Final Project - Nicole Willock Final Project I Composition...

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Nicole Willock Final Project I. Composition a. Heavenly Beauty i. Night on Bald Mountain Modest Mussorgsky ii. Rainbow Body Christopher Theofanidis iii. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, “Pastoral” Ludwig van Beethoven Movement 1 (“Cheerful impressions awakened by arrival in the country”): Movement 2 (“Scene by the Brook”) Movement 3 (“Merry gathering of country folk”) Movement 4 (“Thunderstorm”) Movement 5 (“Shepherd’s Song: Glad and grateful feelings after the storm”) b. Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) Christopher Theofanidis (1967-) Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) c. full orchestra - string ensemble, woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble, percussion II. Background of Composition Night on Baldwin Mountain was first composed in 1867. Mussorgsky originally named his tone poem St. John’s Night on Bald Mountain. “ This has two sources of inspiration: Franz Liszt’s devilishly virtuosic Totentanz for piano and orchestra and Nikolai Gogol’s fantasy story St. John’s Eve .” In 1872 Mussorgsky changed his piece extensively so it could be included in the ballet Mlada. Rimsky-Korsakov took over the piece Bald Mountain when Mussorgsky died. He is the one who changed it into the version we hear today. This piece has been described by Mussorgsky to be a group of witches waiting on the mountain for Satan. When he arrived they circled him and sang him into a frenzy and he ordered the Sabbath to begin. The most remarkable part of the work is the closing section of ringing church bells. It is then that “the witches gradually disperse in an atmospheric mist of sated melodic fragments.” The church bells were added by Mussorgsky in 1872. Rainbow Body was composed in 2000. During the 2004-2005 season, it was the most frequently performed work by a living composer. The 2003 Masterprize propelled Rainbow Body to fame. It speaks immediately to the ordinary listener and the seasoned music lover. “The piece begins in an understated, mysterious manner, calling attention to some of the key intervals and motives of the piece. Although the piece is built essentially around fragments of the melody, I also return to the tune in its entirety several times throughout the work, as a kind of plateau of stability within an otherwise turbulent environment.” Theofanidis has said of his piece. “The title comes from a concept in Tibetan Buddhism — that when an enlightened being dies, that person is absorbed as light and energy back into the universe rather than decaying in a physical way. For me, this had parallels with the ‘perfect’ music of Hildegard.” The Rainbow Body title comes from a concept in Tibetan Buddhism. Beethoven loved the country even though he spent most of his adult life in the city. He
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Nicole Willock took walks every day to gaze into the countryside. He spent many summers in outlying villages, so it is surprising that Beethoven only wrote one piece based on his love of nature. The Pastoral was composed in 1807-1808 while he worked on his Symphony
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Final Project - Nicole Willock Final Project I Composition...

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