permeates the entire work/acts as a “unifier” – Changes form (”Thematic Transformation”) on each occurrence ■ Idée Fixe UNLIKE Beethoven’s 4-note motive – Has DRAMATIC IMPLICATIONS & MEANING ■ Changes are meaningful to the drama ■ Changes reflect how main character is viewing the beloved
PROGRAM NOTES (Written by Berlioz) “ The composer’s intention has been to develop, insofar as they contain musical possibilities, various situations in the life of an artist. The outline of the instrumental drama, which lacks the help of words, needs to be explained in advance. The following program should thus be considered as the spoken text of an opera, serving to introduce the musical movements, whose character and expression it motivates. ”
PROGRAM NOTES (Continued) PROGRAM Part One REVERIES — PASSIONS “The author imagines that a young musician, afflicted with that moral disease that a well- known writer calls the vague des passions , sees for the first time a woman who embodies all the charms of the ideal being he has imagined in his dreams, and he falls desperately in love with her. Through an odd whim, whenever the beloved image appears before the mind’s eye of the artist it is linked with a musical thought whose character, passionate but at the same time noble and shy, he finds similar to the one he attributes to his beloved. This melodic image and the model it reflects pursues him incessantly like a double idée fixe . That is the reason for the constant appearance, in every movement of the symphony, of the melody that begins the first Allegro. The passage from this state of melancholy reverie, interrupted by a few fits of groundless joy, to one of frenzied passion, with its movements of fury, of jealousy, its return of tenderness, its tears, its religious consolations —this is the subject of the first movement.” (Leonard Bernstein explains the first movement)
PROGRAM NOTES (Continued) PROGRAM Part Two A BALL “The artist find himself in the most varied situations—in the midst of the tumult of a party , in the peaceful contemplation of the beauties of nature; but everywhere, in town, in the country, the beloved image appears before him and disturbs his peace of mind.” Start 1:39
PROGRAM NOTES (Continued) PROGRAM Part Three SCENE IN THE COUNTRY “Finding himself one evening in the country, he hears in the distance two shepherds piping a ranz des vaches in dialogue. This pastoral duet, the scenery, the quiet rustling of the trees gently brushed by the wind, the hopes he has recently found some reason to entertain—all concur in affording his heart an unaccustomed calm, and in giving a more cheerful color to his ideas. He reflects upon his isolation: he hopes that his loneliness will soon be over. —But what if she were deceiving him!— This mingling of hope and fear, these ideas of happiness disturbed by black presentiments, form the subject of the Adagio. At the end one of the shepherds again takes up the ranz des vaches : the other no longer replies.—Distant sound of thunder—loneliness—silence.” Start 7:30
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- Fall '19
- The Lord of the Rings, Symphony, Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner