The giants of English classical music.



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The giants of English classical music.



The 16th and 17th centuries are considered to be the Golden Age of English music. And Henry Purcell was the most prominent musitian of 17th century. Henry Purcell was called the British Orpheans. Thanks to him, the 17th century English art of composing musik has been included in the treasury of European music. Henry Purcell composed church and opera music & music to Shacespeare plays also. But his music was of less poliphonic style than the OE music. Purcell’s music was remarcable for its simplisity and at the same time it was a vehicle for emotional expression.

George Handel was another outstanding English composer of the 17th century. He was born in Germany and later setlled in England and adopted english nationality. He showed music attempts at the age of 4 & started learning music at the age of 8. his greatest masterpiece is oratorio “the cllession” was produced in 1742. on the whole G. Handel wrote 50 operas which were met with a varying of success. They aren’t slaged now. His greatest contribution to music are his conserts and oratorias. Handel knew how to draw blood. he had a masterful ability to show expresivness by simple means.

Edward Elgar is a classical composer of the end of 19th century – the begining of the 20th c. He was virtually self-taught and many-sided musiсian. He was the best known english composer internationally, pribably after Purcell. At the end of the 19th c. he established his reputation as a very talented composer. Elgar wrote lots of concerts, oratorios, overtures, chamber works and composition for dif. musical instruments. Elgar composed the music to the alternative British anthem – “Land of Hope and Glory”, which is always performed on the Last Night of the Proms. Elgar’s music has a reputation for reflecting the pomp & splendour of the Victorian Age.

Benjamin Britten worked in 20th c. he wrote music quikly & copiously & mainly consentrated on operas. He wasn’t modern in the musical sense of the word, but is been called “a people’s composer”.because he compose music that can be seeing by ordinary people& by childern. His “War Requiem” is a world masterpiece & his operas are still staged and have a great success.

Gilbert & Sullivan are the other outstanding figures of English music. Their first collaboration wasn’t a success, but the 2nd attempt, on th econtrary, was a real success. They wrote 14 operettas, 11 are still performed. The most intresting thing, that they never liked each other, but nevertheless, their light opperas are regarded as typically English, because they depict English lifestyle in disorder. Their operettas contain a gentle satire that causes people’s laugh. Therefore Gilbert & Sullivan works became so popular.

 

Concert life (festivals) in GB

The most important annual classical music festival makes up The Promenade Concert. It was fist conducted in London in 1894 by Sir Henry Wood. His aim was to popularize classical music and encourage youngsters to get to know the greatest masters of the classical repertory. It was held in informal atmosphere, the seats were cheap and the crowds flocked to attend.

The last night of the Proms is a special occasion. It’s become a British institution. The atmosphere is electric, people listen rapt. The Albert Hall is filled to capacity with thousands of people. One of the pieces traditionally played at the Last Night is “Pomp and Circumstance” written by E. Elgar. Under the title “Land of hope and glory” (Benson) it revived as an immensely patriotic hymn – a kind of alternative National Anthem.

Every season is attempted to give classical music mass appeal reaches new highs. The Proms is undoubtedly the longest lasting success in promoting classical music, though it’s not clear how far the social spread has broadened over the years. The general outline is as follows: the Promenaders are younger than other concert audiences, male outnumber female (the same balance of the sexes as the population as a whole). The Proms are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded highlights are featured on the World Service.

Alongside professional music, Britain has a long folk-music tradition. The most popular tunes were handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth.

Scotland is represented by bagpipe bands, brass band is more characteristic of England. Music is always to be found in the village church where the choir sings the old hymns. In the pub one may meet a singer of old songs or a troupe of dancing Morris men.

It’s an open secret that the best choral music is to be found in Wales. Their bards were famous in the ancient world and they still meet every year at the “Eisteddfod world’s festival”.

London is one of acknowledged centers of classical music. Everyday English and international musicians perform in the concert halls and opera houses.

The London underground is one more place where music is flourishing. One may well come across young “buskers”. They look modern enough but don’t be mistakenly taken in people like them have been playing in the streets of Britain ever since history began.

 

Folk music traditions.

Folk songs are the songs composed and sung by country people. The songs may be hundreds of year old; so nobody knows who originally composed them. Their origins are lost in antiquity.

Traditional British folk music has many different forms, including songs & ballads. Many folk songs related to the lives of ordinary people in past centuries; other tell about famous love stories or celebrate nature. Folk song cover a wide rage of emotions, history, local lore & occupational nostalgia.

In Britain folk music was traditionally played on instruments like the fiddle, flute, bagpipes, accordion & etc.

American folk music was created by the combination of many folk styles brought to America by immigrants.

In the USA the Carter family helped make folk music popular again in the 1920s. By the 1950s the recording industry had made folk music commercially successful. This interess in folk music also led to folk clubs being established all over the USA.

In the 1960s other styles developed including bluegrass & country music, the most important was folk rock which combine traditional folk music with features of rock&pop.

Folk dances are traditional dances in which everyone can take part. They are danced to folk tunes & and have sequences of steps that are repeated several times.

Many English villages have morris dancing teams. It is usually performed on village greens or outside country pubs on May Day. The dancers dress in white & wear seds of small bells at the knee. Dances consist of a series of jumps & hops. Themes of the dancing include death & rebirth in nature.

Folk songs & dances mirror the nation’s ethos with unaffected honesty, striking no attitudes & asking nothing from the listener other than happy identity with its unsullied world, where truth walks hand in hand with beauty.

Pop music and youth.

“POP” is short for ‘popular’ and there has always been popular music. Burt until the 1950s there wasn’t a style of music just for young people. And nowadays it is part and parcel of teenager’s life. Pop music is diverse and every youngster can express himself through it. While a teenager, a person tries to find himself in this world. His attitudes towards other people, towards society values, towards everything are formed and his character is moulded. Pop music plays a significant role in the formation of personality.

With the appearance of rock & roll began the history of pop as a style of music for young people. Rock and roll came into existence in America in the 1950s. Some of its first big stars were black, but then white singers began to copy them. And the most popular was Elvis Presley, who called himself “The King of Rock & Roll”. He was a rough, tough and dangerous man, who played dangerous music, but he was a real hero among youngsters.

In the 1960s new groups and singers appeared. The most popular groups were the Rolling Stones that played hard and aggressive rock and roll and the Beatles or so-called “ The Flab Four”, which played a mixture of rock and pop. Both these groups led a British “invasion” of American charts.

As for America itself, at this time a new record label started there, including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and others.

There also was “hippy rock” and many festivals were held. The biggest one, called “Woodstock” was on a farm in New York in 1969.

In the 1970s the highlights of rock and pop are The Sex Pistols and Abba. Abba’s song’s were popular with people of different ages. They were superstars entertainers: they used costumes, videos, etc. The Sex Pistols appeared together with the punk revolution and looked poor and angry, but they brought new energy to music. At this time there were other superstars like Elton John, Rod Steward, the Queen etc.

The most important musical event of the 1980s was “Live Aid” – a huge rock concert, that raised over $100 million for the starving people in Ethiopia in 1984. It showed that pop musicians and their fans could “change the world”.

Youth can’t do without pop music, each subculture includes this or that style of music. For example, music is the most important aspect of the punk subculture. Punk music is called punk rock and it is performed in a specific style of rock music. Different punk subcultures often distinguish themselves by having a unique style of punk rock. Most punk rock songs are short, have complicated arrangement and features lyrics that express punk values. And it is usually played in bands.

 



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