ClassicalRap is a forum for discussion and information on classical music genres from the Baroque through the 20th Century eras in particular. Information will be provided on the various genres of classical music in these eras, and discussions will involve the lives of composers, their works, and standard and new recording releases. This is not a blog about Rap music.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's going on?

I haven't posted for several days because I'm working steadfastly on a piano concerto composition.  I've finished the 2nd movement and am currently working on the 1st.

I'm also beginning research on a post on Sonata Form.  You can look forward to that post in the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beethoven's 10th?

Every once in a while I come across new information on a composer for whom I thought I knew everything there is to know.

Here is an example of that:

Beethoven did not actually write a 10th Symphony.  He was working on some sketches for a 10th at the time of his untimely death.

In the 20th Century, those sketches were transcribed into what is described as a hypothetical work, Beethoven's 10th symphony.  It doesn't have an Opus number, and it's not actually presented as Beethoven's work, but as the work of a musicologist and Beethoven scholar by the name of Barry Cooper (b. 1949).

Here is the first movement - in E flat major.

Beethoven started working on this symphony in 1825 before he completed the 9th symphony.  The symphony as recorded does not have nearly the scope nor length of his later symphonies, but is interesting, and I think Cooper has done a fine job in imagining how Beethoven might have completed it.  His work sounds true to Beethoven, and while others may disagree, I think he does justice to the composer, even though if Beethoven had completed it, it would probably be much different.

While there are a couple of other recordings, I found one available here.

Who's Lurking?

Blogger gives me stats on who's viewing the blog.  I thought it would be interesting for those lurking to inform you on who's actually taking a peak.  I won't name names, just a mention of where people are viewing from, because that's all the information I get.

So far we've received several viewers from the US, Canada, Argentina, Malaysia, the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany and The Netherlands.

Hopefully if you're among these people you won't feel too timid to offer some discussion, ask questions or correct me where I'm wrong.  It will be helpful.  I plan to continue posting even if nobody else is, as I know there are lurkers, who may desire new posts.  I won't disappoint.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Something Baroque, Something Romantic (Part Three)

Note: I'm learning how to embed videos as an option, so bear with me.  The formatting in this post could be a bit better.  Anyone who has some suggestions, they are welcome.


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) - Violin concerto in A major "Les Rainettes (The Three Frogs)" TWV 51:A4 - I: Allegro.  Unknown composition date.

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) - Toccata and Psalm XIII.  Unknown CD


Wynton Marsalis Playing Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)  Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E major, S49, WoO1 III: Rondo - Composed in 1803.  Hummel wrote his trumpet concerto in honor of Anton Weidinger (1766-1852), the inventor of the keyed trumpet.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra in D minor, Wq. 23 I: Allegro - Composed in 1748


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Swan Lake Ballet Suite, Opus 20 - Composed in 1876.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 in C major "Resurrection" - Composed in 1894.  This video includes the entire symphony performed by the University of California, Davis Symphony.  It's over an hour long.  Enjoy!

20th Century:

George Gershwin (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Jazz Band.  Composed in 1924.  Here is Gershwin performing his own piece.

If it ain't Baroque... (Part Three)

We continue our quest into Albinoni's works as correctly attributed to him.  From our last thread we began an inquiry into the origin of Albinoni's famous Adagio and discovered that it had actually been composed by Giazotto sometime after World War II.  Since there may be some who still contend that it belongs in Albinoni's catalogue, we're on a quest to distinguish the works of Giazotto from the works of Albinoni, to see if one can determine by listening, the differences.  Well, unfortunately, with much online research, I was unable to find any more works by Giazotto other than the Adagio.  So we will not be able to do such a comparison.  However, I think it would be good to continue with discovering Albinoni's music.  So with that in mind,

Here's Albinoni's Concerto in D minor, Opus 9, No. 2 with some wonderful photos of his home town of Venice, Italy - one of my favorite cities to visit.  I was there in 1979 and again in 1980 on a trip with my school, Salzburg International Preparatory School (SIPS) (Now The American International School in Salzburg).

Here's the 2nd movement - the Adagio,

and the 3rd movement here.

Here's an interesting brief biography of Albinoni on Naxos, with a listing of recordings of his works available from them.

Here's an interesting biography on Remo Giazotto.

