History AwesomeMusic / Classical

23rd Mar '17 11:26:33 AM mlsmithca
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*** The triptych of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6fEXKWp50I No.6 in D major]] (''Le matin''), [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDEwmZBae3k No.7 in C major]] (''Le midi''), and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I65lcTjvIrw No.8 in G major]] (''Le soir'') all show Haydn's mastery of writing for every section of the orchestra within the same piece; particularly noteworthy is the trio of the third movement minuet from each symphony, all three of which give a rare moment in the spotlight to a solo double bass.

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*** The triptych of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6fEXKWp50I No.6 in D major]] (''Le matin''), [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDEwmZBae3k No.7 in C major]] (''Le midi''), and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I65lcTjvIrw No.8 in G major]] (''Le soir'') all show Haydn's mastery of writing for every section of the orchestra within the same piece; particularly piece, blending the "concerto grosso" form with the emerging form of the symphony by featuring solos for each of the major string and wind instruments. Particularly noteworthy is are the trio of trios from the symphonies' third movement minuet from each symphony, minuets, all three of which give a rare moment in the spotlight to a solo double bass.[[note]] It has been suggested that Haydn wanted to earn goodwill with the members of the Esterházy family orchestra, which he had just started conducting when he composed these symphonies in 1761, by giving each of them - even the double bass, or violone as it was then known - something with which to show off their skill.[[/note]]
13th Mar '17 10:15:29 AM mlsmithca
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* Max Bruch's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCNHM7TCcPs Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor]] is regularly named alongside the violin concerti of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms as one of the four great German Romantic violin concerti, and it's not hard to see why; between a first movement packed with dazzling solo cadenza passages that serves as the introduction to a slow movement of astonishing beauty and a major-key finale of unbridled exuberance, it's an utter delight for musicians and audiences alike.
11th Mar '17 9:13:04 PM mlsmithca
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* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni is an absolutely monumental work in five epic-length movements, taking well over an hour to perform and taxing the soloist's skill and endurance to its very limit (even though the piano mostly provides decorative filigree over melodies introduced by the orchestra, the solo part requires fingers, hands, and arms of cast iron to perform). Busoni intended the work to encompass everything he admired about architecture and nature; as the [[http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/styles/mast_image_landscape/public/mastimages/c30555117fe6ff7a131b23ac77b927df4cffa011.png?itok=23KtH6Fh engraving on the cover of the score]] illustrates, the grandeur of the odd-numbered movements pays homage to different ancient architectural styles (Greco-Roman for the opening Introito e Prologo, Egyptian for the mammoth central Pezzo serioso, and Assyrian for the concluding Cantico), while the finger-destroying frenzies of the even-numbered movements have more natural inspiration (the birds in the engraving represent the multi-faceted scherzo of the Pezzo giocoso, while the cypress trees represent the wild tarantella of the All'Italiana). The moment in the finale (in which the pianist finally gets to rest for a bit after having played almost continuously since about four and a half minutes into the first movement) when the full-voiced men's choir enters with a passage from Danish playwright Adam Oehlenschläger's ''Aladdin and His Magic Lamp'' is truly heart-stopping. If you have a soloist, orchestra, and choir who are up to the challenge, it is a thing of wonder to see performed live.

