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Grieg – Two Elegiac Melodies

During the course of his life, Grieg had several unproductive periods due to a chronic illness.
The year 1880 marked the end of one of such periods, and the inspiration came from poet Aasmund Olafsson Vinje, a proud romantic Norwegian nationalist.

Grieg, whose sentiments perfectly aligned with Vinje’s, chose 12 poems to set to music as a song cycle. From those 12, Grieg transcribed two of them for string orchestra: Hjertesår (The Wounded Heart), and Våren (The Last Spring).

Mozart – Mass K257 – Credo

The Mass K257 falls in the stream of the so-called Credo-Masses. The name is derived from the long setting of the Credo, a practice adopted on many occasions, including, among others, Mozart’s own Kleine Credo Messe K192 and, later on, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

Bruckner – Symphony n.8, Mov. 4

The triumphant Finale of Bruckner 8th – the last symphony that the composer completed – is a marvel of compositional structure and clarity of process.

Haydn – Symphony n.44

Haydn’s symphony 44 is known as Trauer (Mourning). An apocryphal story relates that Haydn asked for the slow movement of this symphony to be played at his funeral.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an exhibition

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an exhibition

The painter Victor Hartmann was a close friend of Modest Mussorgsky and when he died, Mussorgsky was devastated. A couple of weeks after his passing, Hartmann’s friends and supporters organized an exhibition of his paintings at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.
And about a year later, Mussorgsky channeled his pain into a new piano work, making his memories of his close friend immortal.

Dvořák – Violin concerto

Dvořák – Violin concerto

The only violin concerto by the great bohemian composer Antonín Dvořák was written in 1879 and cut its place out in the repertoire, especially because of its melodic lines, its folk references, and its sparkly finale

Liszt – Faust Symphony

Liszt – Faust Symphony

Franz Liszt’s interest in Goethe’s Faust was prompted by an illustrious mediation, that of Hector Berlioz, who dedicated his Damnation de Faust to Listz in 1846. The favor was returned by Liszt who dedicated to Berlioz the Faust Symphony.

Conducting Pills

A FREE video series with an analysis of structure, phrasing, and, of course, conducting tips of repertoire works: from Mozart to Brahms, from Beethoven to Debussy. A new episode every week!

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