Debussy was inspired by the Golliwog character in children’s book by Florence Upton.)Composers are inspired by the world, by their experiences, and by others’ imaginations. Novels and stories have been set by composers as everything from little piano pieces (here,
Debussy: Children’s Corner: VI. Golliwog’s Cake Walk (Kyoko Tabe, piano)
to full-blown operas with casts of gods and demi-gods.
Wagner: Das Rheingold: Scene 1: Weia! Waga! Woge, du Welle! (The Rhine Maidens: Eri Nakamura; Aurhelia Varak; Hermine Haselböck; Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Jaap van Zweden, cond.)
This series will look at the variety of ways that composers have sought and found inspiration in the characters that spring from authors’ imaginations.
Authors such as Goethe created characters such as Faust, the Erlkönig, and even the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Dukas: L’apprenti sorcier (Ireland RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; Jean-Luc Tingaud, cond.
Richard Burton’s translation of the traditional folk stories in his 10-volume collection from 1885: The Book of the One Thousand and one Nights brought us characters such as Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor, and even Scheherazade, the story teller, herself.
We’ll range far and wide on this search for fictional characters who inspired composers: from traditional fairy tales to modern comics. Little Red Riding Hood to Flash Gordon – there’s a world of inspiration everwhere!
- The Inspiration of Imagination – 1001 Nights Aladdin and Scheherazade are only story characters, but they inspired a lot of composers!
- The Inspiration of Imagination – The Comics Can you recognize Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Schroeder when they are set to music?
- The Inspiration of Imagination – Dracula Meet Count Dracula, Dr. Van Helsing, and Frankenstein Monster in music
- The Inspiration of Imagination – Fairy Tales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel in music
- Antonín Dvořák and His Circle of Friends Hans von Bülow, Johannes Brahms, Karel Bendl and more
- Victor Hugo’s Les Djinns
By Gabriel Fauré, César Franck and Louis Vierne Listen to three distinctive musical settings of Hugo's most famous poem
- Musical Double Takes II by Charles-Valentin Alkan, Johann Nepomuk Hummel & More
- Felix Mendelssohn and His Circle of Friends II Mendelssohn’s friendship with Robert and Clara Schumann, Charles Edward Horsley, and more