Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

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Got Five Minutes?  Barenboim on YouTube


Analog clock face with hands separated by a five minute intervalGot five minutes?

Pianist Daniel Barenboim has created a series of five-minute YouTube videos on works by Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, and Liszt, as well as introductions to harmony and other elements of music.  Here is his video “How to listen to music.”  Here is my favorite quote from this video:

“Hang on to the first note, and you fly with the music until the last note. 
And the amount of pleasure that you will get out of that is absolutely unique”

For the entire list of 5-minute videos (and more), see Daniel Barenboim’s YouTube channel.

Got a little more time?  How about this:

Vanderbilt University has a number of lectures on classical music

Or you can listen to the lectures in Yale’s “Listening to Music” class:

Thanks to friend and reader weemspiano for telling me about the Barenboim videos.




Image attribution: Clock photograph by C. Gallant, 2016.

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Musicians Play Haydn Seek: The “Farewell” Symphony

Portrait of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy

I have a fun video for you today, the last movement of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony (Symphony No 45).  Here’s the story behind it.

The musicians at the Esterházy court were grumpy.  They had been at the prince’s summer palace too long.  They wanted to go home.  They appealed to their conductor, Franz Joseph Haydn. Rather than approach the prince, Haydn decided to make his statement musically.  In the final movement of the symphony, the musicians left the stage one by one until only two violins (at the time, played by Haydn and his concertmaster) remained.

The prince got the point.  The musicians soon returned home.

In the video presented here, Daniel Barenboim and the musicians ham it up, and it’s delightful.

I hope you will enjoy the final movement of the “Farewell” Symphony.