Monday, April 21, 2014

Musical Musings Volumes 4 and 5

Two more ebooks of classical music analysis and performances:

Musical Musings Volume 4 - Music For Keyboard

This is the 4th volume in my series of articles about classical music. All of these articles originally appeared on my classical music blog Musical Musings. As with the other volumes in the series, there is a link to a performance of the musical work discussed in the article.

This volume contains works for keyboard; works for organ, clavichord, harpsichord and piano. There are examples of all 4 instruments in articles that begin with the Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643) and end with the American composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965). By the way, the work by Cowell that is included, The Banshee, is to be played on the piano, but by using the fingers of the ‘pianist’ directly on the strings, so it isn’t actually for a keyboard per se. 

The repertoire for piano alone is enormous. Add the repertoire for other keyboard instruments and the number grows to gigantic proportions.  This collection is but a miniscule scratch in the vast repertoire of keyboard music, and as such it is hardly representative. The pieces contained herein are some of my favorites, some familiar, some not so much, and some have been added purely for their uniqueness.

This 5th volume in the series of ebooks taken from my music blog Musical Musings contains articles concerning works for orchestra that are not symphonies or concertos. This primarily means that that works in this volume are overtures from operas or concert overtures, and symphonic poems.

The most heavily represented composer in this volume is Franz Liszt. While Liszt was not the first composer by any means to write music inspired by other arts, he was the first to label them as symphonic poems. Nine of his thirteen symphonic poems are in this volume. Along with Liszt are 22 other composers from Beethoven (born in 1770) to Penderecki (born in 1933).

As with other volumes in this ebook series, there is a link at the end of each article to a performance of the work discussed.