Monday, April 11, 2005
Chaconne in G major by Handel
I'm so excited to be writing about so many pieces that I'm actually playing now! I'm doing this piece for performance exams. Ughhh! I love the piece though. The structure is really fascinating. It begins with a section full of many trills and varied rhythm, almost romantic in nature. The main improvisitory theme is then varied many times. The harmonic progressions stay the same in every variation but the bass and soprano take turns trading the melody. It's like an equal partnership between the voices. It is also neat because the piece begins very slow with many eigths and quarters. Then it has a natural tempo increase by going to triplets. Then it finally switches to sixteenth note runs. This makes the piece seem more agitated and like the performer is going crazy playing faster and faster when really they're keeping the same tempo throughout. This performer added many trills as well. This very major section then goes into a parallel minor section in g. It is much slower and lyrical and beautiful. The melody seems to sing. This section is great because now instead of having an obvious melody and accompaniment switching voices every other variation, both voices are playing counter melodies. The sixteenth runs have prominent notes that makes melodies just as important as the eigth note melody lines. This section is a reverse of the first and instead of increasing tempo naturally, the performer starts adagio and then gradually accelerates until they hit the big bouncing octaves that crash in descending patterns until the G major key comes back once again. This time, the section starts with sixteenths and gets more vigorous by the addition of more dense chords and constant arpeggiation. It sounds like a rattling harpsichord or a car barreling forward with the accelerator pushed to the floor. It finally ends on a huge PAC after the many HCs that came before. I'm so glad I looked at this piece in this way. It makes me see it in a new way again.