The monologues’ analysis shows how opera changed over time. The whole is reflected in the part. The way a performer mentally and physically prepares for performing a monologue can influence their concept of the whole role. On the other hand, monologues, even if they may be more exposed, or illustrative for a character, are not always that role’s most difficult part.
Approaching Elsa of Brabant has particular challenges. Her melodic route abides for a long time in the passage zone between the middle and the high register, therefore requiring serious technical approach and uninterrupted vigilance. As well, the phrases are long, they often will not allow “sneaking in” a breath, so that a thorough practicing of the air column is mandatory. I will try to describe these issues in an analysis of the aria Einsam in trüben Tagen.
Both sound worlds – Martinů’s and Poulenc’s – were ahead of their time, both sonatas are created by adult composers, with an already well-developed, specific language. The thematic diversity, the range of structures and sound textures give the performer the opportunity to propose a wide palette of suggestions, feelings, and musical colors. The common expressive ideas to be exploited, in order of dominance are: vivacity (restlessness), the lyrical, dance, and sarcasm.
The sound of Dinu Lipatti’s Fantasy for Piano, Op. 8 generates the wish for an in-depth analysis of the score’s piano writing issues. I found interesting to discover the similarities between this work and George Enescu’s Piano Sonata in F♯ minor, Op. 24, No. 1. The structure of the Fantasy displays, along its five movements, several piano writing aspects which illustrate Lipatti’s musical thought: aural events unfold in an improvisatory manner, the listener witnessing alternating highly virtuosic and highly refined, introspective sections. The score features polyphonic or harmonic piano textures, glimpses of keyboard toccata or hints of impressionist tones.
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