Composers 3

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Jean Sibelius

This Finnish composer of the late Romantic period played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. He wrote various works based on the Sagas, the Eddas, and the Kalevala.

Finlandia

This symphonic poem by Sibelius was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire. It is an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.

Valse Triste

This short orchestral work in waltz form by Sibelius was originally part of the incidental music he composed for his brother-in-law's play Kuolema ("Death"), but it is far better known as a separate concert piece.

The Swan of Tuonela

This tone poem by Sibelius is the third part of Op. 22 Lemminkainen (tales from the Kalevala epic of Finnish mythology). The cor anglais is the voice of the title animal and it's solo is perhaps the best known cor anglais solo in the orchestral literature.

Hector Berlioz

It was his obsession with the actress Harriet Smithson that inspired his most famous symphonic work. This French Romantic composer made significant contributions to the modern orchestra and influenced the development of Romanticism.

Symphonie Fantastique

This program symphony with 5 movements written by Berlioz in 1830 was inspired by the composer's obsession with the actress Harriet Smithson. It contains well known movements such as "March to the Scaffold" and "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath."

idee fixe

This term coined by Berlioz refers to a recurring musical idea that links different movements of a work, such as the melody that recurs in each movement of Symphonie Fantastique.

Harold in Italy

Niccolo Paganini encouraged Berlioz to write this Symphony. It is Berlioz's 2nd Symphony, which is better known by this title.

The Damnation of Faust

This Berlioz work for 4 solo voices, full 7-part chorus, large children's chorus and orchestra was first performed in Paris in 1846. It was inspired by a translation of Goethe's dramatic poem.

Charles Gounod

The story goes that one critic thought that his opera "Faust" was so much better than anything that he had ever written that he couldn't possibly have written it himself. Offended, the composer challenged the critic to a duel.

Faust

This 5 act opera by Gounod is loosely based on the Goethe work.

Jacques Offenbach

This composer was born in Germany to Jewish parents, but emigrated to France as a young man. He is therefore usually credited as a French composer. He was a cellist and impresario of the romantic period, and he is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s-1870s.

The Tales of Hoffmann

This opera by Offenbach was based on a series of short stories by the author in the title, who is the main protaganist in the opera. It contains an automaton created by the scientist Spalanzani. The automaton sings one of operas most famous arias in which she periodically runs down and needs to be wound up before she can continue.

Orpheus in the Underworld

This opera bouffon by Offenbach, loosely based on the story from classical mythology, has an overture by Carl Binder than ends with Can-Can music.

Robinson Crusoe

This opera comique by Offenbach was loosely adapted from the novel by Daniel Defoe, though the work owes more to British pantomime than to the book itself.

Camille Saint-Saens

This French Romantic composer, organist, conductor and pianist fought in the Franco-Prussian War and had a very public feud with Claude Debussy.

Carnival of the Animals

This musical suite of fourteen movements by Camille Saint Saens was written while he was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored with a glass harmonica, though in modern performances, a glockenspiel is usually substituted. Saint-Saens thought the piece too frivolous and only allowed one movement "The Swan" to be performed publicly in his lifetime.

Danse Macabre

This tone poem for orchestra written by Saint-Saens opens with a harp playing a single note (D) twelve times to represent the twelve strokes of midnight. Then a solo violin enters playing the tritone, or Devil's interval, consisting of an A and E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning.

scordatura

This literally means cross-tuning and refers to a practice of tuning the open notes of a string instrument to non-standard notes. It is famously used for the violin solo in Danse Macabre.

Organ Symphony

This is the popular name of Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 in C minor.

Samson and Delilah

This is a grand opera in 3 acts by Saint-Saens is based on a biblical tale found in Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges in the Old Testament.

Georges Bizet

This French composer is known mostly for his operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

The Fair Maid of Perth

This opera by Bizet was inspired by a Sir Walter Scott novel and tells the tale of a blacksmith who courts the coquettish Catherine Glover.

The Pearl Fishers

This 3 act opera by Bizet is set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon and tells the story about how two men's vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman who is conflicted between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess.

L'Arlesienne

Bizet wrote this incidental music for the first performance of Daudet's play in 1872 at the Vaudeville Theater. Bizet himself played the harmonium backstage at the premiere performance.

Claude Debussy

This French composer's music is often described as the musical equivalent of "Impressionism" though it is sometimes referred to as Symbolism due to his close association with the symbolist poets. His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch.

Lesure numbers

Debussy's compositions are catalogued according to this system created by the musicologist of the same name.

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

This symphonic poem by Debussy was inspired by a poem by Mallarme. It later formed the basis for the ballet choreographed by Nijinsky. It is one of Debussy's most famous works and considered a turning point in the history of music.

Three Nocturnes

This composition by Debussy was inspired by a series of impressionist paintings by James Whistler.