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* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni is an absolutely monumental work in five epic-length movements, taking well over an hour to perform and taxing the soloist's skill and endurance to its very limit (even though the piano mostly provides decorative filigree over melodies introduced by the orchestra, the solo part requires fingers, hands, and arms of cast iron to perform). Busoni intended the work to encompass everything he admired about architecture and nature; as the [[http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/styles/mast_image_landscape/public/mastimages/c30555117fe6ff7a131b23ac77b927df4cffa011.png?itok=23KtH6Fh engraving on the cover of the score]] illustrates, the grandeur of the odd-numbered movements pays homage to different ancient architectural styles (Greco-Roman for the opening Introito e Prologo, Egyptian for the mammoth central Pezzo serioso, and Assyrian for the concluding Cantico), while the finger-destroying frenzies of the even-numbered movements have more natural inspiration (the birds in the engraving bird and flowers represent the multi-faceted scherzo of the Pezzo giocoso, while the cypress trees represent the wild tarantella of the All'Italiana). The moment in the finale (in which the pianist finally gets to rest for a bit after having played almost continuously since about four and a half minutes into the first movement) when the full-voiced men's choir enters with a passage from Danish playwright Adam Oehlenschläger's ''Aladdin and His Magic Lamp'' is truly heart-stopping. If you have a soloist, orchestra, and choir who are up to the challenge, it is a thing of wonder to see performed live.
11th Mar '17 9:11:04 PM mlsmithca
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* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni is an absolutely monumental work in five epic-length movements, taking well over an hour to perform and taxing the soloist's skill and endurance to its very limit (even though the piano mostly provides decorative filigree over melodies introduced by the orchestra, the solo part requires fingers, hands, and arms of cast iron to perform). Busoni intended the concerto to encompass everything he admired about architecture and nature; as the [[http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/styles/mast_image_landscape/public/mastimages/c30555117fe6ff7a131b23ac77b927df4cffa011.png?itok=23KtH6Fh engraving on the cover of the score]] illustrates, the grandeur of the odd-numbered movements pays homage to different ancient architectural styles (Greco-Roman for the opening Introito e Prologo, Egyptian for the mammoth central Pezzo serioso, and Assyrian for the concluding Cantico), while the finger-destroying frenzies of the even-numbered movements have more natural inspiration (the birds in the engraving represent the multi-faceted scherzo of the Pezzo giocoso, while the cypress trees represent the wild tarantella of the All'Italiana). The moment in the finale (in which the pianist finally gets to rest for a bit after having played almost continuously from the first entrance about four and a half minutes into the first movement) when the full-voiced men's choir enters with a passage from Danish playwright Adam Oehlenschläger's ''Aladdin and His Magic Lamp'' is truly heart-stopping. If you have a soloist, orchestra, and choir who are up to the challenge, it is a thing of wonder to see performed live.

to:

* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni is an absolutely monumental work in five epic-length movements, taking well over an hour to perform and taxing the soloist's skill and endurance to its very limit (even though the piano mostly provides decorative filigree over melodies introduced by the orchestra, the solo part requires fingers, hands, and arms of cast iron to perform). Busoni intended the concerto work to encompass everything he admired about architecture and nature; as the [[http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/styles/mast_image_landscape/public/mastimages/c30555117fe6ff7a131b23ac77b927df4cffa011.png?itok=23KtH6Fh engraving on the cover of the score]] illustrates, the grandeur of the odd-numbered movements pays homage to different ancient architectural styles (Greco-Roman for the opening Introito e Prologo, Egyptian for the mammoth central Pezzo serioso, and Assyrian for the concluding Cantico), while the finger-destroying frenzies of the even-numbered movements have more natural inspiration (the birds in the engraving represent the multi-faceted scherzo of the Pezzo giocoso, while the cypress trees represent the wild tarantella of the All'Italiana). The moment in the finale (in which the pianist finally gets to rest for a bit after having played almost continuously from the first entrance since about four and a half minutes into the first movement) when the full-voiced men's choir enters with a passage from Danish playwright Adam Oehlenschläger's ''Aladdin and His Magic Lamp'' is truly heart-stopping. If you have a soloist, orchestra, and choir who are up to the challenge, it is a thing of wonder to see performed live.
11th Mar '17 9:08:44 PM mlsmithca
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* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni. Over an hour long, in five movements, and the last movement calls for ''full-voiced men's choir''. If you have a pianist that can manage it, it is a thing of amazement.

