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Duke Ellington (band)

Hi guys, today’s blog would be about a piece that I played when I was freshman. This piece is called Duke Ellington. As you guys can notice by the title “Duke Ellington” you guys can probably assume what this song will mainly be about. This is a contribute and mix of Duke Ellington’s hit songs such as “Take the ‘A’ Train.” What is cool about this song is that it composes numerous genres including jazz, classic, and latin.

The piece itself is not hard to play. However, how the orchestra play and match together is the difficult part. For example, in my school, we had too much flute and clarinet while we didn’t have too much percussion and brass section. Now, whenever people think about jazz, they tend to think about trombone, trumpet, and saxophone. So, our band conductor convinced most of our clarinet players to change their instrument to french horn, euphonium, or tuba. By the end of our year and when it was time to perform, I think our band and good mix of instruments. The reason why I emphasize about the good mix of instruments is because when an instrument section is dominant in the band, the rest can’t be heard especially in a song like this. Although their isn’t solos, their are many soli. When one group’s soli is extremely loud, and the other’s soli’s can’t be heard, then the balance is broken.

Anyways, happy listening to the song!

Minuet- Bizel

Hi guys, today’s blog is about Minuet by Bizel. Bizel’s most famous Minuet is from L’Arlesienne which can be translated as “The girl from Arles.”  Before I begin writing about the melody and how much I like about this song, I’ll first write about what Minuet is slow, melodic classical music which is designed so that people can dance slowly at it. It usually is cheerful and romantic and describes the beauty of their nature, society, or lady that the composer loved. Many of the Minuets are simple to play, so if you are clarinet player like me, probably one version of minuet had come out from your practice book.

Now, let’s see about Bizel’s Minuet from L’Arlesienne. The story line of L’Arlesienne is actually quite simple. If you guys want to know the basic story plot, go to wikipedia and type L’Arlesienne.  Anyways, I think that this song is incredibly beautiful (is that even correct phrase?) It reminds me of a sheep jumping around the lake peacefully and happily. However, I think that in real play, it is bunch of girls that play around the paradise (I’m not quite sure cause I watched the play when I was 6). Anyhow, if you guys like listening to relaxing music, I can bet you that this is the song perfect for you~. Happy Listening

Palladio – Escala

Hi guys, today’s blog would be about Palladio composed by Karl Jenkins. This song is one of the songs which I would consider as “epic.” Although the song was written by Karl Jenkins, the most famous one is the electronic version rewritten and performed by group Escala. Appeared as numerous movie’s OST, quite a lot of you guys should’ve already heard this song. It repeats same melody but in different key, tempo, and dynamics. But to be honest, this song is semi-rock, classic. Still, I think it is one of the best classical song out there.

What I like about this song is that it is composed of few but variety of orchestra instruments. The song contains contrabass, cello, electronic violins, viola, and one drum set. Through the usage of the contrabass and cello, the song maintains its intense mood. The drum comes in later in order to increase the overall tempo thus it makes the song more “epic.” At the climax, which is about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the song is performed by every instrument.

I heard both original and remix, but come to conclusion that I preferred to listen to the remix by group Escala. I think this song is good if you guys want to relieve stress. Enjoy Listening!

Hi guys, today’s classical music is 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. There are numerous reworks of this song because the original is about 14 minutes long! Also, composers reworked so that the piece can be played by band without strings. Our band played 1812 overture which was shortened to 8 minutes long. In the rework, it took out string soli and replaced them with brass section’s soli. However, I recommend you guys to listen to the original, full 14 minutes long.

I think that every song illustrates and describes certain pictures. 1812 overture was composed to honor and describe the battle scene in 1812- Patriotic War of 1812. In this battle, Russian had successfully stopped Napoleon’s army from invading to Russia.

The piece starts peacefully describing the beautiful scenery of Russia. Then, trumpet announces the arrival of the French army. The strings and brass section soon describes the battle scene. The major battle occurs as percussion comes in with base drum representing cannon. (I heard that in military, when they play this music, they actually fire shots from cannon). After the climax of the battle, trombone and trumpet glorifies their victory over the French as French starts retreating.

Hi guys, its been a while since I’ve updated this blog so I’m going to write about classical music that really impressed me. This music is Inferno, Divine Comedy I, by Robert. W. Smith. Robert. W. Smith might sound familiar to those who’ve read my blog posts because Africa, Ceremony and Ritual and Paradiso are both written by Robert. W. Smith. I’ve actually been to one of Robert. W. Smith’s Concert and heard this song live, conducted by Robert Smith himself. It was really impressive and I’ve begged my orchestra to play too. Currently, we are working on to play this piece of music. However, unlike how is sounds it is extremely difficult.

So, I’ll talk about the composition of music. As you guys know, Inferno is the part piece from Divine Comedy originally written as a literature by Dante. Inferno is a story about Dante himself, traveling hell in order to reach heaven and go back to where he came from.

In order to enjoy this music fully, you need have at least some knowledge about the literature Inferno. It first begins as Dante is lost in the dark woods, trying to find his way back. He meets poet Virgil who guides him through hell. As he walks through the hell, he sees souls suffering from the punishment due to the their sins on Earth. Dante further goes on and sees 9 rings that moves deeper down the Earth. In one of the ring, the sinners, with their legs chained, have their head buried down the land and steps on it in order to move forward. The sand is burning hot, which forces them to move forward. I like that in this song, their are some chain effects in order to express chained sinners. Dante soon finds Satan as a three headed beast, chained up by the ice.

The song illustrates the story really well. Rather me speaking about it, I think you should hear it yourself.! Enjoy listening

Hi guys, today’s post is about Dies Irae by Verdi Requiem. There is another famous song that has exactly same name as this song which is Dies Irae by Mozart (I’ll post about this song someday) However, once you guys listen to this, you guys will probably recognize it right away.  This song’s most famous part is the beginning or the introductory were the entire choir and orchestra burst out with base drum hitting every off beat.

The background story of this piece is that Verdi wrote this song in honor of his favorite writer Alessandro Manzoni’s death. This song can be considered as funeral song, however, some people think that it is more of religious song because there are some parts in the latter part of the song that mentions people rebuking and asking God to absolve them.

The video that I posted is focused more on the introductory section. I especially love this video because the conductor needs to actively conduct his orchestra to match every beat in the song. Enjoy this music!

Spring

Hi guys, I can finally sense that spring is coming near! Flowers start to bloom and the weather (Thank God) is getting warmer everyday. So, today, I decided that this post would be about “Spring” by Vivaldi. Most of you guys should be familiar with this piece. This song is from Vivaldi’s one of the most famous orchestra or violin concerto, “The four seasons.”  In addition to that many movies, dramas or documentary  uses this piece so it should sound familiar to you.

This piece is divided in to three main sections: Allegro, Largo, and Allegro Pastorale. The most famous part of this piece would be the beginning where violins start to enchant the arrival of spring. Then, violin solo represents the growing of new leaves and flowers arising from the earth. Then the piece goes back to the scene where the whole chamber strings goes back to the melody in the beginning.

The second movement, which is adagio describes inconstant weathers of spring. The final allegro once again describes new birth of plants and flowers during spring.