Romantic Era Listening #3
1. Rigoletto (La donna e mobile) – Giuseppi Verdi (pg. 269) – (2 pts)
a. This is one of Verdi’s best-known melodies, and one of the most famous in all of opera. Why do you think that is the case?
b. Describe how Verdi uses two elements of music to create this memorable aria:
c. This version is translated into English (from the original Italian), and is also updated to a 20th century setting. Do you think it is a positive or negative to change opera from its original language and original setting? Explain your answer:
2. Chinese Opera – (2 pts)
a. Describe your overall impression of the singing:
b. Opera in China and Western opera are about the same age – so why do you think they have very little in common?
c. Describe how two elements of music are used in such a way that makes this sound so different from Western opera:
d. Can we appreciate something like this, even though it may have little connection to music we hear on a daily basis? Why or why not?
3a. Die Valkyrie, Act III opening – Richard Wagner (2 pts)
a. Where have you heard this music before?
b. The famous melody is the “ride” leitmotif. Use two adjectives (not used in the book) to describe this theme:
c. Use two adjectives to describe the singing when the daughters come in after the orchestral prelude:
3b. Closing of Scene III (2 pts)
a. After Wotan strikes the rock three times, he sets fire to it, encircling the sleeping Brunhilde (and the stage glows red). Describe the “Magic Fire” leitmotif, heard just after:
b. Describe the “Slumber” leitmotif heard at 1:02:04:
c. Describe the “Siegfried” motive heard at 1:03:03:
d. It is said that there are only certain types of opera singers that can sing Wagner’s works. After watching these two scenes, which qualities or capabilities do you think a “Wagner singer” must possess?
3c. Kill the Wabbit (1 pt)
Give your impression of this Looney Toons take on Wagner:
4a. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (1 pt)
a. What does the celesta sound like to you?
b. Describe how the style of dancing matches with the music?
4b. Trepak (1 pt)
a. How is the music different here than in “Sugar Plum Fairy”? List two differences:
b. Describe how the style of dancing matches up with the music?
4c. Lindsey Stirling version (1 pt)
a. How is this music different from the original. List two differences:
b. Give your impression of this modern interpretation:
4d. Fortnite (1 pt)
a. Please tell me how you feel about this blending of modern pop culture with ballet music. Make your answer interesting, or you won’t get the point:
5. Un bel di (One Fine Day) – Puccini (2 pts.)
a. This music is tinged with sounds of Japan, mixed together with Western traditions. List a counter time in the music where you think you can hear Eastern elements mixed with Western. Defend your answer.
b. Find the climactic moment in this aria, write the counter time, and explain how Puccini creates such a dramatic climax in the music here:
c. How does this scene/aria fit the ‘verismo’ style, as described in the book?
6. Pie Jesu (2 pts)
a. Use vocabulary learned in this class to describe the way two different elements of music were used to create such beauty:
b. During what type of occasion or event can you imagine this might be used?
c. Say something nice about Voces8 so I can tell our vocal professor, and he can relay the information back to them. Everyone loves to hear that they are appreciated, even professionals. What did you hear that you appreciated?
7. Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun” (pg. 297) – 2 pts)
a. What sounds most “impressionistic” about this music overall?
b. What instrument is playing at 7:10?
c. Why do you think the performer is doing that with his hand at 8:48?
d. Which element of music stands out the most as creating the overall feel or “vibe” of this music? Be very specific.