The Evolution of the String Quartet (Part Three)

Continuing a series on the evolution of the string quartet, I give you 4 performances:

A Sample of a Mozart (1756-1791) quartet:

String Quartet No. 14 in G minor, K 387 "Spring" - I: Allegro vivace assai - Composed in 1782

String Quartet No. 14 in G minor, K 387 "Spring" - II: Menuetto

String Quartet No. 14 in G minor, K 387 "Spring" - III: Adagio

String Quartet No. 14 in G minor, K 387 "Spring" - IV: Allegro assai

A Sample of a string quintet by Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805):

Minuet from String Quintet in E major, Opus 11, No. 5 Composed in 1771

Here's The Same Minuet played by full orchestra.

A Sample of string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):

String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Opus 18, No. 1 - I: Allegro con brio - Composed in 1799

String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Opus 18, No. 1 - II: Adagio affetuoso ed appassionata

String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Opus 18, No. 1 - III: Scherzo: Allegro molto - Trio

String Quartet No. 1 in f major, Opus 18, No. 1 - IV: Allegretto

The Beethoven quartet is played live in Vienna by the Alban Berg Quartet - it's an excellent performance.

Their album featuring the complete Beethoven quartets can be found here.

I've Heard That Before - Classical Music in Film

While I've been on the subject of Albinoni/Giazotti's famous Adagio, I came across an extensive list here of classical music used as part of a soundtrack and/or featured in movies.

While Hollywood usually employ composers specifically to write the soundtrack music for a film there are people who work on films, who's exclusive task is to compile music appropriate for a particular scene or setting.  These people are often credited for their work, and some of them have even won  awards for their work.  They are known in Hollywood as a Compiler.

And then of course there are classical composers who write music for film.  The first person who comes to mind is John Williams, who wrote the scores for many Steven Spielberg and George Lucas films (among others), including the title music for the Star Wars   Films, and the memorable Jaws Theme.

Here's Wiki's list of film score composers.

Among that list are classical composers who have also composed works outside of film, including Richard Addinsell (1904-1977), who wrote his famous Warsaw Concerto  for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight.

The late film director Stanley Kubrick compiled the music for his 1968 Space adventure 2001: A Space Odyssey, which featured works from  Johann Strauss II (1825-1899): On The Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz and Richard Wagner (1813-1883)'s Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Here's a list of what The Guardian UK considers the 50 greatest film scores of all time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For Completists (Part One)

For those of you who are collectors or wannabe collectors like me, here's some information on what to look for from particular composers.  I started out as a collector of Beethoven's and Mozart's works, and I branched out from there.  Both of these are complicated by their catalogues. 

The Mozart Catalogue: 

Mozart's catalogue was most famously compiled by Ludwig von Köchel (1800-1877).  It was the first complete catalogue of all of Mozart's completed works to date, starting at K 1 and ending at K 626.  Köchel's complete 551 page catalogue Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichnis sämmtlicher Tonwerke W. A. Mozart's (Chronological-thematic Catalogue of the Complete Musical Works of W. A. Mozart was published in 1862 ref1.  Several attempts at compiling Mozart's works were made prior to Köchel, but none of them were fully achieved.  The numbers following the titles of Mozart's works refer to this catalogue.  

But here's where it gets even more complicated:

The Köchel catalogue was updated and nearly completely revised in 1937 by Alfred Einstein, a musicologist and possible 6th cousin to famous theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein.  Mozart's catalogue needed to be revised because since the original Köchel catalogue, dozens of other works by Mozart became known, which were not included in his catalogue.  Thus, several of the original Köchel numbers were changed to reflect a chronological listing of Mozart's works.  Most of these changes are reflected in additional numbers following the original Köchel numbers.  For example:  Serenade No. 3 in D major for Orchestra, K 185/167a "Andretter."  The K 185 is the original Köchel number and the K 167 is Einstein's revision, placing it in the correct chronology in light of the discovery of new works.   However, since Einstein's catalogue, other Mozart works have been discovered.  As such, rather than completely revising the catalogue once again, modern cataloguers have simply added letters (a, b, c, d, etc.) to these new discoveries and the older ones in order to place them in the correct chronology.  Thus, this Serenade is probably the first piece under K 187/167 as indicated by the "a."  Several other pieces are also part of that particular Köchel number.

With that said, I find a useful tool to be the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe: Digitized Version, where you will find Mozart's most up-to-date complete catalogue with the updated Köchel numbers by Einstein and more recent cataloguers, musical scores, audio excerpts from selected pieces and general information concerning the structure of Mozart's pieces.  It's the best source on the internet for Mozart's complete works, but use with caution.  Don't copy and publish anything without their consent.  It's intended only for personal use.

To be continued....