Two Songs in One Day

Song Number 29 from the “Big Book of Classical Music” is by Franz Shubert (1797-1828) and is entitled Standchen, or Serenade.

Here is a link for answers to everything you have wanted to know about Franz Schubert, but were afraid to ask:

Stare at the Lake and think Happy Thoughts

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Sometimes it’s good to do a non-classical song. But these songs are still classics.

Looks Like a Harvest Moon Tonight…

Everybody, sing along!

When you were young, and on your own
How did it feel to be alone?
I was always thinking of games that I was playing.
Trying to make the best of my time

But only love can break your heart
Try to be sure right from the start
Yes only love can break your heart
What if your world should fall apart?

I have a friend I’ve never seen
He hides his head inside a dream
Someone should call him and see if he can come out.
Try to lose the down that he’s found.

But only love can break your heart
Try to be sure right from the start
Yes only love can break your heart
What if your world should fall apart?

I have a friend I’ve never seen
He hides his head inside a dream
Yes, only love can break your heart
Yes, only love can break your heart

Song Numbers 27 and 28 are In The Books

Here is song number 27 from The Big Book of Classical Music: “I Know My Redeamer Livith” by George Frederic Handel. It was written about the same time as the last song I posted, 1741.

Number 28 is a selection from Water Music by the same composer:

Hallelujah, It is Finished

From the opera “Messiah” here is “Hallelujah” written by George Frideric Handel 280 years ago, in 1741. Ludwig Von Beethoven was still 29 years away from being born.

Fun Fact: Bach and Handel were born in the same year, 1685. Handel was born on February 23rd, Bach was born 5 weeks later, on March 31st. I wonder if their Moms ever took them to the park together?

I experienced something similar to Handel’s “mania” while transcribing the music. I could not stop until it was finished!

It is number 26 on my list from “The Big Book of Classical Music.” There is something very powerful about this song. Like most of the songs here, it is just an excerpt from the original composition.

A Handle

According to, George Frideric Handel was mainly a composer of operas. In fact, he composed dozens of them. Though his productions were popular in 18th century London, Handel had his enemies — he was a foreigner, born in Germany, by many accounts not a very likeable fellow, and his rivals detested his style of opera. He was also kind of a large, awkward man, rough and hot-tempered enough to earn the nickname “The Great Bear.” 

When his operas and his health began to fail, Handel sank into bankruptcy and despair, believing his career was over. In 1741, he was invited to Ireland to direct one of his works at a charity performance. Handel decided to write a new oratorio. 

A deeply religious man, he turned away from the human foibles common to his operas and chose his text and themes from Scripture. It was then that something remarkable happened. He began composing with a super-human zeal and energy. People thought he was mad, or even under a spell. One servant reported that Handel seldom ate or slept and worked with such frenzy that his fingers could no longer grip his pen. He was, in fact, in the grip of divine inspiration. The result is one of the world’s great masterworks, Messiah. 

Handel finished Part I in only six days. He finished Part II in nine days, and Part III in six days. The orchestration took him only a few days more. In other words, in all, two-and-a-half hours of the world’s most magnificent music was composed in less than twenty-five days. When he finished, he sobbed: “I think that I did see all heaven before me, and the great God Himself!” 

Immediately, from its premiere in Dublin in 1742, Messiah was pronounced a masterpiece. Messiah recounts the prophecies of Christ and his triumphant birth, utilizing an amazing amount of Scripture including passages like, “For unto us a child is born . . . and the government shall be upon His shoulders.” And “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God . . . the Prince of Peace.” In fact, Messiah pulls from the Psalms, Job, Isaiah, Lamentations, Haggai, Malachi, Zechariah, Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, and Revelation.

At its London premiere, King George was so moved by the “Hallelujah Chorus” that he spontaneously rose from his seat. The entire audience followed his example and, for the past 250-plus years, audiences have continued to do the same. 

After the success of Messiah, Handel continued to write religious music. Beethoven said: “To him I bend the knee, for Handel was the greatest, ablest composer that ever lived.” Even after his eyesight failed, Handel continued to perform until, at age 74, he collapsed while conducting a performance of Messiah. He was put to bed saying, “I should like to die on Good Friday.” 

Instead, he died on Holy Saturday, April 14th, 1759. Handel’s grave, at Westminster Abbey, is marked by a statue of him with a score of Messiah opened on the table. The page that is visible is, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.” 

The Countdown Continues

Here is number 25 on the list of songs from the “Big Book of Classical Music.”

From Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) here is a section of “Prelude in C Minor” in 4 different tempos. This is a perfect example of a chromatic scale in the bass line.

It’s A Beautiful Morning

Actually, it’s the middle of the night. I should be asleep. Maybe I am.

Song #24 in the “Big Book of Classical Music” is a wrap.

I present to you, the listener with the discerning ear, Edward Grieg’s “Morning.”

Song of India

Another hit song from the “Big Book of Classical Music” is done.

Everyone is sure to remember Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Song of India.” I think they played this one at prom.

Taj Mahal in morning light. Located in Agra, India.

Canon in D

Not to be confused with the 1812 Overture, another canon song.
This entire song has the same 8 chords repeating over and over: D, A, B Minor, F# Minor, G, D, G, A

This is the 22nd song I have posted from “The Big Book of Classical Music.” Just 78 songs to go.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

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