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.
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)
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.
Today, we’ll be listening to the end of the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. This piece, originally the overture to an opera, has been arranged for piano and is in several method books, including Piano Pronto Movements 1 and 2. It’s also in Bastien Book 4 and Piano Maestro.
The original story
Maybe your grandparents watched the original Lone Ranger
Or you saw the newer Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp
Here’s the entire William Tell Overture played by an orchestra
Franz Liszt made a really hard version for piano solo. See if you can follow along!
Piano Duet (1 piano, 4 hands)
Piano Duet arranged by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Piano Duo (2 pianos, 8 hands)
Piano Quartet (4 pianos, 16 hands)
For pipe organ
And then things get nuts with cartoons. Lots of cartoons used this music. Here are Mickey Mouse and friends
And Spike Jones
Poor Rossini – I think he’d have a fit if he knew how is music was being used.
What can I say about John Cage’s 4′33″? Pretty much anyone can play this anytime.
It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. (He uses a stopwatch to time this.) In other words, the entire piece consists of silence or rests.
On the one hand, as a musical piece, 4’33” leaves almost no room for the pianist’s interpretation: as long as he watches the stopwatch, he can’t play it too fast or too slow; he can’t hit the wrong keys; he can’t play it too loud, or too melodramatically, or too subduedly.
On the other hand, what you hear when you listen to 4’33” is more a matter of chance than with any other piece of music — nothing of what you hear is anything the composer wrote.
With orchestra and soloist
Next time you come to a lesson and haven’t practiced, just tell me you’re playing Cage’s 4’33”!
• 1915 ~ Mario del Monaco, Italian opera singer famed for Verdi and Puccini
• 1928 ~ Thea Musgrave, Scottish composer, best known for her concertos operas and choral and other vocal works.
• 1929 ~ Donald Howard Keats, Composer
• 1930 ~ Eino Tamberg, Composer
• 1931 ~ Veroslav Neumann, Composer
• 1932 ~ Jeffrey Bernard, Singer
• 1935 ~ Ramsey Lewis, American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader
• 1935 ~ Elias Gistelinck, Flemish Composer
• 1939 ~ Don Williams, Country singer
• 1940 ~ Rene Koering, Composer
• 1942 ~ Priscilla Anne McLean, Composer
• 1947 ~ Liana Alexandra, Composer
• 1950 ~ Frank Sinatra made his TV debut as he appeared on NBC’s “Star-Spangled Review” with show biz legend, Bob Hope.
• 1957 ~ Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion), Singer with Siouxsie and the Banshees
• 1957 ~ That’ll be the Day, by The Crickets and featuring Buddy Holly, was released by Brunswick Records. On September 14th, the tune became the most popular record in the U.S. It was the first hit for Holly and his group after two previous releases went nowhere on Decca Records in 1956.
• 1961 ~ Singer Johnny Cash turned TV actor. He appeared on the NBC drama, “The Deputy”.
• 1972 ~ “Applause” closed at the Palace Theater in New York City after 900 performances
• 1983 ~ Arnoldus Christian Vlok van Wyk, Composer, died at the age of 67
• 1988 ~ Melvin J “Cy” Oliver, American jazz composer and orchestra leader died at the age of 77
• 1994 ~ Red Rodney, Bebop-trumpeter died at the age of 66
• 1995 ~ C W Stubblefield, Music Promoter died at the age of 64
• 1995 ~ Ulysses Simpson Kay, Composer, died at the age of 78
• 1996 ~ Albert “Pud” Brown, Clarinetist and saxophonist died at the age of 79
• 1996 ~ Ivan Sutton, Concert Promoter died at the age of 82
• 2017 ~ Gregg Allman, the soulful singer-songwriter and rock n’ blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane, and composed such classics as “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa” and the epic concert jam “Whipping Post,” died at age 69
. 1684 ~ Nicolo Amati, member of a family of violin makers in Cremona, Italy, died.
. 1904 ~ Lily (Alice) Pons, Singer
. 1905 ~ The Hippodrome opened in New York City with the gala musical revue, A Yankee Circus on Mars.
. 1913 ~ Lionel Hampton, American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, drummer and bandleader; played with Benny Goodman and recorded with Louis Armstrong. He was responsible for introducing the vibraphone into jazz.
. 1914 ~ George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” opened in London with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor Higgins. This would later become the musical My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe.
. 1931 ~ Billy (Richard) Vaughn, Musician, orchestra leader, music director
. 1932 ~ Tiny Tim (aka Darry Dover, Larry Love) (Herbert Khaury), Ukulele playing, a falsetto singer, best known for Tiptoe Through the Tulips
. 1933 ~ Monserrat Caballé (1933) Spanish opera singer and a leading Verdi and Donizetti soprano
. 1938 ~ Fedor Chaliapin, foremost Russian operatic bass singer and one of opera’s greatest performers, died.
. 1939 ~ One of the classic theme songs of the Big Band era was recorded for Decca. Woody Herman’s orchestra recorded Woodchopper’s Ball.
. 1940 ~ Herbie Hancock, Oscar-winning American jazz/fusion musician, pianist and composer
. 1950 ~ David Cassidy, Singer
1954 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets recorded Rock Around the Clock for Decca Records. The song was recorded at the Pythian Temple, “a big, barnlike building with great echo,” in New York City. “Rock Around the Clock” was formally released a month later. It sold an estimated 25 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling single at the time behind Bing Crosby White Christmas
More information about Rock Around the Clock
. 1999 ~ BoxCar Willie, Country singing star, who blended a mellow voice with a rough-hewn hobo persona, died. He was 67.
. 1858 ~ Anton Diabelli, Austria publisher and composer, died at the age of 76. Diabelli was most familiar today as the composer of the waltz on which Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his set of thirty-three Diabelli Variations.
. 1899 ~ Robert Casadesus, French pianist and composer
. 1915 ~ Billie Holiday, American jazz singer, born as Eleanora Fagan. She sang with all the American big band leaders of her day while developing her own intimate style.
. 1919 ~ Ralph Flanagan, Bandleader
. 1920 ~ Ravi Shankar, Indian sitarist and composer
. 1925 ~ David Carr Glover, Piano Educator
. 1934 ~ Victor Feldman, British jazz pianist and drummer
. 1949 ~ Opening day of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “South Pacific”. It was a musical classic of love and war, and it unfolded on a lush tropical island swarming with Seabees, nurses, natives and coconut trees on this night in 1949. Actually, it was not a tropical island, but the stage of the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Ezio Pinza starred as the suave French plantation owner with a shady past and Mary Martin portrayed the bubbly, pretty, but naive Navy nurse. Mary Martin washed her hair a zillion times as she sang, I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair in 1,925 performances.
. 1950 Tony Awards went to the show and its producers, performers, director (Joshua Logan) and composers nine statuettes. It also earned a Pulitzer Prize in the same year and in 1958 was made into a movie.
More about Mary Martin
. 1951 ~ Janis Ian, Singer-songwriter
. 1954 ~ Gee, by The Crows, became the first rhythm and blues single to gain attention on pop music charts.
. 1970 ~ Leif Ove Andsnes, Norwegian pianist
. 1973 ~ Vicki Lawrence got her number one single as The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia made it to the top of the pop charts on this day.