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.
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.
Today’s assignment is Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor. It is the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies by composer Franz Liszt, and is by far the most famous of the set.
In both the original piano solo form and in the orchestrated version this composition has enjoyed widespread use in animated cartoons. Its themes have also served as the basis of several popular songs.
Above, Danish comedian and pianist Victor Borge gives every impression of having been asked to play a duet with someone whom he not only doesn’t know but doesn’t particularly like. Forced to come up with a mutually agreeable way of sharing the musical workload, he settles on the most difficult route possible.
It’s not clear why two pianists were needed for this performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, S.244/2. I think that they did it just for the fun of it. The result is hilarious.
They’re not the only ones to tackle Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 as a piano duo.
We also have these guys:
The “history” of this piece in several cartoons:
This is very interesting:
As he often did, Horowitz arranged it more for his liking:
Since we had the Bridal Chorus a couple days ago, it’s time to march the bride and groom back up the aisle with the Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn.
This Wedding March comes from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It became customary to play this at marriage ceremonies from about the mid 19th Century, and particularly after the daughter (also called Victoria) of Queen Victoria chose the piece for her own wedding in 1858.
Notice all the triplets (3)! If you don’t know what they are, be sure to ask at your next lesson.
Find this in Movement 2 and Piano Maestro.
Franz Liszt and Vladimir Horowitz added some variations
National Donald Duck Day is observed annually on June 9th. This day commemorates the birthday of the funny animal cartoon character, Donald Duck. Donald made his first screen debut on June 9, 1934, in The Wise Little Hen.
• 1991 ~ Claudio Arrau, Chilian/American pianist and composer, died at the age of 88
• 1991 ~ Bruce Springsteen wed his backup singer Patty Scialfa
• 1991 ~ Max van Praag, Dutch singer, died at the age of 77
• 1992 ~ Clarence Miller, Blues/jazz vocalist, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack
• 1993 ~ Arthur Alexander, Singer/songwriter, died at the age of 53
• 1995 ~ Frank Chacksfield, Conductor/arranger, died at the age of 81
• 2000 ~ Jazz bassist Burgher “Buddy” Jones, who played in big bands behind Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra and toured with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, died at the age of 76.
A native of Hope, Ark., Jones was a childhood friend of the late Virginia Kelley, mother of President Clinton. At 17, Jones went to the University of Kansas City, where he met and befriended saxophonist Charlie Parker. Jones later introduced Parker to his wife, Chan. Jones played in the Elliot Lawrence band, when its arrangers included Al Cohn, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Mandel. As a staff musician for CBS in New York in the 1950s and 1960s,
Jones played for the Jack Sterling radio show and in bands behind Lee and Sinatra. In 1996, Jones was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.
• 2020 ~ Bonnie Pointer, who rose to fame as a member of the Pointer Sisters, died at age 69.
Happy Birthday is a song that I like to have each of my students learn at various levels appropriate to their level. When a friend or family member has a birthday, it’s great to be able to sit down and play.
It’s only been fairly recently that piano students could have this music in their books.
“Happy Birthday to You”, more commonly known as simply “Happy Birthday”, is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person’s birth. According to the 1998 Guinness World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.
The melody, or part you sing, of “Happy Birthday to You” comes from the song “Good Morning to All”, which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed.
Patty Hill was a kindergarten principal and her sister Mildred was a pianist and composer. The sisters used “Good Morning to All” as a song that young children would find easy to sing. The combination of melody and lyrics in “Happy Birthday to You” first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier.
“Happy Birthday” in the style of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Dvorak, and Stravinsky. Find the melody!
Lots of legal stuff below which you can skip…
None of the early appearances of the “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics included credits or copyright notices. The Summy Company registered a copyright in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R. R. Forman. In 1988, Warner/Chappell Music purchased the company owning the copyright for US$25 million, with the value of “Happy Birthday” estimated at US$5 million. Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claimed that the United States copyright will not expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are illegal unless royalties are paid to Warner. In one specific instance in February 2010, these royalties were said to amount to US$700. By one estimate, the song is the highest-earning single song in history, with estimated earnings since its creation of US$50 million.In the European Union, the copyright for the song expired on January 1, 2017.
