Friday, July 10, 2009

100 pieces of classical music

As part of the 2nd 101 Things in 1001 Days, I am listening to 100 pieces of classical music, in no particular order or style.

  1. Liebestraum (3), Franz Liszt: meh. Slow and boring piano.
  2. Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20 , Frederic Chopin: Nice because it's familiar. It was the inpsiration for Barry Manilow's Could it be Magic.
  3. Radetzky March, Johann Strauss: Kind of fun. I'm told they play it on New Years Eve in Austria. The crowd claps along.
  4. Hungarian Rhapsody no 2 , Franz Liszt: One of my favorites. The Egg McMuffin Song!
  5. "O Fortuna," Carmina Burana (1936), Carl Orff: C'mon, you know this one. Scary movie stuff. And video games.
  6. Ride of the Valkyries (1856), Richard Wagner: Stirring and ubiquitous.
  7. Symphony No. 5, 1st and 2nd movements (1808), Ludvig von Beethoven: A standard. One of the pieces I knew I would like going in. This is a loud, bombastic one.
  8. Etude Op. 39 No. 6 (1886?), Sergei Rachmaninoff: I didn't really like this one. Too "'banging on the piano."

  9. Sonata Op.1, No. 13, George F. Handel: Very pretty and soothing. The saxophone sounds almost like a flute.
  10. Symphony #9 "From the New World," 1st movement (1893), Antonin Dvorak: I just didn't like it all that much. It was loud and creaky. Commonly called the "New World Symphony."
  11. Unto Us a Child is Born (1742), George F. Handel: One of my favorite Christmas pieces of all time.
  12. Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht, Op. 49, No. 4 (1868), Johannes Brahms: Commonly known as "Brahms' Lullaby," and sung the world over. Played as written (as it is in this link), it's much more soaring and less soothing.
  13. Fanfare for the Common Man, Aaron Copland (1942): Loud and brassy. More sad than inspiring. It makes me think of space travel.
  14. Rhapsody in Blue (1924), George Gershwin: Amusing and energetic. At the time it was written in 1924, it was purely experimental.
  15. Out of Doors Sonata (1926), Bela Bartok: Rather like listening to someone bang on a piano while a train goes by. Abrupt and discordant.
  16. The Anvil Chorus, Il Trovatore (1853), Guiseppe Verdi: I've heard parts of this before, but not the whole thing through until now. It's not bad. Very energetic and powerful.
  17. Dies Irae, Requiem Mass, Verdi: Dies Irae means "Day of Anger," which represents the anger of God during Armageddon. This certainly sounds angry, and it has some good sections.
  18. William Tell Overture (1829), Giochino Rossini: Most of us know this one as the theme from The Lone Ranger. Energetic and familiar.
  19. Minuet in G Major (1721?), Christian Petzold: Very familiar and light melody, reminiscent of springtime and music boxes.
  20. "Dawn" from Thus Spake Zarathustra (1869), Richard Strauss: Used in "2001: A Space Odyssey." I had no idea it was so old...in fact, I didn't know the piece had a name other than "theme from Space Odyssey." It's powerful and well-parodied with lots of timpani and blaring horns.
  21. Ode to Joy (1824), Ludvig von Beethoven: I remember my dad playing this when I was a kid - the German recording, which drove me crazy because I couldn't understand it. Imagine my surprise when they sang it in English at church. Another high-energy piece by Beethhoven, the last part of his 9th Symphony.
  22. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1787), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: I'm pretty sure that Bugs Bunny sang to this one. It's a happy tune, and it's easy to imagine gentlemen in waistcoats and ladies in hoop skirts dancing and chatting as this plays in the background.
  23. Hallelujah Chorus (1741), George Frideric Handel: It may be impossible to live in a part of the world where Christmas is celebrated and not have heard this work. It has to be one of my favorites.
  24. Treulich Gefurt (Wedding March) (1850), Richard Wagner: The wedding march standard, originally from the opera Lohengrin. Actually a little timeworn, in my opinion.

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