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The title of this work for string orchestra is derived and taken from the Greek thr�"nos, �wailing� and oide, ode, and originates from the Greek word threnoidia. It is a song of lamentation and commemorates a person or person�s death. Krzysztof Penderecki the Polish composer and conductor composed the post-titled Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, in 1961, which serves as a 20th-century example, which employed extended playing techniques for stringed instruments. Synonyms include �dirge�,�coronach�,�lament�, and �elegy�. Other composers have composed �Thrénodies�: one of the most notable being the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt who in his piano series Ann�"es de pèlerinage �Troisième anné� (title translates as �Third Year�. Published in 1883), composed two �Thrénodies� set at the Villa d�Este and entitled: Aux cypress de la Villa d�Este I: Thrénodie (To the Cypresses of the Villa d�Este I: Threnody): Aux cypress de la Villa d�Este II: (To the Cypresses of the Villa d�Este II: Threnody): The Villa d�Este in these two �Thrénodies� were describing a park in a Tivoli near Rome. It is famous for its beautiful cypresses and fountains. A threnody can also be defined as a song, hymn or poem taking its root from the Proto-Indo European wed �" (�to speak�) and its origins can be traced back to the golden age of Athens where the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides are intoned, acted and recited to admiring throngs of people in Athens and in the most beautiful theatre at Epidaurus which is situated on the slopes of Mount Cynortium in the Peloponnesus. The �Epitaphios Threnos� is the lamentation chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday. John Dryden commemorated the death of Charles II of England in the long poem �Threnodia Augustalis�, and Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a �Threnody� in memory of his son. The Threnody for String Orchestra Op. 31 is in ternary form; a musical structure consisting of three parts or sections and ends with a short coda. It may be represented by the letter scheme ABA - CODA the final section with changes in orchestration being a repeat of the first. Each section is self-contained and the first section follows the usual practice of ending in the tonic key. To add a strong contrast in the middle section, which I have achieved by altering the note values and metre, and adding the tempo, instruction (meno mosso, �less moved�, i.e. slower) gives the impression on the contrary to a quickened and agitated feeling in the music. As I intimated earlier the first section reappears with its new distribution of voices in the overall structure of the work, which finally ends in a resigned and understated coda.
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Reviews of MANNING, G - Threnody for String Orchestra Op. 31
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