Awesome Women Composers Part 1

In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, I’ve compiled a list of some awesome women composers throughout the Romantic Era and early 20th century: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847) The oldest of four children (including brother Felix Mendelssohn), German pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn was extremely gifted and known for her musical abilities as a child. […]

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Beauty’s Aquarium: How Beauty and the Beast was Inspired by The Carnival of the Animals

books and rose

Happy Friday! On deck for today: a film/classical mash-up of Beauty and the Beast and “Aquarium” from Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals. But first, some background. The Carnival of the Animals In 1886, French composer (and organist/pianist/conductor) Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) composed and premiered his fun and humorous chamber work The Carnival of the Animals. Each of the 14 […]

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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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A Program of Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin

I had the wonderful opportunity last Friday to watch local pianist Sunghee Kim perform a concert at Oregon State University’s free Friday lunch concert series. Kim presented three pieces: Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, Sonata No. 23 in F minor by Beethoven, and Ballade No. 1 in G minor by Chopin. While I […]

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Beethoven and Star Wars Part 2: The Funeral Imperial March

As you may know, classical music of all kinds inspired composer John Williams as he wrote the Star Wars score. But what I’m really interested in is how master composer Beethoven exerted his influence on a galaxy far far away. Because there’s so much wonderful music to discuss in regards to the Star Wars score, […]

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Classical Music Inspired by Winter: Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky has some beautiful winter music

It’s almost December! I hope you are all enjoying this season of love, family, and twinkling lights. 🙂 I personally love the cold weather – especially the snow and the music! And because Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is a winter classic, that got me thinking. Has he written any other music inspired by winter? The answer is yes! So in […]

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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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Johannes Brahms, Intermezzi Op. 117

Brahms' Intermezzi Lullaby

“Three lullabies for my sorrows.” That’s how Johannes Brahms (German pianist composer who lived from 1833-1897; read more about him here) described his op. 117. Written in the summer of 1892, op. 117 consists of three piano pieces categorized as – and named – Intermezzi (Brahms titled many of his pieces Intermezzo, which is defined as […]

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