Sergei Prokofiev Sergei Prokofiev in New York, 1918 Biography Early childhood and first compositions Formal education and controversial early works As a member of the Saint Petersburg music scene, Prokofiev developed a reputation as a musical rebel, while getting praise for his original compositions, which he performed himself on the piano. In 1909, he graduated from his class in composition with unimpressive marks. In 1910, Prokofiev's father died and Sergei's financial support ceased. Fortunately he had started making a name for himself as a composer and pianist outside the Conservatory, making appearances at the St Petersburg Evenings of Contemporary Music. In 1911, help arrived from renowned Russian musicologist and critic Alexander Ossovsky, who wrote a supportive letter to music publisher Boris P. The first ballets First World War and Revolution Life abroad Sergei Prokofiev (c. 1918) First visits to the Soviet Union Return to Russia Post-war
Symphony No. 8 (Schubert) The Unfinished, third movement, facsimile, 1885, in J. R. von Herbeck's biography Schubert’s Eighth is sometimes called the first Romantic symphony due to its emphasis on expressive melody, vivid harmony and creative combinations of orchestral tone color despite the architecturally imposing Classical structures of its two completed movements highlighted by the dramatically climactic development section of the first movement based solely on its quietly sinister opening theme. To this day, musicologists still disagree as to why Schubert failed to complete the symphony; or even whether he did fail to complete it. Some have speculated that he stopped working on it in the middle of the scherzo in the fall of 1822 because it was associated in his mind with the initial outbreak of syphilis, or simply that he was distracted by the inspiration for his Wanderer Fantasy for solo piano which occupied his time and energy immediately afterward; or perhaps a combination of both factors.
Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven) Part of a sketch by Beethoven for his Symphony No. 6 The Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, also known as the Pastoral Symphony (German Pastoral-Sinfonie), is a symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, and completed in 1808. One of Beethoven's few works containing explicitly programmatic content, the symphony was first performed in the Theater an der Wien on 22 December 1808 in a four hour concert. The work has become one of the central works of the symphonic repertoire. It is frequently performed, and has been often recorded. Portrait of Beethoven in 1804, when he had been working on the Sixth Symphony for two years. Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country. The composer said that the Sixth Symphony is "more the expression of feeling than painting", a point underlined by the title of the first movement. The symphony has five movements, rather than the four typical of symphonies of the Classical era. 'Scene by the brook.'
Schubertiade A Schubertiade is an event held to celebrate the music of Franz Schubert. History During Schubert's lifetime, these events were generally informal, unadvertised gatherings, held at private homes. While in those years many Schubertiades included the composer's participation, this was not necessary, and they were sometimes held in places other than Vienna, where Schubert spent most of his life. Schubertiades in early 19th-century Vienna were typically sponsored by wealthier friends or aficionados of Schubert's music. In addition to Schubert's music, they often also featured poetry readings, dancing, and other sociable pastimes. Modern Schubertiades are more likely to be formal affairs, presented as concerts or festivals devoted to Schubert's music. Depictions There are two famous depictions of Schubertiades. In contrast, the 1897 depiction by Julius Schmid is a somewhat more formal affair, and the people in the painting are not recognizably Schubert's friends. Notes
Joseph Haydn Franz Joseph Haydn[n 1] (/ˈdʒoʊzəf ˈhaɪdən/; German: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈhaɪdən] ( ); 31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809), known as Joseph Haydn,[n 1] was one of the most prominent and prolific composers of the Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio and his contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". A lifelong resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family at their remote estate. This isolated him from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his life, when he was, as he put it, "forced to become original". At the time of his death, aged 77, he was one of the most celebrated composers in Europe. Joseph Haydn was the brother of Michael Haydn – himself a highly regarded composer – and Johann Evangelist Haydn, a tenor. Biography Early life Struggles as a freelancer
Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven ( i/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪ.toʊvən/; German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːt.hoːfən] ( Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe. Biography Background and early life Prince-Elector's Palace (Kurfürstliches Schloss) in Bonn, where the Beethoven family had been active since the 1730s Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. Beethoven's first music teacher was his father. A portrait of the 13-year-old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master (c. 1783) Maximilian Frederick's successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Franz, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and he brought notable changes to Bonn. In March 1787 Beethoven traveled to Vienna (possibly at another's expense) for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Mozart. Establishing his career in Vienna Musical maturity
Franz Liszt Franz Liszt, T.O.S.F. (German: [fʁant͡s lɪst]; Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz; October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886), in modern use Liszt Ferenc[n 1] (Hungarian pronunciation: [list ˈfɛrɛnt͡s]); from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt,[n 2] was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary. Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. Life Early life The earliest known ancestor of Liszt is his great-grandfather, Sebastian List who was one of the thousands of German migrant serfs locally migrating within the Austrian Empire's territories (around the area now constituting Lower Austria and Hungary) in the first half of the 18th century. Anna Liszt, née Maria Anna Lager (portrait by Julius Ludwig Sebbers between 1826 and 1837) In Vienna, Liszt received piano lessons from Carl Czerny, who in his own youth had been a student of Beethoven and Hummel. Paganini
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven) A page from Beethoven's manuscript of the 9th Symphony The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (sometimes known simply as "the Choral"), is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the repertoire of classical music. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. In 2002, Beethoven's autograph score of the Ninth Symphony, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the United Nations World Heritage List, becoming the first musical score to be so honoured. Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1820. The Philharmonic Society of London originally commissioned the symphony in 1817. The main composition work was done between autumn 1822 and the completion of the autograph in February 1824. There are a number of anecdotes about the premiere of the Ninth.
