The evolution of modern orchestration

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The Macmillan Company, 1908 - Music - 280 pages
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Page 186 - ... which speaks to us directly, and clothe it with flesh and blood, ie, to embody it in an analogous example. This is the origin of the song with words, and finally of the opera, the text of which should therefore never forsake that subordinate position in order to make itself the chief thing and the music a mere means of expressing it, which is a great misconception and a piece of utter perversity...
Page v - European opera house, traces the evolution of the orchestra and of orchestration in connection with the history of music proper.
Page 23 - ... the viola, if present, reenforced the bass in slavish delineation. It is obvious that this practice was the result either of sophism or of indifference and ignorance. And the fact that as late as the eighteenth century no less a composer than Haydn or even Mozart should have continued frequently to employ three-part writing for the strings is certainly a paradox and tends to prove how circuitous the process of evolution is. However, Haydn and Mozart had such perfect command of florid counterpoint,...
Page 7 - ... color-scheme. This is borne out to a limited extent in the later works of both Peri and Cavalieri, whose instrumentation, though crude, paved the way for their greater contemporary and eventual successor, Monteverde. Even though the bulk of the figured bass accompaniment was assigned to the harpsichord, "Euridice" called into requisition one viol, three flutes, and a triplet of instruments of the lute variety. Cavalieri made use of practically the same combination, and even recommended that a...
Page 75 - Vienna, but though the whole work was announced,? such had been the difficulties at rehearsal that the first two movements alone were given, and they were only carried off by the interpolation of an air from ' Lucia ' between them. But symphonies and symphonic works can hardly be expected to float rapidly; songs are more buoyant, and Schubert's songs soon began to make their way outside, as they...
Page 23 - ... circuitous the process of evolution is. However, Haydn and Mozart had such perfect command of florid counterpoint, that no matter what the distribution of string parts might be, the results were invariably effective. Four instead of three notes of a chord being now properly dispersed among the strings, Scarlatti proceeded to enrich his orchestra by a logical employment of wind instruments in pairs. The harpsichord, of course, continued to hold its own, but the Handelian principle of long held...
Page 21 - Legrenzi (1625) are worthy of consideration on account of his logical development of the constituency of the orchestra. As Maestro at San Marco, Venice, he increased the number of instrumentalists at that church to over thirty. It is noteworthy that he employed almost exclusively violins and viols, supported in the bass by four theorbos (ie bass instruments of the lute family). The wood-wind was represented by a solitary bassoon, whereas two cornets and three trombones replaced Monteverde's earlier...
Page 16 - MONTEVERDE (1567-1643) is justly styled the founder of the modern orchestra; but although modern orchestral organization owes its substratum of solidity and balance of tone to him, only indirectly was he led to attain this end, for his paramount objective was artistic expression. Naturally, the employment of artistically grouped instruments appealed to him as the most flexible conveyance for expressive thought. Again...
Page 134 - ... specific questions, rather than large-scale excavation at single sites. It is to be hoped that the time may not be far distant when the Government of Afghanistan will recognize the tremendous interest of its ancient sites and institute its own programme of research. Sensibly planned the work need not be costly : the results can be very great. If the work is to succeed it will do so best when local interest supports local workers.
Page 56 - No better model for successful flute writing can be cited than that in the Allegro of the "Leonora" Overture, No. 3; and the genial attributes of the oboe which, though latent, had never before been exposed, are fittingly treated in the scherzos of the Pastoral and Choral symphonies. The clarinet was now a regularly constituted member of the orchestra, and specimens of characteristic writing for it are to be found in the slow movements of the symphonies in B flat and A, and also in the Finale of...

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