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.
August 2019 began on a Thursday (making for a very short week). So here are my picks for the first nine days of #ClassicalSummer.
8/1/19 Anon. 13th C.: Sumer is icumen in
This is one of the earliest rounds preserved in music manuscript. It’s from an abbey manuscript, c.1260. and is in the Wessex dialect of Middle English.
8/2/19 Joseph Suk: A Summer’s Tale, Op. 29
This 1908 tone poem is part of a trilogy, which includes “The Ripening” and “Prague.” “Summer’s Tale” is the longest of the three and the most complex.
8/5/19 Philippe Chamouard: Madrigal d’été pour violoncelle et orchestre
Chamouard is a modern French composer who writes in a Neo-Romantic style. The 2016 Summer Madrigal is one of his most popular works.
8/6/19 Franz Joseph Haydn – The Seasons – Summer
The creation of Haydn’s 1801 oratorio was prompted by the success of “The Creation.” The tone-painting in the Summer section includes the musical depiction of croaking frogs.
8/7/19 Felix Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mendelssohn wrote the overture to Shakespeare’s play when he was 17. The rest of the incidental music (including the Wedding March) was written 18 years later.
8/8/19 Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel – “August” from Das Jahr
Fanny Mendelssohn completed her piano work, “Das Jahr” (The Year) in 1841. Each of the 12 pieces depicts a different month.
8/9/19 Sigismond Thalberg – Variations on “The Last Rose of Summer,” Op. 73
Thalberg was one of the most popular touring piano virtuosi of the mid-19th Century. He was also one of the most popular composers for the instrument. These variations on the Irish folk song were published in 1857.