GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)GAY-org frih-drick HAN-dellEntrance of the Queen of ShebaHIS LIFEBorn the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach, Handel outlived him by nine years. By age 10 he wasalready proficient on several instruments and regarded as a keyboard prodigy. He was known as akeyboard virtuoso all his life. Handel’s father wanted him to study the law and he did spend one yearpursuing a law degree. He left those studies to take a job at the Hamburg opera house and never lookedback.Handel traveled to Italy (1706-1710) and the Italians loved his compositions. He returned to Germany to work in theservice of George Ludwig, the Elector of Hanover. During this time he was allowed to make a trip to England which washighly successful. A year later, he requested permission to return to England and when it was granted,k he told hisemployer that he would “return within a reasonable time.” He never returned.In England, Queen Anne gave Handel an allowance for life. When she died in 1714,this support came to a halt. The new monarch was King George I, none other thanGeorge Ludwig, Handel’s former boss whom he had left in the lurch. After a bit of initialdifficulty, they renewed their relationship and Handel’s allowance was not onlyreinstated but increased. He responded with his Water Music in 1717. He became theDirector of the Royal Academy of Music, a newly founded opera company, in 1719.Handel composed a number of operas and oratorios, from this time through the 1740s.One of Handel’s best known and loved pieces is his Messiah, which he composed inonly three weeks. It was the last piece he conducted before his death.House where Handel wasborn in the city of HalleTHE MUSIC – ENTRANCE OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBAMost of Handel’s orchestra music derives from his work for the theater; the Water Music and Music for the RoyalFireworks are two major exceptions. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba is an instrumental number from the oratorioSolomon, written in 1749. An oratorio is a dramatic poem, usually sacred, which is sung by solo voices and chorus,accompanied by an orchestra. When listening to this music, it is easy to imagine that the music is telling us to payattention and observe the entrance of someone quite important. LISTEN FORthe alternating sound of strings and two oboesthe sound of the harpsichord (played on this concert using the harpsichordsetting of an electronic keyboard)A HARPSICHORDClassics for asp?ID 231. About George Frideric Handel3. Music by Royalty and Nobility

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)LOOD-vihg fahn BAY-toe-fenSymphony No. 5I. Allegro con brioHIS LIFEBy all accounts, Beethoven had a difficult childhood. As Beethoven's first piano teacher, his alcoholicfather was cruel and abusive. From early on, Beethoven found solace and fulfillment in music, havinglittle use for school or other children his age. By age 11, Beethoven was serving in the electoral courtorchestra in Bonn and at age 14 had a paying position as the deputy court organist. By age 17, hisfather's ability to earn a living had deteriorated so greatly that Ludwig was essentially serving as thefamily's breadwinner and his father's guardian. Beethoven's move to Vienna in 1792 released himsomewhat from family demands and brought him to a more vibrant musical culture where he was wellreceived, both as a piano virtuoso and a composer.Beethoven struggled all his life with the demands of serving his art, often at the expense of the sociability and personalrelationships he craved. His deafness further diminished his ability to freely communicate with others. Beethoven alsodesperately wanted the stability and sense of "human" life that only love, marriage, children and friends could bring. Hewas never successful in these efforts, and apparently knew that such a life of close personal relationships would serve asa distraction from what was most important to him: his music. His one last effort at having a family involved a bitter battlefor the custody of his nephew after his brother's death. Neither uncle nor nephew was happy in the relationship butultimately they did reconcile prior to Beethoven's final illness and death. It is said over 10,000 attended his funeral. Hehad become a great public figure as no other composer had before.THE MUSIC – I. Allegro con brioIt might be said that Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 has become the ‘poster-child’ piece for classical music, especially foryoung audiences. It was written during a very prolific period of Beethoven’s life. This Symphony, along with No. 6 thatfollowed, was featured on a famous concert in December of 1808. The program had four hours of Beethoven’s music,much of which was being heard in public for the first time.The first movement is a transparent example of how Beethoven could take a very small musical idea (motif) - in this case,the four notes that open the piece in a short-short-short-long rhythm - and use it as the genesis for an entire movement.Schindler claimed that Beethoven explained the opening bars of this great work as “Thus Fate knocks at the door!” LISTEN FORthe famous four-note RHYTHMIC MOTIF used throughout the firstmovementthe brief oboe solo, played as if the BEAT is momentarilysuspendedthe sound of all four families of orchestral instrumentsTo hear Classics for Kids shows about Beethoven, go to the link below and select theshows w.asp?ID 201. About Ludwig van Beethoven4. Beethoven’s SymphoniesYou can watch and listen while an orchestra plays this piece at the link below.Beethoven Symphony No. 5 I. Allegro con brio BE8mJAdoFFE

