As we enter a season of darker days and longer, colder nights, we look for ways to warm our souls from within. Add some wintertime joviality to your season with our winter classical playlist! It’s perfect for an evening curled up by the fire or a weekend afternoon with a good book and a warm cup of tea. Without further ado…
Let it Snow!
Click the hyperlinks below to listen on Youtube or listen via Rdio.
Franz Liszt, “Chasse-neige” from Twelve Etudes D’exécution Transcendante in b-flat minor (1852)
Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, Hungary in 1811.
• Known for his incredibly virtuosic piano works, it is no surprise that Franz Liszt showed early promise for being a talented musician and composer. He began writing music only a year after beginning to study music.
• You’ve likely heard the term “Lisztomania” thanks to the French band, Phoenix. It was real! Franz Liszt was a total stud and women fawned over him. Fans would attend Liszt’s concerts and grasp for any Liszt artifacts they could get—handkerchiefs, cigar stubs, coffee grounds—anything.
“Chasse-neige” depicts a whirling snowstorm. One that buries the landscape as it goes. What do you picture when you listen to it?
Leopold Mozart, Divertimento for Orchestra in F Major: Die Schlittenfahrt (A Sleigh Ride) (1755)
Leopold Mozart was born in Augsburg, Germany in 1719.
• Leopold Mozart was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father. (That guy had a dad?)
• He was an accomplished violin teacher who put his career aside to foster his son’s professional advancement.
• He also worked as a court musician for the Archbishop of Salzburg for most of his life.
“A Sleigh Ride” is wonderfully fun wintertime piece and a popular children’s classical work. Don’t worry. It isn’t nearly as serious as this guy looks in the above photo. Hear those sleigh bells ring!
Claude Debussy, The Snow is Dancing from Children’s Corner (1908)
Claude Debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France in 1862.
• Growing up, Debussy was largely an autodidact and didn’t study in school other than taking music lessons.
• He won the Prix de Rome (a prestigious scholarship for a years-long stay in Rome) in 1885. At age 23! Go, Debussy.
• Debussy was known for his creative harmonies. See if you can spot some of them in this piece!
Just for fun, a cartoon by Pablo Helguera, inspired by Liszt’s etudes highlighted in this playlist!