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[Ascaloth/Akira] Nodame Cantabile ~Paris Chapter~, Episode 8

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Well played, J.C. Staff, you managed to troll me by inserting The Sorcerer’s Apprentice into the episode right after the one where I lamented the absence of it. In any case, just like the eponymous apprentice, Chiaki realizes that he’s become overconfident of his own abilities, and the washout he suffered at the hands of the scary Roux-Marlet Orchestra was the result of it. Once again, he’ll have to drag a mediocre orchestra up to his standards, even if it has to be accomplished the way he did it before; dragging them up, kicking and screaming. But before he gets on the job, time for a little break first before getting down to the job proper.

Nodame Cantabile ~Paris Chapter~, Episode 8.

Ultimately, there’s still a big gap between him and Maestro Stresemann; say what you like about the erojiji, but the guy did not come across his Maestro title by accident. There’s still a lot that the apprentice has to learn from the full-fledged sorcerer yet.

Whoa, you shouldn’t be so careless with your husband there, Nodame.

What a scary mother. If this is the kind of environment Rui grew up in, no wonder she was so happy spending time with friends in Paris. I sometimes wonder if the time these ‘child prodigies’ spend honing their craft comes at a cost to them?

Chiaki, too, gets pWn3d.

And just like that, Rui is being dragged out of the story just as quickly and abruptly as she first inserted herself in. Her time in the story was short but eventful, but unfortunately, she just doesn’t have the luck to enjoy life like everyone else due to her status. And since there are only about 3 episodes left at this point, it’s unlikely she’ll ever return by the end of this series. You know, 11 episodes is really tight; I wonder if J.C. Staff has realized this yet, or perhaps they were planning a third season from the beginning?

When the vocation one has undertaken upon oneself becomes tough going, and one is beginning to feel the enjoyment of the task slipping out of one’s grasp, perhaps it is not unusual for one to think about doing something different for the sake of change. Not everything is as wonderful as it looks on the surface, of course, for the grass is always greener on the other side, but it’s not at all strange that Rui was doing what almost anyone else would think of trying out every once in a while; having a change from the usual pace of one’s life.

Okay, I don’t remember Chiaki making that promise of playing a concerto together with Nodame in the manga, at least not at this point. And he does it in the uncharacteristically moé fashion that had plagued this season’s Chiaki, too. I don’t know about you guys, but I like him better when he’s keeping up the standoffish facade.

Audition for new members of the Roux-Marlet Orchestra? I fear they’re trying to squeeze too much into too little time once again, but apparently they’re going to try and end the series at the second Roux-Marlet arc. But with only 3 episodes to do that AND the Saint-Malo arc before it? I can’t help but be afraid that another trainwreck in the vein of Episode 2 is coming up.

Featured Piece: Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Mvt 1

"This is one of Poulenc’s more famous pieces of music. The first movement is the one heard in the episode, and Chiaki’s explaination of the piece is a bit off, in my opinion. It is true that Poulenc was a member of "Les Six", a group of six French composers. Yet, their stated motive was a move away from the grandiose expressions of romanticism and the blurred, fuzzy images of impressionist music; Les Six were a group of avant-garde composers who, like Dali and Picasso did in the visual arts, ushered in the art of music into a new age, the MODERN age, where focus was placed more upon the abstract than the concrete emotions of Romanticism. Looking at the title of the piece, it is awfully bland and straight-forward; such a title would not have been seen in the Romantic period, and I believe it to be a counter-reaction against the emotional attachment of the Romantic period." - Akira, The Nihon Review

"That being said, listening to the music, one can hear many differences between it and the music of other French composers of the time such as Ravel. Unlike the music of Ravel, Poulenc’s trio is very definite. There is no fuzziness in his music; tones are clearly defined. The Trio itself is not especially challenging (at least, not the piano portion, I can’t speak for either the bassoon or the oboe) but it does get pretty fast here and there. Whimsical and spirited, to be sure.

