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rhapsody


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Strictly, from the ancient Gr. usage, the recitation of parts of an epic poem. In mus. the term has come to mean a comp. in one continuous movt., often based on popular, nat., or folk melodies. Thus Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies, Vaughan Williams's Norfolk Rhapsody. Delius's Brigg Fair, variations on an Eng. folk‐song, is subtitled An English Rhapsody, and Rachmaninov's variations on a caprice by Paganini are called Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Brahms used the term for works for solo pf. and for his Alto Rhapsody, a setting for v., male ch., and orch. of verses by Goethe. Gershwin used the term for his Rhapsody in Blue and Chabrier's España is a Sp. rhapsody.

Subjects: Music.


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