Author Archives: Jose Valencia

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Number of Posts: 2
Number of Comments: 2

About Jose Valencia


Preview – Alexander String Quartet Performs Mozart and Shostakovich at Baruch Performing Art Center (4/25)


  • W.A. Mozart:  String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K. 590
  • Dmitri Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108

Venue: Engelman Recital Hall at Baruch Performing Arts Center, Manhattan, New York


  • Zakarias Grafilo, first violin
  • Fred Lifsitz, second violin
  • Paul Yarbrough, viola
  • Sandy Wilson, cello

The String Quartet No. 23 in F Major, K.590 was written in 1790. This piece is the third and last quartet of the so called ‘Prussian’ quartets dedicated to the king of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm ll. The king was a amateur cellist so I guest thats why Mozart made the cello part stand out from the other instruments. Mozart was not financially stable during this period,writing to Puchberg around 12 June 1790: ‘ I have now been obliged to give away my quartets (those very difficult works) for a mere song, simply in order to have some cash in hand to meet my present difficulties’. The quartets, published by Artaria in 1791, lack a dedication (Eisen and Keefe 2007, 184). I want to see how Mozart make the cello part stand out from the other instruments. I expect this piece to have a royal sound.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp major, Op. 108 was completed in March 1960. Shostakovich had just extricated himself from his unsuccessful second marriage, Shostakovich dedicated his seventh quartet to the memory of his first wife, Nina (Fay 2000, 215-16). This piece was performed by the Beethoven Quartet in Leningrad on May 15 1960 for first time. I wonder why the Alexander String Quartet choose to perform this piece in major key. I guess that Shostakovich choose that specific minor key for a reason and thats something I will discover when I hear this piece in both keys.


Eisen Cliff, Simon P. Keefe. The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Fay, Laurel E. Shostakovich: A life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.



Oasis – Wonderwall


This song presents a duple meter and it has 8 beat per measure. We can easily recognize the downbeat in this song because the strumming pattern of the acoustic guitar (the rhythm of the song) during the entire song. I can say that this song has an andante tempo.


The song is in a minor scale. The melody of the song is lead by Liam Gallagher’s raspy voice, and the strumming of the acoustic guitar play by Noel Gallagher.  Liam Gallagher cant reach high pitches, therefore, this song is sung using low pitches.

Instrumentation and timbre

At the begging of the song, there is only an acoustic guitar playing follow by Liam’s vocals. As the song progress, a cello and the drums are introduced at 1:02. The cello comes in and out of the melody from time to time. The drums seams to have a different beat speed. There is also an electric guitar playing in the background. At Later, at 1:43 a tambourine is also added to the song as an accompaniment. Finally, a piano is introduced at 4:01.In this song, the piano was meant to tell the listener that song is about to end.


We can hear harmony throughout the whole song. Consonance prevails during the whole song. In other words, the instruments and the vocals go together during the entire song. The key is minor.


The dynamic of the song is moderate soft.


The song has one main melody and accompaniments so this song is homophonic.


This song has a ternary form.



"I like how you describe this piece of music. This piece is so relaxing and sad at the same time. I agree when you mentioned that there is a hint of hope with the notes (especially from 1:42 to the end )."
posted on Feb 23, 2013, on the post Private: McKnight- “Love of My Life”

"I agree with you when you mentioned that even though this song is in minor scale, the song has lively melody. I also like how the singers play with the dynamics of the song. I think the mix of high and low pitches make the song even more interesting."
posted on Feb 23, 2013, on the post Lupe Fiasco & Guy Sebastian – Battle Scars