through. 

Chapter 12: Claude Debussy – Preludes (Selection)

             Debussy created a set of two preludes for solo piano; these were divided into separate books of twelve preludes each, these don’t follow a set key signature or strict patter.
            Each book was written in a matter of months, early performances of these pieces was played in groups of three to four preludes which remains a popular approach with todays performances. This allows the performer to choose preludes with which they have the strongest affinity and what is best suited to their ability.
             There is a strong tonal relationship between the preludes which I felt as I was listening to them however the order of these preludes is not considered impetrative.
            All in all they are very beautiful to listen to you can hear the rich harmony and the feeling that they flow easily into one another and vary with different techniques heard. 

Chapter 11: Edgar Varese – Ionisation

            Edgar wrote this piece for 13 percussionists it features expansion and variation of rhythmic cells.
            I found this piece to be interesting however very uneasy to listen to, there a clear sense of rhythm through the piece which gave a good tempo marking, the presence of the drone gave off a very eeriness feel to the piece which was what made it personally very uneasy to listen to however all in all it was a great piece and I felt it all worked very well together in demonstrating different rhythmic patters. 

Chapter 10: Steve Reich – Drumming (Part 1)

            In my honest opinion I found it rather enjoyable, there was a constant meter running through it. It was easy to distinguish the three out of four different parts going on and they blended well with each other none overbearing than the next. 
            It is a rather short excerpt but from the complex rhythms I was very impressed as to how they stayed in time when coming in and out of parts and how they counted in time to sound out of time.
            The instruments in part one are 4 pairs of tuned bongo drums, played with double-ended wooden sticks. In this piece it uses the techniques of phasing this is where two players or one depending on the piece are playing a single repeated pattern in unison and usually on the same kind of instrument and the other performer would change the tempo slightly which the other remains constant and eventually they should be several beats out of sync with each other. 

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