The Albéniz-Debussy connection

In the previous entry, I discussed the fascinating differences and similarities between Schubert’s single Diabelli variation and Beethoven’s 33 variations on Diabelli’s theme. Here I discuss another intriguing relationship between two contemporaneous works, Albéniz’s El Albaicin from the third volume of Iberia, and Debussy’s La serenade interrompue from his first volume of Preludes.  Debussy composed his first volume of Preludes […]

What’s in a chromatic line?

The chromatic scale, one of the most prevalent and recognizable figures in all of music, from the Baroque era to the present day, has many implications, both musical and rhetorical. One of the iconic examples of a chromatic line appears in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, where the descending chromatic line represents a descent into hell. Throughout the […]

The gloomy undercurrents of Schubert’s Moments Musicaux

The first three movements of Schubert’s Moments Musicaux are three different “snapshots” of rustic life, in its charm, pride, and wide emotional range. That rustic character is still present in the last three movements, which constitute the second “volume” of the work. However, many differences arise when comparing the first three movements with the last three. The […]