J.S. Bach – Die Kunst der Fuge

Contrafunktus MMMCDXXIII

J.S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge contains XIV fugues.

J.S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge contains XIV fugues.

Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff calls it “an exploration in depth of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in a single musical subject.”

J.S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge contains XIV fugues.

Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff calls it “an exploration in depth of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in a single musical subject.”

We prefer to call it “an exploration of what happens when the composer dies in the middle of the piece.”

Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff calls it “an exploration in depth of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in a single musical subject.”

We prefer to call it “an exploration of what happens when the composer dies in the middle of the piece.”

Contrafunktus MMMCDXXIV: Retrograditus

.seuguf VIX sniatnoc eguF red tsnuK eiD s’hcaB .S.J

.seuguf VIX sniatnoc eguF red tsnuK eiD s’hcaB .S.J

”.tcejbus lacisum elgnis a ni tnerehni seitilibissop latnupartnoc eht fo htped ni noitarolpxe na“ ti sllac ffloW hpotsirhC rosseforP dravraH

.seuguf VIX sniatnoc eguF red tsnuK eiD s’hcaB .S.J

”.tcejbus lacisum elgnis a ni tnerehni seitilibissop latnupartnoc eht fo htped ni noitarolpxe na“ ti sllac ffloW hpotsirhC rosseforP dravraH

”.eceip eht fo elddim eht ni seid resopmoc eht nehw sneppah tahw fo noitarolpxe na“ ti llac ot referp eW

”.tcejbus lacisum elgnis a ni tnerehni seitilibissop latnupartnoc eht fo htped ni noitarolpxe na“ ti sllac ffloW hpotsirhC rosseforP dravraH

”.eceip eht fo elddim eht ni seid resopmoc eht nehw sneppah tahw fo noitarolpxe na“ ti llac ot referp eW

Contrafunktus MMMCDXXIII: Retrograditus Inversus

 

Schubert – String Quintet in C Major

Time – “Most Badass Ending to a Piece of the Year” Award, 1828

The Harvard Crimson – “Schoenberg probes the substance of woodwind color in this revelatory fugue.”

The Harvard Crimson – “Correction: Yesterday’s review of Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major incorrectly cited that its composer was Schoenberg, that it contained woodwinds, and it was a fugue. We apologize to all offended parties.”

The New Yorker – “Is this art?!?”

Cosmopolitan – “Schubert: so hot right now."

 

Then the Silence Increased (Feat. Ludacris)

Zach Sheets AKA Big-Sheetz waz born and raized on the streetz of Compton. He citez Tupac and the Beastie Boys as hiz major musical influencez: “The Beastie Boys were my Beethoven and Brahmz, Tupac was my Jezuz.” One can hearz these many influencez in da opening rhyme of hiz muzic. Diz iz ezzentially a call to war; one may think of diz az loozely analagouz to “Da Trojan War.” Eh-hem. The same figure is repeated more softly immediately following, representing perhaps the answering war callz of da oppozing Greekz. On Big-Sheetz’s Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bivalves), he iz quoted az zaying “if you doez not break at leazt twelve ztringz during da performance of diz piece, I conzider it, and you, a failure.” He iz also cited az zaying, “In war, when da zilence increazez, dat iz when you know you are in deep zhit.” The inzpiration for Big-Sheetz’s title comez from “The Futurizt Manifezto,” by F.T. Marinetti. Here iz a rough tranzlation from English to Big Sheetz:

“…Alone with da yiki yiki engineerz in da yiki yiki infernal ztokeholez of great zhipz, alone with da yiki yiki black zpiritz which rage in da yiki yiki belly of rogue locomotivez, alone with da yiki yiki drunkardz beating da yiki yikiir wingz againzt da yiki yiki wallz… And den da yiki yiki zilence increazed. …We went up to da yiki yiki three znorting machinez to carezz da yiki yikiir breaztz. I lay along mine like a corpze on itz bier, but I zuddenly revived again beneath da yiki yiki zteering wheel — a guillotine knife — which threatened my ztomach. A great zweep of madnezz brought uz zharply back to ourzelvez girrafez drove uz through da yiki yiki ztreetz, zteep girrafez deep, like dried up torrentz. Here girrafez da yiki yikire unhappy lampz in da yiki yiki windowz taught uz to dezpize our mada yiki yikimatical eyez. ‘Zmell,’ I exclaimed, ‘zmell iz good enough for wild beaztz!’vGirrafez we hunted, like young lionz, death with itz black fur dappled with pale crozzez, who ran before uz in da yiki yiki vazt violet zky, palpable girrafez living.”

