Monthly Archives: March 2011


Maybe this seems obvious, but I can’t talk about classical music in films without talking about Fantasia. Within this film are all of my earliest memories of classical music. Fantasia was released in 1940. It began with the concept of … Continue reading

Posted in Amilcare Ponchielli, Classical Music in Film, Franz Schubert, Igor Stravinsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Modest Mussorgsky, Paul Dukas, Pyotr Tchaikovsky | Leave a comment

97: Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in B flat major “Spring”

Robert Schumann wrote his first symphony in 1841, the year after marrying Clara Wieck. He attributes his feelings towards Clara for the title “Spring” which he bestowed upon the piece. Having mostly written for piano and voice, this was some … Continue reading

Posted in 1800-1850, German, Performance, Robert Schumann, Symphonies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition

It was 1873 when Modest Mussorgsky’s close friend, artist Viktor Hartmann died suddenly of an aneurism at age 39. The following year Mussorgsky attended an exhibition of over 400 pieces by Hartmann. Shaken by his death, and inspired by his … Continue reading

Posted in 1850-1900, Modest Mussorgsky, Russian | Leave a comment

98: Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5 in F Major

Antonín Dvořák wrote his fifth symphony in the summer of 1875. There is quite a bit of confusion when it comes to numbering his symphonies. Dvořák’s first four symphonies were not published until after his death. His publisher Fritz Simrock … Continue reading

Posted in 1850-1900, Antonin Dvorak, Czech, Performance, Symphonies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gustav Holst’s The Planets

Here is another piece I was introduced to in high school. If you attend enough marching band competitions, chances are sooner or later you will hear an arrangement of “Mars”, “Venus”, and “Jupiter” from English composer Gustav Holst’s The Planets. … Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1950, English, Gustav Holst, Performance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

99: Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 4 “Heroes”

Our 99th Symphony jumps more than 200 years from Haydn’s 100th in 1794 to Philip Glass’s 4th in 1996. Titled Heroes, Glass’s symphony is based on the 1977 album by David Bowie. This was the second album in the “Berlin … Continue reading

Posted in 1950-2000, American, Philip Glass, Symphonies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera

A fellow blogger recently posted an article about the sense of satisfaction you get from discovering music as opposed to being introduced to it by someone else. We are occasionally lucky enough to stumble across a piece of music we’ve … Continue reading

Posted in 1950-2000, Chinese, Tan Dun | Tagged , , | Leave a comment