NIKOLAY RIMSKY- KORSAKOV(1844-1908)Flight of the BumblebeeHIS LIFEThe Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov came from a naval family. He showed an early interest in hismother’s singing and father’s piano playing. When he was six he began piano lessons and createdsome early compositions. His heart, however, was in the family tradition of naval service and at age 12he entered the College of Naval Cadets. While there he continued piano lessons but his greatestmusical interest was opera, which he heard for the first time at 13. When Rimsky-Korsakov was 17 hewas introduced to three other young Russian composers (Balakirev, Cui and Mussorgsky). These fourcomposers plus Borodin would eventually be known as “The Five,” a group of Russian composers whobrought a nationalist outlook to their music. At 18, Rimsky-Korsakov completed his naval studies, andthough he was seriously pursuing music with Balakirev’s encouragement, he had to leave on a military tour of two and ahalf years.In 1871, he accepted the position of professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory(now called the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory). Even though he had little formaltraining, his self-study and associations with other composers had brought him areputation as a very good orchestrator. At this time he also became engaged toan excellent pianist who later became his wife. In 1873, R-K resigned hiscommission in the navy but also was made the Inspector of Naval Bands. For thenext several years he enthusiastically pursued this newest position as well as astudy of each of the instruments and their technical capabilities.ST. PETERSBURG CONSERVATORY OF MUSICTrue to the predilections of “The Five,” Rimsky-Korsakov became occupied with the folk music and folk idioms of hiscountry. He found ample opportunity to make use of them in the operas he composed, many of which were based on theliterature of his countrymen. By the early 1890s, Rimsky-Korsakov was depressed and very dissatisfied with his work. In1893, he found renewed inspiration in the work of his countryman, Tchaikovsky. After that time, opera and other piecesfor voice occupied his creative energies. In 1899-1900, he composed the opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan;” The Flight ofthe Bumblebee comes from this opera.Other famous works by Rimsky-Korsakov include Capriccio Espagnol (1887); Sheherazade and the Russian EasterOverture (1888). He is also well known for having organized, re-worked, and in some cases very nearly rewritten theworks of this friend and colleague, Modest Mussorgsky.THE MUSICThe story of the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan comes from Pushkin. When Saltan chooses the youngest of three sistersto become his bride, her jealous older sisters contrive to revise some messages. Because of this, the Tsar believes hisyoung son is a ‘monster’, and his response is intercepted and replaced with a message to put his wife and son in a barreland set them out to sea! This is done, but they wash up on a magical island. The grown prince, Prince Guidon, is able torelease a swan princess from a spell. She helps him reunite his parents and the two of them marry. The opera’s third actdepicts events on the magical island, including the revenge Prince Guidon takes on his jealous aunts by turning himselfinto a bumblebee and stinging them without mercy.The Classics for Kids website has a show from March 2008 about Rimsky-Korsakov, including this piece. Visit thiswebsite ID 34 and listen especially to1. About Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov2. The Tale of Tsar Saltan4. The Bees and the Birds (this show also makes mention of some of the animals featured in Peter and the Wolf,also on this program)LISTEN FOR the very rapid RHYTHM and TEMPO of the notes of a chromatic scale (see Activity document for more about achromatic scale)the sound of different instruments (TIMBRE) taking turns with the MELODY (mostly violin, flute and clarinet)the string pizzicato accompaniment (plucking the strings instead of playing with the bow)

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)VOLF-gahng ah-mah-DAY-oos MOHT-zartSymphony No. 41IV. Molto AllegroHIS LIFEMany of us are familiar with the wunderkind that Mozart was from a very, very young age. His talents were apparent asearly as three when his father began his lessons on the harpsichord. With a musical father who was only too ready topromote his young prodigy, the stories of Mozart’s musical feats are well documented. Both Wolfgang and his older sisterNannerl were taken to many different countries to perform concerts and display their talents in musical contests.Wolfgang loved everything about music and took it very seriously.In 1781, when Mozart was in his mid-20s, he freed himself from an unhappy employmentsituation with the archbishop in Salzburg. After that he was left, in Vienna, to earn money in asomewhat haphazard, unreliable manner. Mozart’s first love was composition but it wasnecessary to solicit commissions or publishers for his works. Concertizing also did notprovide him with steady income. He often earned income as a teacher, but it was work heresented. His married life (to Constanze Weber) was always in financial straits. Neitherhusband nor wife was good at household management, something required by Wolfgang’sfluctuating income.Mozart was an incredibly prolific composer as well as a great performer. He wrote over 600 pieces, includingsymphonies, concertos, sonatas, masses, and operas. The last piece of music Mozart worked on was the Requiem, acommission in secret from an unknown person. It was incomplete at his death on December 5, 1791.His funeral at St. Stephen’s in Vienna was held in the open air, in the manner of the poorest class, with only a few friendsin attendance. They followed the hearse to the city gates, but a violent storm turned them back. The hearse continued,unaccompanied, to the churchyard at St. Marx. “Thus, without a note of music, forsaken by all he held dear, the remainsof this prince of harmony were committed to the earth – not even in a grave of his own, but in the common pauper’sgrave.” (Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)THE MUSICMozart wrote his final three symphonies in the space of the three summer months of 1788. It was a hard time in his life,filled with debt and the loss of his newborn daughter. Even so, he chose to make the last of these three symphonies(Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”) an expression of exuberance, especially the Finale. The four notes of the main theme havebeen traced back to Josquin des Prez, but are more familiar to us as the theme of Bach’s Fugue in E Major from thesecond book of the Well-Tempered Clavier.Mozart’s main themeBach’s themeIncredibly, Mozart used five separate themes in this one movement. And after introducing us to each theme, he wovethem all together into a fugato. You can see a color-coded score of this at No. 41 (Mozart) . LISTEN FORthe use of the main theme plus four others as they are ultimately written into a fugatothe bright sound of a major key (TONALITY)the transparent TEXTURE of a classical period orchestra

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990)Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo“Hoe-Down”HIS LIFEAaron Copland had the good fortune to be born in New York City. After having some piano lessonsfrom his sister, he found teacher after teacher who was able to offer him what he needed musically.He was also able to attend symphony concerts of great music. After high school graduation, hestudied harmony, counterpoint and some composition with private teachers. In the summer of 1921he went to Paris to study music with the great teacher Nadia Boulanger.After returning to America in 1924, he soon gained prominence as an American composer. Hewanted to write something that would be recognized as American in character. For a while, headded jazz idioms to his symphonic writing. Copland recognized that jazz was an easy way to beAmerican in musical terms, but he felt all that was American in music couldn’t be expressed withinthe limits of jazz.During the mid-30s he felt he wanted a stronger connection between his music and themusic-loving public. He set out to write in simpler terms and to explore other venuesbesides the concert hall. Many American composers were writing what could be thoug