Modeste Moussorgsky was a Romantic Russian composer who wrote "Pictures at an Exhibition" in 1874. Representing an imaginary art show, many of the short compositions are based on works by his artist friend Viktor Hartmann, who died in 1873. I borrowed this idea in reverse for the CD cover by taking pictures related to songs.
German Romantic Ludwig van Beethoven finished his 14th Piano Sonata in C# minor in 1801. He called it "Quasi una fantasia," Italian for Almost a fantasy, but it's popularly known as the "Moonlight Sonata." I played just the first movement, "Adagio sostenuto." Also included is his Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, "Fur Elise," completed in 1810.
Claude Debussy was a French Impressionist who began his "Suite Bergamasque" around 1890, but didn't finish it until 1905. "Clair de Lune" is the third piece, and the literal French translation is "Light of Moon."
Classical Austrian Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his 11th Piano Sonata in A major circa 1783. I played the third "Alla Turca" movement, also known as the "Turkish Rondo."
Scott Joplin was an African-American Ragtime composer who moved to this house at 2658A Delmar, St. Louis in 1900. While living there he composed "The Entertainer," published in 1902. The "Maple Leaf Rag" was published in 1899.
Romantic Norwegian Edvard Grieg composed a suite for Henrik Ibsen's play "Peer Gynt" in 1875. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is from Act II.
German Romantic Richard Wagner included the "Bridal Chorus" as part of his 1850 opera "Lohengrin." Its premiere was conducted by the Hungarian Romantic Franz Liszt, who also transcribed it for piano.
Another German Romantic, Felix Mendelssohn, composed the "Wedding March" in 1842 as part of his incidental music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It was transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt, and in 1946 the Russian-American pianist Vladimir Horowitz recorded his own arrangement - which he never published. However technology has since enabled his audio recordings to be transcribed.
I intended this picture as a Rorschach. The white-flower-lined path may be appropriate for a wedding procession. The dense foliage could represent the implied polyamory in Shakespeare's forest adventure.
George Gershwin was a secular Jewish-American Modern-Romantic who premiered "Rhapsody in Blue" in 1924. It was his first major piece, and was influenced by the syncopated rhythms of Ragtime like that by Scott Joplin, and the Romantic exuberance in works like Moussorgsky's. Gershwin grew up in Brooklyn to the sounds of trains ("Rhapsody" at 10:44). This is Brooklyn City Hall in 1907 (Gershwin turned 9).
released December 13, 2010
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