Hector Berlioz – Waverly Overture Op.1 (1828)
The Nutcracker, a celebrated ballet by Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a young girl whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker turns into a prince and leads her to a magical land. In 1954, George Balanchine choreographed and premiered his New York City Ballet version, which was later made into a feature film. Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographed another enormously popular version for the American Ballet Theatre. What novel instrument did Tchaikovsky use in the Nutcracker score? More… Discuss
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Song titles for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker in order:
1. Op. 71 – 2. March 0:00
2. Op. 71 – 4. Dance 2:47
3. Op. 71 – 5. Scene & The Grandfather Dance
4. Op. 71 – 6. Scene
5. Op. 71 – 7. Scene
6. Op. 71 – 8. Scene
7. Op. 71 – 12. Arabian Dance, “Coffee”
8. Op. 71 – 13. Waltz Of The Flowers
9. Op. 71 – 14. Pas De Deux
10. Op. 71 – 15. Closing Waltz & Grand Finale
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937) -composer
Véronique Gen -soprano
John Axelrod -conductor
Loire National Orchestra
Playlist “The art of French song: Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Satie…”: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Ravel was drawn to the sensual allure of the Orient as early as 1898, when he composed the “Ouverture de Shéhérazade,” a work which quotes a Persian melody while drawing on the spiritual ancestry of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sheherazade” of 1888. He returned to its title in 1903 for this cycle of three songs for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, based on the exotic texts of the French poet Tristan Klingsor. With “Shéhérazade,” his first major statement for orchestra, Ravel demonstrates his mastery of muted and climactic orchestral details, while eliciting equal measures of ecstasy and restraint for the human voice.
Like the story in Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous suite, “Shéhérazade” conjures up Eastern tales of indulgence, perversity, death and danger. The first poem, “Asie” opens with a hushed string tremolo, followed by a meandering oboe melody, establishing a seductive atmosphere of Oriental fantasy. The opening four lines are declaimed syllabically and recitative-like (“Asia, Asia, Asia/marvelous old land of nursery tales/where fantasy sleeps like an empress/in her forest filled with mystery”). Pentatonic scale figures, grace notes and fluttering strings further impart the poem’s chilling decadence, leading to an accelerating climax on the words “I would like to see those who die for love as well as those who die for hatred.” The piece falls silent and shimmers to a close, as the recitative of the opening concludes the tale over a faintly rolling timpani.
“La Flute enchantée” and “L’indifferent,” are considerably shorter than “Asie,” and each song concludes with a brief yet subtly modified reference to the opening theme. “La Flute enchantée” is a timeless portrait of a girl listening to the sounds of a flute, while “L’indifferent” — sometimes regarded as the most beautiful of all of Ravel’s songs — concerns the attraction of the unattainable. If all three of the Tristan Klingsor settings in the cycle are expressions of longing, this final one finds a particularly personal tone, through false modality, and a final pandiatonically extended triad with a major ninth. After “Shéhérazade,” Ravel wrote no song with an erotic theme until he completed “Chansons madécasses” in 1926.
Buy the CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Berlioz-Hermini…
Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24) : Richard Strauss
Although called a “Spanish Symphony” (see also Sinfonia concertante), it is considered a violin concerto by musicians today. The piece has Spanish motifs throughout, and launched a period when Spanish-themed music came into vogue. (Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen premiered a month after the Symphonie espagnole.)
The Symphonie espagnole is one of Lalo’s two most often played works, the other being his Cello Concerto. His “official” Violin Concerto in F, and his Symphony in G minor, written thirteen years later, are neither performed nor recorded as often.
A typical performance runs just over one-half hour. One of the shorter recordings, conductor Eugene Ormandy’s 1967 recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra, featuring violinist Isaac Stern, runs 32 minutes and 43 seconds.
