Summer Concerts: Program Notes

Good news!–CMajor’s Classroom will not post any homework over the summer months.  You are encouraged to go out and attend concerts, shows, performances of any kind that involve music at your leisure.  However, in the meantime, CMajor will post notes and updates about her summer activities.  As promised from today’s CMajor Radio Show, I am posting the following program notes from a summer concert that I recently attended.  Have a great summer and please see the notes below:

Note:  These notes are taken verbatim as seen in the program featuring the music of Karl Goldmark and Felix Mendelssohn.

The lives of these two composers covered a musical period of great accomplishment from the early 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.  Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, a descendent of Moses Mendelssohn, one of Germany’s greatest philosophers, was born on February 3, 1809 in Hamburg, Germany.  When Felix was four years old his parents moved to Berlin where his musical career began with studies in violin and composition.  Although Felix’s father demanded that the boy continue his general education and not devote himself entirely to his music, Felix continued to compose (symphonies, concerti, oratorios and other chamber works in the early Romantic style) and perform all over Europe.  He died in Leipzig in 1847.

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Karl Goldmark, the son of a cantor, was born on May 18, 1830 in Deszthel, Hungary.  He later settled in Vienna where he was a teacher, conductor, and composer.  He loved Judaism and was clearly influenced by Biblical material.  Early on, Karl had some difficulty having his work staged, but that never prevented his continued composing.  He wrote everything: operas (the most famous was the Queen of Sheba), symphonies (the most famous was The Rustic Wedding Symphony with its overture, In Spring), chamber music (his Piano Trio Op. 33 No.2 is on today’s program), choral works, and songs.  His violin concerto is an enduring work for that instrument.  He died in Vienna in 1915.

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