On the day of the quarter final match between this year’s edition of Canada’s World Junior Hockey Team, the story of the game in 1949 when these two c...
Denmark – A Talent Developed
January 2, 2015
A video of Jian Ghomeshi has been played a number of times recently which reveals that he has some ability to sing and to navigate the piano keyboard....
Jian Ghomeshi’s Real Talent
November 15, 2014
All of our students received First Class Honours on this January's practical exams!
Special congratulations to Tristen Reed who achieved the highe...
RCM Winter Results!
February 7, 2015
Wedding March - Listening Corner Selection 3
December 19, 2014
This week’s selection was written by Mendelssohn when he was just 17 years old. The year was 1826 – a century after Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto that we heard last time. Mendelssohn lived in the early part of the Romantic era from 1809 to 1847. It was a time when orchestras were much larger than in Bach’s day, and they included brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments as well as strings. Today’s piece was intended to be played between scenes of William Shakespeare’s play called A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Near the end of the play there is a triple wedding for 3 of the couples in the story and this music is played as they leave. That’s why many people use this music for their own weddings.
Felix Mendelssohn – Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Moscow City Symphony (listen here now)
This exciting march begins with the famous fanfare for 3 trumpet players playing first just one note – then two notes – and finally all three notes of a C major triad – almost as if Mendelssohn was introducing the three couples by giving each of them their own trumpet note.
The tempo is steady all the way through because it’s a march, but the dynamics change. The first and last sections are quite loud, and include the brass, woodwinds, and percussion, but the middle section is almost entirely strings and has a much more gently flowing style.
In the middle section, the cello and first violin sections have a beautifully flowing quarter note melody here, while the middle violins and violas provide the rhythmic accompaniment by keeping the steady eighth note rhythms. In fact, if you look closely at the players, you can actually hear better what part they are playing. The violins and violas in the middle of the stage that play the rhythm only use a bit of their bows and move them back and forth more quickly on the strings, while the players on the outside of the stage who play the melody use all of their bows and move them from end to end more slowly.
During the last section, listen to how Mendelssohn adds excitement by having woodwind instruments such as clarinet and flute do rapid trills back and forth between two very high notes while other instruments play the main theme which is much lower. The Kettle Drums (Timpani) and Cymbals add accents occasionally, and that especially contribute to the impressive and powerful finish.
Important Tip – the more times you listen to the recording, the more details you will notice.