Music, much like any art form, has been a staple in nearly every culture for thousands of years. We often forget where these arts have their roots, and to better understand the music of the last few hundred years, we must go back even further… no matter how grim.
In the first drafts of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, there is a name that appeared as the subtitle before it was scribbled out and changed to ‘Eroica’. Originally Beethoven dedicated this symphony to his personal hero, a man who would soon instigate his own demise when he crowned himself Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Coming off of the success of his first two operas, young Erich Wolfgang Korngold set out to write his third. His success was so massive, that opera houses all over duked it out for the rights to stage the premier, leaving Korngold with the tough decision of who to give those rights to.
Have you ever tried recalling a tune from a film you love and have a hard time remembering what it is? Or, have you been so mesmerized by a tune that you’ll never forget it in all your days? Ben Morales Frost, a composer of film scores, is a strong advocate for the use of melody in film music. In this episode, Ben talks about some of his own film scores as well as some of his favorites that have inspired him.
The world of opera isn’t all glitz and glam. Opera maker Evan Kassof has dedicated his life to telling stories in a way that gives audiences a chance to step out of the opera house and potentially stumble upon something new in an unsuspecting place. Evan voices his opinions about the opera world of the past and how he is actively pushing the art in a direction that gives more people the chance to see the artform in a brand new light.
Trevor Kowalski, an American composer based in Los Angeles, uses his years of training in various styles of music to compose for a wide variety of projects, collaborating with award-winning filmmakers, international game developers, theater directors, and various arrangements of ensembles. Trevor has been a part of The Composer Chronicles since day one; his music uploaded to the library Epidemic Sound has been in the background of many of these episodes. After sharing his unique career, Trevor talks about the beauty of music by American composers and their influence on his own sound.
When Ralph Vaughan Williams was rummaging through old hymnals, he discovered a tune by a composer of England’s past Thomas Tallis. This simple tune would inspire Vaughan Williams to write a work for string quartet and double string orchestra, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. In creating this piece he melded two worlds together, the modern with the old, clearing the dust from a long forgotten tune and bringing it to new heights.
Every piece of music Anton Bruckner ever wrote was dedicated to God, and his Symphony No. 9 was no exception. What is strange though is that it almost seems as if Bruckner knew that he would be leaving this symphony unfinished.
Sometimes one road leads us down another that we never expected to find ourselves wandering on. British composer Barnaby Martin has been active in the music world since a young age, but it wasn’t until later in life that his career as a composer led him to becoming a prominent video essayist on his YouTube channel Listening In.
William Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy of two star-crossed lovers has been one of the most frequently adapted stories for musical purposes. Composers, such Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gounod, Berlioz, and even Duke Ellington, have been touched by its heart-wrenching tale since its creation, and this episode gives you a look into the many musical reincarnations of Shakespeare’s young lovers, Romeo and Juliet.