The majority of what we know about Glinka is from his own Memoirs. Glinka felt that he was an important enough figure in Russian music that people would write about him. He confided in his friend Nestor Kukolnik: I am writing these reminiscences without any attempt at stylistic beauty, but am recording simply what happened and how it happened in chronological order, excluding everything that did not have a direct or indirect relationship to my artistic life. The Serenata has not become popular, but the Trio is standard repertoire for bassoon players and beautiful work. In addition to the two compositions written for the bassoon by Glinka, the first movement of the viola sonata, Sonata in d minor, can be played on the bassoon.
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Soundbite 3rd Movt Sonata for Viola and Piano in d minor Mikhail Glinka is commonly regarded as the founder of Russian nationalism in music.
His influence on composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Mussorgsky was considerable. As a child, he had some lessons from the famous Irish virtuoso pianist John Field who was living in Petersburg, but his association with music remained purely amateur, until visits to Europe which began in In both Italy and Germany, he was able to formally study and improve his compositional technique.
His music offered a synthesis of Western operatic form with Russian melody, while his instrumental music was a combination of the traditional and the exotic. His viola sonata was begun in but never completed. The manuscript breaks off at the very end, a few measures short of the final bar of the second movement, which is actually two movements in one.
He had intended a fourth movement, a rondo polka, and there are sketches extant, but he never got around to it. The final bars of the third movement were completed by the Russian musicologist and scholar V. Borisovsky in The music is by turns lyrical, dramatic and stormy and very romantic with much brilliant writing for both instruments.
It has a vocal quality as well. The second movement, is as noted two in one. The first part Larghetto is sedate and song-like while the second part, though not named, is very dramatic.
Certainly, this is a work of historical importance but also it makes a nice and rarely heard choice for the recital hall.
Sonata for viola & piano in D minor, G. iv3
It is -- or, more properly, was to have been -- a three-movement composition by which Glinka intended to move himself past the academic exercise pieces that had up to that point been occupying him and begin writing "real" music. Glinka composed the first movement, Allegro moderato, in , while living in St. He was, at this point in his life, only moderately trained in the arts of music, though passionately devoted to them. As far as instrumental music goes, he had composed a Septet in E flat for winds and strings, a String Quartet in D major, and some moderate-sized orchestral works, but as a lot they are only marginally successful music. Glinka the accomplished opera composer would be years yet in the making, and it would be utterly unfair to place the Viola Sonata next to, say, a Beethoven sonata from the early s for comparison.
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