Join The Listeners' Club

Welcome to The Listeners’ Club!  This month I’m excited to launch the first installment of what will become a regular feature of this blog.  My goal is to help you develop a fun, meaningful, life long relationship with some great music that you might not otherwise get to know.  We’ll explore music that people of all ages will enjoy.  Along the way I’ll share some of my thoughts on what makes this music so inspiring.  I’ll also ask you to tell me what you heard in the form of a comment in the thread below.

Listen to these short selections a few times.  If you’re like me, a certain piece will grab you and you’ll want to keep hearing it.  If you are interested, I encourage you to find more information about the composers.  Also, for an even more powerful and authentic experience, never pass up an opportunity to hear a live performance.

Next month, after we’ve all had a chance to listen, I’ll follow up with a slightly more detailed discussion.  At that point we’ll listen again one final time with a broadened perspective.  For now we will allow the music to stand on its own.

So join the club, invite your friends to join, listen, and don’t forget to leave a comment!

"Music for the Royal Fireworks"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351)…George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Overture
La Rejouissance
Minuet

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We’ll start off with a bang.  This music was written for a celebration.  The recording I recommend features period instruments to give us an idea of what this would have sounded like in Handel’s time.  The instruments have evolved over time, so you may hear some unusual sounds.  Let’s start with the first, fourth and fifth movements. What words would you use to describe this music?  What gives the music its character?  Pay attention to how combinations of instruments are grouped together to achieve certain sounds.  Why do you think Handel did this?

 

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (K. 364)…Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Andante

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Listen to the second of the three movements.  Can you hear a musical conversation between the solo violin and solo viola?  What do you think they are saying?

 

William Tell Overture (Finale)…Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

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Rossini was an Italian opera composer.  His operas would have been considered popular entertainment in their time.  You may know this as the theme to the old TV show, The Lone Ranger.  What words come to mind as you listen to this music?

 

Overture to Candide…Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

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Can you hear any “characters” in this music?  Are they serious or comic characters? Are there any jokes in the music?  Did Bernstein make any references to Rossini’s William Tell Overture?

 

Flying Theme from “E.T”…John Williams (b. 1932)

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What mood does this music evoke?  If you’ve seen the movie, how does the music correspond with what is happening on the screen?  Imagine the same scene without any music…just picture and dialogue.  How would the overall effect be different?

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

5 thoughts on “Join The Listeners' Club

  1. Found your link through TalkClassical, where I blog every Tuesday. Not many “music appreciation blogs” out there, so keep it up! Maybe you can check out my blogs on TC and Blogspot for ideas or to point to on yours!

    Pierre from Ottawa

  2. I like the interplay between noisy/quiet and heavy/light in the Candide Overture. The contrasting themes bring to mind the classic “comedy formula” of a pompous character and a comedic foil (like Laurel and Hardy).

  3. Sinfonia Concertante: Mozart (The Sorcerer) opens the door to a separate reality allowing us to know. Only possible if one hears and not merely listens.

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