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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Nationalist Era > "Oriental Rhapsody". Op. 29 - Glazunov


"Oriental Rhapsody". Op. 29

Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
(1865-1936)



Glazunov’s "Oriental Rhapsody" abounds in melody and is characterized by a decided Oriental color. The program of the rhapsody gives a close sketch of the music. The first part opens with night in the city and the calls of the watchmen. As they die away the song of an improvisator is sung in the strings. It is taken up gradually by other instruments to a very rich accompaniment, continuously growing in intensity. As it closes, the calls of the watchmen are heard again. These again cease, and the oboe gives the signal for a lively dance, which is worked up in the percussion instruments in the most rollicking manner. As the dance comes to an end, an old man is introduced, who sings a tender melody to a sombre harp accompaniment. At its close, the watchmen’s horns are heard again, and a brilliant march announces the return of the triumphant army, accompanied by the shouts of the people, who join in another animated dance, in the midst of which is heard a strain of victory. In the finale all this material is worked up with great skill.





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