Musical Examples of Different Approaches

If we concentrate on a demonstration of the sound when we alternate from one instrument to an entire orchestra, listen to this portion of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, end of 3d movement, Rondo-Allegro. We can see and hear the passion of the piano pitted against the might of the entire orchestra.  Are they working together or is the piano struggling to stay independent and free?  When studying the entire Concerto, you will see the sadness of the Adagio un poco moto in the second movement contrasted with this final launch upwards in the third movement.  For now, concentrate on the last 4 minutes of the Rondo.

Did you hear the decelerating use of the kettledrum (also known as timpani) at the end of the movement just before the final piano flourish?

If you would like to listen to the Adagio and Rondo together (Adagio complete; Rondo shortened, both of which take about 11 minutes), we suggest you buy the CD or stream it–Sir Georg Solti, the London Symphony Orchestra and Murray Perahia on the piano, cut no. 9 on the Immortal Beloved soundtrack.

Consider two songs from the show, The New Moon (1928.29)  Both songs address the loss of love by one of the lovers.  Yet, one song (“Lover Come Back to Me”) is melancholy and filled with remorse, while the other song (“Softly As in a Morning Sunrise”) expresses bitterness and anger.  If the characters are so different in attitude and temperament, should not the music match them in tone and rhythm?  If you heard the melody for each, how would you have orchestrated the song?  Or arranged it? Would you have chosen a latin arrangement for either one?

Listen to “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise” by Nelson Eddy.  Note the tango arrangement and the use of Gypsy/Romani violins. 

Or consider the first song that Robert Russell Bennett orchestrated just after being hired by George Moody at T.B. Harms in 1919.  Bennett’s first assignment was to provide a stock or “print orchestration” for a song that had already been heard in a Broadway show, Cole Porter’s “An Old Fashioned Garden” from Hitchy-Koo of 1919.  Moody’s comment, years later, was: “It was a hell of a good arrangement, by the way.  It would still play today. As a matter of fact, Russell put real music into all those stock arrangements he did for us.  They’d all play today.” Here is Cary Grant and the cast singing the song in the movie, Night and Day.