History AwesomeMusic / Classical

21st May '16 9:15:45 AM mlsmithca
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* François Couperin is perhaps the most well-known French Baroque composer, and with good reason; his solo keyboard and chamber works are positively overflowing with inventive and beautiful pieces. Perhaps his most spectacular keyboard work is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acxipN-HSdc "Le Tic-Toc-Choc"]] from the 18th "ordre" in F, in which the performer's hands are intended to play on two different manuals as they are in the same range for most of the piece. However, when played on a piano with just ''one'' keyboard and the hands almost on top of each other, it becomes even more amazing to see and hear.

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* François Couperin is perhaps the most well-known French Baroque composer, and with good reason; his solo keyboard and chamber works are positively overflowing with inventive and beautiful pieces. pieces.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf-LMHrslHw "Les barricades mystérieuses"]] from the 6th keyboard "ordre" in B-flat is one of Couperin's most fascinating compositions, an ingeniously constructed ''rondeau'' of ever-shifting melodic and harmonic textures, with a title that has been a source of speculation since its composition. It has inspired arrangements and/or original compositions in genres including jazz, rock, and electronic music.
**
Perhaps his most spectacular keyboard work is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acxipN-HSdc "Le Tic-Toc-Choc"]] from the 18th "ordre" in F, in which the performer's hands are intended to play on two different manuals as they are in the same range for most of the piece. However, when played on a piano with just ''one'' keyboard and the hands almost on top of each other, it becomes even more amazing to see and hear.
16th May '16 8:52:28 PM mlsmithca
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*** The joyful [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cey8o5V6Qco Hymne au Soleil]] in G major shines every bit as brightly as the celestial body to which it pays tribute, the four-voice chords in the manuals in the outer sections filling every inch of the room (or church) with a melody that returns in glorious fashion in the piece's final third.

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*** The joyful exuberant [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cey8o5V6Qco Hymne au Soleil]] in G major shines every bit as brightly as the celestial body to which it pays tribute, the four-voice chords in the manuals in the outer sections filling every inch of the room (or church) with a melody that returns in glorious fashion in the piece's final third.
12th May '16 6:17:53 PM mlsmithca
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** Any live (professional) performance of the mammoth 8th Symphony, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KugLAIzW3u8 The Symphony of a Thousand]]", is almost guaranteed to be an awesome experience for both performers and audience, with a score calling for eight vocal soloists (three soprano, two alto, one each tenor, baritone, bass), two full choirs, a children's choir, and a massively augmented orchestra.[[note]] Two piccolos, four flutes, four oboes, a cor anglais, three B-flat clarinets, (at least) two E-flat clarinets, a bass clarinet, four bassoons, a contrabassoon, eight horns, four trumpets, four trombones, a tuba, a separate brass ensemble of four (or five) trumpets and three trombones, timpani (with two players), cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, triangle, low pitched bells, glockenspiel, piano, harmonium, celesta, pipe organ, (at least) two to four harps, a mandolin (preferably several), and an enlarged string section.[[/note]] The nickname "Symphony of a Thousand" was intentional hyperbole on the part of music critics, but most performances involve at least five hundred musicians. Though it is in just two movements, the second movement is nearly an hour long and is a full setting of the final scene of [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe's]] ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'', as various angels discuss what to do with the now deceased title character's soul, and it combines slow movement, scherzo, and finale into a vast epic which answers the musical questions posed by the first movement, a setting of the Latin hymn "Veni, creator spiritus". Particular highlights in a live performance include the very opening bars of the first movement (where the "Resurrection" waits until near the end to introduce the organ, the "Symphony of a Thousand" introduces the organ in the first measure), the full choir bellowing "Accende, accende lumen sensibus!" and the ensuing double fugue, the Pater Ecstaticus' first solo in the second movement ("Ewiger Wonnebrand"), and the buildup to the triumphant orchestral coda in the symphony's final minutes. Mahler himself knew he'd written something quite remarkable (it was the first symphony to feature choral passages throughout rather than in just a few movements), and in a letter to conductor Willem Mengelberg, he wrote, "Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound. There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving."

