Saturday, June 17, 2017

You Can Get It All From Classical Music

Some people like country music because of the different narratives of life it tells.  Some people like rock music for the sound and sometimes excitement it brings.  Some like pop music for a more light hearted mood. Some like blues music for the spiritual and depiction of harsh realities of some life experiences.  Some like the Louisiana Cajun or Zydeco music for the upbeat fun nature that will put a smile on your face. Some people, like me, really love Motown music for its beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies. 

One of the reasons I love classical music, because you can get many of these same different moods somewhere in the classical genre. That mood won't be spoken with words but rather with the music delivered by the symphonic orchestra. What is more, you can not only get a variety of moods - happiness, sadness, serious, light hearted, pensive, etc. but you can get those different moods with also many times a beautiful melodic sound.  


Here are just a few of the numerous examples of the different moods you can get from classical music.

1.  The first example for those who want serious, thoughtful music, with at the same time a beautiful bold sound, we turn to the early 20th century British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams and his "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

2.  Now for a fun light hearted piece we turn to the quintessential classical music composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his overture to the Marriage of Figaro.

W. A. Mozart:  Marriage of Figaro Overture


3.  Now if you like exciting, dramatic pieces we turn to the Romantic era German composer known mostly for his exciting dramatic operas, Richard Wagner.  One of the most exciting moments of Wagner's third opera , Die Walkure [Valkyrie], comes at the beginning of the third act, known as "The Ride of the Valkyries".

Richard Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walkure Act 3:

4.  For a more romantic, relaxing, somewhat somber mood, we turn the the Adagio movement of the great Beethoven's "Emperor" piano concerto.  This is also beautiful music.  This video has Maestro Paavo Jarvi conducting and Helene Grimaud as soloist. 

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5 in E-Flat Major, "The Emperor", movement #2, Adagio:

5.  For just some beautiful melodies there is no better composer to turn to than Felix Mendelssohn.  One of my favorites, which I have played many times on the Tales classical music weekends is Mendelssohn's beautiful Hebrides Overture [Fingal's Cave].

Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture:


6.  The final example is a piece of music that is called a program piece, written specifically to tell a story through music, not words. One of the best examples is Maurice Ravel's orchestration of the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's "Picture at an Exhibition" which depicts walking through an art museum and depicting the different exhibits in that museum.  The walking through the museum is delivered by the main mesmerizing "promenade" theme [that you will hear open this program piece and throughout].  This is one of my favorite pieces of music.  

Maurice Ravel orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition": 



6 comments:

Tacomaman said...

Thanks Big Mike for posting these classical music pieces. While I am not a regular listener of classical music, I appreciate it nonetheless. I enjoy rock, country, easy listening. Almost anything except nasty rap music.
Ok, I have a question for you. I have a young couple who are marrying next year. The young lady listens to classical music as a way to calm her down during Houston's stressful traffic.
So, some sort of gift of classical music for her would be perfect IMO.

I am listening to #4 of your selections. Would you suggest a CD or MP3 that I could offer as a gift?

Appreciate your help.

Chris Courtney(@goldhat_lou on Twitter)

Big Mike said...

Wow, thanks for your great comments Chris! I will send you some information in a little while.

Big Mike said...

Chris here are just a few examples....if you get any of these I am sure she would love them: Beethoven's 5 piano concertos: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003CSQ/ref=pd_luc_rh_sim_04_03_t_img_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is a wonderful CD not expensive that contains Mendelssohn symphonies and overtures: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003CSQ/ref=pd_luc_rh_sim_04_03_t_img_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also, Bach's keyboard concertos on this CD not expensive would be great: http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Concertos-Piano-Orchestra-Glenn/dp/B0000028ND/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1444524781&sr=1-1&keywords=Bach%27s+piano+concertos

one more example of the thousands I could name...some of Mozart piano sonatas she would love: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Piano-Sonatas-Rondo-Adagio/dp/B000001GNI/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1444524904&sr=1-2&keywords=mozart+piano+sonatas

I hope that helps big Chris!

Big Mike said...

Chris I gave you a wrong link for that Mendelssohn CD: I hope this is the right one: http://www.amazon.com/Mendelssohn-5-Symphonies-7-Overtures/dp/B00005ONMP/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1444525479&sr=1-1&keywords=mendelssohn+symphonies

Tacomaman said...

Thanks Michael! I will peruse those selections for a nice gift.

Big Mike said...

Here are two more good ones..she would love: Brahms 4 symphonies http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-4-Symphonies-Johannes/dp/B000001GS0

and Schubert symphonies: http://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Nikolaus-Harnoncourt-Concertgebouw-Orchestra/dp/B0012EF206/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1444526457&sr=1-2-fkmr2&keywords=Schubert+symphonies+789

and Dvorak's serenades for winds and strings she would really love;
http://www.amazon.com/Dvorak-Serenades-Strings-Philharmonia-Orchestra/dp/B0011B58YK/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1444526577&sr=1-2-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=dvorak+wind+and+string+serenades