- Les Offrandes oubliées
- Piano Concerto No. 23
Le Désenchantement du monde, Symphonic Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with Bavarian Radio, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
- Symphony No. 2
- Avery Fisher Hall, Manhattan, NY
- New York Philharmonic
- David Robertson, Conductor
- Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Pianist
Les Offrandes oubilees is a religious piece that was written by Oliver Messiaen in 1930. It was Messiaen’s first orchestral work to be performed in public. This piece tells the story of mans decent into sin, and the promise of salvation offered by the Eucharist. (A christian sacrament commemorating the last supper by consecrating bread and wine) So Messiaen performs different themes in the movement to represent these different characters. He adds odd measures and chords to represent the pass into sin and he plays smooth and fuller chords to represent the Eucharist which is the savior from the sins. When this piece was first performed in 1931 Messiaen had been appointed to be organist of the church of the Holy Trinity in Paris.
I think that this information will definetly give me a different perspective on the piece when I hear it in person. I will now try to focus on the different themes to try and differentiate the different characters that Messiaen represents. I will also try to focus on the main transitions to see how the story progresses throughout the piece.
Sources: Nicholas, Roger. Oxford studies of composers, Messiaen, Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Piano concerto #23 in Amajor was written by Mozart in 1786. It was written between the composition of figaro, which was an opera performed in Vienna by Mozart, and its performance. This piece was written for the season of the lent concerts. It is considered to be one of the most popular melodic concertos. This piece is distinct because it plays a double exposition in the first sonata form movement. Also this piece is considered to be very short for a conerto piece. It is said that Mozart became inspired during the final movement because he introuduced a new melody/ theme to the piece. This theme in a sense provides a “counterbalance” to the dramatic theme.
I think that this information will add an a strong effect to my experience when i view this piece. the reason being that Iwill now focus on the difference between the first part of the exposition and the second. Also I will try to pinpoint the new melody in the last movement to see what makes it so distinct.
Sources: Forman, Denis. Mozart’s Concerto Form. New York, Washingtom: Praeger Publishers, 1971.
Symphony #2 was written by Beethoven in 1801 in Heiligstadt, Vienna. At this point in Beethovens life, Beethoven was nearly Deaf. The piece is a very energetic symphony. The instrumentation in this piece alternates betwen different instruments in an unexpected manner. The orchestra makes jumps between the solo melodies and the tutti. The slow second movement is much different from the opening movement. It’s theme is very simple and recurs throughout the entire movement. What’s very distinct about this symphony is that the final movement is in a duple meter and performs a similar theme to that in the scherzo.
I think that some of this information will impact the way I experience this piece. for one it will be interesting to see what Beethoven was able to compose when he was almost fully deaf. Also it will be interesting to hear the last movement being its different from the usual 4th movement of a symphony.
sources: Berlioz, Hector. A crictical study of Beethoven’s nine symphonies. London: Edwin Evans, 1958