Feb 21, 2012
All descriptions of the movements on this page are the sole property and work of John Thomas Kooz. Originally this page was simply a list of all the music that appeared in audio blog snippets (as intros or outros usually) around the Validate Your Life Network, but I have extended it so that it has more utility. Now this page can be used for identifying classical music pieces! Ever since “classical music” replaced “card and coin tricks” of my Cs of hobbies it had been a major goal to identify a dozen or so quality, essential classical music pieces, and there movements, by ear. A bit of backstory in the “Cs of hobbies” bit: I had three Hobbies that began with the letter C: Computers, Chess, and Card tricks; as you will see in the 10 Card, 10 Coin Tricks post, Computers became career, Chess remained a great hobby, and Card tricks was completely replaced (I outgrew it) with classical music. So the selections that I would like to identify by ear are what follows. Quite usefully, links to the actual music are provided as well as some optional biographical or fact-based information about the composer and/or the piece. This page now has utility in my project of identifying specific classical music pieces by ear and serves me well in that regard. If you have an interest in a similar project, I trust this page will serve your ears as well! I have dissected all twelve of the pieces I want to identify by ear and for each movement have scrupulously detailed acoustic patterns that can be used to “describe” a movement as to better mnemonically recall and then later identify each masterpiece. A rich vocabulary easily and naturally emerges when describing classical masterpieces, I have discovered. For shits and giggles I sequenced these in reverse-era sequence, meaning that the baroque pieces are last and the nationalist-modernist pieces are first. They have been meticulously sequenced in reverse chronological order of premiere day of each piece. (Pieces we’ve already covered are in bold. This list may change.)
- Nationalist (Czech): Smetana Moldau
- Nationalist (Czech): Dvorak Cello Concerto in B. (Written 1894. Premiered 1896.)
- Nationalist (English): Gustov Holst The Planets
- Nationalist (French): Debussy Dialog du la Vent et la Mer
- Nationalist (Russian): Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
- Romantic: Brahm’s 4th Symphony
- Romantic: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Ballet
- Classical/Romantic: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. 1824.
- Classical/Romantic: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
- Classical: Mozart’s 31st Symphony “Paris”
- Classical: Mozart’s 22nd Symphony
- Baroque: Bach amazing allegro
The Post’s Covered thus far have been:
- Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
- Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B (This Post)
This piece (and this movement) is challenging to describe. It never gets eerie, nor dreary. It’s not particulary sad at times. At certain times it sounds like flickers of something Asian. It’s almost jazz-like I think in that it’s “behind the notes”. It’s very subtle. Compared to the loud boom, clash, electrifying explosions in Beethoven’s 9, it is incredibly subtle and discrete. I notice at times a similarity to somethign fluid, like Smetana’s Moldau, something river-like. It’s possible, considering both Dvorak and Smetana are from the same Czech region that the “river flow” theme may be present in both of their work or it could just be something I discerned personally. This piece is soothing but with a slight edge. It never gets ominous and I think I’m realizing precisely what I’m “hearing” in this piece. In the first movement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, the sound and the tension “just reaches” certain descriptions like it just becomes jazz-like or just almost becomes ominous or just almost becomes victorious or just almost becomes tranquil…but doesn’t. Instead of this beign frustrating, it comes across as smooth and transitional and soothing. There are a few twirly moments of the cello, but it is never “happy”, it’s also never “ominous”, its smooth and subtle and almost shadowy I would say but always good. These adjectives may be meaningless to someone else but they assit in developign an acoustic recognizable relationship with the piece, which is quite joyful.
Listen to the AudioBlog/Podcast for Movements 2 and 3!
Basically at 2;48 means business etc, yearning fragile (?), subtle. Quiet brass introduces movement 3 at 6:00.
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This work by John Thomas Kooz (aka John Kooz aka John K. Thomas) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.