This article needs additional citations for verification .(March 2010)
The Toccata in D minor, Op. 11 is a piece for solo piano, written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1912and debuted by the composer on December 10, 1916, in Petrograd. It is a further development of the toccata form, which has been used by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann. Other composers of well-known toccatas include Maurice Ravel, Dmitri Kabalevsky and Aram Khachaturian.
Prokofiev's Toccata starts off with persistent repetition of the D, interchanged between the right hand (which plays one note at a time) and the left hand (which also plays the note an octave lower). After a brief development, the left hand alternates between two chromatic scale patterns, one ascending and one descending, between which a repeating figuration in the right hand outlines the D minor triad. These patterns repeat a fourth higher and continue in various iterations. A series of split chromatic thirds leads upwards to a descending melody (in C), with the left hand simultaneously traveling up the chromatic scale.
Prokofiev repeats and develops the chromatic-thirds theme before leading back to the initial repeated-note theme. After some augmentation and a short pause, both hands play the triad figuration, which now descends asynchronously in steps of a major third in each hand. This pattern underpins the right hand as it tackles leaps and later contrary-motion chromatic figures, while the left hand incorporates multiple of its own layers of chromatic movement. After a crescendo to fortissimo—during which the right hand outlines a C major triad while the left hand plays a four-note, black-key figure above it—the split chromatic thirds pattern reappears. This leads to several violent statements of the descending-thirds melody, this time in D, via chromatically ascending first-inversion minor triads in the right hand and descending chromatic octaves in the left hand.
The repetition of D comes back one more, this time in alternating octaves in both hands. Then the Toccata slows down and halts temporarily; when it resumes, the repeated notes transition into a rising chromatic scale, which leads to octave exhortations. A glissando sweep up the keyboard brings the piece to its conclusion—two sforzando D octaves at each end of the keyboard.
The Toccata, an extremely difficult showpiece, has proven popular with virtuoso pianists, many of whom have recorded it.According to the biography of the composer by David Gutman, Prokofiev himself had trouble playing it because his technique, while good, was not quite enough to master the piece. This fact is not universally accepted, however, and his performance as reproduced in 1997 for the Nimbus Records series The Composer Plays is certainly virtuosic. Additionally, none of the leading biographies of Prokofiev—those written by Harlow Robinson, Victor Seroff, and even Israel Nestyev—mention him having any technical problems beyond poor performance techniques in childhood, which were later rectified through years of study after his graduation from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
The major scale is one of the most commonly used musical scales, especially in Western music. It is one of the diatonic scales. Like many musical scales, it is made up of seven notes: the eighth duplicates the first at double its frequency so that it is called a higher octave of the same note.
In music theory, the minor scale is three scale patterns – the natural minor scale, the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale – mirroring the major scale, with its harmonic and melodic forms
In music theory, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, and a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale.
An octatonic scale is any eight-note musical scale. However, the term most often refers to the symmetric scale composed of alternating whole and half steps, as shown at right. In classical theory, this symmetrical scale is commonly called the octatonic scale, although there are a total of 43 enharmonically non-equivalent, transpositionally non-equivalent eight-note sets.
The Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332 (300k) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was published in 1784 along with the Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330, and Piano Sonata No. 11, K. 331. Mozart wrote these sonatas either while visiting Munich in 1781, or during his first two years in Vienna. Some believe, however that Mozart wrote this and the other sonatas during a summer 1783 visit to Salzburg made for the purpose of introducing his wife, Constanze to his father, Leopold. All three sonatas were published in Vienna in 1784 as Mozart's Op. 6.
In music, a guitar chord is a set of notes played on a guitar. A chord's notes are often played simultaneously, but they can be played sequentially in an arpeggio. The implementation of guitar chords depends on the guitar tuning. Most guitars used in popular music have six strings with the "standard" tuning of the Spanish classical guitar, namely E–A–D–G–B–E' ; in standard tuning, the intervals present among adjacent strings are perfect fourths except for the major third (G,B). Standard tuning requires four chord-shapes for the major triads.