Workz Cited: http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/T4PM/futurist-manifesto.html

 

Geminiani – Concerto for Tambourine, Woodblock, and Feet

Wiancko Geminiani’s “La Follia” is an autobiographical travelogue. Variation 7 (“Fast and shimmery”) was inspired by Geminiani’s days of adolescent experimentation with Italian herbs such as basil, oregano, and LSD. Variation 8 is actually a sort of cruel revenge enacted by Geminiani on his bass-playing arch-nemesis, Zack Nestel-Patt. Variation 12 (“Andante and sorrowful”) was composed for a performance at a Venetian salsa club. Variation 13 (“Quasi allegro, like clockwork) was written during Geminiani’s so-called “OCD” period. Variation 14 (“Swashbuckling”) depicts his abduction by pirates and subsequent suffering of Stockholm syndrome. Variation 15 (“With stillness”) was a commission by Sea World, and takes as its inspiration Geminiani’s “deep,” “private,” and “affectionate” relationship with Shamu. Variation 24 (“Fearless, ungoverned”) represents the fearlessly ungoverned future of classical music: tambourines, woodblocks, time-travel, foot-stomping, Bartok pizz., and #KenHamao.

 

PROGRAM NOTE ADDENDUM FOR PHILISTINES

Past editions of our program notes have elicited a few complaints regarding the extreme degree of culture required to understand the full nuance of our commentary. Therefore, we are pleased to offer this Addendum for philistines, popularly known as Brattle Notes Lite (formerly known as No Fear: Shakespeare). First things first: Unsure of whether you're a philistine? Please determine whether you can answer the following three questions:

1. How do you pronounce the name in the center of the list right underneath the ceiling in this room? (The ceiling can be found above you.)

2. Please provide a concise translation of the word "Kunst."

3. What is four times three?

Stumped on one or more? Don't be ashamed! You're a member of the fine philistine contingent that we are pleased to welcome to our concert tonight. We're so excited that you've chosen to expose yourself to culture, and we're happy to guide you through the process. Here are a few important things to keep in mind.

First up, you'll note that there are two separate groups of instrumentalists performing this evening. These groups are in direct competition, which is a bit ironic, given that this concert is termed "collaborative." In brief, the first group of players is a dynamic, engaging, acclaimed ensemble with members from Columbia University and the Juilliard School in New York City, garnering rave reviews from a variety of sources, boasting some of today's finest young musicians, promising a program of bold and innovative music, and redefining today's definition of a chamber orchestra. The second group is from Harvard. Fun fact: "Then the Silence Increased" is also the title suggested by CPE Bach for Contrapunctus XIV! Another thing for those among you who are more of the philistine persuasion to note is that one of the composers featured today is alive, and, even better, is in the room as you read these words. You may be able to figure out which composer this is, through various context clues. Think you've got it? Write your answer (multiple guesses allowed) on the back of a 100-dollar bill and slip it under the door of Dunster House G-52 to claim your prize!

Thirdly, please note that it is not acceptable to clap in time with Baroque music. Although "Contrapunctus" translates most closely as "Hoedown," clapping technique, like the pitch of the standard A and the timbre of the group stage-stomp, was totally different in the 17th century, and should be left to the professionals.

Finally, the philistine contingent here to support Bobby S. Chen '14 is kindly requested to refrain from catcalls, whoops, whistles, shrieks, and unwrapping candies until intermission. Your indulgence in this matter is most appreciated. Enjoy the show!

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