Friday, May 24, 2013

Montage # 106 - Haydn: The Paris Symphonies/les Symphonies Parisiennes (3/3)



As of June 21, 2013, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / A compter du 21 juiin 2013, ce montage ne sera plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

https://archive.org/details/Pcast106




pcast106- Playlist

===================================================================== English Commentary – le commentaire français suit


This week’s final installment of our look at the Paris Symphonies considers symphonies no. 82 and 86.
Symphony no. 86 is one of two in the set that doesn’t bear a nickname. Set in D Major, the first movement falls in line with the Haydn formula, with a  broadly conceived sonata. An unusual feature is that the primary theme of the exposition begins "off-tonic" and does not resolve to the D major until five bars in. Similarly the secondary theme group also delays establishment of the dominant key. The sonata-form finale is characterized by themes contain the rhythmic motif of five eighth-notes leading into the next bar. In most cases, these five notes are also repeated in staccato.
Speaking of bearing a nickname, this is exactly what Symphony no. 82 does – it is known as “the Bear”. As with the nicknames of all Haydn's symphonies, it did not originate with the composer. Instead, the name derives from a recurring feature from the last movement (including its famous opening), in which Haydn intimates the tonality of bagpipes: a low sustained drone, accentuated by a grace-note on the downbeat. This curious tonality prompted an 1829 piano arrangement of the symphony to be entitled Danse de l'Ours, the earliest known printed appearance of the nickname.
Also noteworthy, the work was first performed under the direction of the celebrated mulatto musician, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Known as the "black Mozart" he was one of the earliest musicians of the European classical type known to have African ancestry.
If Haydn’s curious dance is a reference to the music used to accompany dancing bears — a popular form of street entertainment, it is only fitting that we fill today’s montage using references to the circus, and an interesting segment from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrouchka.
Some of the music I retained include Fucik’s Entrance of the Gladiators, another Stravinsky miniature (the Circus Polka, really intended for elephants rather than bears) and Elvis Presley’s fun ballad Teddy Bear. Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayaneh is both well-suited for circus performance – and also evokes another infamous late night bear, courtesy of Conan O’Brien’s long-running talk-show. A bear that has a very, shall we say, unique tendency to pleasure himself…
The Stravinsky excerpt from the 1911 ballet Petrouchka is the final tableau, known as “Evening at the Mardi Gras”, which is full of the buskers and street entertainment you would expect at such an event. There is a very distinct sequence in the tableau where Stravinsky depicts… a dancing bear.
This also acts as a segue to our montage of this coming week – set for Wednesday the 29th – and what would seem to be a pretty mundane evening at the ballet. Or was it?
 I think you will love this music too!


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Commentaire français


Afin de conclure notre survol des symphonies Parisiennes de Joseph Haydn, je vous propose les symphonies no. 82 et 86.

Deux symphonies de cette collection n’ont pas de surnom, et c’est exactement le cas pour la 86e symphonie. Cette symphonie en ré majeur suit ce que j’appelle la formule Haydn: sonate/mouvement lent/menuet/finale.  La sonate du premier mouvement commence hors-tonalité, et se range après une demi-douzaine de mesures. A surveiller : la finale et son usage de quintes.

Les surnoms souvent associés avec les symphonies de Haydn sont rarement de son cru. Le surnom de cette 82e symphonie vient d’une transcription pour piano datant de 1829. Le titre du fascicule est la Danse de l'Ours, référence au motif qui rappelle le son de la cornemuse et les battements qui s’en suivent, comme les musettes qui accompagnent les ours dansants qui divertissaient les passants de l’époque.

Fait à noter, la première de la symphonie aux concerts de la Loge Olympique fut sous la direction de Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Parfois appelé le “Mozart noir”, Saint-Georges est sans doute le premier musicien d’importance avec du sang Africain.

En complément de programme, je me permets de maintenir le cap sur la musique des foires et du cirque, à commencer par Les Gladiareurs (Fucik) souvent l’appel des spectateurs au Grand Chapiteau, la Danse des Sabres (Khatchatourian) et Circus Polka (Stravinski) qui sont bien en place pour le cirque.

Nos derniers clins d’œil à l’ours comprennent la charmante ballade Teddy Bear du King et le tableau final du ballet Pétrouchka de Stravinski – le soir du Mardi Gras - qui évoque à sa façon les amuseurs publics qu’on associe avec une fête foraine. Ceci inclut, bien sûr, notre ours dansant. Pétrouchka est également un tremplin intéressant pour ma réflexion (exceptionnellement mercredi prochain) sur le récital des Ballets Russes le 29 mai 1913. Une soirée au ballet pas comme les autres…
Bonne écoute!