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.

June 2 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

This is the month for graduations of all sorts, college, high school, even preschool.  Perhaps you know someone who is graduating this year.  Maybe it’s you!

This piece by Sir Edward Elgar is called Pomp and Circumstance and usually heard at graduations.  It was featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

Edward Elgar’s father was a musician who tuned pianos, owned a music shop and was employed as a church organist. The young Edward learned to play the organ and violin at a young age and composed his first short piece at the age of 10. His first job was as assistant organist to his father. His main love was composition, although his music was not successful until his Enigma Variations were published in 1899. This work made him famous.

Until Elgar, there had not been a major creative composer in England since Handel’s death in 1759. He became known as England’s greatest composer and was widely recognized in his day. Unfortunately, Elgar’s fame waned at the end of his life – he composed little music during his last fifteen years and withdrew from almost all musical contact. It was not until the 1960’s that his music again became popular.

More information about Elgar

Do you know your chords well?  If so, try this version:

If not, ask at your next lesson for a version at your level.

 

Halloween Music: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

bald-mountain

Night on Bald Mountain refers to a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain on the theme of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or buy it on amazon.com.

From Disney’s Fantasia

 

Piano version transcribed for solo piano by Konstantin Chernov (1865-1937).

 

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Thomas Ludwig

Daily Listening Assignment ~ June 2

 

This is the month for graduations of all sorts, college, high school, even preschool.  Perhaps you know someone who is graduating this year.  Maybe it’s you!

This piece by Sir Edward Elgar is called Pomp and Circumstance and usually heard at graduations.  It was featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

Edward Elgar’s father was a musician who tuned pianos, owned a music shop and was employed as a church organist. The young Edward learned to play the organ and violin at a young age and composed his first short piece at the age of 10. His first job was as assistant organist to his father. His main love was composition, although his music was not successful until his Enigma Variations were published in 1899. This work made him famous.

Until Elgar, there had not been a major creative composer in England since Handel’s death in 1759. He became known as England’s greatest composer and was widely recognized in his day. Unfortunately, Elgar’s fame waned at the end of his life – he composed little music during his last fifteen years and withdrew from almost all musical contact. It was not until the 1960’s that his music again became popular.

More information about Elgar

Do you know your chords well?  If so, try this version:

If not, ask at your next lesson for a version at your level.

 

Getting Ready for Halloween: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

bald-mountain

Night on Bald Mountain refers to a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain on the theme of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or buy it on amazon.com.

From Disney’s Fantasia

 

Piano version transcribed for solo piano by Konstantin Chernov (1865-1937).

 

The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Thomas Ludwig

Play Piano While Floating on a River Raft in Chichén Itzá?

Of course, The Piano Guys have done this.

They say:

The quest to serenade the Seven Wonders continues…

A few years back we set what seemed at the time an impossible goal: to film music videos on all Seven Wonders of the World. Now we are nearly half-way there. We started by scaling the Great Wall of China, performing in feng shui fashion “Kung Fu Panda” in harmony with Chopin:

Next we paid homage to the Christ Redeemer Statue in Rio, Brazil, dedicating “Gabriel’s Oboe” (from “The Mission” soundtrack) coupled with the beloved hymn “How Great Thou Art:”

And now we present the third Wonder, Chichén Itzá.

Thus far our tradition has been to mix timeless classical music with contemporary film scores. We also love infusing local and historical culture in our arrangements. For this Wonder we wanted to stay true to this tradition while simultaneously nailing “jungle harmony,” as a famous cartoon bear once coined in…Disney’s Jungle Book! But in this decision we were confronted with an entangling challenge — to effectively blend the cacophony of Disney Jazz, classical music, Mayan heritage, all while making it epic enough to be filmed in front of a massively-historic, world-renowned stone temple!

First, it was vital that we carefully, thoughtfully pay proper respect to the “wonder” of “El Castillo,” its surrounding artifacts, and the Mayan spirit that pervades Chichén Itzá. The Mayans were an incredible people — adept astronomers, unprecedented builders, and incomparable artisans. Their ability to use architecture in an acoustic way especially impresses us. For instance, you can stand upon a step at one end of the plaza and be heard clearly on a step at the opposite end. The Mayans also used instrumental music in…read more here: http://thepianoguys.com/portfolio/jun…

Filming it in just the right vein was just as challenging. We wish to sincerely express our deepest gratitude to the National Archeology and History Institute (http://www.inah.gob.mx) and Cultur Yucatan (http://www.culturyucatan.com) for allowing us the profound privilege of filming at Chichén Itzá. Were it not for them and their warm hospitality this video shoot would not have been possible.

When visiting Chichén Itzá, we recommend staying here: http://mayaland.com

We also wish to thank our second filming location, Xcaret (where we filmed the jungle river and stage scenes). Xcaret is a fun-filled family friendly park built right in the middle of the jungle that immerses you in cultural food, entertainment, and adventure. Check it out here:
Mexico’s Majestic Paradise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m80Q…
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enxcaretpark
Website: http://www.xcaret.com
https://twitter.com/xcaretpark

Steve is playing the most recent addition to his cello family, “Maya,” hand painted in Mayan hieroglyphic style by Juleez (Julie Borden) just for this video. Her uniquely creative masterpieces are only matched by her equally vibrant spirit and enthusiasm for musically influenced art. See more of her instrument artwork here: http://www.juleez.com. Thank you, Julie!