Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shostakovic 5th Symphony: forced rejoycing

The composer said: "The rejoicing is forced, created under threat, as in Boris Godunov. It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, "Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing," and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering, "Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing."

This is symbolized by the continuously repeated "A"'s at the end of the final movement in the string and upper woodwind sections.

Capuleti e Montecchi, by Bellini: the nonsense of war

Giulietta is wondering who won the war between Capuleti and Montecchi and sings: "chi cadde? Ohime', chi vinse?" (Who died?, alas, who won?).
The music clearly shows how dramatic is the first and especially the second question.
The deeply sad melody of those phrases shows with evidence how in war nobody wins.