Project 2 – Duets
As I start this I have absolutely no idea if I am doing this correctly or not, so here we go completely into the further unknown. Am I being too naive or am I heading in the right direction.
This duet is for woodblocks and snare drum
For my next duet I chose to use the Tambourine and the Side Drum and tried to make some kind of conversation between the two of them. I am a little happier with the way in which this has turned out as I am getting more to grips with Sibelius and its commands. Now I have worked out how to add the decrescendo and crescendo notations I am happier with the overall sound of it.
Now for the next set and some fun with variable metre. I am dreading this, I know what it is but it is getting it right.
This piece took a particularly long time as I was playing around with instruments and mixes and I did not like some of the mixes. I wanted to use woodblocks so I decided to create my variable metre using woodblocks first and then I chose my complimentary instrument and after playing about I chose the tenor drum. I then played around with the sounds but I decided that I liked the way it was, a heavy sound all the way through. This is why I chose heavy as I think it works with the heavy sound on both. The variable metre in this piece has been constructed thus :- 3+2, 2+3, 1+4, 4+1. I now hope that I have done this correctly.
This is my final piece and yet again I find myself using the woodblocks. I like the sound they produce and this is why I like using them, I like it when they double up – its an instrument that I probably would have loved to have a go at some time.
Variable Metre and Boris Balcher
Paganini Variations by Boris Blacher
This has certainly been a surprising and enlightening listen. Each variation seemed to alternate and the dominant themes I heard were ones which were more of a march in style and others which seemed to have more of a jazz feel. Very unpredictable but I really liked this and I have liked what I have listened to. During some of the variations the strings seemed so speedy that I wondered how on earth they could be played but I was very drawn to them enjoying this speed and the sound of the melody.
I do believe that the variable meter made some of the instruments stand out more from others which I found very effective. I noticed this mostly with the woodwind and strings. It was sometimes dramatic and sometimes softer. That may seem odd but that is how it sounded to me as I listened. It was an immersive listen and overall I was pretty impressed with how breathtaking the piece sounded with the variable meter.
Here is my timeline for the life and notable works of Boris Blacher
1903 – born 19th January, Niutschuang, Manchuria
1914 – moved to Irkutsk
1919 – moved to Harbin, Heilongjang province, China
1922 – moved to Berlin to study architecture and mathematics at the request of his parents
1924 to 1926 – studied composition with Friedrich Koch at Berlin Hochschule fur Musik
1927 to 1926 – read music at Berlin University under Schering, Blume and Von Hornbostel
1931 to 1938 – worked in Berlin as a composer and arranger
1937 – Concertante Musik
1938 – appointed director of a composition class at Dresden Conservatory
1939 – withdrew from the Conservatory as his teaching did not conform to the cultural policy of the Nazi regime Nazi policy eras against what they called degenerate art or “Entartete Kunst”. Composers whose views contradicted those of the Nazi policy were given this label, some were exiled some were sent to the concentration camps where they lost their lives.
1943 – Romeo und Julia
1945 post war – returned to work as a composition teacher at Internationales Musikinstitut in Berlin – Zehlendorf
1948 – Professor at Berlin Hochschule fur Musik
1953 to 1970 – Director of Berlin Hochschule
1949 &1950 – summer lectures and seminars at Bryanston
1950 & 1951 summer lectures and seminars at Salzburg Mozarteum
1953 – wrote the textbook Einfuhrung in den Strengen Satz
1955 visited Tanglewood Music centre Massachusetts USA
1955 – appointment regular ember of music section at West Berlin Academy of Arts
1961 – appointed director of West Berlin Academy of Arts
1968 to 1971 – appointed president of West Berlin Academy of Arts
1948 – Die Nachtschwalbe (The night of the Swallow
1949 – Hamlet
1949 – Preussisches Marchen
1950 – composed Ornamente and introduced the term “variable metre”. Blacher was influenced by Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve tone method of composition
1950 – Lysistrata
1952 – Second Piano Concerto
1953 – Abstrakte Oper No 1
1953 – Orchester – Ornament
1956 – Homage a Mozart
1960 – Rosamunde Floris
1965 – Zweihunderttausend Taler
1947 – Orchestervariationen Uber win Thema Von Niccolo Paganini
1961 – Variation Uber Erin Thema Von Muzio Clemetiti
1975 – 30th January – died
Notable pupils included Ballif, Burt, Von Einem, Erbse, Klee, Reimann and Sheriff
Awards – Bach Prize of Hamburg , Grosse Kunstpreis of North Rhein- Westphalia