This year our group has continued its journey through time and the development of “classical” music. Last summer we waved goodbye to Bach and spent three months listening to, and finding out about, some of the other Baroque composers. We started with Vivaldi and Corelli and we found the sonnets which inspired Vivaldi to write his “Four Seasons” concertos.
Listening to the music with the words in front of us, we could hear the birds singing, the thunderstorm, the peasants sleeping in the sun and the icy blast of winter.
We listened to music by the Scarlattis, father and son, Telemann from Germany, Couperin from France, and we discovered that Albinoni’s famous Adagio was not written by Albinoni at all, but by Remo Giazotto in the 1940’s!
In October we regretfully left the Baroque era behind and began to look at the true Classical period. Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven occupied us for a full six months, and we listened to some of our favourite pieces by these three geniuses.
In some lighter moments, we heard Flanders and Swann’s version of Mozart’s horn concerto and Dudley Moore’s spoof Beethoven piano sonata. We also came across some interesting instruments. Haydn wrote pieces for the baryton – a sort of very complicated cello with extra strings at the back. We also heard a piece which Mozart had written for the glass harmonica.
From May this year we have moved out of the Classical and into the Romantic period, starting with Berlioz, Schubert and Chopin – so much more gorgeous music to listen to!