Essay on Twentienth Century Musical Pieces

582 Words 3 Pages
Music during the twentieth century and beyond all found their basis and roots in music produced during the areas preceding it. Wozzeck, Pavanne, and Concerto Grosso by Alban Berg, Bill Evans, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich prove to be no different. All three pieces draw on the inspirations left by their predecessors in order to create truly unique and memorable works. Though the pieces are from the same time period, they sound inherently different. This all stems from the fact that each composer drew from dissimilar musical eras and put their own type of improvisation or flares on the work. Berg draws on stylistic elements of the romantic era opera. In his piece entitled “Wozzeck”, Berg incorporates the use of the romantic ideals of the power …show more content…
The work has jazz beginnings and integrates the use improvisation and solos. These twentieth century musical tactics are what put his piece into this era other than just the time period in which it was produced. Ogerman utilizes the instrumentation of Bach by using a classical string quartet, percussion, piano and strings. He also borrows stylistic elements from Chopin, Scriabin, and Granados. Ogerman does this by using pianistic appreggiated chords, mood paintings to create a mystical realm, and a melancholy sound. Due to these compositional techniques, I found myself favoring this piece out of all of the three pieces. I thought that this work sounded the closest to the musical style that I am more familiar with. It reminded me of music that they play elevators. Its soothing melody and liberated quality made it for me, the easiest to listen to. Furthermore, Zwilich’s piece entitled “Concert Grosso” was inspired by components of the Baroque era. This can be seen by the use of the harpsichord, lack of soloist, cadence, and trills throughout the work. Zwilich also utilizes the strings and woodwinds sections that were stereotypical of the Baroque time period. She bases her work off of Handel’s “Sonata in D for Violin and Continuo.” According to the textbook Music Appreciation Online, Zwilich’s piece is “based on the melodic influence of Handel.” In these melodies, she was able to incorporate the