Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bravo Cadenza!

Cadenza comes from the Italian word meaning cadence.  It is generally an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played by the soloist in a concerto, usually in a "free" style, allowing for a virtuosic display by the soloist.  

Cadenza refers to that portion of a concerto in which the orchestra [tutti] will stop playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time. The soloist decides ahead of time if he will play the cadenza written by the composer of the piece or he can choose one written by another composer for the piece, or even one written by himself/herself.  For example, many Mozart piano concertos have cadenzas written by Beethoven, if the soloist chooses to use those. Cadenzas normally occur near the end of the first movement and sometimes, but not always, also at the end of the third movement.

The cadenza will contain themes of the movement but in variations and emphasizing the virtuosity of the soloist.

If you are a first time concert goer and the concert has a concerto in it, you might ask how will you know when the cadenza is being played, as many times the pianist will be playing alone for a few measures.  You can tell because it will be near the end [almost always] of the 1st movement and the conductor will drop his hands to his side, and all of the orchestra members will take their instruments out of playing position.

Many times in a piano concerto the cadenza ends with a long trill as the conductor will then raise his baton and the orchestra members will get in playing position to re-enter the concerto. After the cadenza, shortly comes the climax of the movement.

For an example of that, here is the cadenza and ending only of the first movement, Allegro con brio, of Beethoven's great piano concerto #3 in C-minor.  Watch the orchestra take their instruments out of playing position as the soloist displays his virtuosity with the cadenza, and then the orchestra re-enters at the end of the long trill at 3:35 for the climax of the first movement:

Now here is the whole first movement of the Beethoven piano concerto #3.   The same cadenza you just heard occurs from 13:10-17:04. This cadenza was written by Beethoven himself.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy the ultra dramatic first movement of Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto:

Beethoven: piano concerto #3 in c-minor, movement 1, Allegro con brio:

Now here is the first movement of the great Mendelssohn Violin concerto in E minor with soloist virtuoso Julia Fischer playing the cadenza from 7:38 - 9:14 in this first movement.

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin concerto in E minor, movement 1, Allegro molto appasionato:

Now watch the virtuosity displayed by the soloist in the cadenza of the lengthy first movement of the epic dramatic piano concerto in B flat minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  The cadenza occurs from 16:06-19:22.

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1 in B flat minor, Movement 1, Allegro non troppo - Allegro con spirito:

And for one more example, here is the beautiful piano concerto from Robert Schumann, his concerto in A minor.  Watch the virtuosity displayed by pianist Daniel Barenboim in the cadenza from 12:28-14:57.

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Movement 1, Allegro affettuoso:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Fool On Capitol Hill

In honor of Harry Reid's last few days in the U.S. Senate, Tales repeats this oldie but goodie post from July of 2014.

With all due respect to the great Beatles and with apologies to the fetching Mrs. B, who upon hearing me practice this video said, "not your [singing] again" [well she didn't exactly use the word singing], Tales presents another exclusive video song: "The Fool on Capitol Hill."

You might be wondering who that could be, since there are so many choices to choose from. Think, what happens there, stays there. If that doesn't give it away think, former boxer.  Of course, when you think about it, maybe too many blows to the head is the reason that the US Senate is now led by this fool on capitol hill.

Look out Sir Paul, it's the Tales': The Fool on Capitol Hill:

Tales Tweet Of The Week - Dec. 9, 2016

Well, it's that time once again to find out who has won the coveted Tales Tweet of the Week award. 

"But Tales", you may ask, "there hasn't been a Tales Tweet of the Week award in months".  True my friends, but there are two excuses, I mean reasons, for that.  First there are very few people out there who can meet the ultra stringent standards to qualify for this award - i.e., it must be a tweet on twitter.  And second a tweet must occur during the time the Tales law firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, the firm that chooses the Tales Tweet of the Week, is not on vacation [and good luck with that].

This week's winner is not a first time winner, is not a two-timer, but this week's winner, drum roll please, is the first three time winner of the most prestigious of Tales' awards.  This person is such a great quipster I call him the Greg Gutfeld of twitter.  He is, Dan the man, @Dannerism.  
Dan from Mesa, AZ calls himself "Comedian, Mathematician, Juggler, Conservatarian,Teacher, Observer, Patriot and Performer of Antics and Semantics"

Without further ado, the Tales Tweet of the Week:  

Recount Cash Cow: The Green Party is now the Green Party

Update Correction As a recount was just demanded by the Green Party, or Dan the man, or both, the Tales law firm, "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe" has just informed me that the Tales is mistaken in calling @Dannerism a 3-time winner. @Dannerism received his 3 time winner status on the May 19th edition of the Tales Tweet of the Week.

So, Dan from Mesa, AZ is officially a 4-time winner of the Tales Tweet of the Week.

Apologies to Dan the man for this oversight.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wow, Conservatives Blast Trump For His Carrier Deal And Boeing Comments

Wow, this is kind of shocking.  The president elect hasn't even been sworn in to office and conservative Republicans are showing they will not stand by silent with what many call his crony capitalism move of making a deal with Carrier in Indianapolis and his criticizing another private business, Boeing on it's upgrade of Air Force One.

Don't worry you employees at Carrier - I will give them a great deal to keep some of your jobs here in America-oh, those workers at the other companies competing with Carrier-tough luck, they should have been working at Carrier.

What are conservatives Republicans telling PEOTUS Donald Trump?

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:  "picking winners and losers in the economy through spending, through tax breaks ... does not work."

Governor Bobby Jindal, LA:  "In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government."

At a Capitol Hill press conference [former] Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and House Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)  told [the president-elect] "The federal government must “stop picking winners and losers...."

Wow, talk about speaking truth to power. 

Hold it!  Wait a second!  I have just been informed by the Tales Ombudsman, Mr. Bigmouth, that these quotes from these Republicans were not directed against Donald Trump but against President Barack Obama during his first term as president. 

Never mind.