The American copyright status of “Happy Birthday to You” began to draw more attention with the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Act in Eldred v. Ashcroft in 2003, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer specifically mentioned “Happy Birthday to You” in his dissenting opinion. American law professor Robert Brauneis, who extensively researched the song, concluded in 2010 that “It is almost certainly no longer under copyright.”
In 2013, based in large part on Brauneis’s research, Good Morning to You Productions, a company producing a documentary about “Good Morning to All”, sued Warner/Chappell for falsely claiming copyright to the song. In September 2015, a federal judge declared that the Warner/Chappell copyright claim was invalid, ruling that the copyright registration applied only to a specific piano arrangement of the song, and not to its lyrics and melody.
In 2016, Warner/Chappell settled for US $14 million, and the court declared that “Happy Birthday to You” was in the public domain.
Legal stuff is finished and people can now sing and play “Happy Birthday to You” whenever and wherever they want.
One of my all-time versions of Happy Birthday, in duet form – and I have the music if you want to tackle it.
. 1687 ~ Jean-Baptiste Lully, French composer, died. He was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French baroque style.
. 1840 ~ Clara Wieck wrote a letter dated today to Robert Schumann. Part of it said: “When I heard Liszt for the first time…I was overwhelmed and sobbed aloud, it so shook me.”
. 1842 ~ Carl August Nicolas Rosa, German violinist and composer. In 1873 he founded the Carl Rosa Opera Company.
. 1865 ~ Theophile Ysaye, Belgian composer and pianist
. 1911 ~ Herman Jadlowker became the first opera singer to perform two major roles in the same day at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
. 1920 ~ Fanny Waterman, DBE is a piano teacher and the founder, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. She is also president of the Harrogate International Music Festival.
. 1925 ~ The first Japanese radio station, Tokyo Shibaura, began broadcasting.
. 1930 ~ Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist of musicals
More information about Sondheim
. 1936 ~ Glen Campbell, Singer and studio guitarist
. 1937 ~ Johnny Ferguson, Singer
. 1943 ~ Keith Relf, Recording artist of The Yardbirds
. 1943 ~ George Benson, American jazz and pop guitarist and singer
. 1944 ~ Jeremy Clyde, Singer with Chad & Jeremy
. 1947 ~ Harry Vanda, Guitarist with The Easybeats
. 1948 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer
More information about Lloyd Webber
. 1948 ~ Randy Hobbs, Bass with The McCoys
. 1948 ~ The Voice of Firestone was the first commercial radio program to be carried simultaneously on both AM and FM radio stations.
. 1956 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, Mr. Wonderful, in New York City. The critics were unkind, saying that they didn’t care for the production. Audiences, however, gave it ‘thumbs up’ and the show went on to be one of Broadway’s more popular musicals — catapulting Davis into the limelight. His father had already launched him into the vaudeville spotlight when Sammy was just three years old. By the time he was Mr. Wonderful, Sammy Davis, Jr. had played vaudeville and the nightclub circuit singing and dancing his way to the top over a twenty-eight-year period. He entertained us for sixty-two years!
. 1956 ~ Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The ‘Incomparable Mr. C.’ booked Carl Perkins for the show and Perkins sang Blue Suede Shoes. 1962 ~ The play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, opened on Broadway. It featured a 19-year-old named Barbra Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein. Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbra for 300 performances.
. 1980 ~ The first CD (compact disc) was put on sale by RCA. The first major artist to have his entire catalog converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four greatest hits albums.
. 1980 ~ Pink Floyd started a 4-week run in the #1 slot on the pop charts with their smash, Another Brick in the Wall. When the boys popped open their gold record and threw it on the stereo, they heard Flowers on the Wall by the Statler Brothers.
