Tchaik concerto 3rd movement
I just heard Patricia Kopatchinskaja play The Tchaik 3rd mov on the radio. It seemed insanely fast (up to 185 bpm), but then, what does "allegro vivacissimo" mean?
This and the emoting - she must burn up a lot of energy!
Vivacissimo means, as you can probably guess, "extremely lively".
Come to think of it: Allegro vivacissimo probably means "insanely fast".
'issimo' means 'a whole lot of'.
That's what happens when you're playing staccato and not pausing enough on the breaks.
She does whatever she wants.... because she can.
I wasn't too worried about the specifics, but on other forums I've warned beginners that "tempo" markings are more mood markings than speed markings, and indeed we can question both allegro and vivace.
From my memories of learning theory mid last century, allegro was “ lively and fast “
Allegro does not mean cheerful. Allegro means "running", i.e., fast, it is a tempo marking not a mood marking.
What the words mean in colloquial Italian is distinct from how they are used as tempo markings.
The etymology of allegro (from alacer in Latin, and then going back farther) is bound up with both cheerfulness and quickness, but across romance languages, it most commonly plainly means joy or happiness (I only speak Spanish, so other languages may have particular nuances that I'm not aware of surrounding the word).
OK I stand corrected, but, allegro *is* a quintessential tempo marking, isn't it? I mean, music history is full of fast pieces that are definitely not meant to be interpreted joyfully, yet they are marked allegro. For example, Mendelssohn opus 80, Mozart 40th symphony, but there are tons of examples.
I wasn't trying to disagree too strongly Jean ;-)
As already mentioned, Allegro Vivacissimo, for a native Italian or Spanish speaker would mean " happy, the most lively" Non-Italian composers will use the meanings in their music dictionaries. Even with accompaning metronome markings, be wary of following someone's opinion, even the composer's (!). I am thinking especially of the deaf and eccentric Beethoven, who was cut off from the practical side of music making in the second half of his life.
What Joel said. Everyone's Italian/music dictionary says something different.
“But allegro means cheerful and vivace(vivacious) means full of life.