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Russian Giant: Kabalevsky Born and composed during the rise of the Communist regime in Russia. Studied music despite his parents’ desire for him to study mathematics. Began composing at the Moscow conservatory. Wrote Overture to “Colas Breugnon” during strongest period of composition at the Moscow Conservatory. Was member of the Communist Party. Music was very patriotic and was criticized because of that! Wrote music for silent films as well. An Enthusiatic Teacher Kabalevsky had a great interest in sharing music with young people and wrote many instrumental pieces and songs for them. This composer corresponded with students at 150 high schools, giving them advice and help with their musical interests. Kabalevsky’s Correspondence A sample letter from Kabalevsky himself which translates: Moscow, 7 June 1967 Laurie Ann Perschau Glencoe, Minn., U.S.A. Dear Laurie, I received your letter. It is very good that you like music and are studying the piano. The more you come to know music the more you will love it and studying music will become more and more interesting to you. I wish you the very best of success! D. Kabalevsky or, The Craftsmen of the Clamecy Interesting Facts Toscanini conducted Colas Breugnon all over the world in the 1940s and 50s, making it famous. Its music is filled with jazzy syncopation and is a five-tosix minute showpiece. Kabalevsky’s most famous piece is “The Comedians” The overture to Colas Breugnon was Kabalevsky’s first opera. It was first performed in Leningrad, Russia in February 1938. The Story Kabalevsky’s first opera. It was first performed in Leningrad, Russia in February 1938. Based on a novel by Roman Rolland. Takes place in the 1500’s. Colas Breugnon, a Breton master carpenter who defeats a villanous Duke. Bubonic plague brought back by soldiers—all needs to be burned, including all of Breugnon’s statues! Using Kabalevsky’s Overture to “Colas Breugnon” At First Listening…. Overture: It sets mood, introduces themes, preps the audience for the upcoming music, and quiets the audience. Students will understand the main ideas of the story will pass by very quickly in this overture. Discuss about how composers would "borrow" form their own music Questions to ask: When you listen to Kabalevsky’s Overture to Colas Breugnon, listen for all the dynamic changes. What do you think the music would be like without them? What else makes the music so interesting? Why do you think Kabalevsky chose to put so many dynamics in the piece? Are there any instruments that usually play piano (soft) and any that usually play forte (loud)? Dynamics Chart Overture to Colas Breugnon Dmitri Kabalevsky As you listen to the piece, circle the correct dynamic marking when the CD is paused. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. P (soft) P (soft) P (soft) P (soft) P (soft) MP MF F (loud) MP MF F (loud) MP MF F (loud) MP MF F (loud) MP MF F (loud) Extension of Dynamics Lesson Hand out packets of cards with dynamic markings on it to groups of students. Have students hold up cards when listening to the Overture to Colas Breugnon. Designate small groups of students as dynamic markings and have them stand when they hear their dynamic!