An Introduction to Beethoven: The Pastoral Symphony

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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2002
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 636943803424
  • Catalog Number: 8558034-35
  • Sales rank: 333,162


Disc 1
  1. 1–125 Discussion/Introduction to Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" - Béla Drahos & Jeremy Siepmann (153:00)
    Composed byJeremy Siepmann
    Conducted byBéla Drahos
    Performed byBéla Drahos, Budapest Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia, Jeremy Siepmann
    1. 1On Beethoven's Openings
    2. 2Opening phrase of the 'Pastoral': Mood, Symbolism and Musical Function
    3. 3Musical Acorns: the outline of melody; the shape of a question
    4. 4The 'question' in the 'Pastoral' repeated...
    5. 5...and answered
    6. 6The opening phrase ends on a note full of pregnant expectation
    7. 7Starting with a stop
    8. 8The rhythmic profile of the opening phrase; a two-part construction
    9. 9Phrase One, Part One
    10. 10Phrase One, Part Two
    11. 11The properties of rhythmic ambiguity; the 'question' of Phrase One answered
    12. 12Phrase Two: from meander to march
    13. 13The makings of a conversation: contrast and variation
    14. 14Repetition as a major factor, but it's never mere repitition; each time something new is added
    15. 15From soft to loud and back again; instrumental enrichment from horns and double-basses
    16. 16Mega-repetition: violins play exactly the same little fragment ten times in a row
    17. 17But no two repetitions are quite the same; varieties of contrast
    18. 18More variation: pitch rises; violins joined first by the clarinet, then by the oboe
    19. 19Return to the opening idea, but with new instrumentation and articulation
    20. 20Clarinets, horns, bassoons and flutes now join expansive variation
    21. 21'New' insistent rhythm derived from the first four notes of the piece
    22. 22With the dawn chorus, a whole forest is waking up; feelings of rapture
    23. 23First violins play a derivative of the opening figure, joined by wind and strings
    24. 24Sudden change of key, from the home key (tonic) to the dominant
    25. 25Arrival at the highly contrasting second main theme
    26. 26Unusual properties of second main theme
    27. 27Rhythmic clash between simultaneous groups of three beats and groups of two
    28. 28Winds fall silent as the violins and violas interrupt with a new theme
    29. 29Winds answer with the same morse-like rhythm but at half the speed
    30. 30Crescendo leads to strings' acceleration of the pace with no increase in tempo
    31. 31Beginning of coda, directly based on morse-like rhythm of the main theme
    32. 32Strings reiterate small fragment of the new theme 13 times in a row
    33. 33A simple, rising violin phrase leads to a repeat of the Exposition
    34. 34The nature and function of the Development section in sonata form: 'harmonic' rhythm explained
    35. 35The nature of harmonic rhythm illustrated
    36. 36A typically Beethovenian exercise in the frustration of experience
    37. 37Repetitiousness and magic effected largely through instrumental colour
    38. 38Then come four, almost identical bars
    39. 39Even greater magic, with sudden switch of key and tone colour
    40. 40Entire Development section up to this point
    41. 41The Development continued
    42. 42Increased unease and suspense as harmonic rhythm accelerates
    43. 43Arrival at the point of Recapitulation; back to the beginning, as a reminder
    44. 44Beginning of Recapitulation
    45. 45More Beethovenian frustrations of expectations which he himself has just set up
    46. 46Harmonic rhythm speeds up, giving the impression of an accent on every beat
    47. 47Prevailing mood restored; new theme from clarinets and bassoons
    48. 48Violins and violas take up theme; horns, cellos, double-basses accompany
    49. 49A hush falls, followed by a return of the movement's most familiar tag in strings
    50. 50Clarinet takes up the running triplet figures of the main closing theme
    51. 51First violins take up the opening phrase again, accompanied by double-basses
    52. 52Beethoven slips in one last surprise; cue to complete movement
    53. 53First Movement (complete)
    54. 54General introduction; the birth of a melody
    55. 55Brook music quickens; syncopated horns; theme changes hands; evocation of birdsong
    56. 56The 'motto' theme introduced by violins and treated to round-like overlappings
    57. 57Transitional 'bridge' theme sets off for new key group. But is it? And does it?
    58. 58Will he, or won't he? Beethoven keeps us guessing
    59. 59The run-up to the Second Group
    60. 60Arrival at the Second Group; but where is the actual Second Subject?
    61. 61A new tune is introduced by the bassoon
    62. 62Tune is repeated three times
    63. 63...which the full orchestra now takes up in varied form
    64. 64Theme carried by flutes and first violins in a charmingly waltz-like development
    65. 65A reminder of the precedent
    66. 66Back to the prevailing triple-metre with violins, bassoons and flutes
    67. 67Another reminder of precedent...
