Friday, January 23, 2009

Classical Masterpieces of All Times- Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II in his younger years

The Waltz King coming to life in Stadtpark, Vienna

The Blue Danube - Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II (October 25, 1825 - June 3, 1899) was an Austrian composer famous for having written over 500 waltzes, polkas, marches and galops. He was the son of the composer Johann Strauss I, and brother of composers Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. He is also the most famous member of the Strauss family. He was known in his lifetime as "The Waltz King," and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century. He revolutionized the waltz, elevating it from a lowly peasant dance to entertainment fit for the royal Habsburg court. His works enjoyed greater fame than his predecessors, such as Johann Strauss I and Josef Lanner.

Strauss studied counterpoint and harmony with theorist Professor Joachim Hoffman, who owned a private muic school. His talents were also recognized by composer Josef Drechsler who taught him exercises in harmony. Strauss Jr, would eventually surpass his father's fame and become one of the most popular of waltz composers of the era, extensively touring Austria, Poland and Germany with his orchestra. Strauss was diagnosed with pneumonia in the spring of 1899 and died on June 3, 1899 at the age of 73.

Sourced at WIKIPIDIA and Youtube

Tags: Classical Masterpieces, Johann Strauss II, Waltz, Polka, Marches, Galops, Austria, Vienna, Blue Danube, Poland, Germany, Johann Strauss I, Joachim Hoffman, Josef Drechsler, Waltz King, Classical Music, Royalty, Wikipedia, Youtube

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla
Classical Music/Waltz/Classical Masterpieces

Friday, January 16, 2009

Classical Masterpieces of All Times- Debussy

Claude Debussy- Photo by Felix Nadar

Debussy at the Piano, in front of the composer- Ernest Chausson, 1883

Debussy at the Villa Medici in Rome, 1885 at center in white jacket

Claire de Lune - Claude Debussy (Stokowsky)

Claude Debussy

Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862- March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely dislike the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy is not only among the most important of all French composers, he was also a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late- Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.

Claude debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1862, the eldest of five children. His father owned a china shop and his mother was a seamstress. Debussy began piano lessons when he was four years old with an elderly Italian named Cerutti. From the start, though clearly talented, Debussy was also argumentative and experimental and he challenged the rigid teaching of the Academy, favoring instead dissonances and intervals which were frowned upon at that time. Debussy died in Paris on March 25, 1918 from colorectal cancer.

Sourced at: Wikipedia and Youtube

Tags: Classical Masterpieces, Claude Debussy, Claire de Lune, Villa Medici, France, Rome, Italy, Maurice Ravel, Ernest Chausson, Richard Wagner, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Impressionist Music, Europe, European Music, Romantic Music, Modernist Music, Symbolism, Cerutti, Academy, Dissonances, Intervals, Paris, Colorectal Cancer

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla
Arts/Classical Music

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Classical Masterpieces of All Times - Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt (1811- 1886)

Statue of Franz Liszt

Garden at the Villa d'Este
Image made by Istvan Orosz

Franz Liszt - Libestraume No. 3 (Dreams of Love) in A Flat Major - Van Cliburn

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811- July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. Liszt became renowned throughout Europe for his great skill as a performer. During the 1800s, many considered him to be the greatest pianist in history. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz. He left behind a huge and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward looking contemporaries and anticipated 20th century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of the thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.

After 1842, "Lisztomania" swept across Europe. The reception Liszt enjoyed as a result can only be described as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. He died in Bayreuth on July 31, 1886, officially as a result of pneumonia.

Sourced from: Wikipedia and Youtube

Tags: Classical Masterpieces, Franz Liszt, Classical Master, Composer, Pianist, Virtuoso, Dream of Love, Lisztomania, Europe, Hungary, Austria, Piano, Concert, Hungarian Rhapsody, Meditation, Classical Music

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

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