Modest Mussorgsky
Une Larme (A Tear)


3.0
good

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
October 24th, 2008 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1880 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mussorgsky's final tear.

Une Larme is recognised by many to be one of Mussorgsky’s less stimulating pieces of piano music. Rather short, uncertain and fairly open-ended, the piece is still worthy of mention in his repertoire, which to reiterate, contains works like Pictures at an Exhibition. By comparison, the singular little piece of salon-music is quite uninteresting, mainly to music theorists and alike. It’s a work that any other composer at the time could have written, even one that perhaps lacked the structured professionalism that Mussorgsky once owned at heart. Part of this stems from the fact that Mussorgsky’s demise left his compositional skills to rot away as quickly as his liver did through alcoholism. But, as the work was composed during the uneven year before his death, it gives a very brief glimpse into the mind of the man’s unstable mentality. Naturally, what more could possibly be derived from a drunken Russian, defiant to remove himself from the white spirit? A lot it seems.

It begins promisingly, almost as if he was willing somewhere to show a sign of optimistism, but quickly and unknowingly moves into the sad theme at a very gentle pace. The theme coils itself in and out of a conventional chordal progression in the left hand, but remains fairly flat and ill-defined as to direction of any sorts. The mood created is quite humbling but at the same time extremely saddening to the point where compassion almost takes upon a force of its own. And even despite the gentle move into the major resembles a moment of resolution; Mussorgsky reintroduces melancholy as easily as he once upon a time forgot it even existed. He again tries to relieve this feeling within the final closing chords, however they are somewhat clouded by the questions still lurking.

These questions mark the importance of this work, for him, and for those looking back. The stark resemblance between the piece and the man’s situation is uncanny for any other work of his, but much alike that of what Beethoven once felt in works such as his Große Fuge. It confirms the power that musical portraiture, even if it is undesigned and unintentional, and at the same time offers a unique and mostly satisfying listening experience.



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user ratings (2)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
taylormemer
October 24th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hate this review to be honest, but I needed to get it out of my "documents recovered" list.

Spamue1G
October 24th 2008


1292 Comments


Why can't I seem to enjoy classical music?
Good review, seems that I won't ever listen to this through my own free will. It appears to embody nearly everything that I dislike about classical. Pos'd

bastard
October 24th 2008


3435 Comments


Why can't I seem to enjoy classical music?


because you hate music.

Spamue1G
October 24th 2008


1292 Comments


Awwwwwww
Well, it's a slight exaggeration... There are a few pieces that I can enjoy/tolerate, and I probably have a biased view because my music teacher mostly only plays the Dragonforce equivalent of classical music. Meh, I'm weird like that.

brandtweathers
October 24th 2008


2007 Comments


I've slept to classical my entire life; that's where credit is due for me loving it.
Often I don't know why others appreciate it without some similar emotional ties to the music. it's definitely not the lyrics.

rasputin
October 24th 2008


14550 Comments


It’s a work that any other composer at the time could have written

But Mussorgsky did! The review is great.

taylormemer
October 24th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Often I don't know why others appreciate it without some similar emotional ties to the music. it's definitely not the lyrics.

I play this particular piece all the time, as I do with many others that I review. Therefore I have both a strong emotional and practical connection with this music. For others, I study the scores before I review them, and I also try to provide an appropriate bio for the composer on their page thereby having a good understanding for their particular emotional outputs. To me it's important to have this connection.


But Mussorgsky did! The review is great.

Yes, indeed, however as stated it's certainly not as defined as other works are, but it's still quite beautiful all the same.

rasputin
October 24th 2008


14550 Comments


Yeah, I was just making a very subtle reference to Tenacious D's 'One Note Song'

taylormemer
October 24th 2008


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just shows how well informed I am about Tenacious D.



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