So I've noticed from your music-related posts and tweets that in general, popular tastes in these circles run to indie and classic 90s. I guess people don't listen to classical music much, unless you're a music major or one of your parents was, and I understand that. The pieces are loooong, and there are no lyrics to enjoy, and frankly it can be as boring as a 14-hour plane flight. But there's some good classical out there, stuff that will make you fist-pump or weep or dance around like a hyper idiot, and I think it's a shame that it's only heard in movie scores and commercials.
In the spirit of my Blog Me MAYbe Thursday assignment of telling you about someone else, I'm going to try something new here. Every Thursday, I'm going to post a piece from my morning playlist of favorite classical music, along with some interesting details about the piece or composer. A lot of them you'll probably recognize from movies or Saturday morning cartoons. One of them makes me cry every single time I listen to it, but I'll save that one for another day.
Today I'm going to start with the 4th movement from Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World." Antonín Dvořák was a Bohemian native, born near Prague in 1841. His father, an innkeeper, butcher, and professional zither player, wanted him to be a butcher as well, but he chose to pursue music instead. He wrote this symphony in 1893 during a visit to the "New World," aka the USA. He was especially interested in Native American music and African-American spirituals, which he considered musically very similar, and used these influences when composing his symphony.
The 4th movement is called "Allegro con fuoco," or fast and fiery, which is exactly how it sounds. Clearly John Williams loves this piece, because you will hear first Jaws, and then Star Wars when you listen to it. Also this video is awesome because the conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, currently the music director here at the LA Philharmonic, is a riot to watch. It's pretty long, but I encourage you to at least listen to the first couple of minutes.