Saturday, 13 December 2014

Impressionism in Orchestral Music


1. Claude Debussy, Clare de lune
2. Claude Debussy, Estampes pago
3. Claude Debussy, The snow is falling
4. Claude Debussy, Preludes voiles
5. Claude Debussy, Estampes la soriee
6. Erik Satie, Gymnopedie 1 lent et douloureux
7. Erik Satie, Gnossienne 1 - Alessio Nanni
8. Erik Satie, Nocturne no 1
9. Maurice Ravel, Ma mere l'Oye pavane belle
10.Maurice Ravel, Ma mere l'Oye apotheose.
11.Maurice Ravel. Une barque sur l'ocean
12.Saint-Saens, piano Concerto No.3
13. Saint Saens, The bird house
14. Saint Saens, The swan
15. Gabriel Faure, Apres un Reve

Impressionism in music was a movement among various composers in Western classical music, mainly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose music focuses on suggestion and atmosphere, "conveying the moods and emotions aroused by the subject rather than a detailed tone picture". “Impressionism” is a philosophical and aesthetic term borrowed from late 19th century French painting after Monet’s Impression, Sunrise. Musicians were labeled impressionists by analogy to the impressionist painters who use starkly contrasting colors, effect of light on an object blurry foreground and background, flattening perspective to make us focus our attention on the overall impression.

The most prominent in musical impressionism is the use of “color”, or in musical term,timbre, which can be achieved through orchestration, harmonic usage, texture, etc. Other elements of music impressionism involve also new chord combination, ambiguous tonality, extended harmonies, use of modes and exotic scales, parallel motions, and extra-musically, evocative titles such as Reflets dans l'eau ("Reflections on the water", 1905), Brouillards ("Mists", 1913) etc.

While this era was characterized by a dramatic use of the major and minor scale system, Impressionist music tends to make more use of dissonance and more uncommon scales such as the whole tone scale. Romantic composers also used long forms of music such as the symphony and concerto, while Impressionist composers favored short forms such as the nocturne, arabesque, and prelude.

Musical Impressionism was based in France, and the French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are generally considered to be the two "great" Impressionists. However, composers are generally not as accurately described by the term "Impressionism" as painters in the genre are. Debussy renounced it, saying, "I am trying to do 'something different' – in a way realities – what the imbeciles call 'impressionism' is a term which is as poorly used as possible, particularly by art critics." Maurice Ravel composed many other pieces that aren't identified as Impressionist. Nonetheless, the term is widely used today to describe the music seen as a reaction to 19th century Romanticism.

Many musical instructions in impressionist pieces are written in French, as opposed to Italian.

Impressionism also gained a foothold in England, where its traits were assimilated by composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax, and Frederick Delius. Vaughan Williams in particular exhibited music infused with Impressionistic gestures--this was not coincidence, as he was a student of Maurice Ravel. Vaughan Williams' music utilizes melodies and harmonies found in English folk music, such as the pentatonic scale and modes, making it perfectly suited to the polarity-breaking ideals of the Impressionist movement, which began moving away from the Major-minor based tonality of the Romantic composers.

Besides the two great impressionist composers, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, other composers who composed in what has been described as impressionist style include Frederick Delius, Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, Erik Satie, Alexander Scriabin, Lili Boulanger, Federico Mompou, Charles Tomlinson Griffes and Karol Szymanowski

Info From: & Wiki
Image: Claude Monet: Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) 1873; Oil on canvas
By North Utsire

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