Exploring Music is an entertaining series of podcasts that teaches us about the world of classical music. Listen to interesting information and captivating vignettes that showcase many of the most popular and remarkable pieces of music ever written. Every night at 6:00 p.m. on King FM, 98.1. More on the Exploring Music page on King FM's Web site, http://www.king.org/pages/11551556.
Composers in History
Teachers can use this lesson plan for the elementary grades that teachers can use with King FM's educational series, Exploring Music.
Edvard Grieg-Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op.46, In the Hall of the Mountain King
You’ve heard this theme before. It’s in everything from the Disney movie “Fantasia” to cleaning product commercials. But you might not have known it comes from Grieg’s orchestration for a Norwegian play called “Peer Gynt.” Listen as the theme starts in the low instruments and continues in the higher instruments—until all the musicians finally come together.
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLZl-hhbXDI. More info about Grieg: http://www.classicsforkids.com/composers/bio.asp?id=25
Fanny Mendelssohn-Song Without Words, Op.8-3
It’s said that Felix Mendelssohn’s sister, Fanny, served as the inspiration for his series of short, lyrical piano pieces called “Songs Without Words.” Fanny herself wrote a few similar pieces, one of which can be heard here.
YouTube recommendation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ClJtFxmPhQ
Additional links: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200156440/default.html
Franz Liszt-Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C-sharp minor
Bugs Bunny played it. So did Tom and Jerry. But few actual humans dare to take on this beloved masterpiece. Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” is widely considered to be one of the most difficult piano pieces ever composed.
More info about Liszt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisztomania_%28phenomenon%29
Exploring Music On-Demand: http://filesource.abacast.com/king/music/exploringmusic/3133624.mp3
Frederic Chopin-Fantasie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op.66
When legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, heard here, played a comeback concert in New York, 57th Street was lined with hordes of fans hoping to score a ticket. When Horowitz heard about the crowd waiting outside in the cold, he immediately ordered hundreds of cups of coffee to thank them for their undying support!
YouTube recommendation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x93pwAvUkAA
Additional links: http://www.berdichev.org/vladimir_horowitz_new.html
Frederic Chopin-Prelude No.15 in D-flat, Op.28, Raindrop
It’s not clear Chopin actually had raindrops in mind when he wrote this. The German pianist Hans von Bülow gave it the name “Raindrop Prelude,” not Chopin himself. Nevertheless, to this day, the popular recital piece is still compared to the sound of soft, drizzling rain.
More info about Chopin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Chopin