I’m not sorry at all for this. I actually saw a few people asking about a kazoo Phantom song online and I decided to do it in like 20 minutes. Enjoy. (Also there’s a full minute of silence at the end…but I didn’t feel like bothering to fix it…yay effort!)
If you follow my blog, you know that I love classical music and music history [and let’s face it, you probably do too]. But when people who want to get into the genre ask me for recommendations, I don’t know what to choose. The problem is the sheer AMOUNT of music out there…we’re talking hundreds of years worth of music to go through…so I decided to narrow down a list of ten pieces I’d recommend to anyone who’s new to classical and wants to explore more. Also, because time length was a major factor when I started out listening, I’ll keep the pieces relatively short, and I’ll try to pick music for different ensembles, from different time periods, and for different moods. This list is directed to complete newcomers to the genre, so if you’re into classical and want to read this, don’t get too concerned about the different titles and what they mean yet [i.e. you don’t need to know what makes a sonata a sonata in order to enjoy it], check out whichever of the pieces in the list stand out to you. If you like them and want more recommendations, you could always message me. My list of 10 pieces under 10 minutes:
It’s time to continue our special Famous Overtures Week, here at Musica in Extenso, with a new and fresh post, today about the famous composer, Richard Wagner.
Today on Musica in Extenso:
und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg (Tannhäuser and the Minstrel’s
Contestat the Wartburg) is one of the most famous operas of the German opera
composer, Richard Wagner. Tannhäuser
wellknowed short version of the title) is an opera in three acts, which was
written in 1845. The text was written by the composer self and it is based on two german legends: Tannhäuser,
the legendary medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the Wartburg Song Contest. The story focuses on the struggle
between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running
through much of Wagner’s mature work. This dual concept of the sacred and
profan or ideal and real love: the composer presents this idea in two main
musical themes, which are reflected at the wind instruments and strings.
I don’t think it’s possible to bring up “famous opera overtures” and not talk about Rossini. His famous operatic melodies, perfectly written into his overtures, have become cultural staples in our culture, and we continue to hear his music in popular culture today. The funny thing I learned was that Rossini always kept his overtures for last, enough that on the DAY OF the first public performance of this opera, the opera director kept him locked in his room where he’d write the overture, and as each page were completed he’d hand it out the window to copyists who would rush to to make copies so the orchestra could rehearse in time before the evening. Think of how stressful that must have been! Anyway, my personal favorite of Rossini’s overtures comes from the Thieving Magpie, a family drama in which an “innocent” magpie seals a set of spoons, causing all kinds of misunderstandings and havoc.
Rossini - Overture to La gazza ladra
Beyond it’s earworm melodies, the overture is unique in its use of a kettle drum at the opening.
Stay tuned this week for more famous opera overtures, here on Musica in Extenso! - Nick O.