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** Any live (professional) performance of the mammoth 8th Symphony, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KugLAIzW3u8 The Symphony of a Thousand]]", is almost guaranteed to be an awesome experience for both performers and audience, with a score calling for eight vocal soloists (three soprano, two alto, one each tenor, baritone, bass), two full choirs, a children's choir, and a massively augmented orchestra.[[note]] Two piccolos, four flutes, four oboes, a cor anglais, three B-flat clarinets, (at least) two E-flat clarinets, a bass clarinet, four bassoons, a contrabassoon, eight horns, four trumpets, four trombones, a tuba, a separate brass ensemble of four (or five) trumpets and three trombones, timpani (with two players), cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, triangle, low pitched bells, glockenspiel, piano, harmonium, celesta, pipe organ, (at least) two to four harps, a mandolin (preferably several), and an enlarged string section.[[/note]] The nickname "Symphony of a Thousand" was intentional hyperbole on the part of music critics, but most performances involve at least five hundred musicians. Though it is in just two movements, the second movement is nearly an hour long and is a full setting of the final scene of [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe's]] ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'', ''Theatre/{{Faust|SecondPartOfTheTragedy}}'', as various angels discuss what to do with the now deceased title character's soul, and it combines slow movement, scherzo, and finale into a vast epic which answers the musical questions posed by the first movement, a setting of the Latin hymn "Veni, creator spiritus". Particular highlights in a live performance include the very opening bars of the first movement (where the "Resurrection" waits until near the end to introduce the organ, the "Symphony of a Thousand" introduces the organ in the first measure), the full choir bellowing "Accende, accende lumen sensibus!" and the ensuing double fugue, the Pater Ecstaticus' first solo in the second movement ("Ewiger Wonnebrand"), and the buildup to the triumphant orchestral coda in the symphony's final minutes. Mahler himself knew he'd written something quite remarkable (it was the first symphony to feature choral passages throughout rather than in just a few movements), and in a letter to conductor Willem Mengelberg, he wrote, "Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound. There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving."
12th May '16 6:15:16 PM mlsmithca
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** By far Dukas' most well-known and beloved composition is the symphonic poem ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaNDXyXRFo L'apprenti sorcier]]'' ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), a piece that was a hit with audiences even before was immortalised forty years later in the third segment of Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' with WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse in the title role. From the haunting opening measures, to the immediately hummable theme as the apprentice brings the broom to life, to the orchestral frenzy as he is then forced to splinter the broom with an axe - only to create hundreds of brooms that cause the music's energy to build even higher, to the outburst of the final measures, it sticks in the memory even without the animated accompaniment.

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** By far Dukas' most well-known and beloved composition is the symphonic his musical interpretation of Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe's poem ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaNDXyXRFo L'apprenti sorcier]]'' ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), a piece that was a hit with audiences even before was immortalised forty years later in the third segment of Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' with WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse in the title role. From the haunting opening measures, to the immediately hummable theme as the apprentice brings the broom to life, to the orchestral frenzy as he is then forced to splinter the broom with an axe - only to create hundreds of brooms that cause the music's energy to build even higher, to the outburst of the final measures, it sticks in the memory even without the animated accompaniment.
12th May '16 6:12:16 PM mlsmithca
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Added DiffLines:

* Paul Dukas was so intensely self-critical that he would never agree with someone who described any of his music as awesome (or even worth preserving, to the point that we're lucky any of his music survived his personal purges); his audiences have always been willing to agree to disagree with him.
** By far Dukas' most well-known and beloved composition is the symphonic poem ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNaNDXyXRFo L'apprenti sorcier]]'' ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), a piece that was a hit with audiences even before was immortalised forty years later in the third segment of Creator/{{Disney}}'s ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' with WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse in the title role. From the haunting opening measures, to the immediately hummable theme as the apprentice brings the broom to life, to the orchestral frenzy as he is then forced to splinter the broom with an axe - only to create hundreds of brooms that cause the music's energy to build even higher, to the outburst of the final measures, it sticks in the memory even without the animated accompaniment.
** The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85FtJJG2oqY Piano Sonata in E-flat minor]] is a 45-minute musical epic, from its expansive opening movement to its ultimately triumphant final measures. The third movement, a wild ride of a scherzo with a contrasting slow trio section, is a particular highlight.
11th May '16 6:25:00 PM mlsmithca
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** Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 is a formal masterpiece and has quite possibly the greatest (and most enigmatic) ending of any piece of classical music.
** The finale of the second symphony is also worth mention.
** His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTbY1n3Iz8 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47]] is a favorite among the virtuosos, and rightfully so.

