Cinderella’s Waltz from Prokofiev’s Ballet

wilhelm_gause_hofball_in_wien

In 1940, Prokofiev started writing his ballet Cinderella, Op. 87. Five years later, the work premiered after the composer took time to create his epic opera War and Peace as a response to the German invasion of Russia in 1941. The music in Cinderella is witty, beautiful, and sometimes strange. While I am not going to discuss the full […]

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Classical Music Inspired by Love Part 1

Next week is Valentines Day, which means – of course – that there is no better way to celebrate love than by listening to classical music inspired by it. Please enjoy this playlist I have created of classical music inspired by love, and stay tuned for part 2! Kreisleriana (Op. 16) by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Background […]

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Carol of the Bells: A History

Carol of the Bells Ukrainian Folk Song

One of the most recognizable Christmas tunes of all time is Carol of the Bells. However, the signature four-note melody, appropriately bell-like in sound and movement, has some surprising origins. Believe it or not, Carol of the Bells was not originally a Christmas song at all. Based on folk music, Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych wrote the original […]

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Creepy Classical Music

Bach toccata in d minor organ

It’s almost Halloween! I’m not usually one to celebrate this particular holiday, but I thought it would be fun to look at some creepy classical music in today’s post. Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Bach This fun little organ piece (okay, this hugely enormous organ piece) is believed to have been written by […]

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Clair de lune by Debussy

Clair de lune

One of the most famous pieces of music ever written: Composed originally in 1890 (but not published until 1905), “Clair de lune” is the third movement in a set of four pieces known as Suite bergamesque. Debussy based it on Paul Verlaine’s poem of the same name: Clair de lune (Moonlight) Votre âme est un paysage […]

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Music Favorites Part 2

Piano Music

Welcome to the second installment of Music Favorites. Check out part 1 here! It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite piece of music. It’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite child or a movie fanatic to pick his favorite film. But I have compiled a list of my favorite works to share, […]

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Classical Music Inspired by Water Part 1

Music inspired by the ocean

This weekend I’m spending a few days at the coast, so I thought I’d create a playlist of music inspired by the ocean. And because there are many many pieces that were inspired by and evoke images of water, expect future installments of this post. 🙂 [Click here for part two.] First up:  “Die Hebriden” […]

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History of the Nocturne

A nocturne is a piece of music, typically tranquil and expressive (and sometimes so gloomy), that is inspired by the night. The first musical appearance of the word nocturne occurred in the 1700s. However, these early nocturne-types were small ensemble works written specifically for an evening party rather than evoking images and feelings of the night. One example of […]

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Music Favorites Part 1

Music To Help You Feel Better

These last few months have been a little crazy and stressful. Okay, a lot crazy and stressful. I decided to take a little break today and listen to some music that I like, so I thought I’d share some of those pieces with you. Prelude in B minor by Rachmaninoff First up: Prelude in B minor […]

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Saudades do Brasil

This week I came across a piano work by French composer Darius Milhaud (pronounced Mee-YO) called Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67. It’s a suite of 12 dances based on his trip to Brazil, and they’re simply charming. Although French, Milhaud (1892-1974) was heavily influenced by jazz and Brazilian music. In 1917-18, he traveled to Latin America and was […]

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