Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Beethoven’s first notable work in C major is the piano sonata Opus 2 number 3. With the Opus 2 piano sonatas, like the preceding Opus 1 trios, Beethoven announced to the world that he was not simply a virtuoso keyboard artist, but was a composer of the highest rank.Read more
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
The key of C major is a case of “less is more”: the key signature has no sharps or flats (a characteristic it shares with its relative minor, A minor), and scales are played only on the white keys of a keyboard. The C major scale is divided evenly by F-sharp, the register shift in both the soprano and tenor voices; which may be the reason that Mozart and Haydn composed most of their masses in that key.Read more
Monday, September 20, 2021
At the age of 57, Johannes Brahms announced that he was retiring from composition, believing that his creative output had been exhausted. Then he met the clarinetist Richard Muehlfeld, and this led to a collaboration out of which emerged some of his greatest work:Read more
September 19, 2021
Throughout his life, Johann Sebastian Bach assembled sets and cycles of music: the two books of the Well-Tempered Clavier, the liturgical calendar of organ chorales, the Goldberg Variations, the Musical Offering, and the Art of the Fugue. The Art of the Fugue was left unfinished, as Bach’s last years were devoted to compiling “the last word” in sacred choral music, his great B Minor Mass.Read more
Your Daily Beethoven (and friends)
We’ve reached the key of B minor, twenty-fourth in the system of major and minor keys. Ironically, although some of the greatest masterpieces of classical music were composed in this key, Beethoven seems to have avoided it entirely.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
For your enjoyment, here is Alma Deutscher playing Schubert's famous "Ständchen” (serenade) in an arrangement for piano and violin which I stumbled across on YouTube. We'll return to our order of keys from the WTC tomorrow.
Preview YouTube video Schubert's Serenade
Saturday, September 4, 2021
The “Brandenburg Concertos” are a set of six instrumental works presented in 1721 by J.S. Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, along with a letter requesting employment. No response was received, and the leather-bound manuscript hand-written by Bach was sold for a pittance after the Margrave’s death in 1734.Read more