It was a busy summer for the Classics a Day team. In June, we marked African-American Music Appreciation Month. In July we celebrated national holidays in the U.S. and Canada. So that just left August to have a summer theme.
For my part, I chose to choose anything except Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” In the process, I discovered some interesting music (and composers) I’ll explore further.
Here are my picks for the fifth and final week of #ClassicalSummer.
8/26/19 Samuel Barber: Dover Beach, Op. 3
What’s summer without going to the beach? Barber set Matthew Arnold’s poem in 1931. He was also the first to record it – as the vocalist.
8/27/19 Franz Schubert: Die Sommernacht, D.289
Summertime isn’t always fun time. Schubert’s art song is about a person visiting the grave of their loved one on a summer’s evening.
8/28/19 Ferdinand Ries: Grand Sextour in C major, Op. 100
Ries was a virtuoso pianist, composer — and student of Beethoven. Like his teacher, he did a setting of “The Last Rose of Summer.” It’s the slow movement of this sextet.
8/29/19 Ludwig van Beethoven: Variationen über 6 Volksweisen, Op.105, No. 4, The last rose of summer
Everybody has to eat. Beethoven set about 180 folksongs for Scottish publisher George Thomson. The works were to use familiar tunes and be easy to play.
8/30/19 Hector Berlioz: Les Nuits d’été, Op. 7
Berlioz based his song cycle “Summer Nights” on poetry by his neighbor, Théophile Gautier. The original 1841 version was for voice and piano. Berlioz’ orchestrated version remains the most popular.