• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

It has been argued that Mendelsohn was a master-craftsman in the art of instrumentation, choosing at least 3 contrasting passages. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


q5/3/03 h/w It has been argued that Mendelsohn was a master-craftsman in the art of instrumentation, choosing at least 3 contrasting passages. Discuss. Mendelsohn wrote the Hebrides overture in the summer of 1829 in response to seeing and walking in the Hebrides and in paticular visiting Fingal's Cave on an island in the outer Hebredies. Like Mozart before him, he was regarded as a child prodigy and composed several works before he was seventeen. Therefore when we consider the question posed, we must acknowledge Mendelsohn set about writing his concert overture with an esteemed background. The concert overture has many different forms but Mendelsohn used Sonata form for his Hebrides overture (a common decision to make in this Classical period). It could be argued that Sonata form is indicative of Mendelsohn's relative conservatism as it has a fairly strict pattern to follow, both in terms of form, key and temperement: It is clear that Mendelsohn did indeed use three contrasting passages with the addition of the 52 bar long Coda (normally a more brief concluding passage at the end of a work). Sonata form has many positives that work well in this Overture: Mendelsohn's original theme (fig 1) ...read more.


is clear- Mendelsohn uses the relative major as well as the tonic major for major key changes, but also moves through keys including the dominant in rapid sucession in different parts of the piece: for example, me moves through E major, C major, G major, Bb major, F major, C minor and G minor in only 16 bars between bar 100 and 116. The key changes are intrinsically linked to the way Mendelsohn weaves his different themes together whilst still retaining new and exciting ideas for furthur in the piece. The 'three contrasting passages' mentioned in the title are the exposition, development and recapitulation. After the expostition, which introduces the bold main themes of the piece, Mendelsohn uses the development to explore a wider range of tonal mixture (and indeed conflict) in the work. We must remember that several of the themes and underlying harmonies are direct imitations of his experiences in the Hebridies (some say the rising quavers in the bass in bar 15 along with the full texture at that point is a reference to the rising waves at Fingal's cave) ...read more.


and massive brass fanfares (bars 247-252 and 255-256) make the coda dramatic and electifying before, like a man grasping the lead of a rabid dog, Mendelsohn curtails the drama to a deeply tranquil end with a combination of the first subject in the flute and the 2nd in the clarinet. The way Mendelsohn handles this tumultous music is nothing short of master-craftsmanship. There are two more issues to mention that show the skill of the Hebrides- texture and instrumentation. The instruments the Hebrides is scored for is typical of the classical period and relatively small, as detailed above. however, Mendelsohn does not use this to hinder the drama of the piece with bright, tranquil motifs (the inital theme in the cello in bar 1) contrasting heavily with the dramatic full-orchestral sound heard at bar 87 and other instances. To conclude, we have shown that there are numerous examples of the way Mendelsohn has shaped the Hebrides- including contrasting texture, the use of sonata form and the contrasts within that form- to make it memorable and weave his varying ideas together. It should be noted that Mendelsohn reviewed and heavily changed the piece several times over his musical career to get it into the shape we see it today. Ben Sellers. texture ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. The stimulus we were given for our drama piece was a painting by Paula ...

    statement summarising this would be an effective way to convey the sordidness of the situation without actually having to say what was happening. This was quite a Brechtian approach, as Brecht would use a recurring statement in his plays as an explanation of guideline to what was going to happen (e.g.

  2. How does Jacques Loussier’s interpretation of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor differ from ...

    Chabonnier also employs bass riffs over the piano melody. As part of the rhythm section in jazz, the bass has an important role in Loussier's arrangement, both as a supporting accompaniment and also as a melodic voice. From my point of view, I see the walking bass line in bar 48 rivaling the piano improvisation.

  1. Notes on 3 Classical works. Structure, melody, rhythm, instrumentation etc.

    Diatonic harmony Plagal cadence to end piece Texture Alternates between Homophonic and Contrapuntal Texture Short monophonic passage in bars 108-109 Handel uses a lot of imitation Varies number of parts singing at once Word Setting Mix of syllabic and melismatic word setting 4 motifs are repeated a lot Mozart - Symphony No.

  2. French Flute Music between 1935 and 1955: Varèse, Messiaen and Jolivet

    One of the inceptive works of this new approach, Edgar Var�se's Density 21.5, was composed in 1936 and dedicated to Georges Barr�re for the inauguration of his platinum flute. In his constant determination to distance himself from traditional genres, Var�se refers to the specific gravity, or density, of the metal

  1. The impact of California Smoking Bar Banned to the bar owners in Orange County.

    A few negative effects happened with the bar establishments since the ban went into effect include: Business Loss: Bar owners who are complying with the law are losing revenues and bar employees have lost tips. In fact, bar owner throughout the state, including Orange County, joined together to voice their

  2. Change and development in two contrasting operas "The Magic Flute" by Mozart and the ...

    Over the page is an example of his score. Unlike Operas before there is not such a triumphant introduction, the melody is brought in straight away whilst oboes are playing a sustained A at the start, and the rest of the orchestra remain silent making the audience feel relaxed the violins playing a tuneful, dance melody .

  1. In the Performance Studies course we have been learning about the processes of improvising ...

    Another important aspect to consider was space, in terms of how we moved through it. Most of the time we used direct movements, for example steps, which penetrated the space in a straight line giving a sensation of narrowness and restriction.

  2. In this essay I will discuss about the stereotyping of Bend it like Beckham ...

    They call him a coward here and have a go at him. He pushes the trolley here. We can see the tension between them when they meet eye to eye and Billy's brother insults him. We also see the emotion involved in this strike when Billy's father crosses the picket line to pay for Billy's school.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work