Merriam-Webster defines a song as a short musical composition of words and music, a collection of such compositions, a distinctive or characteristic sound or series of sounds (as of a bird, insect, or whale). After reading that, I am not sure what these are. And who is this Merriam anyway?
And here are some remakes of songs written by the ATGC (All-Time Greatest Composer.) Also used in DNA sequencing.
Here is a classic that just seems to fit today. Jeff Beck was the master.
Here are some songs from a piano music book titled Piano Literature Volume One. Its $5.50 price has to be one of the best deals around. That’s around 30 cents per song.
I posted some of the songs yesterday using an organ, but I think they sound better on a piano. Hence the title.
There are 18 songs altogether, so be sure and check back later to hear the other songs. So far the reception has been tremendous, with downloads in the triple digits. Watch out, Google.
In the event you were wondering what BWV stands for, the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV) is a catalogue of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was first published in 1950, edited by Wolfgang Schmieder. The catalogue’s second edition appeared in 1990. An abbreviated version of that second edition, known as BWV2a, was published in 1998.
Which one is Bach, and which ones are Orlando Di Lasso? (You should be an expert by now if you are a faithful reader.)
It’s the perfect music for parties and seances!
Answers: The first, second, and fourth songs are Orlando Di Lasso. It is titled “The Echo Song.” The third song is Bach Chorale Number 63. Just 38 to go…..
The Echo Song Lyrics
My word! what a lovely echo! let’s try it out. Pleased to meet you! Ha ha ha ha ha, let’s all laugh! Oh my fine companion? What do you want? I’d like you to sing a song Why? Why should I? Why not? Because I don’t want to. Why don’t you want to? Because I don’t feel like it! Shut up I say! You shut up, you big fool! Yes Sir! Come now, no more! Let’s go! Goodbye good echo! Goodbye good echo! Peace be with you. That’s enough, enough, enough!
Months ago I started transcribing sheet music from The Big Book of Classical Music. There were forty different composers, and 352 pages of music. Today’s songs are song numbers 99 and 100.
Song #99 was written by Johannes Brahms (1830-1897) and is an excerpt from the fourth movement of his First Symphony in C Minor.
And the 100th and final song was written by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and is titled Pilgrim’s Chorus, from the opera Tannhauser:
Do you notice how they sound similar? That is because they were both written in C-Minor, a favorite key of Beethoven also.
I hope you have all enjoyed listening to this music. I learned many things about classical music, and the history of our world, while doing this project. A video that will test your knowledge will be posted here next week, so be sure to study.
Song Number 98 in the countdown of 100 classical songs was written by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and is titled The Evening Star. That means there are just two songs left.
“Song to the Evening Star” (“O du, mein holder Abendstern”), also known as “Oh Star Of Eve”, is an aria sung by the character Wolfram (baritone) in the third act of Richard Wagner’s 1845 opera Tannhäuser. Wolfram greets the Evening Star (the planet Venus) for offering hope in darkness; with an implied contrast to Tannhäuser’s lover Venus at the beginning of the opera, in her underground realm Venusberg.
Franz Liszt wrote in 1849 a paraphrase for piano of this aria, S. 444, arranged with Bernhard Cossmann for cello and piano in 1852 as S. 380.
It has been arranged for voice and piano, and for various wind instruments and piano.
Song number 97 in our countdown of classics was written by Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) and is titled The Moldau. I previously posted a longer version of this song, but this version comes from the music book titled “The Big Book of Classical Music.” You can almost see the water nymphs bathing in the moonlight. (What exactly are those?)
The Moldau, Czech Vltava, symphonic poem by Bohemian composer Bedřich Smetana that evokes the flow of the Vltava River—or, in German, the Moldau—from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest, through the Czech countryside, to the city of Prague. A devoutly patriotic work, The Moldau captures in music Smetana’s love of his homeland. Completed in 1874 and first performed the following year, the piece constitutes the second movement of a six-movement suite, Má vlast (My Country), which premiered in its entirety in Prague on November 5, 1882.
Smetana conceived of a series of orchestral pieces with topics drawn from the legends and landscapes of his homeland, what he called “musical pictures of Czech glories and defeats.” It took the better part of the 1870s for the composer to bring the idea to full fruition as Má vlast. Each movement of the suite is a self-standing symphonic poem with its own program (story). In the order of their placement within the suite, the movements portray chivalrous deeds at a medieval castle (Vyšehrad); a river journey with scenes of rural life (Vltava); the legendary revenge of a spurned maiden (Šárka); the fields and woods along the Elbe River (Z c̆eských luhů a hájů); the perseverance of Czech warriors (Tábor); and the reminder of their eventual return in victory (Blanik).
Má vlast ultimately became Smetana’s most enduring composition, and of its movements, the second, The Moldau, has remained the most popular. The movement starts with light, rippling figures that represent the emergence of the Moldau River as two mountain springs, one warm and one cold. Water from the springs then combines to become a mighty river, symbolized by a thickly orchestrated, stately theme that recurs periodically throughout the remainder of the work. Farther downstream, the river passes jubilant hunters, portrayed by a horn melody, and then passes a village wedding, signaled by a passage in polka rhythm. The river then enters a gorge where, according to legend, water nymphs—suggested by serene and mysterious melodies—come out to bathe in the moonlight. With the morning light, the main river theme returns, though it soon breaks into tumultuous dissonance as the river enters the St. John’s Rapids. Beyond the white water, the river reaches Prague, where to grand arpeggios of a regal hymn, it flows past the castle Vyšehrad, once the seat of power for Bohemian kings. After fading to a trickle, the piece—and the journey—comes to an unambiguous close with a loud two-chord cadence.
That’s right, folks. This is song number 96 in our countdown of 100 classical songs. It was written by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) and is titled Bridal Chorus. I wonder what they played at weddings before 1850? Perhaps some Bach? In any event, we now have just four songs to go and we will have explored 100 classical masterpieces together! Isn’t that exciting? I feel as if my musical knowledge has really increased during this project.
According to Wikipedia, The “Bridal Chorus” from the 1850 opera Lohengrin by German composer Richard Wagner, who also wrote the libretto, is a march played for the bride’s entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. In English-speaking countries, it is generally known as “Here Comes the Bride” or “Wedding March”, but “wedding march” refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”. Wagner’s piece was made popular when it was used as the processional at the wedding of Victoria the Princess Royal to Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1858.
Can you believe that it is almost the New Year? I can’t believe it. Here’s to a new year full of happiness and hope for everyone.
Song Number 93 in our list of 100 classical songs was written by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) and is titled Quando men vo, which translates to “When I Drop.“ That title seems especially appropriate at this moment. It is another song from the opera La Boheme. And if you a regular reader here, you already know that Puccini came from a long line of composers, all the way back to the Baroque era. (It’s called that because back then everyone was baroque.)