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Suite, "Esclarmonde"

Jules Massenet

The suite "Esclarmonde" is based upon Massenet’s opera of the same name, its subject matter being taken from different scenes and entr’actes and arranged for the concertroom. The first number of the suite, "Evocation," opens with a unison fortissimo in the brass and wind instruments, from which it passes to full orchestra, and is carried on until a decrescendo leads to a flowing, graceful melody which works up to a grand climax, closing the movement. The second movement, "L’Ile magique," opens with quiet, mysterious harmonies, which at last lead to an Allegro scherzando, an animated dance figure. Another charming melody follows and alternates with the other theme, closing the movement. The third movement, "Hyménée," is composed entirely of a broad, stately theme in triple time, and its development. The fourth movement, "Dans la Forêt," is divided into two sections, "Pastorale," and "La Chasse." The first section consists of a delicate melody announced in flute and oboe over a drone bass. It leads without interruption to "La Chasse," in which the violins persistently repeat a spinning figure, while the woodwinds take detached phrases until the whole orchestra at last is engaged with the hunting theme, the movement closing with an impetuous Coda.

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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