Sergei Prokofiev set to work on his Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16, in 1912 and completed it the next year. But that version of the concerto is lost; the score was destroyed in a fire following the Russian Revolution. Prokofiev reconstructed the work in 1923, two years after finishing his Piano Concerto No. 3, and declared it to be "so completely rewritten that it might almost be considered [Piano Concerto] No. 4." Indeed its orchestration has features that clearly postdate the 1921 concerto. Performing as soloist, Prokofiev premiered this "No. 2" in Paris on 8 May 1924 with Serge Koussevitzky conducting. It is dedicated to the memory of Maximilian Schmidthof, a friend of Prokofiev's at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory who had killed himself in 1913.
The Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, is a work for solo piano written by Johannes Brahms in 1861. It consists of a set of twenty-five variations and a concluding fugue, all based on a theme from George Frideric Handel's Harpsichord Suite No. 1 in B♭ major, HWV 434. They are known as his Handel Variations.
In music, a sequence is the restatement of a motif or longer melodic passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical music. Characteristics of sequences:
Giovanni Battista Pescetti was an organist, harpsichordist, and composer known primarily for his operas and keyboard sonatas. Musicologist and University of California, Santa Barbara professor John E. Gillespie wrote that Pescetti "stylistically stands as a bridge between Alberti and Domenico Scarlatti".
The Array mbira is a handcrafted modern musical instrument with a unique harp- or bell-like sound. It is made in the United States by its inventor Bill Wesley and manufactured by Wesley with Patrick Hadley in San Diego, California, United States. Its development began in the 1960s. It is a radical redesign of the Shona African mbira from Zimbabwe and is part of the lamellaphone family.
Visions fugitives, Op. 22, is a cycle of twenty piano miniatures by Sergei Prokofiev. The seventh piece was also published for harp. They were written between 1915 and 1917, individually, many for specific friends of the composer, and premiered by him as a cycle lasting some twenty minutes on April 15, 1918, in Petrograd. Gutheil published both the piano set and the one piece for harp in 1917 in Moscow.
Musica ricercata is a set of eleven pieces for piano by György Ligeti. The work was composed from 1951 to 1953, shortly after the composer began lecturing at the Budapest Academy of Music. The work premiered on 18 November 1969 in Sundsvall, Sweden. Although the ricercata is an established contrapuntal style, Ligeti's title should probably be interpreted literally as "researched music" or "sought music". This work captures the essence of Ligeti's search to construct his own compositional style ex nihilo, and as such presages many of the more radical directions Ligeti would take in the future.
The Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60, completed by Johannes Brahms in 1875, is scored for piano, violin, viola and cello. It is sometimes called the Werther Quartet after Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. The premiere took place in Vienna on November 18th 1875 to an anxious public. Richard Wagner and his wife Cosima were in attendance.
Excursions, Op. 20, is the first published solo piano piece by Samuel Barber. Barber himself explains:
These are ‘Excursions’ in small classical forms into regional American idioms. Their rhythmic characteristics, as well as their source in folk material and their scoring, reminiscent of local instruments are easily recognized.
Le festin d'Ésope, Op. 39 No. 12, is a piano étude by Charles-Valentin Alkan. It is the final étude in the set Douze études dans tous les tons mineurs, Op. 39, published in 1857. It is a work of twenty-five variations based on an original theme and is in E minor. The technical skills required in the variations are a summation of the preceding études.
The Prelude in C minor, Op. 23, No. 7 is a 1903 composition by Sergei Rachmaninoff. It is part of Rachmaninoff's Ten Preludes, Op. 23.
Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28 (1917) is a sonata composed for solo piano, using sketches dating from 1907. Prokofiev gave the première of this in St. Petersburg on 15 April 1918, during a week-long festival of his music sponsored by the Conservatory.
Among alternative tunings for guitar, a major-thirds tuning is a regular tuning in which each interval between successive open strings is a major third. Other names for major-thirds tuning include major-third tuning, M3 tuning, all-thirds tuning, and augmented tuning. By definition, a major-third interval separates two notes that differ by exactly four semitones.
The Sei pezzi per pianoforte, P 044, is a set of six solo piano pieces written by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi between 1903 and 1905. These salon pieces are eclectic, drawing influence from different musical styles and composers, particularly music of earlier periods. The pieces have various musical forms and were composed separately and later published together between 1905 and 1907 in a set under the same title for editorial reasons; Respighi had not composed them conceiving them as a suite, and therefore did not intend to have uniformity among the pieces. The set, under Bongiovanni, became his first published works. Five of the six pieces are derived from earlier works by Respighi, and only one of them, the "Canone", has an extant manuscript.