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Musi History - Essay Example

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The musical pieces that Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy composed for the contribution to Joseph Haydn's memory on the 100th anniversary of his death in 1909 are classic. Here will be given: a raw, layman's analysis of each song; a more detailed technical view of each piece; and finally, a comparison of the two pieces, which point out the differences and/or similarities in style of the composers.
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Download file to see previous pages It is evident that Ravel is not seen here as a minimalist. Rather, he scores points for being able to work within a theme.
Ravel's beginning brings one to a cheery internal place. The middle of the piece becomes somewhat frustrated and slightly complicated with a few swirls of menacing notes, but they largely subside within a few bars of music. Ravel's minuet then comes to a peaceful close. Ideally, this piece is suited for lounge music at a wedding hall, because it has the elegance and grace that one might expect in fine dining music. Ravel's "Minuet" begins in the tone of "piano," a light tone. The notes in Ravel's arrangement generally stand alone, for the most part. It seems like it would be a relatively moderately difficult piece to play on the piano, though not impossible. Ravel's piece changes its loudness briefly to "mezzo forte" (medium loudness) but retreats to "pianissimo," which is very soft. As "Minuet" ends, he is on the softer side of the scale.
In Claude Debussy's "Hommage Haydn," he winds all over the place, but it is with definite purpose-ultimately having a beginning, a middle, and an end. He starts out slow, being very intentional as to the path on which he is going to bring his listener. There is a light, airy feel to the music, as though one were sitting at the kitchen table at breakfast on a bright, sunny morning. All at once Debussy takes the listener by storm on a crescendo of sounds with several changes in scale in the background, until there is a groundswell of competing audio, which includes a darker tone to the music. This is the climax. Ultimately, however, this darker tone is resolved within the last half-minute or so of the piece, and the listener is once again allowed back into the realm of the sunny kitchen dreamscape.
"Hommage Haydn" is a piece that begins in doux et expressif, "sweet and expressive," and in the tone of "piano," which is a light tone. In the piano piece, there are quite a few notes which must be held down to carry over to the next note, which indicate, at least at the beginning, a slowness to the piece. Very soon, however, quicker notes appear, and one can tell that the piece eventually moves faster. Ultimately it slows down again by the end.
There are differences and similarities between these two pieces that tell volumes about Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, their musical styles, and perhaps their philosophies as composers. Ravel's "Minuet" is a charming piece that could be used as chamber music or in some other entertainment venue, because, to be frank, of its blandness. Although it is an exceptional piece of music, it does not stray much from being background music that one might hear played by a pianist at the dinner party of a well-to-do socialite.
"Minuet" begins cheerfully, as does "Hommage." That is about where the songs' similarities end. Debussy's "Hommage" goes on to have a frightful crescendo come from out of nowhere in the middle of the piece, which strays from the sensible, plodding and timed nature of "Minuet." These piano pieces speak a great deal to both Ravel's and Debussy's sense of style as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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