Why E-flat major? It brings me to all the right places. I love its colors— it’s not so transparent or murky. It’s just the right blend of oils and paints and I think it does a beautiful job as a medium in a piece of music. It doesn’t feel too dark or too bright either. It lets me slip into a blanket of feelings and at the same time it most accurately expresses my kind of excitement and anxiety as it digs for my emotions from deep down under.
Posts tagged e flat major.
Scottish Fantasy - Max Bruch
Performed by David Oistrakh
Accompanied by London Symphony Orchestra
Shostakovich, Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
IV: Allegro con moto
(from the info page of the video)
Shostakovich wrote two concertos for his friend, the great Russian cello virtuoso Mstislav Rostropovich. Rostropovich writes:”[Shostakovich] gave me the score of his first Cello Concerto, and in four days I memorized it and played it for him while he accompanied me on piano. We were so happy, we drank a little vodka together. We then played it again, not so perfectly, and drank more vodka. The third time I think I played the Saint-Saens Concerto while he accompanied his own concerto. We were very happy.”
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mstislav_Rostropovich
Shostakovich stated that his inspiration while working on the concerto was Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concertante for cello and orchestra. He said of this work, “I took a simple little theme and tried to develop it.” This quizzical little four-note motive, stated brusquely by the solo cello in the opening bars of the concerto, is certainly related to the composer’s personal musical monogram—D, E-flat, C, B (or D-S-C-H in German notation)—and appears again in the tragic Eighth String Quartet. Shostakovich called the first movement “a jocular march,” but its humor is darkly grotesque and acerbic, rudely punctuated by four loud blows from the timpani. The elegiac Moderato and extended solo Cadenza that follow are the emotional center of the concerto. The heart-felt second movement is imbued with the searching melancholy and tenderness so characteristic of Shostakovich’s finest music. It ends bleakly with a ghostly dialogue between celesta and the solo cello in its highest, most eerie register. A long, unaccompanied cadenza follows in which the solo cello muses over previous themes and moves gradually from the lyrical mood of the second movement through virtuosic reminiscences of the first movement to the fierce rhythmic impetuosity of the Finale. Shostakovich, who had a dryly satiric sense of humor, loved to hide craftily disguised musical puns and quotations in his music. While they were rehearsing the concerto, Shostakovich hummed the opening theme of the Finale to Rostropovich, laughed and said, “Slava, have you noticed?” The mystified cellist hadn’t noticed anything. The composer then sang the words to Stalin’s favorite song, Suliko. The first five notes of the opening theme, introduced by the strings, are a direct quote from the song. Again the mood is grotesque and dark with savage interruptions from the timpani adding a maniacal tinge to the primitive humor of screeching clarinets and piccolo. Finally the quirky four-note theme of the first movement returns in woodwinds and solo horn and the work ends with a grimly exuberant flurry of virtuosic scales and octaves by the soloist.
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cello_Concerto_No._1_(Shostakovich)
Overture to Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
From Beethoven’s manuscript of the Bagatelle in E-flat major, Op. 33, No. 1
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
The Stars and Stripes forever
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
In the South (Alassio), Op. 50 - Edward Elgar
Performd by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Cello Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major, Opus 107 - Dmitri Shostakovich
Performed by Han-Na Chang
Opening bars and main theme of Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major, Op. 9, No. 2.
Caprice No. 17 in E-flat major: Sostenuto – Andante - Niccolò Paganini
Performed by Shlomo Mintz
Overture to Candide - Leonard Bernstein
Trumpet Concerto in E flat major (3. Finale-Allegro) - Joseph Haydn
Performed by Tine Thing Helseth and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2 - Frédéric Chopin
For quite some time, E♭ flat major has been my favorite key to listen to, hence the URL of this blog.
The key of E♭ major is often used for bold, heroic music. Whenever I listen to it, it gives me this sense of warmth or that the music is being contained somehow. Of course it depends on what piece, but other keys tend to give more room for the notes to fill the open space of silence. There are times when it sounds very dull and I don’t like that the notes aren’t set “free”. They don’t seem to move anywhere.
I think we need more patience to be able to listen through a piece in E♭ major and appreciate it. When I sit alone in my room on my bed and listen to a piece at night through complete silence and no distractions, it either eventually opens up to me or I settle into the mood nicely. It’s a key where I feel like I’ve been mentally wrapped in covers, comfortably and happily.