Just the other day I was watching a show, and there was a familiar song playing in the background. I knew what song it was, because I had recently posted it. The song was “Waltz In A-Flat Major” by Chopin. (The show was called “Hanna” on Amazon Prime. The song was playing in the restaurant scene.)
But today’s song isn’t that one. Today’s song is an excerpt from Gypsy Rondo, and it was written by FranzJoseph Haydn (1732-1809). It is song number 78 in the countdown of 100 Classical Masterpieces.
Joseph Haydn, in full Franz Joseph Haydn, (born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria—died May 31, 1809, Vienna), was an Austrian composer who was one of the most important figures in the development of the Classical style in music during the 18th century. He helped establish the forms and styles for the string quartet and the symphony. I haven’t come across any other composers who were born on the 31st of the month, and passed away on the 31st of another month.
Haydn was the second son of humble parents. His father was a wheelwright, his mother, before her marriage, a cook for the lords of the village. Haydn early revealed unusual musical gifts, and a cousin who was a school principal and choirmaster in the nearby city of Hainburg offered to take him into his home and train him. Haydn, not yet six years old, left home, never to return to the parental cottage except for rare brief visits.
Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Turkish March” is number 77 on the countdown of 100 Classical Songs. It is the eighth and final song by Ludwig Van Beethoven in the list. Can you believe we are 77 percent done with the list? I can’t believe it either.
And just for fun, I changed the entire song into the key of C Major (all white keys) and went through every mode. I wonder what Ludwig would think?
The Turkish March (Marcia alla turca) is a well-known classical march theme by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was written in the Turkish style popular in music of the time. The theme was written by Beethoven for the Six variations, Op. 76, of 1809. And later in 1811 Beethoven wrote incidental music to a play by August von Kotzebue called The Ruins of Athens (Op. 113), which premiered in Budapest, Hungary in 1812 which included the Turkish March.
The march is in B-flat major, tempo vivace and 2/4 time. Its dynamic scheme is highly suggestive of a procession passing by, starting out pianissimo, poco a poco rising to a fortissimo climax and then receding back to pianissimo by the coda. Unlike much of Beethoven’s other orchestral music, the woodwinds are the dominant voice rather than the strings.
I took Beethoven’s Third Symphony in E-Flat Major, deleted all of the flats and sharps, then moved the entire piece of music down a step at a time. The result was interesting. Some of the versions sound minor, because they are.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major comes in at number 76 in the countdown of 100 classical songs. The section I transcribed here was 157 bars long. Like many of his songs it is written in the key of E-Flat Major. His favorite minor key was C-Minor, which is the relative minor of E-Flat.
The Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major is a symphony in four movements by Ludwig van Beethoven.
One of the composer’s most celebrated works, the Eroica symphony is a large-scale composition that marked the beginning of Beethoven’s innovative middle period.
Composed mainly in 1803–1804, the work broke boundaries in symphonic form, length, harmony, emotional and cultural content. It is widely considered a landmark in the transition between the Classical and the Romantic era. It is also often considered to be the first Romantic symphony.