Xinghai "Yellow River Concerto,"

Serge Prokovief
 Russian Composer, pianist, and conductor
 One of the major composers of the 20th century
 Born in Sontsovka, a rural estate of the Russian Empire
 After the Russian Revolution, Prokovief left Russia and
lived in the U.S., Germany, then Paris.
 Returned back Soviet Union in 1936, became apart of
Union of Soviet Composers (isolation of Soviet
Symphony Classique
 Prokovief ’s Symphony Classique is a piece filled with
ambiguous irony and admiration of the 18th century’s
classical music
 Composed in 1916
 Four movement form: Allegro, Larghetto,
Gavotte:Non Troppo Allegro, Finale: Molto Vivace
 Two fast outer movement which bracket the two slow
 Gavotto movement inspired by a stylized dance
 The piece has a lighthearted and humorous character
 Sharply dissonant and maintains a steadfastly tonal
 The Classical tone is shone through the harmonic
 Sudden shifts between tonal centers
 First movement, Allegro, is in Sonata form
 The Gavotte sounds very Mozartean
 The piece ends with an exuberant finale
 Constant shifts of tone implements suspense and
Xian Xinghai
 One of the earliest generation of
Chinese Composers
 Influenced by western classical music
 Has influenced generations of Chinese
 Wrote vocal works that encouraged
people to fight Japanese invaders
 Composed over 300 works: Composed
in major musical forms: two
symphonies, a violin concierto, choral
 Won the title “People’s Composer”
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 The piece Xian Xinghai is best known for
 Piano and Orchestra
 Composed in 1939, Premiere in 1969 during Cultural
 8 movement piece originally, rearranged to 4 movements:
Prelude, Ode, The Yellow River In Anger, Defend the
Yellow River
 Used traditional folk melodies
 Yellow River Piano Concerto was banished from the
Chinese concert stage at the end of the Cultural
Revolution in 1976
 Remained popular outside of China
 Late 1980’s filtered back into Chinese mainstream and
performed by Chinese and Western artists
The Movements
 Prelude: The Song of the Yellow River Boatman:
Momentum of Waves- Rapid chromatic crescendo and use
of cymbals
 Ode to the Yellow River: Praise of the Yellow River- Deep
and rich timbre of the cello
 The Wrath of the Yellow River: Brings out melody
 Defend the Yellow River: Finale, polyphonic canon,
thematic writing(popular in traditional Chinese), first phase
played by trumpet
Form Comparison
Symphony Classique
 Four Movements: Allegro,
Larghetto, Gavotte:Non
Troppo Allegro, Finale:
Molto Vivace Allegro
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 Originally 8 movements but
got rearranged into 4:
Prelude, Ode, Wrath of the
Yellow River, Defend the
Yellow River
First Movement
Symphony Classique
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 Allegro: Sonata Form
 Prelude
 D Major to C Major:
 Pentatonic Scale of D
 Masculine, strong
 Lighthearted feel
 Definite Rhythmic Drive
 Exciting Characteristic
 Represents rapid waters of
the river
Second Movement
Symphony Classique
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 Larghetto
 Ballad Style
 Slow
 Peaceful
 Triple Meter
 Pentatonic Scale of B flat
 Tempo picks up in middle
 Meter goes from simplequadruple to simple- triple
Faster tempo
Third Movement
Symphony Classique
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 Gavotte
 Wrath
 Baroque Dance
 Four Different pentatonic
 Triple Meter
 Ternary Form
 Harmonic I-VII-VII
 Starts calmly with bright
 Cheerful and lively
 Becomes dramatic, anger
Fourth Movement
Symphony Classique
 Molto Vivace
 Sonata Allegro
 Rapid and energetic
 Sudden Modulation
 Bright quality
Yellow River Piano Concerto
 Defending Yellow River
 Passionate
 Concludes battle
 Ends with Coda
 Pentatonic Scale of C
 Fast tempo- simple duple
 Tonic and dominant harmonies
 Ends in Piano – soft
Works Cited

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