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* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohPzurDZzZ4 Piano Concerto in C]] by Ferruccio Busoni. Over Busoni is an hour long, absolutely monumental work in five epic-length movements, taking well over an hour to perform and taxing the last movement calls soloist's skill and endurance to its very limit (even though the piano mostly provides decorative filigree over melodies introduced by the orchestra, the solo part requires fingers, hands, and arms of cast iron to perform). Busoni intended the concerto to encompass everything he admired about architecture and nature; as the [[http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/styles/mast_image_landscape/public/mastimages/c30555117fe6ff7a131b23ac77b927df4cffa011.png?itok=23KtH6Fh engraving on the cover of the score]] illustrates, the grandeur of the odd-numbered movements pays homage to different ancient architectural styles (Greco-Roman for ''full-voiced the opening Introito e Prologo, Egyptian for the mammoth central Pezzo serioso, and Assyrian for the concluding Cantico), while the finger-destroying frenzies of the even-numbered movements have more natural inspiration (the birds in the engraving represent the multi-faceted scherzo of the Pezzo giocoso, while the cypress trees represent the wild tarantella of the All'Italiana). The moment in the finale (in which the pianist finally gets to rest for a bit after having played almost continuously from the first entrance about four and a half minutes into the first movement) when the full-voiced men's choir''. choir enters with a passage from Danish playwright Adam Oehlenschläger's ''Aladdin and His Magic Lamp'' is truly heart-stopping. If you have a pianist that can manage it, soloist, orchestra, and choir who are up to the challenge, it is a thing of amazement.wonder to see performed live.
10th Mar '17 10:59:49 PM mlsmithca
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*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvRE2wIFbW8 No.27 in B-flat major,]] completed mere months before Mozart's death, sees the composer experimenting with style and form in a way he had not previously attempted, and it provides a tantalising glimpse of the sort of artistic direction he might have taken had he not died so young.

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*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvRE2wIFbW8 No.27 in B-flat major,]] completed mere months before Mozart's death, major]] sees the composer experimenting with style and form in a way he had not previously attempted, and it provides a tantalising glimpse of the sort of artistic direction he might have taken had he not died so young.
10th Mar '17 10:54:19 PM mlsmithca
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*** Just one month after No.39, Mozart put the finishing touches on [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBlFGDbPxsY No.40 in G minor.]] The restless first movement has survived overexposure as a popular ringtone in the early 2000s and still reels in the listener straight away, and the remaining movements - a lyrical Andante, an angry minuet (unsuitable for dancing!), and a highly chromatic finale - are just as memorable, and show Mozart at the height of his abilities with counterpoint.
*** And within two weeks of completing No.40, Mozart gave the world [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RbKWhr0o1c No.41 in C major,]] known as the ''Jupiter''. Once again, Mozart grabs the listener's attention straight away with the boisterous opening measure, and keeps it throughout a deightful sonata allegro, one of his most beautiful slow movements, a minuet that cleverly foreshadows one of the main themes of the finale, and the finale itself, a masterpiece of counterpoint in which, in the coda, Mozart rotates the ''five'' main themes of the movement around the five string instruments (first and second violins, violas, cellos, basses). Together with No.39 and No.40, it represents the apex of the Classical-era symphony.

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*** Just one month after polishing off Symphony No.39, Mozart put the finishing touches on [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBlFGDbPxsY No.40 in G minor.]] The restless first movement has survived overexposure as a popular ringtone in the early 2000s and still reels in the listener straight away, and the remaining movements - a lyrical Andante, an angry minuet (unsuitable for dancing!), and a highly chromatic finale - are just as memorable, and show Mozart at the height of his abilities with counterpoint.
*** And within two weeks of completing Symphony No.40, Mozart gave the world [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RbKWhr0o1c No.41 in C major,]] known as the ''Jupiter''. Once again, Mozart grabs the listener's attention straight away with the boisterous opening measure, and keeps it throughout a deightful sonata allegro, one of his most beautiful slow movements, a minuet that cleverly foreshadows one of the main themes of the finale, and the finale itself, a masterpiece of counterpoint in which, in the coda, Mozart rotates the ''five'' main themes of the movement around the five string instruments (first and second violins, violas, cellos, basses). Together with No.39 and No.40, it represents the apex of the Classical-era symphony.



*** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB-bw7WodLY No.9 in E-flat major]] made the then-audacious move of introducing the solo pianist in only the second measure rather than after an extended orchestral ritornello (which instead comes after the piano's first flourishes). The concerto also manages to fit a four-movement structure into just three movements with a minuet interlude in the sparkling finale. Truly one of Mozart's early gems.

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*** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB-bw7WodLY No.9 in E-flat major]] (''Jeunehomme'')[[note]] Actually a mistranscription of the last name of the work's dedicatee, Victoire Jenamy.[[/note]] made the then-audacious move of introducing the solo pianist in only the second measure rather than after an extended orchestral ritornello (which instead comes after the piano's first flourishes). The concerto also manages to fit a four-movement structure into just three movements with a minuet interlude in the sparkling finale. Truly one of Mozart's early gems.


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*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvRE2wIFbW8 No.27 in B-flat major,]] completed mere months before Mozart's death, sees the composer experimenting with style and form in a way he had not previously attempted, and it provides a tantalising glimpse of the sort of artistic direction he might have taken had he not died so young.
8th Mar '17 11:39:07 AM mlsmithca
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** The Twelve Études in the Minor Keys (starting with A minor and descending by fifths) are all awesome in their way, but some of the pieces stand out as particularly so.
*** The first étude, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nn8bMDnDDg "Comme le vent"]], is a four-minute (if played at Alkan's prescribed tempo of 160 bars per minute) almost literal whirlwind of brilliance.
*** The fourth through seventh études collectively form the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Z5P1gAjyE Symphony]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z3DRIargH0 for]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvxU-ur06V8 solo]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qh96b2D6A piano.]] The unstoppably energetic finale, often described as "a ride through Hell", is particularly awesome.
*** The eighth through tenth études form the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQz5tWzVQiA Concerto for solo piano]], which includes an epic-length opening movement (nearly half an hour in most performances and recordings) and a relentless polonaise-like finale with a triumphant coda. Truly outstanding just to hear, even more so to see performed live.
*** The twelfth and most popular étude, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6OQpkOUijE "Le festin d'Ésope"]] ("Aesop's Feast"), is a massive theme and variations in which many of the variations are intended to evoke images of the sort of animals used in Aesop's fables. An extraordinary piece if the pianist is up to the challenge.
*** And while not as popular as the others, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31cFnuyr5N0 second étude ("En rhythme molossique")]], the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEotCEwED8A third étude ("Scherzo diabolico")]], and the massive [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e59QGU6HYwY eleventh étude ("Overture")]] all have plenty of awesome moments just the same.