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** Sibelius' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPd9znWgGLk Symphony No.2 in D major]] puzzled early critics, but audiences loved it, from the first movement in which the main musical ideas initially appear as fragments and only assemble into a coherent whole during the development (an inversion of traditional sonata allegro structure), through the haunting slow movement, the urgent scherzo, and the finale whose grandeur and eventual triumph is now regarded as a musical depiction of Finland's struggle for independence and optimism for the future. It remains one of his most popular symphonies.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z-BgcmeRF8 Symphony No.5 in E-flat major]] is the main competitor with No.2 for the title of Sibelius' most popular symphony. From an opening movement that fuses sonata allegro and scherzo in a way that defies analysis to this day, to a serene slow movement framed as a set of variations, to the soaring "swan call" finale that ends with six sudden outbursts from the full orchestra, it sticks in the memory long after the final unison E-flat.
** Sibelius's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg7WsTuxMSQ Symphony No. No.7 in C major]] is a formal masterpiece that unfolds over just one movement but packs so many memorable ideas into that frame, and it has quite possibly the greatest (and most enigmatic) ending of any piece of classical music.
** The finale of the second symphony is also worth mention.
** His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTbY1n3Iz8 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47]] is a favorite among the virtuosos, and rightfully so. so - not least as it frequently rates as one of the most technically difficult in the violinist's standard repertoire.
11th May '16 1:12:34 PM Ulathon1
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** His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTbY1n3Iz8 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47] is a favorite among the virtuosos, and rightfully so.
**

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** His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTbY1n3Iz8 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47] 47]] is a favorite among the virtuosos, and rightfully so.
** Sibelius also had his upbeat moments. The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIois3Gaegk March from the Karelia Suite, Opus 11]] is full of jaunty cheer.
11th May '16 1:08:40 PM Ulathon1
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** Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 is a formal masterpiece and has quite possibly the greatest (and most enigmatic) ending of any piece of classical music. The finale of the second symphony is also worth mention.

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** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfBTiv3WGU0 The Swan of Tuonela]] guards the realm of the dead in Finnish mythology, and Sibelius' depiction of the singing swan gliding slowly over the dark waters of Tuonela is wonderful.
** Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 is a formal masterpiece and has quite possibly the greatest (and most enigmatic) ending of any piece of classical music.
**
The finale of the second symphony is also worth mention.mention.
** His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTbY1n3Iz8 Violin Concerto in D minor, opus 47] is a favorite among the virtuosos, and rightfully so.
**
10th May '16 1:43:50 PM mlsmithca
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*** With the towering [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV6avzhTL_A Sur le Rhin]] in E-flat minor, Vierne pays homage to the river separating France and Germany. The outer sections feature a theme that is equal parts majestic and intimidating, and in the conclusion of the piece, it is accompanied by parallel octaves in the pedal, all building up to a spectacular block chord passage in which the minor key clouds finally part for the sun-drenched glow of E-flat major.

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*** With the towering [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV6avzhTL_A Sur le Rhin]] in E-flat minor, Vierne pays homage to the river separating France and Germany. The outer sections feature a theme that is equal parts majestic and intimidating, and in the conclusion of the piece, it is accompanied by parallel octaves in the pedal, all building up to a spectacular block chord passage in which the minor key clouds finally part for what is easily the sun-drenched glow most transcendent major resolution of E-flat major.the six that appear across all four sets.[[note]] The other five - the Andantino in A minor and Requiem Aeternam in G minor from the first set, the Lamento in C minor and Sicilienne in E minor from the second set, and the Impromptu in F minor from the third set - either represent sorrowful works finding inner peace in their final measures or allow a light-hearted piece to become even more so for its conclusion.[[/note]]
9th May '16 1:35:53 AM mlsmithca
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*** Though somewhat overshadowed by the other tribute to English bells [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b8MAlkVUXs Les Cloches de Hinckley]] in E major is still a worthy finale to the massive "Pièces de fantaisie" collection. It takes its cue from the descending scale played by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDmxijjYThw the church bells in the village of Hinckley]] and sculpts a whirlwind of organ brilliance around it, culminating with ''28'' consecutive descending scales in the right hand that somehow never seem to get old.

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*** Though somewhat overshadowed by the other tribute to English bells bells, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b8MAlkVUXs Les Cloches de Hinckley]] in E major is still a worthy finale to the massive "Pièces de fantaisie" collection. It takes its cue from the descending scale played by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDmxijjYThw the church bells in the village of Hinckley]] and sculpts a whirlwind of organ brilliance around it, culminating with ''28'' consecutive descending scales in the right hand that somehow never seem to get old.
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