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 
The Smiths: Better than the Beatles? They lasted just five years. They made just four proper albums. They’ve been ignored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The American pop charts wanted nothing to do with them. But the legacy and legend of the Smiths only grows. The partnership that ensued led to arguably the most important music of the decade, and some would say even longer. The terrific British music writer Tony Fletcher has just published the definitive biography of the group, “A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths,” taking almost 700 pages to tell the story of just 70 songs and this essential slice of the 1980s. “Those my own age, most of us parents now, some even with angst-riden teenagers of our own, mostly greeted a mention of the Smiths as if I was speaking of a former lover,” he writes. Let me start with the big legacy question. I place them right up there. So I think when you look commercially, you can’t say Morrissey and Marr were on the level then of Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards.
Symphony No. 4 (Brahms) The symphony is divided into four movements with the following tempo markings: Allegro non troppo (E minor)Andante moderato (E major)Allegro giocoso (C major)Allegro energico e passionato (E minor) A typical performance lasts about 40 minutes. This movement is in a conventional first movement sonata form: A requiem style movement with a phrygian sound from the horns, this has a modified sonata form with no development section. This last movement is notable as a rare example of a symphonic passacaglia, which is similar to a chaconne with the slight difference that the subject can appear in more voices than the bass. An analysis of this last movement by Walter Frisch provides yet further interpretation to Brahms' structure of this work, by giving sections sonata form dimensions. The symphony is rich in allusions, most notably to various Beethoven compositions. The work was given its premiere in Meiningen on October 25, 1885 with Brahms himself conducting. Jump up ^ "Brahms, Johannes ."
Felix Mendelssohn Portrait of Mendelssohn by the English miniaturist James Warren Childe (1778–1862), 1839 Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (German: [ˈjaːkɔp ˈluːtvɪç ˈfeːlɪks ˈmɛndl̩szoːn baʁˈtɔldi]; 3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn,[n 1] was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family, although initially he was raised without religion and was later baptised as a Reformed Christian. Mendelssohn was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent. Early success in Germany, where he also revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was followed by travel throughout Europe. Life Childhood Felix's surname Career Musical education Early maturity Meeting Goethe and conducting Bach Düsseldorf
Lana Del Rey, the joke’s on us Andy Warhol famously remarked that the president and Liz Taylor drink the same cola as the bum on the corner: “All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.” On the year’s most controversial album, “Born to Die,” (released in a “Paradise Edition” last week), Lana Del Rey proclaims “My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola.” It’s not enough for 2012’s most-talked-about pop star (did people really discuss Carly Rae Jepsen?) to enjoy corporate excess or bemoan it from a human distance; she has to physically bond with it. Why carry the designer bag when you can get the logo tattooed? Whether you find Lana’s, ahem, product placement to be appalling or novel, chances are excellent that you paused to take it in, because it’s not the sort of thing that a pop star — or any kind of celebrity really — would say. Laughter is a crucial feature of any connective music, just in case there are still Scott Walker fans who can’t fathom why he toils in cultdom while Sinatra enjoys commemorative plates.
Passacaglia Bernardo Storace, last bars of Passagagli sopra A la mi re and beginning of Passagagli sopra C sol fa ut, from Selva di varie compositioni (Venice, 1664) The passacaglia (/pæsəˈkɑːliə/; Italian: [pasːaˈkaʎːa]) is a musical form that originated in early seventeenth-century Spain and is still used today by composers. It is usually of a serious character and is often, but not always, based on a bass-ostinato and written in triple metre. Origin Composers Other examples are the organ passacaglias of Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Pachelbel, Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Johann Kaspar Kerll, Daniel Gregory Mason, Georg Muffat, Gottlieb Muffat, Johann Kuhnau, Felix Mendelssohn, Juan Bautista Cabanilles, Bernardo Pasquini, Max Reger, Ralph Vaughan Williams (Passacaglia on B–G–C, 1933), and Leo Sowerby. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber's "Passacaglia", the last piece of the monumental Mystery Sonatas, is one of the earliest known compositions for solo violin. Notes Bibliography
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
Björk puts the rock in rock star Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk was born and raised on an island that tectonic forces are ripping apart. Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which separates the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate. These two plates are drifting away from one another at a rate of about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) each year. Most of the Mid-Atlantic ridge remains underwater, but Iceland was forced above sea level around 18 million years ago, most likely by an enormous mushroom-shaped plume of magma. The Icelandic plume is also probably responsible for the island’s intense volcanic activity and geysers. Over the years, Iceland’s unique geology and diverse landscapes have appeared in Björk’s art in one way or another. Björk and her team chose Los Angeles-based filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang to direct the music video for “Mutual Core.” The video opens with crumbling layers of earth, reminiscent of sand art. In some scenes, Björk appears to spit magma from her mouth.
Amy Beach Amy Beach Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (September 5, 1867 – December 27, 1944) was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H.H.A. Beach. Early years Amy Beach was born in Henniker, New Hampshire into a distinguished New England family. In 1875, Beach's family moved to Boston, where they were advised to enter her into a European conservatory. Career Amy Beach in 1908 After her husband died in 1910, Beach toured Europe for three years as a pianist, playing her own compositions. Music A member of the “Second New England School” or “Boston Group,” she is the lone female considered alongside composers John Knowles Paine, Arthur Foote, George Chadwick, Edward MacDowell, George Whiting, and Horatio Parker. Her writing is mainly in a Romantic idiom, often compared to that of Brahms or Rachmaninoff. She was most popular, however, for her songs.
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.
Gangnam Style: We need more foreign language pop songs Photographs by Axl Jansen and Ryan Pierse/Getty Images. How to account for the more than 650 million YouTube views of “Gangnam Style”? That jaunty dance surely deserves some credit, but might the faucalized voice and aspirated consonants of the Korean language play a part as well? It may seem unlikely, though perhaps no more unlikely than everything else about Psy’s megahit. “Gangnam Style” is the first smash foreign-language song in the United States in years—and, with any hope, a sign of more to come—but it’s hardly the first. This is a shame for a number of reasons. Given the history of pop, an English translation of "Gangnam Style" may not be far off. Language’s effect on music can take unexpected forms. Despite this rhythmic-linguistic hurdle, some singers do OK shifting from one tongue to another. In any case, international charts make it clear that English now serves as pop’s lingua franca. Are some languages more musical than others? Thanks to Dr.
Piano Quintet (Brahms) The piece is in four movements: Allegro non troppo (F minor)Andante, un poco adagio (A♭ major)Scherzo: Allegro (C minor - C major)Finale: Poco sostenuto - Allegro non troppo - Presto, non troppo (F minor) This movement begins with a unison theme in all instruments. It is in sonata form with the exposition repeated, and the second subject is a diminished fourth down (F minor moving to C sharp minor) transitioning to the enharmonic parallel major (D flat). This calm movement is in A-flat major, with a second theme in E major - enharmonically a major third lower, as in the first movement. This movement is in ternary form (A-B-A) with A being a scherzo in C minor (with a secondary theme in C major and E flat major) and B being a trio in C major.
Franz Schubert 1875 oil painting by Wilhelm August Rieder, after his own 1825 watercolor portrait Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁant͡s ˈʃuːbɐt]; 31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer. In a short lifespan of less than 32 years, Schubert was a prolific composer, writing some 600 Lieder, ten complete or nearly complete symphonies, liturgical music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades immediately after his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Biography Early life and education Schubert was born in Himmelpfortgrund (now a part of Alsergrund), Vienna, on 31 January 1797. Teacher at his father's school Supported by friends