New Music Friday: Sinfonia in D

Giovanni Paisiello was an Italian Classical composer and the most famous opera composer of the late 1700s. His style influenced Mozart and Rossini, and both Haydn and Beethoven championed his music. In Italy, he was best known as an opera and church music composer and vocalist. He spent a significant amount of time in Naples and Bologna. In Bologna, he met Mozart. The majority of his approximately 80 operas are comic with a basic, straightforward, and enthusiastic style. Some of his later works, on the other hand, have more nuanced characterization, more colorful scoring, and warmer melodies (features that influenced Mozart).

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About Sinfonia in D

The character of this work is that of an opera overture attached to an imaginary opera. It begins with an almost chamber music density – but should open up with the broadening of the harmonic range in measure 24. Measure 28 should be strong and powerful, like the opera villain getting CAUGHT! Finally, at measure 48, the fair “damsel in distress” comes upon the stage. With these suggested ideas, as a start, it is recommended that the students engage and hearing the music carry on with the storyline. Such an exercise will bring the music to life – fun for all, including the audience! Have the students write their storyline and READ it to the audience just before their performance.

About Robert D. McCashin

In addition to an extensive list of publications, Dr. McCashin holds the title of Professor Emeritus, having completed 43 years of teaching at the university level. His former position was as Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting and Violin at James Madison University. During Dr. McCashin’s final 24 years of teaching (at JMU), he served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Camerata Strings. In addition, he taught Graduate Applied Conducting, MM, and DM academic courses for conductors as well as applied violin & viola. Dr. McCashin is a string educator and an active writer/arranger in the string education field. He maintained a busy Conference presentation schedule throughout his career, making presentations on conducting technique, string pedagogy, and the Math, Science, Physics, and Physiology of String playing.

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