. 2015 ~ Norman O. Scribner, founder and artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, one of the region’s preeminent symphonic choirs, died
. 1714 ~ Carl Phillip Emanuel (C.P.E.) Bach, German composer
More information on C. P. E. Bach
. 1857 ~ Ruggero Leoncavallo, Italian composer
More information about Leoncavallo
. 1866 ~ “It is possible to be as much of a musician as Saint-Saëns; it is impossible to be more of one!” ~ Franz Liszt on meeting fellow composer Camille Saint-Saëns in Paris.
. 1869 ~ Hector Berlioz, French composer (Symphony Fantastic), died at the age of 65
. 1889 ~ John Thompson, Piano educator
. 1911 ~ Alan Hovhaness, American composer
More information about Hovhaness
. 1922 ~ Cyd Charisse, Dancer
. 1927 ~ Dick Hyman, Pianist and music director for Arthur Godfrey
. 1961 ~ Conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham died at the age of 81.
. 1962 ~ The Beatles performed for the first time on the BBC in Great Britain. John, Paul, George and … Pete Best sang Dream Baby on the show, “Teenager’s Turn” on ‘Auntie Beeb’ (as the BBC was known).
. 1993 ~ Billy Eckstine, jazz singer (Fools Rush In), died at the age of 78 of stroke
. 1983 ~ William T Walton, English composer (Belhazzar’s feast), died at the age of 80
. 2001 ~ Ballet Legend Dame Ninette De Valois died at the age of 102. She was the founder of Britain’s Royal Ballet who launched dancer Margot Fonteyn on the road to stardom. De Valois, a strict and demanding disciplinarian with her pupils, was a gifted and theatrical choreographer who almost single-handedly put British ballet on the international stage. The doyenne of dance helped to nurture the talents of unknowns like Fonteyn and courted controversy in the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War when she invited Russian dancer Rudolph Nureyev to appear with her company. De Valois always gave credit to Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev for teaching her all she knew. “Everything,” she once said of the Ballet Russe legend. “Diaghilev just managed the whole company. He knew all about the different teachers. He knew the types of teachers he wanted, he knew the type of ballet he wanted. He was a musician.” Born Edris Stannus in 1898 in the Irish county of Wicklow, she graduated from Irish jig to the ballet, worked with the writer W.B. Yeats at Dublin’s Abbey Theater and then, almost single-handedly, brought ballet to the fore in Britain. The famed diva, who adopted her professional name from an ancestor who had married into a French family, was first inspired at the age of 11 when she watched Anna Pavlova dancing The Dying Swan. In 1923, she joined Diaghilev’s troupe in Monte Carlo and began to lay the foundations of her own ballet empire. She gave up dancing herself after discovering that she had been suffering for years from polio. “It was no tragedy. I wasn’t that great,” she once said. In 1926, she opened her own ballet school in London. From the tiniest beginnings, she built up the Sadlers Wells Ballet in less than a decade. At the end of World War II, the company moved triumphantly into the Royal Opera House. A ballet dynasty was born. De Valois retired in 1963 but remained intimately involved in the ballet school, forever the sharp-tongued martinet who could strike terror in tomorrow’s ballet hopefuls.
. 2001 ~ Maude Rutherford, a singer and dancer in the glory days of black theater during the 1920s, died. She was believed to have been 104. Rutherford was billed as the Slim Princess when she worked with entertainers such as Fats Waller, Josephine Baker and Pearl Bailey. She was a featured performer and favorite at Harlem’s Cotton Club. Rutherford’s theater credits include: “Dixie to Broadway,” (1924), “Chocolate Sandals,” (1927), and “Keep Shufflin”‘ (1928). She retired from show business in 1950 and worked as a switchboard operator at an Atlantic City hotel.
