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Best Dedicated Work of All Time

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    1
    Fatum

    Fatum

    Fatum, Op. 77, is a symphonic poem by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It was written in 1868 and performed in 1869, but Tchaikovsky later destroyed the score, and it was published only three years after his death, with a posthumous opus number. Tchaikovsky started the symphonic poem Fatum between late September and early October 1868. He put the work aside to devote his attention to the touring Belgian soprano Désirée Artôt, with whom he had fallen in love (or so he thought). They discussed marriage, and planned to meet again in the summer of 1869 in Paris to develop their plans. She then left for Warsaw to continue her tour with her opera company. Tchaikovsky completed the outline of the work by 21 October/2 November, and completed the scoring in December 1868. Its first performance took place on 15/27 February 1869 at the eighth concert by the Russian Musical Society in Moscow, conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky had not written it with any known program, but for the premiere performance, the text of verses by Konstantin Batyushkov about the futility of human life were added as an epigraph to the score, although it is not certain that this was Tchaikovsky's idea, or that he
    8.38
    8 votes
    2
    Due pezzi

    Due pezzi

    Due pezzi, literally meaning "two pieces", is a composition for violin and piano, written by the Italian composer Luciano Berio in 1951. It was published by Suvini Zerboni. The first performance—by pianist Seymour Lipkin and violinist Lorin Maazel, to whom the work is dedicated—took place during the 1952 Tanglewood Music Festival.
    7.38
    8 votes
    3
    Souvenir d'un lieu cher

    Souvenir d'un lieu cher

    Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Memory of a dear place; Russian: Воспоминание о дорогом месте), Op. 42, for violin and piano, was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between March and May 1878. It consists of three movements: The Méditation was written between 23 and 25 March 1878, in Clarens, Switzerland, where Tchaikovsky wrote his Violin Concerto. It was originally intended as the slow movement of the concerto, but he realised it was too slight for a concerto, so he discarded it and wrote a Canzonetta instead. On 16 May, back in Russia, he started on a work in three parts for violin and piano (the only time he ever originally wrote for that combination of instruments, although the Valse-Scherzo also exists in a violin and piano arrangement). On 22 May he told his brother Modest that it was going well. On 25 May he left for a two-week vacation on the Ukrainian country estate Brailovo (sometimes seen in English as "Brailov"), which belonged to his benefactress Nadezhda von Meck, where he finished the work by 31 May. For the first movement, he used the discarded Méditation, recasting it for violin and piano. The two additional movements, Scherzo and Mélodie, completed the Souvenir d'un
    8.17
    6 votes
    4
    Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus

    Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus

    Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus is a collection of pieces by the French composer Olivier Messiaen for solo piano. The French title translates into English roughly as "Twenty gazes/contemplations on the infant Jesus". It was composed in 1944 for Yvonne Loriod. It contains twenty movements: Messiaen uses Thèmes or leitmotifs, recurring elements that represent certain ideas. They include: The work's twenty movements last around two hours in performance. The whole piece is a meditation on the childhood of Jesus. Movement 18, "Regard de l’onction terrible", is an example of how Messiaen used his ideas on form and symmetry in his compositions. The piece starts with the right hand descending on a chromatic scale and in tritone chords. After the opening semi-quavers the note length starts to elongate first to quavers then to dotted quavers, quavers, crotchets, dotted crotchets, minims, dotted minims and finally a semi breve. While all this is happening in the right hand the left hand is doing the same but in reverse, starting with the semi breve and working towards the semi quavers. As the main subject of the movement is reached a chorale is heard but in staying within Messiaen’s strict
    8.00
    6 votes
    5
    Stabat Mater

    Stabat Mater

    Stabat Mater (Op. 58, originally Op. 28 B. 71) for soli, choir and orchestra is a religious cantata by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The work was sketched in 1876 and completed in 1877. The composing of the cantata was Dvořák's reaction to the death of his daughter Josefa. The sketch was written between 19 February and 7 May 1876, and was dedicated to František Hušpauer "as a souvenir to the friend of his young days." However, Dvořák was forced to postpone the orchestration of the work, due to his other obligations. He returned to the final stylisation of the composition in 1877, when his two surviving children died within a short time of each other. The definitive version of the score was written between the beginning of October and 13 November 1877 in Prague. Stabat Mater is Dvořák's first work on a religious theme. It is divided into ten individual parts; only the first and the last part are thematically connected. The first performance took place on 23 December 1880 at the concert of the Jednota umělců hudebních (Association of Musical Artists) in Prague. The performers included the opera ensemble of the České prozatímní divadlo (Czech Provisional Theatre), under the baton
    8.60
    5 votes
    6
    Transcendental Etudes

    Transcendental Etudes

    The Transcendental Études (French: Études d'exécution transcendante), S.139, are a series of twelve compositions for solo piano by Franz Liszt. They were published in 1852 as a revision of a more technically difficult 1837 series, which in turn were the elaboration of a set of studies written in 1826: The composition of the Transcendental Études S. 139 began in 1826, when 15-year-old Liszt wrote a set of youthful and far less technically demanding exercises called the Étude en douze exercices (Study in twelve exercises) S. 136. Liszt then elaborated on these pieces considerably, and the far more technically difficult exercises called the Douze Grandes Études (Twelve Large Studies) S. 137 were then published in 1837. The Transcendental Études S. 139 are revisions of his Douze Grandes Études. This third and final version was published in 1852 and dedicated to Carl Czerny, Liszt's piano teacher, and himself a prolific composer of études. The set included simplifications, for the most part: in addition to many other reductions, Liszt removed all stretches of greater than a tenth, making the piece more suitable for pianists with smaller hands and less technical skill. However, the
    7.17
    6 votes
    7
    Frankenstein

