An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth. Dimitri Shostakovich
This lecture series by Robert Greenberg on the 30 Greatest Orchestral Works is an amazing journey through music and the history of music starting with Vivaldi and ending with Shostakovich.
I learned a great deal about music and especially the composers and what they tried to accomplish through their music. I had no idea that at one time composers working for patrons were expected to come up with something new every month and didn't start writing their works down until people started asking them to play something again. Can you imagine how many great works were lost because they were not written down?
The list of the classes are as follows:
30 Greatest Orchestral Works
2. Vivaldi’s-The Four Seasons
3. Bach’s-Brandenburg Concerto
4. Bach’s-Violin Concerto in E Major
5. Haydn’s-Symphony 104
6. Mozart’s -Piano Concerto 24 in C Minor
7. Mozart’s-Symphony #104 Jupiter In C Major
8. Beethoven-Symphony #3
9. Beethoven-Piano Concerto #4
10. Beethoven-Symphony #9
11. Schubert-Symphony #9
12. Mendelssohn—“Italian” Symphony
13. Schumann—Symphony No. 3
14. Brahm’s-Symphony No.4
15. Brahm’s-Violin Concerto
16. Tchaikovsky—Symphony No. 4
17. Tchaikovsky—Violin Concerto
18. Bedrich Smetana—Má Vlast
19. Dvorák—Symphony No. 8
20. Dvorák—Concerto for ’Cello
22. Richard Strauss—Thus Spoke Zarathustra
23. Mahler—Symphony No. 5
24. Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2
25. Debussy—La Mer
26. Stravinsky—The Rite of Spring
27. Saint-Saëns—Symphony No. 3
28. Holst—The Planets
29. Copland—Appalachian Spring
30. Shostakovich—Symphony No. 5
31. Shostakovich—Symphony No. 10
32. The Ones that Got Away
He ends the lectures talking about some composers like Bizet and Bartok whose estates refuse to allow the Great Courses to teach their works, which is a shame.
I know now what to look for in a piece of music and some more composers I should look into. I can highly recommend the course and the lecturer.
1 Introduction and Words and Music, I
2 Introduction and Words and Music, II
3 A Brief History of Vocal Expression in Music, I
4 A Brief History of Vocal Expression in Music, II
5 Invention of Opera and Monteverdi's Orfeo, I
6 Invention of Opera and Monteverdi's Orfeo, II
7 Invention of Opera and Monteverdi's Orfeo, III
8 Invention of Opera and Monteverdi's Orfeo, IV
9 The Growth of Opera, the Development of Italian Opera Seria, and Mozart's Idomeneo, I
10 The Growth of Opera, the Development of Italian Opera Seria, and Mozart's Idomeneo, II
11 The Growth of Opera, the Development of Italian Opera Seria, and Mozart's Idomeneo, III
12 The Growth of Opera, the Development of Italian Opera Seria, and Mozart's Idomeneo, IV
13 The Rise of Opera Buffa and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, I
14 The Rise of Opera Buffa and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, II
15 The Rise of Opera Buffa and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, III
16 The Rise of Opera Buffa and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, IV
17 The Bel Canto Style and Rossini's The Barber of Seville, I
18 The Bel Canto Style and Rossini's The Barber of Seville, II
19 Verdi and Otello, I
20 Verdi and Otello, II
21 Verdi and Otello, III
22 Verdi and Otello, IV
23 French Opera, I
24 French Opera, II
25 German Opera Comes of Age
26 Richard Wagner and Tristan und Isolde, I
27 Richard Wagner and Tristan und Isolde, II
28 Late Romantic German Opera—Richard Strauss and Salome
29 Russian Opera, I
30 Russian Opera, II
31 Verismo, Puccini, and Tosca, I
32 Verismo, Puccini, and Tosca, II
I love Professor Greenberg’s lectures and when I saw this one available on Audible I had to try it. I have never been an opera buff before (except for a fondness to Mighty Mouse growing up) but since joining Amazon Prime and noticing all of the great operas available to listen or watch on Video, I have been catching up.
What Professor Greenberg does in these lectures, (32 45 minutes in length) is tell you the history of Opera, give you some examples of some great Operas and just let you listen and enjoy.
Things I learned from this course:
1. Opera got it’s start in monastic Gregorian chants and other early choral works.
2. The language that an opera is written determines it’s style. Italian is very expressive, while German is more guttural, if you understand what I mean.
3. There are so many operas out there to enjoy, and I can’t wait!
I enjoyed listening to these lectures while I was in the hospital recently and it really got me through.
If you want to stretch your mind outside of your usual course, I highly recommend any class by Professor Robert Greenberg. He knows how to make music interesting and he makes it easy to understand. This was a real joy to hear.
“Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.” George Gershwin
1. Plantation Beginnings
2. The Rise and Fall of Ragtime
3. The Jazz Age
5. The Swing Era
6. Boogie, Big Band Blues and Bop
7. Modern Jazz
8. The ABC’s of Jazz Improvisation
I really enjoyed this class as I have always liked Ragtime and Dixieland Bands and as I grew I, loved going to a place in Portland, Oregon called Jazz de Opus where they would have a trio playing or just some classic records that the owner had. Alas, it is no longer in existence so I have to listen at home. Disneyland introduced me to the Dixieland music because they always had a great band playing at one of their restaurants near Frontierland.
Professor Bill Messenger is a musician who opened for Bill Haley and the Comets, played with Cass Elliott and many other musicians over the years before becoming a professor for The Peabody Institute.
Each class is forty-five minutes in length. Prof. Messenger always includes many musical examples, played by him or guests or sometimes pre-recorded. The class is lively and easy for a non-musical person to follow along.
Every class flows by so fast that I began looking for examples of music he talked about so I could continue my education. The only Jazz variant I wasn’t wild about was fusion, which from some of the examples he played seemed just like a lot of noise. No beat, no rhythm and no blues.
I highly recommend this class for anyone that wants to learn more about Jazz and the different versions it has undergone. The Professor makes his class fun and begging for more.