themes from Classical Music

by: Claire Paulson

Sorrow, Joy and an Organ

"It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself." This quote was spoken to the people of Germany by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was a German composer with many talents. These talents may have been a result from his childhood and adolescent years which were filled with unhappiness and struggle.

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Germany, to Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt and Johann Ambrosius Bach. Bach went to live with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph, at age nine when both parents died. He was thought to play the organ, violin, harpsichord, and he was thought to sing. Bach played the organ and harpsichord at many church functions and festivities.

As Bach grew older, he fell in love with the organ. Johann Bach walked many miles one day to go listen to a professional organist. While on that journey, Johann fell in a deep exceptional love with his cousin, Martha Barbara. They were eventually married a year later. Before Martha died in 1720, she had given birth to seven children, four of which lived to maturity. Johann remarried again to Anna Magdalene. She had thirteen children, three of which survived after infancy.

Bach was born a composer. But due to his timeframe, nobody liked him. Only eight of his works were published while he was living. Bach died, on July 28, 1750, in Leipzig, Germany. One hundred or so years later, a group of people still unknown today were spreading Bach's arrangements around Europe. They took all his pieces and had them published in Johann Bach's name. People assume they were doing that because they enjoyed his style of music. Bach used the Baroque style for all his compositions. He may have not been liked by the people of his time, but the people of our time could learn to appreciate his music.

Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is the most famous and widely known music hall in the United States. Carnegie Hall opened on May 5, 1891, in New York, New York. It took funder Andrew Carnegie one million dollars to build Carnegie Hall. William Burnett Tuthill, architect and designer, took years to build the hall. There are three auditoriums in the building: Zankel Hall, Stern Hall, and Weill Hall.

Over 46,000 people have played in Carnegie Hall. Four year old Lolita Valde Cabrera played the piano on April 19, 1900. Five year old David Gil played the piano on May 21, 1991. Five year old Jivan Ramesh played the cello on April 20, 2014. Eubie Blake played the piano on January 20, 1981, at ninety seven years of age.

The first person to introduce rock'n'roll to Carnegie Hall was Bill Haley and his band the Comets, on May 6, 1955. The first person to introduce jazz was James Reese Europe and his Cleff Club Orchestra, on May 2, 1912. The first African Americans were Sisseretta singing on June 15, 1892, and on Febraury 13, 1983, and pianist W.T. Albert playing many concerts in May of 1893. The first hip hop artist to play was Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Mello Mel on October 31, 1985. Carnegie Hall is a very important building to people who enjoy music and was built to honor those who take the time to pursue a career in music.

Top 10 Johann Sebastian Compositions:

1) The Art of Fugue

2) Minuet in G Major

3) Christmas Oratorio

4) Inventions and Sinfonias

5) St Matthew Passion

6) Magnificat

7) Italian Concerto

8) Concerto for Two Violins

9) Six Little Preludes

10) Chorale Prelude

Carnegie Hall Events for Sunday, May 10

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, 2 PM

Masterworks Festival Chorus

New York City Chamber Orchestra

  • Weill Recital Hall, 1:30 PM

    80th AMTL Young Musicians Concert

  • Weill Recital Hall, 7:30 PM

    American Protégé International Competition Winners Recital

  • Big Sale! At West Music

    30% off Andrea's Solo and Vienna's Best Rosin

    10% off Sheet Music Paper

    25% off Everest Shoulder Rest