Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Little Classical Music

Time for some classical music that you know and love and may not have even known that you know and love. Everybody knows Beethoven's 5th or Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto, but some of these pieces you may very well know from their use in popular culture, whether in advertisements, movies, or as inspiration for popular songs.

So here are a few that I guarantee you know (or your money back), in no particular order:

Johann Strauss - the Blue Danube Waltz (otherwise known as "At the Beautiful Blue Danube")

Aram Khatchaturian - the Sabre Dance from Gayane

Georges Bizet - The Toreadors from Carmen

Gioachino Rossini - The William Tell Overture - known for it's slow, evocative, beautiful, and famous introduction as well as the part that was ripped off by the Lone Ranger (go to 2:30 in the same clip) - from the opera of the same name.

Speaking of slow, evocative, beautiful, and famous introductions, let's take a listen to Edvard Grieg's Morning Mood from the Peer Gynt Suite - also famous for the piece entitled In the Hall of the Mountain King. Also from the aptly named video game "Mountain King" as pointed out earlier my eternal co-blogger Ker.

And as long as we are taking so much time on Grieg, let's pause and enjoy his amazing Piano Concerto in A Minor. (Often compared to, and believed to be inspired from the Piano Concerto by Schumann)That was lovely, was it not?

Carl Orff - O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Turn your volume up and wait for it... wait for it... OH YEAH!

Amilcare Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda featuring two famous melodies.

I could go on and on, but alas, all good things must come to an end, and this post is no different. Let me know if you have enjoyed this, and I'll make some more like it.

Let us end on an up note with Gustav Holst. His Planets series is certainly what he is best known for, and perhaps no tune has been more ripped off for use in movies than his Mars: Bringer of War (John Williams for Star Wars and Hans Zimmer for Gladiator are most notably accused of borrowing (plagiarizing) this piece), but a lesser known but still enjoyable and much happier planet is Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity. And I can't think of a better way to go out.


dan said...

I know all of my classical music from Baby Einstein

Braden said...

If all you know is Baby Einstein, that's a pretty good start! Incidentally, we were chatting with my Sister-in-law Gina last night and she made the wise comment, "who knew a hand puppet and some classical music could make you a kajillion dollars" (okay, I put that in quotes but it is really a wild paraphrasing).

If you are short on time and overwhelmed by all the links, start with Orff's O Fortuna and go to Holst's Jupiter and end with Grieg's Piano Concerto. And then all the rest.