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Classical Music

Haydn -Quartet in F Major, Op. 77 No.2

This quartet was composed by Franz Joseph Haydn in the year 1799 in Vienna, Austria. Together with the quartet in G major, Op. 77, No. 1, they were the last complete compositions of this form. These two compositions are also referred to as the Lobkowitz quartet. The pieces were dedicated to Lobkowitz. Haydn was a writer of music for the Esterhazy family. The family was part of the social elite of that time. Donald Tovey gives a vivid description of this particular composition. He is quoted as having described this composition as, “Power and eternal youth remained in these last and gentles strains that the venerable creator of the sonata style allowed his pen to record. That power we can feel; in the eternal youth, we can rejoice; we may be satisfied to seek out what Haydn has done for us without more of a mystic notion of how he did it” (Haydn, Schubert and Albert, 98). Haydn’s music defies time and retains its vibrancy.

This second composition is often compared to symphony no. 99. The first movement begins with a very long theme that spills over to the next theme. The minuet and trio happen to be in contrasting F major and D flat major respectively. The movement between the first and the second theme achieves a contrapuntal progress. There after, a less subtle recapitulation finishes the movement. Hayden displays a form of musical maturity and creativity by playing the two D flat major and F major. D flat major would conventionally go well with F minor. The Rondo and Variation are integrated by the help of the Andante. The finale takes a rather simple structure. After the transitions of the Fs from sharp in the Andante to natural, a willow ambience is achieved. It then takes up a sonata structure.

Prokofiev- String Quartet No.2 in F Major, Op. 92

This particular piece was composed by Serge Prokofiev in 1941 in the Kabardino- Balkaria Republic. This was among his few chamber music. Chamber music is referred to as “Music for domestic performance” (Radice, 5). It premiered in 1942 in Moscow. It was performed by the Beethoven Quartet (Keller, 367). The composition surrounds the historic, non- aggression pact between Germany and Russia. Russia’s preferred artists were moved from Moscow to a serene region. Kabardino- Balkaria Republic was the region of choice. Prokofiev happened to be one of the artists favored. This movement allowed him to interact with the indigenous culture. From his interactions, he got a wider understanding of folk song and dances. He was inspired to integrate this new knowledge on folksongs and dance with his conventional style of music.

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