July 10 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is Solfeggietto by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (aka C.P.E. Bach). The piece is commonly assigned to piano students and appears in many books because it fosters the playing of an even sixteenth note rhythm by alternating hands.

 

 

Bass guitar

Clarinet starting about a minute in:

On harp

Find it on IMSLP,  in several anthologies of music at the O’Connor Music Studio, in Piano Pronto: Encore

July 9 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s Listening Assignment is Country Gardens by Percy Grainger.

“Country Gardens” is an English folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp from the playing of William Kimber and arranged for piano in 1918 by Percy Grainger.

The tune and the Grainger arrangement for piano and orchestra is a favorite with school orchestras, and other performances of the work include morris dancing.

A piano version:

Piano duet (four-hands)

Clarinet solo

 

Orchestra

From the Muppets

And, how a Morris Dance is done:

Find Country Gardens on IMSLP, Piano Maestro (under the method book section) and Piano Pronto: Movement 2

July 7 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today, we’ll listen to the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, of Ludwig van Beethoven.  It was written between 1804–1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements.

I’m sure you’ve heard the first 8 notes before…

 

Since it was written for orchestra, each instrument has its own line:

A piano version, transcribed by Liszt

From Disney’s Fantasia 2000:

Pink learns to play the violin, and interrupts a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Pink Panther theme played on various instruments.

Beethoven’s Wig:

 

Arrangements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony can be found in Piano Maestro and lots of books including Piano Pronto’s Movement 2, Movement 5 (Victory Theme) and Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music.

July 6 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

toccata-d-minor

 

Johann Sebastian Bach’s towering monument of organ music, with its deep sense of foreboding, will forever be associated with Halloween.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or borrow a copy from the O’Connor Music Studio.  I have this arranged for organ, piano, duet, 2-piano, simplified…

It’s also available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Encore and Coda

If you want this in a book with other Bach transcriptions, amazon has this: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Other Bach Transcriptions for Solo Piano, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni.

Here, Virgil Fox performs it on his Allen Digital Touring Organ.

 

Diane Bish plays the Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Institution and talks about this instrument.

 

Animated organ:

And, the most fun…

July 2 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is Antonin Dvořák’s Humoresque #7.

Humoresques Op. 101 (B. 187), is a piano cycle by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, written during the summer of 1894. One writer says “the seventh Humoresque is probably the most famous small piano work ever written after Beethoven’s Für Elise.

Yo Yo Ma (cello) and Itzhak Perlman (violin

Orchestra:

 

Ragtime:

 

Jazz with Wynton Marsalis on trumpet

Zez Confrey gave this a makeover and included Way Down Upon the Swanee River:

 

Find the original Humoresque on IMSLP.. The O’Connor Music Studio Lending Library has versions of Humoresque available at several levels and Confey’s Humorestless played in the video above.

 

June 29 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Korobeiniki is a nineteenth-century Russian folk song that tells the story of a meeting between a peddler and a girl, describing their haggling over goods in a veiled metaphor for courtship.

Outside Russia, “Korobeiniki” is widely known as the Tetris theme.

 

Orchestral version:

 

For Boomwhackers:

Vocal:

 

Ragtime:

 

Balalaika:

 

The Red Army Choir:

Korobeiniki/Tetris is available in Piano Maestro on the iPad and I have the sheet music for anyone who is interested.

Enjoy!

June 27 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of ten pieces (plus a recurring, varied Promenade) composed for the piano by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.

The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has become further known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers, with Maurice Ravel’s arrangement being by far the most recorded and performed.

You can download the sheet music at IMSP or I have a copy of the book, as well as simplified sheet music.

 

 

The work opens with a brilliant touch – a “promenade” theme (above) that reemerges throughout as a transition amid the changing moods of the various pictures.

The ten pictures Mussorgsky depicts are:

  • a gnome-shaped nutcracker;
  • a troubadour plaintively singing outside an ancient castle;
  • children vigorously playing and quarreling in a park;
  • a lumbering wooden Polish ox-cart;
  • a ballet of peeping chicks as they hatch from their shells;
  • an argument between two Warsaw Jews, one haughty and vain, the other poor and garrulous;
  • shrill women and vendors in a crowded marketplace;
  • the eerie, echoing gloom of catacombs beneath Paris;
  • the hut of a grotesque bone-chomping witch of Russian folklore named Baba Yaga;
  • and a design for an entrance gate to Kiev.

 

The whole piece for piano.  See if you can tell which pictures are which.

 

Orchestrated, with the full score:

 

Just the Baba Yaga section:

The Emerson, Lake and Palmer version: