Category: Classical Music

List of important listening pieces from early ages on up

Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets”

Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets”

The “Haydn” Quartets by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are a set of six string quartets published in 1785 in Vienna, dedicated to the composer Joseph Haydn. Haydn was already a famous composer when Mozart was still a child.   “Papa Haydn” was known as the father of the string quartet, and was revered by the musical elite […]

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing — Listening with the breath is a way to enhance “musical breathing”. Paying close attention to the way we breathe with music can enhance our performances, our compositions, and our ability to be an even more appreciative audience. Breathing in speech and in music: When we speak, we […]

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A Fusion of Serialism and Bach

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A Fusion of Serialism and Bach

One of my favorite pieces of 20th century music is Alban Berg’s hauntingly beautiful Violin Concerto.  The Violin Concerto is in 4 sections, with no break between them.  We’re only going to look at the last section, where an unusual Bach chorale speaks to us in a 20th century voice.  Berg combines serialism from modern […]

Glenn Gould and the Power of Playing Slowly

Glenn Gould and the Power of Playing Slowly

INSPIRING PERFORMANCE: Starting each new day by listening to Bach is a great way to become inspired for your teaching, studying, or technical music work. In this 1981 performance of the Aria from Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, Glenn Gould shares with us the power of playing slowly, and bringing out each voice.  In this recording, every […]

Valentine’s Day Concert 2016

Valentine’s Day Concert 2016

VALENTINE’S DAY CONCERT 2016: There are thousands of “love songs” I could have listened to today in my daily Listening Time.  After all, it’s the weekend of Valentine’s Day, and there is Rachmaninoff and Schubert and Liszt and Wagner and Puccini and Mahler  and Grieg and Elgar and …  the list goes on and on!   […]

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz After you’ve read all about Peter and the Wolf, watched the videos and listened to each instrument, see if you can answer the following questions: The first six questions relate to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipeaHWvtQZo   There are seven characters played in this video.  For each of the seven examples […]

Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979

Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979

Mysterious and other-worldly, George Crumb’s A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979 is one of those wonderful contemporary works that appeals to student composers, performers and audiences alike. Composed in early 1980 for pianist Lambert Orkis, the Little Suite was inspired by early 14th-century Nativity frescoes painted by Giotto in the Arena (also Scrovegni) Chapel […]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic Mix together a captivating 18th century German lyric poem and a hefty helping of enchanting music written by a French composer at the end of the 19th century.  Add a delightful 20th century Walt Disney character from America and sprinkle with wide-eyed young children from all over […]

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra In 1946 the British composer Benjamin Britten was commissioned to write a piece for an educational documentary film entitled The Instruments of the Orchestra.   The piece he wrote for this film has become one of the most popular and well-loved pieces in the classical music repertoire. The Young Person’s […]

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