I just quickly wanted to share a couple of neat YouTube videos (actually released on television I would presume) that I have discovered throughout the past few weeks and watched through some of them. They've really helped me get into music a lot more, although, then again, I never need much persuading to get into music...
The first is a four-part series of BBC documentaries talking about how four composers (Purcell, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn) helped shape British music for composers after Mendelssohn, like Elgar and Vaughan-Williams. All four of them are really well-made and have authentic Baroque instruments in the early ones as well, and the viewers are able to follow Charles Hazelwood as he tries to explore the adventures of these composers and where they got their own inspiration. They're all lots of fun to watch and give me lots of joy for these earlier composers (than I normally listen to). As well as following my love of music, they're all about London and British culture, and one also gets a tour of the UK (and some other countries as well) to follow the footsteps of these composers. The next time you play a piece of music by any of these composers, you will be able to get another source of appreciation for their piece through learning about their lives and visually seeing the spots where they were inspired to pencil in those notes that you place down onto your fingerboard.
I've posted links to all four videos below:
BBC - The Birth of British Music: Purcell the Londoner
BBC - The Birth of British Music: Handel the Conquering
BBC - The Birth of British Music: Haydn the Celebrity
BBC - The Birth of British Music: Mendelssohn the Prophet
The other thing I wanted to share is actually a television series called All-Star Orchestra, in which some of the greatest American musicians gathered in New York City for a week to form this orchestra exclusively for (HD) cameras for their show. It's a cool idea, but of course when you record music just for the screen (which, I guess, is what film and game composers do anyway...), it does lose something as opposed to seeing it live, but I suppose with these videos you're able to still appreciate the talent of these musicians - they play such a wide variety of music in just one week! (Supposedly, I don't really know too much of their backstory apart from what they explained in the video.) These are all cool videos because they have short explanations on the pieces before they play them, and it's laid out like a TV show, but it's on Western Art music! I guess this was an attempt to get a wider audience into this wonderful stuff. So yeah! I'm just going to post the first episode below, which is personally my favourite one because they play three of my top pieces of music in it, but they do lots of other stuff too. Every episode is themed as well, which is cool, and there are some exclusive premieres of new music as well. It's definitely worth a shot! Maybe you'll get inspired for practicing or your next orchestra rehearsal.
All-Star Orchestra (Ep. 1): Music for the Theatre
Finally, just as a little cheeky bonus, here's another cool video by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra which delves into the orchestration (and composition) of "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky. It's done in a similar style to the All-Star Orchestra, but little snippets of the piece are played, and you really can gleam a lot of information on the orchestration.
BTS Mussorgsky Pictures from an Exhibition: Pictures of What?
So there's about six hours of music videos to watch right there, plus all the other ones I didn't list! Hope this will keep you excited about Western Art music and the violin, as it certainly has done for me!
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine