I know it's only April, but I've been thinking about the next series of music appreciation classes and what I would like to offer. This is one of the most fun parts -- deciding what to include and how to connect the pieces so each class has a compelling theme.
Once again, Classic Pianos has been wonderfully generous in offering its recital hall for classes. Here are the dates, all at 4 p.m. on Sundays at Classic Pianos in southeast Portland.
Themes will include:
Musical mavericks: The murders and madrigals of Renaissance composer Don Carlo Gesualdo, and how Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Charles Ives, Lou Harrison and Steve Reich changed music forever.
Intimate conversations: The intricate art of chamber music in classic works by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Shostakovich and Messiaen.
Choral gems: The great masterworks, including Bach's Mass in B Minor, Mozart's Mass in C Minor, shorter works of Brahms, plus astonishing choral music from around the world.
Do orchestras really need conductors? Deconstructing the mysteries of the podium, with examples from Beecham, Toscanini, Furtwangler, Karajan, Kleiber, Celibidache, Bernstein and Dudamel.
David and Goliath: We explore the great concertos, where a single musician goes up against an entire orchestra, in works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Bartok and Adams.
American majesty: What makes music American? We dive into the richness and variety of Stephen Foster, John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Terry Riley, John Adams and Portland's own Kenji Bunch.
Great singers: We admire the expressive and virtuosic singers who made their mark on history: Caruso, Corelli, Flagstad, Callas, Caballe, Price, Nilsson, Sutherland, Pavarotti, Bartoli, Fleming and others.
Folk-inspired music: Many composers, from Chopin and Brahms to Bartok, Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Golijov, found inspiration in folk music, transforming their work while keeping it grounded in the beauty of folk traditions.
Timeless Symphonies: Another deep dive into orchestral works we love, as we deconstruct Mozart's G Minor Symphony, Sibelius' Second and Copland's Third Symphony, which contains "Fanfare for the Common Man."
Please join us!
David Stabler is a teacher, writer, dad and cyclist. He's working on a novel based on his childhood years living in Africa and rode across America with his brother in 2017.