Song Number 70

Today’s song was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and is titled Alleluia. It is number 70 in the countdown of 100 classical songs, which means there are only 30 songs left.

This religious solo motet was composed when Mozart was staying in Milan during the production of his opera Lucio Silla which was being performed there in the Teatro Regio Ducale. It was written for the castrato (huh?) Venanzio Rauzzini,who had sung the part of the primo uomo Cecilio in Lucio Silla the previous year.

While waiting for the end of the run Mozart composed the motet for his singer, whose technical excellence he admired. Its first performance took place at the Theatine Church on January 17, 1773, while Rauzzini was still singing in Mozart’s opera at night. Mozart made some revisions around 1780. On May 30, 1779, a Trinity Sunday, a revised version was performed by Francesco Ceccarelli at the Holy Trinity Church in Salzburg. Another revised version was intended for Christmas. The manuscripts of the two Salzburg versions were discovered in 1978 in St. Jakob, Wasserburg am Inn.In modern times, the motet is usually sung by a female soprano.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exsultate,_jubilate

And here is a Bach Fugue with new instrumentation:

Today’s Presentation Has Been Pre-Recorded

Today’s song was written by Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) and is entitled Fur Elise. It is number 69 in the countdown of 100 classical songs.

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano, commonly known as Für Elise, is one of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most popular compositions. It was not published during his lifetime, only being discovered (by Ludwig Nohl) 40 years after his death, and may be termed either a Bagatelle or an Albumblatt. The identity of “Elise” is unknown; researchers have suggested Therese Malfatti, Elisabeth Röckel, or Elise Barensfeld. For more on that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BCr_Elise

Slow Piano and Bells

Today’s Winner is…

You! You are today’s winner.

And today’s song is number 67 in the countdown of classical music. It is from the opera entitled Hansel and Gretel by Englebert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who described it as a Märchenoper (fairy-tale opera). The libretto was written by Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the “Abendsegen” (“Evening Benediction”) from act 2.

The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on “Hansel and Gretel”. After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera.

Humperdinck composed Hansel and Gretel in Frankfurt in 1891 and 1892. The opera was first performed in the Hoftheater in Weimar on 23 December 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss (wow!). It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances and today it is still most often performed at Christmas time.

For more on that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansel_and_Gretel_%28opera%29

Piano
Bells

Song Numbers 63-66 are In The Books

(Just in time for the baseball playoffs.)

The sixty-third entry in the countdown of 100 classical songs was written by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and is entitled Golliwog’s Cake-Walk.

Piano

For everything you have ever wanted to know about a Golliwog, but were afraid to ask: https://blog.imagesmusicales.be/debussys-controversial-golliwog/

Number 64 was written by Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) and is called Prelude in E Minor. It is the fifth and final song by Chopin in the book of 100 classical songs. He has four Preludes and one Waltz in the list of 100. But he wrote so much more than that. And he never even reached the age of 40.

Piano
Bells

Number 65 was written by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and is called Ave Maria (this version is faster than the original. I made it that way because I know we are all on a tight schedule.)

Bells/Synth
Piano

And finally, Song Number 66 is an excerpt from Symphony No. 94 in G Major by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809):

Number 62

Today’s song was written by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), and is entitled Solvejg’s Song. It is from the opera Peer Gynt, Op. 23, and is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play of the same name. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania, which is now Oslo, Norway.

Did you know that Edvard Grieg was Norwegian? Well now you do.

Electric Guitar

For more on the composer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_Gynt_(Grieg)

For a list of all of the MLB players who have worn the number 62 (or any other number): https://aws.baseball-reference.com/friv/numbers.cgi?number=62

And Then There’s Claude

What is it about Claude DeBussy’s music? It sounds like something you would hear in a dream. Number 61 on our countdown of classics is Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, written by Claude DeBussy (1862-1918).

The opening note is the same as in The Girl With the Flaxen Hair https://johnsthewritestuff.com/2021/05/30/the-girl-with-the-flaxen-hair/

Piano
Bells
Synth

Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he objected to that term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at the age of ten to France’s leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris. He originally studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire’s conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, and was nearly 40 when he achieved international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande.

For more on the composer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Debussy

So That’s What Adagio Means

Every day I learn something new. (Did you notice how I made this all about me in the very first sentence?) According to Webster’s Dictionary, Adagio means “at a slow tempo —used chiefly as a direction in music.”
Today’s song is number 59 on the big countdown of 100 Classical Masterpieces, and is entitled Adagio in G Minor. It is credited to Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751), but it is thought to have been written by Remo Giazotto, a 20th century musicologist and composer, who was a cataloger of the works of Albinoni. My version is a bit faster than the original, so not very adagio at all, really.

Piano/Guitar

For more on the composer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomaso_Albinoni

And here is Number 60 – Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major by Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827).
It’s Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto.

Piano

Pleasant Thoughts

It is amazing how much I am learning while going through these 100 Classical Songs. I hope I have broadened your horizons also. The word Reverie means “a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream.” What a perfect title for today’s song.

Number 58 on the big countdown is Reverie by Claude Debussy (1862-1918).

Bells
Piano
Synth/Guitar

For more on the composer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Debussy

Number 57

Hello All, I hope you’re well. Really.
Here are some thoughts and observations I would like to share with you:

  • Food that is gelatinous tends to fatten us.
  • Official name of frontline medical workers: “Flu Fighters.”
  • Just because something is out of focus doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
  • Never wear earbuds to a Headbanger’s Ball.

    Which brings me to today’s song. Number 57 on the countdown of 100 Classical songs, is Minuet in G Major, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
Guitar and Bells
Guitar and Synth
Piano

More Brahms

Johannes Brahms has five songs in the Big Book of Classical Music. I have posted four already, here is number five – Waltz in A Flat Major.
It is number 56 in the countdown of 100 Classical Songs. And don’t forget to share this with your friends!

Bells
Piano
Guitar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Waltzes,Op._39(Brahms)

And here is a song called The Moldau, by Bedric Smetana (1824-1884):

Songs 53 – 55

Here are some more classical songs
They’re not too short and not too long
It’s another gift to the world from me
The first one is Number 53

It was written by Johannes Brahms
Who always carried a Book of Psalms
He was born way back in 1830
He was very clean and rarely dirty

So now, without further delay
I give you the songs I made today
You could play them at your next rager
The first one’s a Symphony, and it’s in F Major

Symphony No. 3 by Johannes Brahms:

Bells
Piano
Guitar
Piano

I can’t help but notice the similarities to this song from West Side Story: https://youtu.be/GrFkgyOOY30

Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, by Johannes Brahms (1830-1897):

Bells
Synth
Guitar

Brahms Lullaby, otherwise known as the “Go to Sleep Baby” song:

Bells
More Bells
Bells and Harps
Piano

My songbook says that Brahms was born in 1830, Wikipedia says 1833. You decide who is right! And does it really matter?

Song #52

We are on the downhill side of our countdown. Song number 52 in the countdown is an excerpt from the Fourth Movement of Symphony No. I in C Minor, written by Johannes Brahms (1830-1897).

For more on the composer:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Johannes-Brahms

My music program has a new feature: It can change the rhythm of the music. Some examples follow:

Original Version
Arpeggio Version
Low-Fat Version
Spicy Version

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