throughout, the whole song rides swiftly over repeated Gs, and later B[flat]s and As, in the piano in a triplet pattern in triple meters.
" is Italian for "very fast." It's a musical term that I learned while playing the bassoon in high school orchestra.
My heart sank when I saw the section and chapter headings: ACT ONE: Scherzo; Adagio; Agitato; Prestissimo
With my deadline approaching, something had to be done, so I mentioned the magic words "obstruction" and "criminal prosecution" and, hey prestissimo
, the grins slipped and they reluctantly moved their lorry.
The best was a thrilling variation for Lauren Jonas (company director) that summoned levels of daring just this side of knife-throwing: terrifying pirouettes, prestissimo
, changing position through various attitudes, finishing on the floor in a swan pose, preening, quiet, stunning.
The orchestra under Maestro Levine cannot be sufficiently praised, above all in the deft realization of the "Introduction and Pantomime" music at the beginning of Act III, marked to be played "as fast as possible." I am reminded of rule number nine of Strauss's not-quite-to-be-taken-seriously Ten Golden Rules for the Album of a Young Conductor: "When you think you have reached the limits of prestissimo
, double the pace." Levine and the orchestra did just that.
Neither can this be a slow movement: Matteis employs the time signature [??], which he explains as `swift' in the 1687 print and which he combines with the tempo indications Allegro, Presto and Prestissimo
in a number of pieces found in the volume.(25) The idiom of Wood's trumpet parts also leaves much to be desired the `reconstructed' third trumpet part bears little stylistic resemblance to Matteis's Basso della Trombetta parts but more or less doubles a poorly written timpani part; the second trumpet part should shadow the first in parallel 3rds in the ante-penultimate bar and include the lipped non-natural harmonic pitch b'; and the two upper trumpet parts should arrive on a unison c" at the final cadence in accordance with the practice patently exhibited in the 1687 print.
The two boreas differ from the gavottas primarily by being faster (Prestissimo
) and by having semiquaver upbeats.
I would like to state prestissimo
, and from the outset of this lucubration, that I do not doubt the capacity of President Muhammadu Buhari to take our beleaguered nation out of the woods into which successive civilian administrations from 1999 had led it until 2015.
(66) As early as 1841, Moscheles commented that the marking for the first movement produces "so fearful a prestissimo
as Beethoven could never have intended," and recommended reducing it to [half note] = 116.
Students can deliberately play a work in the wrong style, try to depict the opposite character, use way too much pedal or none at all, turn an adagio into a prestissimo
or vice versa.