The Symphonie espagnole had some influence on the genesis of Tchaikovsky‘s Violin Concerto in D major. In March 1878, Tchaikovsky was staying at Nadezhda von Meck‘s estate at Clarens, Switzerland, while recovering from the breakdown of his disastrous marriage and his subsequent suicide attempt. His favourite pupil (and possibly his lover), the violinist Iosif Kotek, shortly arrived from Berlin with a lot of new music for violin. These included the Symphonie espagnole, which he and Tchaikovsky played through to great delight. This gave Tchaikovsky the idea of writing a violin concerto, and he immediately set aside his current work on a piano sonata and started on the concerto on 17 March. With Kotek’s technical help, the concerto was finished by 11 April.
Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischem Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik
Allegro affettuoso (A minor) 00:00:00
Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso (F major) 00:15:43
Allegro vivace (A major) 00:21:27
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, is a Romantic concerto by Robert Schumann, completed in 1845. The work premiered in Leipzig on 1 January 1846 with Clara Schumann playing the solo part. Ferdinand Hiller, the work’s dedicatee, conducted.
Schumann had earlier worked on several piano concerti: he began one in E-flat major in 1828, from 1829–31 he worked on one in F major, and in 1839, he wrote one movement of a concerto in D minor. None of these works were completed.
In 1841, Schumann wrote a fantasy for piano and orchestra, his Phantasie. His pianist wife Clara urged him to expand this piece into a full piano concerto. In 1845 he added the intermezzo and finale to complete the work. It was the only piano concerto that Schumann completed.
The work may have been used as a model by Edvard Grieg in composing his own Piano Concerto, also in A minor. Grieg’s concerto, like Schumann’s, employs a single powerful orchestral chord at its introduction before the piano’s entrance with a similar descending flourish. Rachmaninov also used the work as a model for his first Piano Concerto.
After this concerto, Schumann wrote two other pieces for piano and orchestra: the Introduction and Allegro Appassionato in G major (Op. 92), and the Introduction and Allegro Concertante in D minor (Op. 134).
The piece, as marked in the score, is in three movements:
There is no break between these last two movements (attacca subito).
Schumann preferred that the movements be listed in concert programs as only two movements:
The three movement listing is the more common form used.
The piece starts with an energetic strike by strings and timpani, followed by a fierce, descending attack by the piano. The first theme is introduced by the oboe along with wind instruments. The theme is then given to the soloist. Schumann provides great variety with this theme. He first offers it in the A minor key of the piece, then we hear it again in major, and we can also hear small snatches of the tune in a very slow, A flat section. The clarinet is often used against the piano in this movement. Toward the end of the movement, the piano launches into a long cadenza before the orchestra joins in with one more melody and builds for the exciting finish.
This movement is keyed in F major. The piano and strings open up the piece with a small, delicate tune, which is heard throughout the movement before the cellos and later the other strings finally take the main theme, with the piano mainly used as accompaniment. The movement closes with small glimpses of the first movement’s theme before moving straight into the third movement.
The movement opens with a huge run up the strings while the piano takes the main, A major theme. Schumann shows great color and variety in this movement. The tune is regal, and the strings are noble. Though it is in 3/4 timing, Schumann manipulates it so that the time signature is often ambiguous. The piece finishes with a restating of the previous material before finally launching into an exciting finale, and ending with a long timpani roll and a huge chord from the orchestra.
The Symphony No. 9 in D Minor is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the best known works of the Western repertoire, it is considered one of Beethoven’s greatest masterpieces. Incorporating part of Johann Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” sung by soloists and a chorus, it is the first symphony in which a major composer utilizes human voices on the same level as instruments. How many standing ovations reportedly followed its premiere performance in 1824? More… Discuss
– Schumann: Études Symphoniques Op. 13 [Emil Gilels, piano]
20th April, 1841: First detective story (Edgar Allen Poe’s “Murders in Rue Morgue”) is published. pic.twitter.com/OzKga6SHef
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Palette de Frida Kahlo, Mexique, 1952 pic.twitter.com/gvokTq4D95
— Old Pics Archive (@oldpicsarchive) April 19, 2015