La mer

This orchestral composition by Debussy was completed in 1905 on the English Channel coast in Eastbourne. It is a masterpiece of suggestion and subtlety in its rich depiction of the ocean and combines unusual orchestration with daring impressionistic harmonies.

Images pour orchestre

This orchestral composition by Debussy has three movements: Gigues, Iberia, and Round Dances of Spring. Iberia, the most popular of the 3 forms a triptych within a triptych.

triptych

In music, a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

Premiere Rhapsodie

This composition by Claude Debussy is a piece for clarinet and piano that was dedicated to the French clarinet professor Prosper Mimart. Later Debussy published his own orchestration of the accompaniment.

Pachelbel

This Baroque German composer is most known for his Canon in D major which appears in Mozart's "The Magic Flute."

Canon in D

This famous work by Pachelbel is more of a passacaglia than a canon.

Johann Sebastian Bach

This German Baroque composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist enriched many established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic, and motivic organization and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.

St. Matthew's Passion

This sacred oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of the same name to music with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of sacred music.

Brandenburg Concertos

This collection of six instrumental works was presented by Johann Sebastian Bach to Christian Ludwig, the margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721. They are widely regarded as among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era.

The Well-Tempered Clavier

The first collection of solo keyboard music with this title by Bach contains preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys. It is one of the most influential compositions in western music.

Goldberg Variations

This work for harpsichord by Bach consists of an aria and a set of 30 variations. The work is considered one of the most important examples of variation form.

George Frideric Handel

This German composer was the Kapellmeister to George, Elector of Hanover (later George I of England). He moved to London and wrote dozens of important compositions there when George I became king.

Handel

The famous guitarist Jimi Hendrix lived in a house next door to where this composer lived during his long stay in London.

Water Music

This collection of orchestral movements composed by Handel premiered in 1717 after George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. That concert was performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge near the royal barge from which the king listened with his close friends.

Music for the Royal Fireworks

This wind band suite composed by Handel in 1749 was commissioned by George II to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

The Messiah

This English language oratorio by Handel with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer was first performed in Dublin in 1742. It is the best-known and most frequently performed choral work in western music.

Almira

This was Handel's first opera which was first performed in Hamburg in January of 1705. It tells the story of the Queen of Castilia.

Nero

This was Handel's second opera.

Xerxes

This opera by Handel opens with the title character singing Ombra mai fu to a tree, which is set to one of Handel's best known melodies known as Handel's "largo."

Christoph Gluck

This German opera composer of the early classical period was the music teacher of Marie Antoinette.

Orpheus and Eurydice

The German composer Gluck is best known for this opera in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in the music and the drama.

Ludwig van Beethoven

His deafness has been variously attributed to lead poisoning, typhus and childhood beatings from his alcoholic father. He was a student of Haydn.

Kreutzer Sonata

This violin sonata No. 9 by Beethoven, which is known for its demanding violin part, unusual length and emotional scope, is commonly known as what in spite of the fact that it's namesake never performed it and considered it "outrageously unintelligible."

Kreutzer

This French violinist and composer was known as the finest violinist of his time. He was renowned for his style of bowing, his splendid tone and the clearness of his execution. His best known works are the "42 Etudes or Capriccios" which are fundamental pedagogic studies.

Fur Elise

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano by Beethoven is commonly known as what?

Fidelio

This is Beethoven's only opera.

The Creatures of Prometheus

Beethoven based the 4th movement of his Eroica Symphony and his Eroica Variations for piano on the main theme of the last movement of this ballet which he composed in 1801.

opus number

The most common method of numbering Beethoven's works are by what convention assigned by Beethoven's publishers during his lifetime?

No. 1

The beginning of this symphony by Beethoven is considered a musical joke. It starts with a sequence of repeatedly accentuated dominant-tonic chord sequences in the "wrong" key which lead away from the tonic so that the listener only gradually realizes the home key of the Symphony.

No. 2

The scherzo and finale of this Beethoven symphony are filled with many vulgar Beethovenian musical jokes which shocked the sensibilities of many contemporary critics. One critic famously wrote that it was "a hideously writhing, wounded dragon that refuses to die, but writhing in its last agonies, and, in the fourth movement, bleeding to death."

Eroica

Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 is nicknamed what, because of Beethoven's original plan to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte.

No. 5

This Symphony by Beethoven is best known for its distinctive four-note short-short-long motif, which is sometimes described as the sound of fate knocking.

Pastoral

Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 is also known by this name. It has five rather than four movements which describe a visit to the countryside.

No. 8

Beethoven fondly referred to this symphony as "my little symphony in F" to distinguish it from his 6th Symphony a longer work also in F.

No. 7

This Symphony in A major was composed by Beethoven while staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in the hopes of improving his health.

No. 9

This Beethoven symphony is one of the best known works in the classical repertoire. It was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony thus making it a chorale symphony.

Friedrich Schiller

In his poem, "Ode to Joy," this poet wrote the words that Beethoven borrowed for his 9th Symphony.

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