Notice the way the harmonies work in this piece. They’re not really that consonant, but not really disonant either. It feels slightly "off" in some places; this is a key aspect of 20th century music, and miraculously, the three pieces, the oboe, the piano and the bassoon, fit very well together." - Akira

"Chiaki’s comment about "French people using bassoons" is a bit of a strange one, as the piece was originally written for bassoon. I approve of Nodame’s interpretation of the piece as a conversation between the three instruments, although I would, as stated before, advise against taking Poulenc’s music too figuratively or allegorically. All in all, a wonderful, whimsical piece, at times slow, at times fast, at times mournful, at times sorrowful; a masterpiece of blending harmonies and conversation between three vastly different instruments." - Akira

Video: Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Mvt 1

Sorrow-kun from The Nihon Review commented that he has no clue why Kuroki was inserted into the Paris Chapter, as it almost seems as if he could be replaced with a plank of wood, and it wouldn’t be much different. Poor Kuroki, being castigated even beyond the fourth wall. C’est glauque!

That said, he should have some decent development in the upcoming Saint-Malo arc….that is, if J.C. Staff doesn’t go butcherjob on us again. I’m practically praying that they’ll at least do the end of the series decently at this point.

Goodbye, Son Rui. We hardly knew you. But you’ll be back in the next season….right?

Featured Piece: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K 331
Mvt 3: Alla Turca "Turkish Rondo"

"Very famous piece, one of Mozart’s most famous. A beautiful melody infused with a simple rhythmic structure and unfalteringly catchy, Mozart’s K331 is one of the most celebrated pieces of music in the piano repetoire. Not only is it uniquely expressive and simple in structure, it is also easy to play.

A "rondo" is a piece that returns to the original motif of the music, such as the Rondo alla Turca. If you listen to the first few bars of the music, it forms a pattern that is heard repeatedly throughout the music. In this fashion, the piece itself is very repetitive, a trademark of the rondo form. " - Akira

"Other than that, there’s not much to comment on in terms of musical structure and form. Mozart wrote this piece to simulate the music of Ottoman bands, hence the name "Turkish Rondo" or, more commonly, the "Turkish March." One can hear some differences from the usual European music from the time; the Ottoman influence is clearly audible. Yet, at the same time, the piece fuses both Turkish music and European form; the Rondo is an uniquely European format, and the piece is the third movement of Mozart’s 11th Piano Sonata; the other two movements are forgotten (unfortunately) due to the extreme popularity of the final movement. Easy to play, irresistably charming, at times playful and at times stately, Rondo alla Turca is one of Mozart’s most celebrated pieces."  - Akira

Video: Mozart’s K331 Mvt 3, Alla Turca "Turkish Rondo"

The White Prince makes a cameo return! He still gives off the vibe of a bit character by the way, instead of the truly quirky guy he really is in the manga.

Too bad he gets pWn3d once again by the Black Prince. LOL.

And taking a break from the usual pace of Nodame’s studies and Chiaki’s job as a conductor, the spotlight finally leaves our intrepid conductor to be, and focuses once again on our eponymous heroine as she scores another first for herself, playing at a piano recital in the upcoming Saint-Malo arc. Mozart shall soon be the order of the day in the next episode or two, so stay tuned as we see how Nodame deals with the works of one of the most famous composers of the Classical period.

Ascaloth, out.

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One Response to “[Ascaloth/Akira] Nodame Cantabile ~Paris Chapter~, Episode 8”  

  1. 1 Sorrow-kun 26 comments

    Hmm… to clear things up, I’ve got nothing against Kuroki, I just don’t find him all that interesting. Even in the first season, he didn’t do much. I guess if there’s a point to him later…

    I’m surprised you didn’t say more about Nodame’s piano exam. I loved that scene. It was reminiscent of the first season, when they allowed the music to say so much about the characters. Anyway, I don’t know about “best”, but this was the most fun episode of the season, IMO.

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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