    68. 68...and a cue to some unexpected departures
    69. 69The transformational magic of Beethoven's 'tone-painting' - and a new variation
    70. 70Conversation of clarinet, flute and oboe on the way to the Development
    71. 71Harmonic movement emphasised by violins; oboe takes up the First Subject
    72. 72Flute and oboe discuss the First Subject, before arriving together at the Transition
    73. 73Gains in volume and intensity lead to a new key-change
    74. 74More thematic transformation through the agency of tone-colour
    75. 75Harmonic fluidity - instability - as the central engine of the Development section
    76. 76Harmonic instability, thematic dissolution increase, then lessen with approach of Recapitulation
    77. 77Recap. and transformation: key and material are right, but what a change of presentation!
    78. 78Just when we know that's coming, Beethoven changes the rules (or at least the harmony)
    79. 79Transformation by reorchestration; switch to long sustained chords; then everything stops
    80. 80The silence is broken by voices of nightingale (flute), quail (oboe) and cuckoo (clarinet)
    81. 81First violins bring back the motto theme
    82. 82Cue to complete movement on CD 2
    83. 83Second Movement (complete)
    84. 84Beethoven and the Scherzo: and introduction; Part One of opening phrase taken by the strings
    85. 85Immediate response; Part One is answered by a much more singing, continuous legato
    86. 86Entire orchestra gives out opening theme, this time fortissimo and with powerful accents
    87. 87A musical ball game. The contrast of this and the first two movements could hardly be greater
    88. 88After quietly teasing suspense, Beethoven mocks village band, first the oboe, then the bassoon
    89. 89Clarinet joins in, then horns take the tune - the dance no longer boisterous but lyrical
    90. 90Strings sweep the village musicians aside and hurtle us into the new, boisterous 'Trio' section
    91. 91The air is alive with the sound of (mock) bagpipes, tambourines and fifes
    92. 92Coda; begins as the movement itself begins, but soon diverges in harmony and instrumentation
    93. 93Original layout compressed; order of events is changed and Beethoven springs a big surprise
    94. 94Third movement (complete)
    95. 95Unparalleled portrait of nature's power over humanity, with some stupendous orchestration
    96. 96Self-generating form and terror of total unpredictability; 'anxiety motif' from the violins
    97. 97The 'lashing rain' motif - downward-driving arpeggios from the first violins and violas
    98. 98The 'lightning' motif, and its recurrence later in the movement
    99. 99'Rain' motif, derived from descending scale pattern from the violins at the outset
    100. 100Shivering tremolandos from the strings and increasingly eerie harmonies from the wind
    101. 101Steady crescendo in strings; terrifying, downward spelling-out chords in the violins
    102. 102Extremes of dynamic contrasts; the unsettling, disturbing, undermining effects of chromaticism
    103. 103Abandonment of the melody, and most traces even of rhythm; sustained, discordant harmony
    104. 104Storm dispersed, the sun reappears, bathing sodden earth below with its life-giving rays
    105. 105Cue to complete performance of Fourth Movement
    106. 106Fourth movement (complete)
    107. 107'Yodelling' figure from clarinet, then horn, then violins, who introduce the main theme
    108. 108Details of instrumental magic in the interplay of horns, cellos, clarinets and bassoons
    109. 109Main theme heard three times in a row - and yet never the same way twice
    110. 110Now we get the whole orchestra, playing full out, with violins all double-stopping
    111. 111Transition to the next section, based on the last two notes of the main theme
    112. 112The rhythmic basis of new transition theme, first in violas, then taken up by first violins
    113. 113Another rhythmic detail of extended transition comes increasingly into the foreground
    114. 114...and is then heard in expanded version, taken in sequence by the strings, from the top down
    115. 115New phrase, introduced by violins, brings us resoundingly back to the opening material
    116. 116Main theme, re-orchestrated; unexpected drift into another key and a new, gently flowing theme
    117. 117Hints of a return to main them; long 'pedal point'; running commentary from the violins
    118. 118Main theme returns, but significantly altered, and not entirely intact
    119. 119Running commentary now heard in the middle, with alternating pizzicatos both above and below
    120. 120Part Three of main theme given to entire orchestra, leading to final appearance of Theme two
    121. 121Extended coda; overlapping variations of main theme, rather in the manner of a round
    122. 122Suddenly the scene changes. A variation of the 'running commentary' cited in tracks 34 and 36
    123. 123The crowning glory, as the Shepherd's Song of Thanksgiving takes on a 'heavenly' magnificence
    124. 124Cue into complete performance of Fifth Movement through the 'gateway' of the Fourth
    125. 125Fourth and Fifth movements (complete)
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