Hector Berlioz – Waverly Overture Op.1 (1828)
Evgeny Kissin – Schumann-Liszt – Widmung (Liebeslied)
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.
– Schumann: Études Symphoniques Op. 13 [Emil Gilels, piano]
the recently created video-sharing website YouTube uploaded its first clip. Titled “Me at the Zoo,” the video consisted of 18 seconds of YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo, commenting on the animals’ “really, really, really long, uh, trunks.” (Today, YouTube claims more than 1 billion users and says that 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.)
English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare, 52, died on what has been traditionally regarded as the anniversary of his birth in 1564.
President-elect George Washington and his wife, Martha, moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.
the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
former President Theodore Roosevelt delivered his famous “Man in the Arena” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Chicago’s Wrigley Field, then called Weeghman Park, hosted its first major league game as the Chicago Federals defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.
Poland adopted a constitution which gave new powers to the presidency.
about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Mississippi.
Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)
the Four Tops’ single “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” was released by Motown.
the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke (negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version).
sportscaster Howard Cosell died in New York at age 77.
Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died in Moscow at age 76.
Leaders of China and Japan met in Jakarta, Indonesia, to try to settle their nations’ worst dispute in three decades, but failed to reach an agreement in the bitter feud over Tokyo’s handling of its World War II atrocities. Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as head of Italy’s 60th postwar government. Renowned British actor Sir John Mills died in Denham, England, at age 97.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the nation’s toughest illegal immigration law, saying “decades of inaction and misguided policy” had created a “dangerous and unacceptable situation”; opponents said the law would encourage discrimination against Hispanics. The Coast Guard suspended a three-day search for 11 workers missing after an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Actress Sandra Bullock filed divorce papers in Austin, Texas, to end her five-year marriage to Jesse James.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law allowing legally owned guns in bars without restriction and in some churches, schools and government buildings under certain circumstances. Facebook reported its earnings had nearly tripled and revenue had grown sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations. Mark Shand, 62, the brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales and a chairman of an elephant conservation group, died in New York after sustaining a serious head injury in a fall.
Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 85. Actor David Birney is 76. Actor Lee Majors is 76. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 72. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 68. Actress Blair Brown is 67. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 66. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 66. Actor James Russo is 62. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 61. Actress Judy Davis is 60. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 55. Actor Craig Sheffer is 55. Actor-comedian-talk show host George Lopez is 54. Rock musician Gen is 51. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 50. Actress Melina Kanakaredes (kah-nah-KAH’-ree-deez) is 48. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 47. Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 47. Actor Scott Bairstow (BEHR’-stow) is 45. Actor-writer John Lutz is 42. Actor Barry Watson is 41. Rock musician Aaron Dessner (The National) is 39. Rock musician Bryce Dessner (The National) is 39. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 38. Actor Kal Penn is 38. MLB All-Star Andruw Jones is 38. Actress Jaime King is 36. Pop singer Taio Cruz is 32. Actor Aaron Hill is 32. Actor Jesse Lee Soffer is 31. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 30. Singer-songwriter John Fullbright is 27. Tennis player Nicole Vaidisova (vay-deh-SOH’-vuh) is 26. Actor Dev Patel (puh-TEHL’) is 25. Actor Matthew Underwood is 25. Actor Camryn Walling is 25.
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