Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Nationalist Era > Suite, "From the Middle Ages". Op. 79 - Glazunov
Suite, "From the Middle Ages". Op. 79
Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
The symphonic tableau, "The Kremlin," is purely program music, elaborately constructed and national in character. The work is in three sections. The first, "Popular Feast," is made up of several sub-sections, freely scored and descriptive of the general title. The first, an Allegro, is given out by the cellos and violas with a droning accompaniment in the double basses. A folksong melody follows in the strings and woodwinds. An Allegretto melody ensues for the clarinet and trumpet with string pizzicato accompaniment. After the elaboration of these episodes a new one enters in the first violins and cellos. The subjects already introduced follow in order, and their working out brings the first part to its close. The second part, "In the Monastery," describe a Russian church festival occasion. It opens in a serious style, with a theme in the violas and basses, followed by intonations given out by the bassoons and clarinet, the material being taken from the Greek Church liturgy. It is followed by a new subject of a different character in the clarinet, supported by the second violins and harp, which leads back to the intonations already mentioned, and is followed by the new theme, the development of which brings this part to a close. The third part, "Entrance and Greeting of the Prince," is of a sonorous and stately character. It is introduced in the horns and bassoons, and leads to the opening theme given out in unison by the strings, woodwinds, and horns. The development of this material, reinforced by a new subject of a more tranquil nature, at last leads to a tremendous climax in which the principal subject is given to the basses. The Coda is constructed from this material and closes the work in a brilliant and vigorous manner.