Macbeth, Op. 23, is a symphonic poem written by Richard Strauss between 1886 and 1888.The work was his first tone poem, which Strauss described as "a completely new path" for him compositionally. Written in some semblance of sonata form, the piece was revised more thoroughly than any of Strauss's other works; these revisions, focused primarily on the development and recapitulation sections, show how much the composer was struggling at this point in his career to balance narrative content with musical form. Bryan Gilliam writes in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians that, "New path or not, Macbeth failed to find a firm place in the concert repertory, because it lacked the thematic cogency and convincing pacing of musical events so evident in the two antecedent works [ Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung ( Death and Transfiguration )]. And despite revisions to the orchestration, in an attempt to restrain inner voices and highlight principal themes, Macbeth still falls short of Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung in sonic clarity."
In musical composition, the opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles; the word is abbreviated as "Op." for a single work, or "Opp." when referring to more than one work.
A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. The German term Tondichtung appears to have been first used by the composer Carl Loewe in 1828. The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt first applied the term Symphonische Dichtung to his 13 works in this vein.
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such as Metamorphosen and his Oboe Concerto. Strauss was also a prominent conductor in Western Europe and the Americas, enjoying quasi-celebrity status as his compositions became standards of orchestral and operatic repertoire.
The piece is scored for 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, bass trumpet, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, tam-tam and strings.
The Western concert flute is a transverse (side-blown) woodwind instrument made of metal or wood. It is the most common variant of the flute. A musician who plays the flute is called a flautist, flutist, flute player, or (rarely) fluter.
The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The modern piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise to the name ottavino, which the instrument is called in the scores of Italian composers. It is also called flauto piccolo or flautino.
Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are usually made of wood, but there are also oboes made of synthetic materials. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore
Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler was composed in 1901 and 1902, mostly during the summer months at Mahler's holiday cottage at Maiernigg. Among its most distinctive features are the trumpet solo that opens the work with a rhythmic motive similar to the opening of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, the horn solos in the third movement and the frequently performed Adagietto.
A septet is a formation containing exactly seven members. It is commonly associated with musical groups, but can be applied to any situation where seven similar or related objects are considered a single unit, such as a seven-line stanza of poetry.
Prometheus: The Poem of Fire, Op. 60 (1910), is a symphonic work by the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin for piano, orchestra, optional choir, and clavier à lumières or "Chromola". Prometheus is only loosely based on the myth of Prometheus. A typical performance lasts about 20 minutes.
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28, is a tone poem written in 1894–95 by Richard Strauss. It chronicles the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero Till Eulenspiegel, who is represented by two themes. The first, played by the horn, is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, falls downward, and ends in three long, loud notes, each progressively lower. The second, for D clarinet, is crafty and wheedling, suggesting a trickster doing what he does best.
Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24, is a tone poem for large orchestra by Richard Strauss. Strauss began composition in the late summer of 1888 and completed the work on 18 November 1889. The work is dedicated to the composer's friend Friedrich Rosch.
Roman Festivals is a symphonic poem written in 1928 by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It is the third orchestral work in his "Roman trilogy", preceded by Fountains of Rome (1916) and Pines of Rome (1924). Each of the four movements depict a scene of celebration from ancient or modern Rome. It is the longest and most demanding of the trilogy, and thus it is less-often programmed than its companion pieces. Its premiere was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Arturo Toscanini in 1929.
Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 is a tone poem by Richard Strauss. The work was completed in 1898. It was his eighth work in the genre, and exceeded any of its predecessors in its orchestral demands. Generally agreed to be autobiographical in nature, despite contradictory statements on the matter by the composer, the work contains more than thirty quotations from Strauss's earlier works, including Also sprach Zarathustra, Till Eulenspiegel, Don Quixote, and Death and Transfiguration.
The Four Last Songs, Op. posth., for soprano and orchestra are – with the exception of the song "Malven" (Mallows), composed later the same year – the final completed works of Richard Strauss. They were composed in 1948 when the composer was 84.
Aus Italien, Op. 16, is a tone poem or program symphony for orchestra by Richard Strauss, described by the composer as a "symphonic fantasy". It was completed in 1886 when he was 22 years old. It was inspired by the composer's visit to Italy in the summer of the same year, where he travelled to Rome, Bologna, Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, and Capri. He began to sketch the work while still on the journey.
Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5, is a symphonic poem written by Arnold Schoenberg and completed in February 1903. It was premiered on 25 January 1905 at the Musikverein in Vienna under the composer's direction in a concert that also included the first performance of Alexander von Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau. The work is based on Maurice Maeterlinck's play Pelléas and Mélisande, a subject suggested by Richard Strauss. When he began composing the work in 1902, Schoenberg was unaware that Claude Debussy's opera, also based on Maeterlinck's play, was about to premiere in Paris.
Music for Prague 1968 is a programmatic work written by Czech-born composer Karel Husa for symphonic band and later transcribed for full orchestra, written shortly after the Soviet Union crushed the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Karel Husa was sitting on the dock at his cottage in America at the time, listening to the BBC broadcast of the events on the radio. He was deeply moved, and wrote Music for Prague 1968 to memorialize the events. This piece is a standard among wind ensemble repertoire.
The Bachianas Brasileiras are a series of nine suites by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, written for various combinations of instruments and voices between 1930 and 1945. They represent not so much a fusion of Brazilian folk and popular music on the one hand, and the style of Johann Sebastian Bach on the other, as an attempt freely to adapt a number of Baroque harmonic and contrapuntal procedures to Brazilian music. Most of the movements in each suite have two titles: one "Bachian", the other Brazilian.
Kossuth, Sz. 21, BB. 31, DD. 75a is a symphonic poem composed by Béla Bartók inspired by the Hungarian politician Lajos Kossuth.
The tone poems of Richard Strauss are noted as the high point of program music in the latter part of the 19th century, extending its boundaries and taking the concept of realism in music to an unprecedented level. In these works, he widened the expressive range of music while depicting subjects many times thought unsuitable for musical depiction. As Hugh MacDonald points out in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "In the years prior to World War I these works were held to be in the vanguard of modernism."
The trumpet repertoire consists of solo literature and orchestral or, more commonly, band parts written for the trumpet. Tracings its origins to 1500 BC, the trumpet is a musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family.
"Ruhe, meine Seele!", Op. 27, No. 1, is the first in a set of four songs composed by Richard Strauss in 1894. It was originally for voice and piano, and not orchestrated by Strauss until 1948, after he had completed one of his Four Last Songs, "Im Abendrot". The words are from a poem "Ruhe, meine Seele!" written by the poet Karl Henckell.
Richard Gibson is a Canadian composer of contemporary classical music, and Professor of Composition at the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick.
Hugh John Macdonald is an English musicologist chiefly known for his work within the music of the 19th century, especially in France. He has been general editor of the Hector Berlioz: New Edition of the Complete Works since its inception in 1967 and has been particularly active in the revival of interest in Berlioz's music. He is also the author of several entries within The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Stanley John Sadie was an influential and prolific British musicologist, music critic, and editor. He was editor of the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), which was published as the first edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is one of the largest reference works on western music. Originally published under the title A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and later as Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it has gone through several editions since the 19th century and is widely used. In recent years it has been made available as an electronic resource called Grove Music Online, which is now an important part of Oxford Music Online.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.