. 2003 ~ Adam Faith, a square-jawed British singer who was briefly a Cockney challenger to Elvis Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll crown, died of a heart attack. He was 62. Born Terry Nelhams in west London in 1940, Faith was a handsome teenager who was playing with a skiffle music group – a mixture of jug band, acoustic, folk, blues and country and western styles – when he was spotted by producers of a British Broadcasting Corp. music program. Adopting the stage name Adam Faith, he became – alongside Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele and Billy Fury – a pop star of the pre-Beatles era. Developing a hiccuping delivery reminiscent of Buddy Holly, Faith had more than 20 British hits, including the chart-topping What Do You Want? and Poor Me. Faith also was a versatile actor, appearing in films like Beat Girl,Mix Me A Person and 1975’s Stardust opposite David Essex. In the 1970s he played a Cockney ex-con in the TV series Budgie.
. 2015 ~ Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat and Tears), died at the age of 71
. 1809 ~ Johann Georg Albrechtsberger passed away. He was was an Austrian musician.
. 1824 ~ “I am convinced that the soul and spirit of Mozart have passed into the body of young Liszt” ~ Review of a concert given on this day by Franz List in Paris.
. 1875 ~ Maurice Ravel, French composer
More information on Ravel
. 1907 ~ Victor Alphonse Duvernoy, French piano virtuoso, composer and professor of piano at the Conservatoire de Paris, died at the age of 64
. 1917 ~ In the United States, RCA released the first jazz record ever: The Dixie Jazz Band One Step by Nick LaRocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
. 1917 ~ Robert Erickson, American composer
. 1939 ~ Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians recorded one of the most popular songs of the century. The standard, “Auld Lang Syne”, was recorded for Decca Records.
. 1955 ~ “Peter Pan”, with Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook, was presented as a television special for the first time.
. 1969 ~ The Apollo astronauts began this day of their space voyage by singing Happy Birthday.
. 1985 ~ The song We Are the World, from the album of the same name, was played on the radio for the first time. Forty-five of pop music’s top stars gathered together to combine their talents to record the music of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. Richie and Jackson sang, too, while Quincy Jones did the producing of the USA for Africa record. The proceeds of the multimillion-selling recording went to aid African famine victims. The project, coordinated by Ken Kragen, was deemed a huge success.
. 2001 ~ Frankie Carle, a big-band leader best known for Sunrise Serenade, at the age of 97. Carle, who died in Mesa, Ariz., reached the high point of his popularity during World War II, when he was the focus of a bidding war among bands. His repertory was wide, ranging from classics like a revival of Stephen Foster’sSwanee River, to a World War II release that anticipated the Allied victory called I’m Going to See My Baby. Although Carle’s music did not rank high on record industry charts after the 1940s, he still toured and played concerts into the 1980s, some 70 years after he began his musical career.
. 2015 ~ Steve Zegree died. He was a legendary jazz educator and former Western Michigan University Gold Company director.
1791 ~ Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works.
His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
More information on Czerny
Czerny is in the center top of this image. He influenced many!
At the age of fifteen, Czerny began a very successful teaching career. Basing his method on the teaching of Beethoven and Muzio Clementi, Czerny taught up to twelve lessons a day in the homes of Viennese nobility.
His ‘star’ pupils included Theodor Döhler, Stephen Heller, Sigismond Thalberg, Leopoldine Blahetka and Ninette de Belleville.In 1819, the father of Franz Liszt brought his son to Czerny.
Liszt became Czerny’s most famous pupil. He trained the child with the works of Beethoven, Clementi, Ignaz Moscheles and Johann Sebastian Bach. The Liszt family lived in the same street in Vienna as Czerny, who was so impressed by the boy that he taught him free of charge. Liszt was later to repay this confidence by introducing the music of Czerny at many of his Paris recitals.
Shortly before Liszt’s Vienna concert of 13 April 1823 (his final concert of that season), Czerny arranged, with some difficulty (as Beethoven increasingly disliked child prodigies) the introduction of Liszt to Beethoven. Beethoven was sufficiently impressed with the young Liszt to give him a kiss on the forehead. Liszt remained close to Czerny, and in 1852 his Études d’exécution transcendente (Transcendental Études) were published with a dedication to Czerny.