Lied Lied (German pronunciation: [liːt]; plural Lieder [ˈliːdɐ]) is a German and Dutch word literally meaning "song". It usually describes the setting of romantic German poems to music, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert. Among English speakers, "Lied" is often used interchangeably with "art song" to encompass works that the tradition has inspired in other languages. The poetry forming the basis for Lieder often centers upon pastoral themes, or themes of romantic love. History For German speakers, the term "Lied" has a long history ranging from 12th century troubadour songs (Minnesang) via folk songs (Volkslieder) and church hymns (Kirchenlieder) to 20th-century workers songs (Arbeiterlieder) or protest songs (Kabarettlieder, Protestlieder). Other national traditions The Lied tradition is closely linked with the Germanic languages. Bibliography Hallmark, Rufus (1996). External links
Classical period (music) The dates of the Classical period in Western music are generally accepted as being between about 1730 and 1820. However, the term classical music is used in a colloquial sense to describe a variety of Western musical styles from the ninth century to the present, and especially from the sixteenth or seventeenth to the nineteenth. This article is about the specific period from 1750 to 1820. The Classical period falls between the Baroque and the Romantic periods. Franz Schubert is also something of a transitional figure, as are Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Mauro Giuliani, Friedrich Kuhlau, Fernando Sor, Luigi Cherubini, Jan Ladislav Dussek, and Carl Maria von Weber. In the middle of the 18th century, Europe began to move toward a new style in architecture, literature, and the arts, generally known as Classicism. Economic changes also had the effect of altering the balance of availability and quality of musicians. A string quartet. Many consider this breakthrough to have been made by C.
Igor Stravinsky Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (sometimes spelled Strawinsky or Stravinskii; Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, transliterated: Igorʹ Fëdorovič Stravinskij; Russian pronunciation: [ˌiɡərʲ ˌfʲjodɐrɐvʲɪt͡ɕ strɐˈvʲinskʲɪj]; 17 June [O.S. 5 June] 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian (and later, a naturalized French and American) composer, pianist and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Life and career Early life in the Russian Empire Igor Stravinsky, 1903 In 1905 he was betrothed to his cousin Yekaterina Gavrilovna Nosenko (called "Katya"), whom he had known since early childhood. In spite of the Orthodox Church's opposition to marriage between first cousins, the couple married on 23 January 1906: their first two children, Fyodor (Theodore) and Ludmila, were born in 1907 and 1908, respectively. Life in Switzerland Vaslav Nijinsky as Petrushka in 1910–11 Life in France Vera de Bosset Sudeikin
Robert Schumann Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. In 1840, against the wishes of her father, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. Biography Early life Music room of Schumann 1830–34 
Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven) The title page of the Eroica Symphony, showing the erased dedication to Napoleon Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55, also known as the Eroica (Italian for "heroic"), is a musical work marking the full arrival of the composer's "middle-period," a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor. Allegro con brio (lasts 12–18 minutes)Marcia funebre: Adagio assai in C minor (14–18 minutes)Scherzo: Allegro vivace (5–6 minutes)Finale: Allegro molto (10–14 minutes) The performance time is approximately 50 minutes. Although the first movement's typical performance is around 12–18 minutes, only one recording of the first movement lasted 20 minutes. The third movement is a lively scherzo. The theme of the fourth movement with its bass line. Beethoven in 1804, when he was composing the Eroica Symphony Beethoven had originally conceived of dedicating the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte. According to Harold C. Music critic J.
Gretchen am Spinnrade Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel), Op. 2, D 118, is an 1814 song by Franz Schubert based on a text from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust. It was Schubert's first successful Lied. A challenging work for both pianist and singer, Schubert's setting for soprano voice has been transposed for mezzo-soprano voice as well. Analysis This song is in rondo form (ABACADA). Gretchen is singing at her spinning wheel while thinking of Faust and all that he promises. Gretchen's beginning words are: Notable recordings Notable recordings include those by Other notable recordings include those by Kathleen Ferrier, Renée Fleming, Christa Ludwig, Gundula Janowitz, Jessye Norman, Irmgard Seefried, Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Lehmann, Rosette Anday, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. External links