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Refining Perfection
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
Beethoven’s orchestra in 1804, when he conducted the first performance of his Symphony No. 3, and Mahler’s orchestra a century later were very different. Developments in string technology, in brass and woodwind instrument construction, and in the very sound and
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Mozart’s Seven Saddest Pieces of Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known for his light, elegant, joyful music. His preternaturally cheerful mood makes the times when he did write dark music stand out all the more. Today, we’re looking at seven of Mozart’s saddest pieces of music,
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Viola d’amore: The Violin with Extras
The viola d’amore (or viol of love) is a violin with a difference. Instead of the usual 4 strings as on the violin, it can have up to 14 strings – seven bowed and seven that are ‘sympathetic’ strings, i.e.,
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Opening the Doors in the Wunderkammer
Danny Elfman’s Wunderkammer
In Renaissance Europe, the well-dressed man about town did his best to be the ultimate in culture and style. Style was taken care of by the clothes he wore but culture was a different matter. Because of what seems to
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At the Piano With Sir Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar (1857-1934) made his reputation with several large-scale orchestral works such as the ever-popular Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstances Marches, delightful Concertos for violin and cello, and two Symphonies. On the other hand, Elgar made his
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Gustav Mahler
Das klagende Lied (Song of Lamentation)
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) obtained his diploma from the Vienna Conservatory at the age of 18, and he certainly had to make an important decision on his further path in music. One year before, he had completely given up the idea
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Takashi Yoshimatsu
“Tapiola Visions” for Piano Left Hand
The Japanese classical composer Takashi Yoshimatsu, internationally known for composing the 2003 remake of “Astro Boy,” was devastated when his close friend, the pianist Izumi Tateno collapsed on stage after playing the last note of a performance in Finland. Tateno
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Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Trilogy Concertos
Combining the ancient tradition of Chinese martial arts philosophy and visual arts, world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun composed award-winning orchestral scores for three films by critically acclaimed directors. The Martial Arts Trilogy celebrates three heroes and
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