listen to three works of music:
1. La campanella (little bell in Italian), the third of six etudes taken from the
Six Grand Etudes of Paganini, composed in 1851, by Franz Liszt (1811-
1886). An etude is a technical study for a given instrument, in this case
the piano. The purpose of an etude is to develop technical mastery on a
given instrument. What separates an etude from other technical exercises
such as scales, is that an etude is so exquisitely written it can be
performed as a polished work of music in a public recital.
Nicolai Paganini (1782-1840) was an Italian virtuoso violinist. Liszt
transcribed some of Paganinis solo violin etudes for the piano. This one
is considered to be one of the most difficult works ever written for the
2. The third movement from Ludwig van Beethovens (1770-1827)
Sonata no. 23 in F minor Appassionata (Italian for passionate), Op. 57
(op. is an abbreviation for the Latin term opus which means work.
This term is used to categorize composers catalogue of compositions).
This work derives from Beethovens middle period and is considered to
be one of his most challenging piano works of music.
3. Old Badman (2011) for electric cello, was composed by Arthur
Hernandez (b. 1961) and was commissioned by the cellist Jeffrey
Krieger, who is principal cellist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Here are the program notes for this work:
Old Badman was commissioned by the e-cellist Jeffrey Krieger in 2008.
This commission coincided with the passing of the American composer
Donald Erb (1927-2008). Erb was a great teacher, mentor and friend to
Arthur Hernandez, and had composed the work, Suddenly, Its Evening,
for Krieger in 1997. Both Hernandez and Krieger decided that it would
be appropriate that this new commissioned work be dedicated to the
enduring memory of Donald Erb. The title, Old Badman comes from
the last movement of Erbs last large orchestral work, Evensong (1993).
Old Badman is an American folk legend that Erb humorously adopted as
a moniker for himself due to the iconoclastic reputation that he had
developed over his music career. Old Badman (2011) begins with a direct
quote from the opening motive of the first movement of Evensong,
followed by a passage of music that, if not a direct quote, is certainly a
familiar passage in the later music of Donald Erb. From there, Hernandez
takes this material and creates a uniquely original work of music. Old
Badman is a single-movement work that lasts approximately ten and a
half minutes in duration.
You are to listen to all three works and compose an essay on each work
(all three works must be written about) describing the
characteristics and qualities of each one. Please include some of the
The period of the work
The genre of the work
Different music textures heard in the work
Form(s) of the work
Musical language consonant? Dissonant? A combination?
Is this work absolute or programmatic music? Please explain.
Is this work traditional? Experimental? Both?
What did you like most about the work? Why?
What did you like least about the work? Why?