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Learning the Violin
History of Music
|When you hear the performance of an orchestra, soloist, or a quartet, you are hearing the work of a composer. Composers are those who create the music you hear, the authors of the music. There have been an uncountable number of composers throughout musical history, but those who have been made famous by their works are few. Some are remembered only for their music, and others are remembered for their personal lives and outstanding contributions to the musical world. Below are some less-known, noted composers who have given so much to the musical world.
Mendelssohn: (February 3, 1809-November 4, 1847) Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a German pianist, composer, and conductor of the early Romantic period. The young Mendelssohn was influenced by the music of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, and these themes can be seen in his early pieces that he wrote between the years of 1821 to 1823, when he was 12 through 14. He became a very talented organist at age 11 and composed pieces for the organ as well. Mendelssohn conducted his own Symphony No. 1 in C minor in 1829 when he was 20 years old. He is best known for his concertos, the most famous of which is the Violin Concerto in E. Minor, and chamber music. Felix Mendelssohn was one of the most popular composers of the Romantic period.
Handel: (February 23, 1685-April 14, 1759) George Frideric Handel was a German-born, Baroque composer famous for his oratorios, operas, and concerto grossi. He was born in Halle, Germany, and began composing at age nine. Throughout the earlier years of his life, Handel learned to play the organ, violin, piano, and harpsichord, but did not fully embrace his musical talents until his father passed away. He spent most of his adult life in England composing some of his most famous works, the Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Handel is a composer who made leaps in the field of opera.
Mussorgsky: (March 21, 1839-March 28, 1881) Modest Mussorgsky was an innovator of Russian music who often deliberately defied the conventions of Western music. Young Mussorgsky learned the piano from his mother, a trained pianist, and published his first composition at age 12. His peak of composing was around age 30 when he wrote several operas. The last years of his life were not nearly as productive, because Mussorgsky had fallen ill to a neurological problem. His major and most famous works, such as the opera Bordis Gudonov and piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition, were inspired mostly by Russian folklore and history. Mussorgsky was an honorable, talented composer who spent the prime years of his life dedicated to music.
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