Ahab - Movement 4
So powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me that for the first few moments I hardly noted the barbaric white leg upon which he partly stood.
3/25/2020 07:47:47 am
In the beginning of movement 4, the composer is showing how Ishmael felt when he first saw Ahab for the first. We can tell who Ahab is by just the beginning. We can tell that Ahab is crazy and evil just by listening to the bass and clarinets I also feel like towards the middle of piece he is looking for the white whale to seek revenge since the white whale did destroy one of his legs. Also, I believe that that ending, especially the last note, is when he encounters the white whale. Which leads me to predict that maybe movement 5 is when Ahab is attacking the white whale and it gets all crazy.
3/25/2020 02:28:33 pm
The description fits the music because this movement has a moody and suspenseful mood to it that makes the listener feel endangered. From A to E the woodwinds are playing an arpeggiated F minor chord in 8th notes with a couple of passing tones that creates this feeling of fear in the listener. This movement is different to what has come before as it is the angriest sounding movement yet. Even in terms of articulations it is the movement with the most staccatos and accents. It’s probably the movement with the most dynamic contrast which does add on to the edgy feel it gives. I also think that by setting up these movements the way McBeth did serves the purpose of trying to build a story with the music. McBeth starts off with a nice slow piece and slowly builds up suspension throughout the movements and each movement gets more and more heavy music wise as we play through the movements.
3/25/2020 09:55:43 pm
This movement is very representative of ahab as the articulate, fast moving melody carries a suspicious mood. Someone listening feels a sense of uncertainty, this is the mystery that ahab was himself as throughout most of the book he is a mystery to the other crew members, he doesn't leave his cabin for a great part of the trip and is known only through legend and myth. This is the mystery carried through the music, along with this the music has a vengeful presence that embodies the hatred and revenge that ahab seeks out. Furthermore, the movement sees a build up of tension that by the end seems to erupt in sound which is the encounter ahab has with the whale. Overall the order of the movements having aha before the white whale seems to characterize ahab's view of refusing to submit to a higher power. He did refused to be below anybody which is the reason behind his vengeance for the whale, and this movement being the loudest movement so far shows how he felt above everyone else, surpassed only by movement 5 the white whale which in the book ended up being the single, larger than himself force that he could not overcome not in the music nor in the book.
3/26/2020 07:15:02 am
I really like that last thought you had. If you take this piece out of the context of the book, this piece could be just 4 movements ending with the Ahab movement and the audience would be satisfied as a 4 movement piece, but there is this other thing - The White Whale, which is more powerful than Ahab, and that's what we are going to end with.
3/25/2020 10:02:42 pm
From the beginning of the piece to G, there is hardly a point where the dynamics go below forte. It is this loud intense feel that represents Ahab's intense, almost good-like, nature. There is a shift at G where there is a quiet section followed by the tremendous climax at I. This could represent Ahab's change in character the day before facing the whale where he look back at his past, explaining the slower section. Letter I would then represent the battle with the whale where Ahab will ultimately die.
3/26/2020 02:35:37 pm
This movement is very different to the ones before because of how aggressive and mysterious this movement is. Even though the second movement is aggressive it's not aggressive throughout the whole movement. This movement is more forceful and represents the feelings Ahab has towards the whale.
Leave a Reply.
Of Sailors and Whales BLOG PROJECT
Each Movement of Of Sailors and Whales is a musical description of one of the main characters in the book Moby Dick. What I would like us to do is to learn about each character and then try to make connections between what we know about the character and what the composer, Francis McBeth, wrote in the piece.