music history

Studio Discussion #3

Studio Discussion Three We know everyone will love this week’s listening assignment - Ravel’s La Valse. In order to ensure all of the studio members have time to participate in the studio discussions, we are adapting our plan for the coming week. We have outlined several questions below for everyone to answer; your responses must be posted by 5pm Sunday afternoon. We will hold your replies until everyone has responded on Sunday, and then they will all be posted together. We will use the second week for further discussion on the piece, in order to have time for some deeper and more thoughtful discussion, and so that you will only have a new listening assignment every other week.

Have fun!

Repertoire: Ravel’s La Valse

Suggested Recording: Bernstein | Orchestre national de France (can be purchased on iTunes. If purchasing is a problem, please let your teacher (Elizabeth or Ryan) know.)

Questions: 1. Define a Waltz in your own words

2. In what ways does Ravel’s La Valse follow this definition, and in what ways does it not? Please list (at minimum) two of each.

3. Offer an explanation or a picture of what story you think this music may be painting. (There is no right or wrong answer - we just want your impressions!)

Studio Discussion #2

Thanks to everyone for some really great discussion last week about one of the most beloved pieces in our repertoire.  It seems that everyone enjoyed listening to and discussing the Tchaikovsky a great deal - hopefully this week’s assignment will encourage just as many great observations and thoughts!

Repertoire: Beethoven’s 3rd (Eroica) 6th (Pastorale) and 9th Symphonies. First movements required, all welcome.

Suggested Recording: Your choice!  Let us know which it is, and if it’s a favorite, why.

Discussion Guidelines: Discuss similarities and differences between these three landmark symphonies, with special consideration to Beethoven’s stylistic evolution over this 20 year span of his life.  What makes all of these symphonies expressly “Beethoven”, and what makes them respective examples of “Beethoven v.1804”, “Beethoven v.1808” and “Beethoven v.1824”?

Outside sources and readings are welcomed and encouraged to familiarize yourself with Beethoven’s life, compositional periods, and characteristics to listen for, but be sure to use this research to develop your own original ideas and observations.