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Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart's own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life and times in rich detail.
Johnson charts Mozart's life from age three through to his later years - when he penned "The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni." Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart's image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died.
The result - a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time - is a welcome addition to Johnson's extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
Berlioz was one of the towering figures of Romanticism: not only was he a great and revolutionary composer, but also the finest composer of his day and an outstanding critic and writer. Yet throughout his life he struggled for money and his music was persistently reviled in his native France. With exceptional insight and sympathy, David Cairns draws together the major strands of Berlioz's life: his tempestuous marriage to the actress Harriet Smithson; the genesis of his famous works, including the Requiem, Romeo and Juliet and his crowning masterpiece The Trojans; his friendships with Mendelssohn, Liszt, Princess Wittgenstein and Wagner; and, finally, his last years haunted once again by personal tragedy. Here, as never before, is Berlioz the artist - and the man.
The BBC Proms is the world's biggest and longest-running classical music festival and one of the jewels in the crown for the BBC. It is one of the strongest brand names in the music world and attracts a glittering array of artists and orchestras from the UK and around the world in over 150 concerts, talks, workshops and family events around London every summer. Whether you're a first-time visitor or an experienced Prommer, watching at home or listening on radio or online, the BBC Proms Guide will help you to plan your summer of music and discover in depth what lies behind the Proms - from the composers to the performers to how the events are broadcast. The Proms Guide contains brand-new articles on featured composers and insights on performers, new music and accompanying events.
for SATB double choir and organ The King shall rejoice was commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's coronation. Setting powerful and optimistic words from Psalm 21, Chilcott establishes a celebratory mood from the outset, with dancing 6/8 rhythms and jubilant, ringing chords. The voices soon divide into two choirs, creating a striking antiphonal effect, and the music moves through sections of slower, more sustained writing in 4/4. The second half of the work sets an adapted version of the psalm text, famously used by William Byrd-'O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen rejoice in thy strength'-before coming to a buoyant and triumphant close with the final 'amen'.
for SATB and organ Archer's setting of this well-known Christmas text is lilting and buoyant, with a memorable melody and charming organ interludes. Suitable for liturgical or concert use, the carol features great textual variety, building to a rousing finish that is sure to fill audiences with Christmas cheer!
for soprano solo and organ (or strings and organ continuo), with optional solo trumpet This deeply expressive arioso, which opens Handel's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (1713), was performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on 19 May 2018. Originally scored in D major for counter-tenor, with trumpet and strings, the work is here arranged by John Rutter for performance by soprano and organ (or strings and organ continuo), with or without solo trumpet, in the slightly lower key of C major. The orchestral score and instrumental parts are available for purchase as a package containing (1) the orchestral score in C major, and (2) the instrumental parts (solo tpt, vln 1, vln 2, vla, vc, db, organ continuo) in two versions, in C major and D flat major. The D flat version of the parts is to enable performance with modern strings but natural trumpet, the trumpet playing in Handel's original key of D major but at baroque pitch (A = 415).
for SAATB unaccompanied A piece made famous by the award-winning a cappella group Vocado, Coffee Time is an upbeat dedication to the down time we all crave, for sharing thoughts, silence, and that aroma! Founded on classic a cappella style and sense of fun, the piece boasts an infectious melody and bossa nova rhythm, with sumptuous key changes, scat rhythms, and contrasting sections. The piece is perfect for vocal groups or small- to medium-size choirs, and has the makings of a great encore or competition piece.
Since its composition in Washington's Willard Hotel in 1861, Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" has been used to make America and its wars sacred. Few Americans reflect on its violent and redemptive imagery, drawn freely from prophetic passages of the Old and New Testaments, and fewer still think about the implications of that apocalyptic language for how Americans interpret who they are and what they owe the world. In A Fiery Gospel, Richard M. Gamble describes how this camp-meeting tune, paired with Howe's evocative lyrics, became one of the most effective instruments of religious nationalism. He takes the reader back to the song's origins during the Civil War, and reveals how those political and military circumstances launched the song's incredible career in American public life. Gamble deftly considers the idea behind the song-humming the tune, reading the music for us-all while reveling in the multiplicity of meanings of and uses to which Howe's lyrics have been put. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" has been versatile enough to match the needs of Civil Rights activists and conservative nationalists, war hawks and peaceniks, as well as Europeans and Americans. This varied career shows readers much about the shifting shape of American righteousness. Yet it is, argues Gamble, the creator of the song herself-her Abolitionist household, Unitarian theology, and Romantic and nationalist sensibilities-that is the true conductor of this most American of war songs. A Fiery Gospel depicts most vividly the surprising genealogy of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and its sure and certain position as a cultural piece in the uncertain amalgam that was and is American civil religion.
for SATB double choir, children's choir, and piano Setting a text by Charles Bennett, The White Field presents a dreamlike scene in which blackbirds plant songs in the cold earth and await the growth of their music. Chilcott's melodies echo through the voices, before a climactic tutti central section giving full voice to the idea of renewal and hope in the depth of winter. A wistful coda completes the reverie as the blackbirds settle to await the return of the sun. The piano part provides harmonic support and rhythmic energy to the voice parts with chordal and semiquaver figurations throughout the work. The White Field was commissioned by the Barbican Centre for London Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Chorus for Sound Unbound, November 2015.
