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 we listen to the third movement Mozart’s Piano Sonata No.11 III (Turkish March) with just a bit of the first movement near the end.
The Turkish influence on western music came through the Turkish military band music (Mehter), which was at the time was the only military band in Europe. It was once popular among western composers like Mozart to write Turkish-style (alla Turca) works, Turkish music being known at that time as Turkish band music. That’s why the Turkish-influenced music works by Mozart, Beethoven or Strauss are in march rhythm as they are called march.
A rondo is a piece of music where the musical material stated at the beginning of the piece keeps returning. This opening music can be called either the theme or the refrain; they are the same thing. The form can be A, B, A or A, B, C, A – anything as long as the “A” theme returns
The Turkish March movement:
Find the Turkish march movement of this sonata in these Piano Pronto books: Encore, Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music,
The first movement can be found in Keyboard Kickoff, Movement 2
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), K. 525, is a 1787 composition for a chamber ensemble by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German title means “a little serenade”, though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as “a little night music.” The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass but is often performed by string orchestras and there are many arrangements for other instruments as we will see below.
Part of a full orchestral score:
Follow the score…
Easy piano sheet music might look like this:
The first movement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, with a graphical score.
One of my favorites, Barbershop-Style. Eine Kleine Not Musik by the Gas House Gang tells the story of The Magic Flute (from June 19) to the music of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
A piano transcription
For four recorders, all played by the same person
From the Muppets: The Great Gonzo performing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on bagpipe while sitting on a ten-foot pole!
When my son and I played Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart arranged for 2 pianos November 30, 2014 we were the last people to play in the old Steinway Hall. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good video camera 🙁
Find this arranged for piano in Piano Pronto: Movement 2, Movement 3, Encore, Coda and Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music.
Today’s listening assignment is Can-can from “Orpheus in the Underworld” by Jacques Offenbach. This piece is very often in early method books because of the descending C Major scale. Can you find it?
The can-can (or cancan as in the original French) is a high-energy, physically demanding dance that became a popular music hall dance in the 1840s, continuing in popularity in French cabaret to this day. Originally danced by both sexes, it is now traditionally associated with a chorus line of female dancers. The main features of the dance are the vigorous manipulation of skirts and petticoats, along with high kicks, splits, and cartwheels.
Many composers have written music for the cancan. Today’s selection is the most famous of these.
A ‘follow-along” video. This key has 6 flats, so the scale will be in what key?
The original, for full orchestra
A dog barking the can-can?
Find this in many student books including Piano Pronto: Movement 1
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.
Today, we start with Spring from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Many OCMS students have played this already in one of their Piano Pronto books. It’s also available in Piano Maestro.
If you have it in your piano book, today would be a great day to review it. (HINT – there might be a quick review at your next lesson!)
Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy, March 4, 1678 and spent most of his life there. His father taught him to play the violin, and the two would often perform together.
He taught at an orphanage for girls and wrote a lot of music for the girls to play. People came from miles around to hear Vivaldi’s talented students perform the beautiful music he had written.
Many people think Vivaldi was the best Italian composer of his time. He wrote concertos, operas, church music and many other compositions. In all, Antonio wrote over 500 concertos.
His most famous set of concertos is The Four Seasons which is a group of four violin concerti. Each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year. They were written about 1721 and were published in 1725 in Amsterdam.
Here’s a piano version similar to the one in Movement 1 but in a different key.
And the original with Itzhak Perlman playing and conducting!
Want to play a version of this but aren’t using these books? Just ask!