Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Analysis of Tchaikovskys Swan Lake Essay -- Music Ballet

Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular of all composers. The reasons are several and understandable. His music is extremely tuneful, opulently and colourfully scored, and filled with emotional passion. Undoubtedly the emotional temperature of the music reflected the composer's nature. He was afflicted by both repressed homosexuality and by the tendency to extreme fluctuations between ecstasy and depression. Tchaikovsky was neurotic and deeply sensitive, and his life was often painful, but through the agony shone a genius that created some of the most beautiful of all romantic melodies. With his rich gifts for melody and special flair for writing memorable dance tunes, with his ready response to the atmosphere of a theatrical situation and his masterly orchestration, Tchaikovsky was ideally equipped as a ballet composer. His delightful fairy-tale ballets, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker are performed more than any other ballets. Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky's first ballet, was commissioned by the Imperial Theatres in Moscow in 1875. He used some music from a little domestic ballet of the same title, composed for his sister Alexandra's children in 1871. Swan Lake tells the story of Prince Siegfied, who sees the Odette, the Queen of Swans, become a beautiful maiden whilst he is out hunting wild swans. She explains that she is under the spell of the wicked magician, Von Rothbart, and is condemned to live as a swan by day, and a human by night. Only when a man swears to love her and no other, forever, the spell will be broken. Siegfried declares his love, but at a ball the following evening, he is tricked into asking Odile, the magician's daughter, to marry him. Von Rothbart makes her look like Odette, but dressed in... ...chestral introduction with an imperfect cadence. A strong rhythmic  ¾ allegro passage, with sequences and descending scales is played by the orchestra, with timpani and cymbals. The music modulates, and a short, quiet woodwind passage is then alternated with an orchestral passage with dotted rhythms, creating a `terraced dynamics' effect. Part B begins with a major clarinet melody accompanied by pizzicato strings. A minor flute sequence follows, and is followed by a repetition of the oboe melody. A string sequence is then played, imitated by the oboe. There is a crescendo, then the rhythmic orchestral melody returns, alternated with a short flute passage. There are suspensions, descending scales and a crescendo, followed by a strong rhythmic passage with the timpani playing on the beat. Imperfect cadences are played, before the piece finishes with a perfect cadence.

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