Here is a song that we all know. Can you Name That Tune?
Here are some more songs from the book “Piano Literature Volume One.“ Also, did you know that I lettered in three different sports in high school? They were all in lower case, however…..
Beethoven Sonatina in G:
Schumann Soldiers’ March:
Schumann The Wild Horseman:
Kabalevksy Quick March:
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.
Here it is, fresh off the press.
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
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
Why should I?
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!
Come now, no more!
Goodbye good echo!
Goodbye good echo!
Peace be with you.
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.
For more on the composer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagner
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.
For more on that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridal_Chorus
And here is Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. Now you have both songs ready in the event you are at a wedding and the keyboard player is out.
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.)
I have been busy all day long, finishing up the list of 100 classical songs. As I toil away, the rain falls outside.
Song number 91 was written by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) and is titled Humoresque.
This is another song by the same composer, it is called New World Symphony:
Humoresques, Op. 101 (B. 187), is a piano cycle by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, written during the summer of 1894. One writer says “the seventh Humoresque is probably the most famous small piano work ever written after Beethoven’s Für Elise.”
During his stay in United States, when Dvořák was director of the Conservatory in New York from 1892 to 1895, the composer collected many interesting musical themes in his sketchbooks. He used some of these ideas in other compositions, notably the “New World” Symphony, the “American” String Quartet, the Quintet in E♭ Major, and the Sonatina for Violin, but some remained unused.
In 1894 Dvořák spent the summer with his family in Bohemia, at Vysoká u Příbrami. During this “vacation”, Dvořák began to use the collected material and to compose a new cycle of short piano pieces. On 19 July 1894 Dvořák sketched the first Humoresque in B major, today number 6 in the cycle. However, the composer soon started to create scores for the pieces that were intended to be published. The score was completed on 27 August 1894.
The cycle was entitled Humoresques shortly before Dvořák sent the score to his German publisher F. Simrock. The composition was published by Simrock in Autumn, 1894.
The publisher took advantage of the great popularity of the seventh Humoresque to produce arrangements for many instruments and ensembles. The piece was later also published as a song with various lyrics. It has also been arranged for choir. The German vocal group The Comedian Harmonists released it on record as Eine kleine Frühlingsweise in 1930 with lyrics by Hans Lengsfelder. The melody was used in the 1982 American Emmy Award-winning animated musical television special and crossover The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat during the restaurant scene. The melody was also used as the theme of Slappy Squirrel in the popular animated television show Animaniacs. In 2004 the vocal group Beethoven’s Wig used Humoresque as the basis for a song entitled Dvořák the Czechoslovak.
Song number 88 in our countdown of 100 classical songs is titled Vienna Life, and was written by Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899):
It is one of the longest songs I have posted yet, with a song length of 7 minutes and 31 seconds. It is 328 bars of sheet music, which took up 15 pages in the book. With all of the repeated sections it comes out to 432 total bars, which coincidentally is the same amount of bars in Manhattan.
It is impossible to be in a bad mood when listening to Strauss.
This song is called “Trumpet Tune” and was written by Henry Purcell in the late 1600’s. That makes it almost as old as my luggage. I have a theory as to why he wrote this song for a trumpet. A trumpet is a horn. He was born in an area of London called “Devil’s Acre.” Need I say more?
It is song number 84 in the countdown of 100 Classical Songs.
Henry Purcell (September 10, 1659 – November 21, 1695) was an English composer. Although it incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements, Purcell’s was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers.
For more on Henry or “Hank” as his friends called him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Purcell
There are only 16 songs left in our countdown. We still haven’t heard any songs from Johann Strauss, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, or Giacomo Puccini.
But they are coming up……
As promised, here is song number 85. The composer is Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924) , and the song is titled O mio babbino caro. I looked up the translation on google translate and it said that it translates to “O my dear Daddy.” (That is not what I was expecting!)
The composer was born 163 years ago tomorrow, December 22.
Happy Birthday, Giacomo Puccini. Thanks for the music.
This song was written much slower than my version. (I realized that after actually listening to it!) But I like it to be played fast. And I can do what I like, right? As far as this site is concerned, I am the ruler.
Giacomo Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer known primarily for his operas. Regarded as the greatest and most successful proponent of Italian opera after Verdi, he was descended from a long line of composers, stemming to the late-Baroque era. Though his early work was firmly rooted in traditional late-19th-century Romantic Italian opera he later developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents.
His most renowned works are La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (1924), all of which are among the most frequently performed and recorded of all operas.
And here is a blast from the past, Fanfare for The Common Man by Aaron Copeland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990). However, it isn’t in the list of 100 classical songs because it was written in 1942! I dig the new instrumentation, how about you?