01-14a: Joaquin Turina Orchestral Music / Batiz 1983 - Jeanette MacDonald 1929-1934 - Francesco Cavalli : Artemisia / La Venexiana 2011 - Stephen Heller Late Piano Works / Meyer-Hermann 1998

Not shown: Michael Arne & Francesco D'Arcais



1676 – Francesco Cavalli (Italian composer & organist))
1761 – Denis-François Tribou (French haute-contre (tenor) who sang in premieres of several Rameau operas)
1786 – Michael Arne (English composer, harpsichordist, organist, singer & actor, son of Thomas Arne & Cecilia Young)
1817 – Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny (French opera composer & violinist)
1888 – Stephen Heller [Heller István] (Hungarian composer & pianist)
1889 – Ilma de Murska [Ema Pukšec] (Croatian coloratura soprano)
1890 – Francesco D'Arcais (Italian composer & music critic)
1935 – Heinrich Schenker (Ukrainian-born Austrian music theorist & musicologist, inventor of Schenkerian analysis)
1943 – Adolf Sandberger (German musicologist & composer, 16th-century specialist)
1945 – Vándor Sándor (Hungarian composer & conductor, perished at Sopron)
1949 – Joaquín Turina (Spanish composer, teacher & music critic)
1952 – Artur Kapp (Estonian composer & organist)
1961 – Henry Geehl (English pianist, composer & conductor)
1965 – Jeanette MacDonald (American actress & singer)
1967 – Renato Lunelli (Italian organist, composer, musicologist & organ builder)
1971 – Ethel Glenn Hier (American composer & pianist)
1978 – Robert Heger (German conductor & composer)
1984 – Paul Ben-Haim [פאול בן חיים] (German-born Israeli composer & conductor)
1986 – Daniel Balavoine (French pop & world music singer, songwriter, guitarist & keyboardist)



Heinrich Schenker is probably the most misunderstood music theorist who ever lived. An example of the analytical technique which he developed (although I don't believe this analysis is actually by him) is shown below. In the example, the bottom system shows the first 16 measures of the aria "Leise, Leise, fromme Weise" from Weber's opera Der Freischütz. In Schenkerian terms, this is what would be called the "foreground" in the musical analysis. Just above that is what would be called a "shallow middleground" analysis of this music, and finally at the top is a "deep middleground" analytical sketch:


It would take many pages for me to explain all that is going on here. I'll just say that the misunderstandings about what Schenker was up to probably stem largely from the fact that he uses many of the symbols of familiar musical notation in his analyses (along with other symbols of his own invention). It has led many to incorrectly believe that Schenker's technique is about showing you which notes are "more important" than others. That it's about "getting rid of notes." That it's saying that a piece of music is "really" something much simpler than what it appears to be on the surface. Schenkerian analysis isn't any of those things.

What it is is a theory of organic form and of a longer-range way of listening. It shows how foreground structures can be construed as elaborations of simpler and simpler structures as one proceeds through various stages of middleground, until one finally reaches the simplest and least adorned structure in the background. This background structure in no way "replaces" the piece. It merely shows how the large-scale form of the piece is unified, in its harmony and voice-leading. It is elaborations upon elaborations of these simplest of harmonic and voice-leading structures that finally result in the foreground structures of the piece itself.

It's okay if none of that made any sense to you. Aside from professional music theorists, almost nobody gets it very well. The first time he ever saw a Schenkerian sketch, as brilliant a mind as Arnold Schoenberg said "All my favorite parts are missing."




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