«A Monograph Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the ...»
figure from the first movement. The new tempo reads tranquilo ♩. = 76 and it begins with an ostinato figure in the violas, which also stems from the 10 measures before square 3 of the first movement. After three statements of the three-note-motif by the first horn, cellos, and violins (Figure 71), Oscher begins to state themes from different movements. He begins with the Cumaná theme and a small fragmentation from the first-movement at the same time (Figure 71).
Two statements from the Mérida theme follow, but are rearranged slightly to fit from 5/8 to 6/8 and are played by the flutes, the clarinets, and the violins (Figures 72).
into three sections/instruments (Figure 73).
Figure 73. 1st movement melody fragmented over Maracaibo's accompaniment.
On square 28, Oscher includes a percussion solo that resembles Venezuelan gaita-rhythm with the strings playing percussively on their instruments (Figure 74, 75, and 76). He transforms the takt into the measure beat by indicating ♩= when the percussion starts. The gaita-rhythm stems mainly from the dichotomy between eighth-notes and eighth-note triplets. The percussion plays this rhythm while the bassoon and cello play the first movement theme. This time, though, the first movement’s fragment is followed by six measures of new material that work as a fugue.
This new subject is stated every six measures by different instruments.
gives way to the Caracas joropo’s return (Figure 79). The Caracas joropo is stated fully twice with tutti as a transitional passage in between, and the theme is transposed one whole-step down.
reduction (Figures 80 and 81). Instruments continue joining in playing the Joropo and the last statement of it is played tutti with a two-measure ending on a unison d (Figure 81).
My personal opinion of this piece is that this young composer has succinctly and non-arrogantly depicted a very complex subject on this short piece. It is a very well written composition, which uses great orchestration techniques and fabulous melodic and
have preferred a slightly longer movement at the end to create more energy and excitement. As a conductor, I will find a way to energize this ending either dynamically or by asking the orchestra to repeat the last Joropo twice at least. I will also advise the composer on making this revision in the future for a more climactic ending. This piece is also significant because it paints the country of Venezuela in the magnificence of its natural beauty and it is almost reminiscent of a simpler time from our modern culture.
Studying The Journeys of Humboldt has expanded my orchestral music knowledge, especially that of living Venezuelan composers. This important composition also deals with the early history of Venezuela and Oscher’s attention to detail makes for a well-rounded musical work. Delving into the mind of Efrain Oscher has also helped me not only understand his brilliant compositional techniques, but also has given me a glimpse into the life of a dedicated musician involved in various aspects of music as a performer and composer. His resolve for, dedication to, and entrepreneurship of the art of music are inspiring for a student like me. As I complete this research, I am pleased that I was able to fulfill my original goal of writing about a living composer from Venezuela.
Not only was this expectation met, but it was surpassed by the added aspect of the historical significance of the piece. It is imperative that more research should focus on the works of contemporary composers.
Programming Possibilities and Financial Considerations When programming this composition, a number of things must be considered and included. This would be a great piece to be programmed for a South-American repertory concert. Moreover, this could serve as a good introduction to Venezuelan music since so many popular styles are represented. Furthermore, this is also a great piece for educational purposes since the story of Humboldt is important to the story of Venezuela and to scientists all over the world. As far as I know, this piece only has one recording and it was been performed at least two times.
any collegiate orchestra. I wouldn’t recommend it for a high-school group, although it may be able to be performed by an excellent high-school orchestra. When preparing to conduct this particular piece it is important to note that the woodwind section, especially the flute section, must be solid since the composer, as a flute player who performs this piece, added extended techniques that are not that easy. In terms of size of the orchestra, the composer did not stop when he composed the first chamber orchestra version and ultimately composed three different versions, each for a different sized orchestra. These different versions give budgetary flexibility, since a small chamber orchestra or a large full orchestra can perform the composition. The chamber orchestra only requires five wind players plus the string section, while the full orchestra version requires eighteen wind and percussion players plus the string section. The piece is also not especially long (less than 20 minutes), a consideration for audience engagement. This could work also as a great exhibition piece to younger audiences since extended techniques make it fresh and exciting.
This document concisely depicts the journey of Humboldt through Venezuela.
What other writings have very thoroughly depicted in long books, this document has expressed them succinctly. There is also not much information about Bellermann out there in the academic world, which makes this document important for a Bellermann resource and also encourages others to pursue this painter in future research endeavors.
Writing this document has been a great personal experience which has enriched me in
doctorate degree in orchestral conducting. I plan on conducting this piece repeatedly in the future and I am forever grateful to all parties involved in the creation of this piece and this document.
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Oscher, Erain. Los Viajes de Humboldt. Berlin: 2014 Score loaned score from composer.
Available for purchase soon on http://www.compofactur.com
Oscher, Efrain. Humboldt y los Sonidos de Venezuela. Score.
Rainforest Foundation, South American rivers map, accessed March 14, 2015, http://www.rainforestfoundation.org/ Riazuelo, Carlos. Conducting classes at LSU, 2012-2015.
Röhl, Eduardo, Exploradores Famosos de la Naturaleza Venezolana. Caracas: El Compas, 1948.
Sachs, Aaron. The Humboldt Current. New York: Penguin Group, 2006.
Sotheby’s, Ferdinand Bellerman: Costa de La Guaira a la Caída del Sol, Public Domain work of art: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/latin-american-artn08998/lot.11.html Thomas, M.Z. Alexander von Humboldt. London: Constable Company, 1960.
Wikipedia, Alexander von Humboldt, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Humboldt (accessed March 14, 2015).
degree in Orchestral Conducting with a minor in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University in May 2015. Previous degrees include a Master of Music degree in Band Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi (2012) and a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi (2010).