Anton Weber, Variation op. 27 #1

This first Webern’s variation is build in the form  AB A2: the first section A (m. 1-18) is delineated by the constant use of eighth and sixteenth notes, by the dynamic interaction between pp-f, ends with a ritardando that connects this to the B section. This second section (m.19-36) differs markedly from the first for the use of sixteenth and thirty-second notes, many ritardando/ a tempo, dynamic ff-p, accents (sf) to outline the repeated invariant in dyads (prime form 0-6, in itself important in the whole piece, but here marked in a particular way). The B section ends with another … Continue reading Anton Weber, Variation op. 27 #1

The sound from the silence

“But my words like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence” Extrapolated from the lyric of the song “The sound of silence” written in February 1964 by Paul Simon after  John F. Kennedy’ assassination, these words describe in an exact way the musical conception of the works of the contemporary Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, works that are based on the sound that comes from the silence as being part of it. Salvatore Sciarrino, born in Palermo in 1947, began to compose at the age of twelve. Previously he approached pictorial and figurative art in their contemporary form: … Continue reading The sound from the silence

Christmas songs for piano

Christmas time is also time for Christmas songs. Every year new books come out, with pieces in different keys, with different positions, different left hand (mostly). Music stores are filled with new Christmas Anthologies and teachers begin to assign such pieces from at least one month before Christmas. This is the scenario in most of the piano studios around the western world. And it is a surreal situation. Why? There are NO new Christmas songs, at least, not so many that you would need to publish a whole piano book for that! Why do people continue to buy Christmas Carols … Continue reading Christmas songs for piano

Reason without principles

Dr. Charles Burney, (1726–1814), music historian, wrote a General History of Music that was issued in four large tomes between 1776 and 1789.  At the beginning of volume three he inserted an “Essay on Music Criticism”.  As the third volume was treating about the most recent history, Burney thought that he should define and explain his criteria of criticism, before writing about all the more or less contemporary composers. The intended audience was of course among scholars, composers, musicians. According to Burney, everybody is different in taste: “music is the art of pleasing by the succession of … sounds”. But … Continue reading Reason without principles

Today is not the Apocalypse

If you will read this in few years, probably this will sound uninteresting. But look at this date: 12-21-12 Nothing strange, right?  Instead it seems that someone believed that this combination of numbers is going to kill everybody. (Don’t ask me why!  Some people are really scared about it.) An Apocalypse itself has nothing to do with the “End of the World”. “Apocalypse”  comes from the Greek word  ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis), formed by the two words apó (separation) e kalýptein (hidden) and means “uncover” or better “revealing”. In the last Book of the New Testament John writes that with the Apocalypse the Good wins the Evil … Continue reading Today is not the Apocalypse