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** The Twelve Études in the Minor Keys (starting with A minor and descending by fifths) are all awesome in their way, but some of the pieces stand out as particularly so.
*** The first étude, No.1 in A minor, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nn8bMDnDDg "Comme le vent"]], is a four-minute (if played at Alkan's prescribed tempo of 160 bars per minute) almost literal whirlwind of brilliance.
*** The fourth through seventh études Nos.4-7 collectively form the Symphony for solo piano, which comprises [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Z5P1gAjyE Symphony]] a sinister sonata allegro in C minor,]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z3DRIargH0 for]] a sombre funeral march in F minor,]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvxU-ur06V8 solo]] an angry minuet in B-flat minor,]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qh96b2D6A piano.]] The an unstoppably energetic finale, angry finale in E-flat minor]] that has often been described as "a ride through Hell", Hell". While attempts have been made to orchestrate these pieces, they paradoxically lose something in translation; part of the genius of Alkan's piano works is particularly awesome.
his ability to get orchestral textures out of the instrument.
*** The eighth through tenth études Nos.8-10 form the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQz5tWzVQiA Concerto for solo piano]], which includes an piano]] (another piece that actually loses something when attempts are made to transcribe it for piano and orchestra); the epic-length opening movement (nearly half an hour in most performances and recordings) in G-sharp minor requires a soloist of titanic endurance and a skill to get through, and that's just for starters; there's still the haunting slow movement in C-sharp minor and relentless polonaise-like finale with a in F-sharp minor waiting for performer and listener alike, but the triumphant coda.major key coda at the very end makes it all worth it. Truly outstanding just to hear, even more so to see performed live.
*** The twelfth and most popular étude, No.12 in E minor, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6OQpkOUijE "Le festin d'Ésope"]] ("Aesop's Feast"), is the most popular of the twelve, a massive theme and variations in which many of the variations are intended to evoke images of the sort of animals used in Aesop's fables. An extraordinary piece if the pianist is up to the challenge.
*** And while not as popular as the others, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31cFnuyr5N0 second étude No.2 in D minor ("En rhythme molossique")]], the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEotCEwED8A third étude No.3 in G minor ("Scherzo diabolico")]], and the massive [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e59QGU6HYwY eleventh étude No.11 in B minor ("Overture")]] all have plenty of awesome moments just the same.same, such as the coda of No.2 that seems to be trying to muster up the energy to go out in a blaze of major key glory only for the flames (and the major mode) to die out at the last second, the frenzied runs up and down the keyboard in the outer sections of No.3, and the ever shifting emotional landscape of No.11.
7th Mar '17 11:38:38 PM mlsmithca
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* Leoš Janáček's String Concerto No. 2, called "Intimate Letters" by the composer. He wrote it for Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 40 years his junior who may have never loved him back. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WICGA3VLG7Y third movement]] has been interpreted as a lullaby for the son she never bore him.

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* Leoš Janáček's String Concerto Quartet No. 2, called "Intimate Letters" by the composer. He wrote it for Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 40 years his junior who may have never loved him back. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WICGA3VLG7Y third movement]] has been interpreted as a lullaby for the son she never bore him.
7th Mar '17 10:57:00 PM mlsmithca
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** It is sometimes joked that Tchaikovsky composed three symphonies, but made the strange decision to number them 4, 5, and 6, as Nos.4-6 are performed and recorded far more often than Nos.1-3.[[note]] There are more recordings of No.5 and No.6 individually than there are of Nos.1-3 combined, and No.4 isn't far behind.[[/note]] Although the first three symphonies have their moments, and No.6 in B minor (''Pathétique'') has a few awesome passages in an otherwise tragedy-laden musical swan song for the composer, the crown for awesome among Tchaikovsky's symphonies joinly goes to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVCvx9J0Zwk No.4 in F minor]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2JBT0HC98I No.5 in E minor]]. Both have ambitious opening movements spanning wide ranges of emotions, from pathos to fury to triumph and back to pathos. The F minor follows this with a solemn slow movement and a playful scherzo in which the strings play ''pizzicato'' throughout, while the inner movements of the E minor include a beautiful French horn solo-led slow movement and a graceful waltz. Both then turn up the energy to full to go out in a blaze of major-key glory in their finales. Exhilarating stuff from start to finish.

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** It is sometimes joked that Tchaikovsky composed three symphonies, but made the strange decision to number them 4, 5, and 6, as Nos.4-6 are performed and recorded far more often than Nos.1-3.[[note]] There are more recordings of No.5 and No.6 individually than there are of Nos.1-3 combined, and No.4 isn't far behind.[[/note]] Although the first three symphonies have their moments, and No.6 in B minor (''Pathétique'') has a few awesome passages in an otherwise tragedy-laden musical swan song for the composer, the crown for awesome among Tchaikovsky's symphonies joinly jointly goes to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVCvx9J0Zwk No.4 in F minor]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2JBT0HC98I No.5 in E minor]]. Both have ambitious opening movements spanning wide ranges of emotions, from pathos to fury to triumph and back to pathos. The F minor follows this with a solemn slow movement and a playful scherzo in which the strings play ''pizzicato'' throughout, while the inner movements of the E minor include a beautiful French horn solo-led slow movement and a graceful waltz. Both then turn up the energy to full to go out in a blaze of major-key glory in their finales. Exhilarating stuff from start to finish.
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