From Mozart to Mendelssohn, this comprehensive guide to classical music history and classical music biography is the perfect latest addition to the bestselling Big Ideas series. Easy to understand and clear to follow, this history of classical music explores and explains music theory and the impact of seminal pieces, while also providing fascinating stories about the lives of crucial composers and performers. Including an insightful foreword by Katie Derham, The Classical Music Book analyses over 90 works by famous composers. From Thomas Tallis in the early period to baroque masters like Bach and Handel, to the classical genius of Beethoven and Wagner and beyond to the modern day, The Classical Music Book explores the key ideas underpinning the world's greatest classical compositions and musical traditions, and defines their importance to the musical canon, placing them into their wider social, cultural, and historical context. The unique approach to the subject makes this book the perfect classical music guide for everyone. Regardless of whether you are relatively new to the subject and want to learn or if you are a classical music aficionado, there is plenty to discover in The Classical Music Book.
Do you know a capella from zarzuela, or your major from your minor? Can you distinguish between a serenade and a symphony? If you only have 30 seconds, there is time - using this book - to understand the creative journey taken by classical music from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Our early ancestors understood pitch and rhythm, the basic tools that have been worked and ordered by composers and performers over the past 400 years into an extraordinary body of music written for soloists, chamber musicians and entire orchestras. Today, everyone has access to a prodigy of classical music which, far from being traditional or elitist, is alive and magical. From plainsong to programme music, appreciate the magnitude and majesty, the passion and the pathos of sounds that have the power to stir our emotions to great joy or infinite sadness. Here's music to your ears.
for SSAATTBB unaccompanied Ave gloriosa mater salvatoris is a challenging and yet delicate anthem, with subtle key-signature changes, vocal divisions in up to eight parts, and alternating homophonic and polyphonic passages. The text includes excerpts from the synonymous medieval hymn and Wordsworth's poem The Virgin, making the piece suitable for a variety of sacred celebrations and particularly those of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
for soloists, SATB, and organ Written for the Choir of Wells Cathedral, of which Matthew Owens is Organist and Master of the Choristers, this setting of the St Matthew Passion is ideally suited to liturgical performance during Holy Week. The principal role of the Evangelist is taken by a baritone soloist, who narrates the story of Christ's trial and Crucifixion in unaccompanied chant. The other, smaller, solo roles of Judas (tenor), Pilate (tenor), Jesus (bass), and Pilate's wife (alto) continue in the same vein, with four-part choral interspersions from the crowds, soldiers, and priests providing a contrast in texture. The hymn 'When I survey the wondrous cross', set to the Rockingham hymn tune, appears twice throughout the work, and the congregation are encouraged to join in on both occasions. The simple organ part supports the voices for the hymn, and may also optionally double the choir during the narrative.
for SATB, organ, and optional handbells Through luminous choral harmonies, images of a winter night, and echoes of scripture, Advent Moon evokes deep human longing as well as the promise of the coming of light. The delicate organ accompaniment and optional handbells underscore both the haunting opening and the radiant conclusion of this piece.
for SATB and organ This setting of the Te Deum was written for the Choir of Lincoln Cathedral Choir to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. It opens with a dialogue between the organ and strident unison choral lines, before moving on to the Sanctus, with alternating tutti and solo passages. Powerful choral lines and jubilant organ flourishes marry perfectly with the well-known text to result in a truly laudatory work.
O Antiphon Sequence was conceived as a recital piece, although each of its individual movements would also work in a liturgical context. Each movement is a response to a short extract of liturgical text taken from the 'O Antiphons', which are the Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers during the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. The work was commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for performance at the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
This engaging work was composed in 1929 and premiered the following year by its dedicatee, the legendary Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. The five folk songs on which the work is founded are 'Salisbury Plain', 'The Long Whip', 'Low down in the broom', 'Bristol Town', and 'I've been to France'. This arrangement for solo viola and orchestra is compatible with the original orchestral accompaniment, materials for which are available on hire.
for SAT and piano or organ Originally published in the collection Alan Bullard Anthems, this optimistic setting of Jan Struther's famous text is perfectly suited to performance at a variety of occasions, including at weddings, funerals, and services throughout the year. Bullard's original melody is expressive and graceful, paying homage to the message of the words, and the supportive and melodious accompaniment may be performed on piano or organ.
No artist's achievement connects more directly with early experience than that of Berlioz. David Cairns draws on a wealth of family papers to recreate in authentic and intimate detail the provincial milieu of Berlioz's boyhood, showing how the son of a village doctor was already transforming himself into the composer of the Fantastic Symphony. Berlioz's desperate attempts to win his father's approval for his vocation, his struggles to establish himself on the Parisian musical scene, and his passionate pursuit of love are all brought vividly to life in this first volume of David Cairn's award-winning biography.
Brahms in Context offers a fresh perspective on the much-admired nineteenth-century German composer. Including thirty-nine chapters on historical, social and cultural contexts, the book brings together internationally renowned experts in music, law, science, art history and other areas, including many figures whose work is appearing in English for the first time. The essays are accessibly written, with short reading lists aimed at music students and educators. The book opens with personal topics including Brahms's Hamburg childhood, his move to Vienna, and his rich social life. It considers professional matters from finance to publishing and copyright; the musicians who shaped and transmitted his works; and the larger musical styles which influenced him. Casting the net wider, other essays embrace politics, religion, literature, philosophy, art, and science. The book closes with chapters on reception, including recordings, historical performance, his compositional legacy, and a reflection on the power of composer myths.
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