Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.5

June Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

painting of beethoven with music score

Cello Sonata No.5 in d major, 1815

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Britten’s War Requiem

RAF_Bomber_Command_1940_HU104656

In an evening united by poets and music, the MSO reminded us how art can serve as a warning against war.

‘My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity…All a poet can do today is warn.’ Wilfred Owen’s words were written by composer Benjamin Britten on the front page of the score of War Requiem. In these days of hero worship and glorification, the pity—the realities in the stories of war are often forgotten but they underlined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s commemorative program of the Great War.

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Composer of the month: June

The catalogue of classical music is massive. It’s hard to know where to start. Over the past couple of years I have been listening on and off to pieces in a mostly random way. But I still really didn’t know anything about them, or about their composers. As part of this journey into the classical world I’ve decided to immerse myself in a different composer every month. Each week of that month I’ll look at a popular or interesting piece and the story around it. It’ll be their story and my story.

June’s composer is probably the most well-known among the popular music world. He’s claimed to have had a massive influence on the composers who came after him and also to have changed the way the public viewed the function of music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

painting of beethoven with music score

Composer of the month: May

The catalogue of classical music is massive. It’s hard to know where to start. Over the past couple of years I have been listening on and off to pieces in a mostly random way. But I still really didn’t know anything about them, or about their composers.

As part of this journey into the classical world I decided to immerse myself in one composer a month. Each week I’ll look at a popular or interesting piece and the story around them. It’ll be their story and my story. Stay tuned.

May’s composer is the man who hooked me into this new world,

   Franz Liszt

A painting of composer Franz Lizst

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And so it begins…

man in tuxedo cradling violinClassical music is all about upper class folks wearing red velvet cravats and tuxedos isn’t it? But say I were a little interested, where would I even start? My parents were country music and 60s pop fans. I knew Charley Pride and the Beatles but no Beethoven or Mozart. To me this music felt overwhelming and impenetrable.From picnic at a summer evening concert a few years ago to an encounter with a Liszt ‘pop song’ of its time, I came to realise that music doesn’t require that you know its technical language, just its audible one. It definitely doesn’t require that you dress a certain way to listen to it. All it really requires are your ears and an open heart.

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