    Frankenstein

    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley about a creature produced by an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823. Shelley had travelled in the region of Geneva, where much of the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband, Percy. The storyline emerged from a dream. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. She then wrote Frankenstein. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true
    9.50
    4 votes
    8
    Pavane pour une infante défunte

    Pavane pour une infante défunte

    Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) is a well-known piece written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1899 when he was studying composition at the Conservatoire de Paris under Gabriel Fauré. Ravel also published an orchestrated version of the Pavane in 1910. A typical performance of the piece lasts between six and seven minutes. Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court". The pavane was a slow processional dance that enjoyed great popularity in the courts of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This antique miniature is not meant to pay tribute to any particular princess from history, but rather expresses a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries (most notably Debussy and Albéniz) and which is evident in some of his other works such as the Rapsodie espagnole and the Boléro. Ravel dedicated the Pavane to his patron, the Princesse de Polignac. He published it in 1900, but it attracted little attention until the Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes gave the first
    9.25
    4 votes
    9
    Piano Concerto No.1

    Piano Concerto No.1

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, op. 15, was written during 1796 and 1797. The first performance was in Prague in 1798, with Beethoven himself playing the piano, dedicated to his student Babette Countess Keglevics. Although this was Beethoven's first piano concerto to be published, it was, in fact, his third attempt at the genre, following an unpublished piano concerto in E-flat major (not to be confused with Beethoven's more famous "Emperor" concerto, also in E-flat) and the Piano Concerto No. 2, published after Piano Concerto No. 1 (in 1801) but composed almost ten years earlier. As with the Piano Concerto No. 2, this C major concerto reflects Beethoven's assimilation of the styles of Mozart and Haydn, while its abrupt harmonic shifts demonstrate Beethoven's musical personality. It adheres to the concerto variant of sonata form. Tempo: = 144 The first movement is in sonata form, but with an added orchestral exposition, a cadenza, and a coda. It has a main theme repeated many times, and there are several subordinate themes. The orchestral exposition changes keys many times, but the second exposition is mainly in G major. The development starts in E-flat
    9.25
    4 votes
    10
    Six moments musicaux

    Six moments musicaux

    Six moments musicaux (French for "Six Musical Moments"; Russian: Шесть Музыкальных Моментов, Shest’ muzykál’nykh moméntov), Op. 16, is a set of solo piano pieces composed by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff between October and December, 1896. Moments musicaux comprises a group of six separate works which reproduce musical forms characteristic of previous musical eras. The forms that appear in Rachmaninoff's incarnation are the nocturne, song without words, barcarolle, virtuoso étude, and theme and variations. The individual pieces have been described as "true concert works, being best served on a stage and with a concert grand." Although composed as part of a set, each piece stands on its own as a concert solo with individual themes and moods. The pieces span a variety of themes ranging from the somber funeral march of number three to the majestic canon of number six, the Moments musicaux are both Rachmaninoff's return to and revolution of solo piano composition. A typical performance lasts 30 minutes. In an interview in 1941, Rachmaninoff said, "What I try to do, when writing down my music, is to make it say simply and directly that which is in my heart when I am
    8.00
    5 votes
    11
    Sixteen Waltzes for piano, four hands

    Sixteen Waltzes for piano, four hands

    Sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39 is a set of 16 short waltzes for piano four hands written by Johannes Brahms. They were composed in 1865, and published two years later, dedicated to Eduard Hanslick. These waltzes were also arranged for piano solo by the composer, in two different versions – difficult and simplified. The three versions were published at the same time, and sold well, contrary to the composer's expectations. In the solo versions, some of the keys were altered from the original duet version (the last four in the difficult version and No. 6 in the easy version). Waltz Number 15 in A major (or A-flat major) has acquired a life of its own. An arrangement of five of the waltzes (Nos. 1, 2, 11, 14, and 15) for two pianos, four hands was published after the composer's death. The 16 waltzes, in the keys of the original piano duet version, are:
    8.00
    5 votes
    12
    The Art of War

    The Art of War

    Art of War (Italian: Dell'arte della guerra) is a treatise by the Italian Renaissance political philosopher and historian Niccolò Machiavelli. The format of Art of War is a socratic dialogue. The purpose, declared by Lord Fabrizio Colonna (perhaps Machiavelli's persona) at the outset, "To honor and reward virtù, not to have contempt for poverty, to esteem the modes and orders of military discipline, to constrain citizens to love one another, to live without factions, to esteem less the private than the public good." To these ends, Machiavelli notes in his preface, the military is like the roof of a palazzo protecting the contents. Written between 1519 and 1520 and published the following year, it was the only historical or political work printed during Machiavelli's lifetime, though he was appointed official historian of Florence in 1520 and entrusted with minor civil duties. Art of War is divided into a preface (proemio) and seven books (chapters), which take the form of a series of dialogues that take place in the Orti Oricellari, the gardens built in a classical style by Bernardo Rucellai in the 1490s for Florentine aristocrats and humanists to engage in discussion, between
    6.00
    7 votes
    13
    Help!

    Help!

    Help! is a 1965 film directed by Richard Lester, starring The Beatles–John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—and featuring Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, John Bluthal, Roy Kinnear and Patrick Cargill. Help! was the second feature film made by the Beatles and is a comedy adventure which sees the group come up against an evil cult. The soundtrack was released as an album, also called Help!. A series of still photographs were taken by the photojournalist Michael Peto during the making of the film and are held by Archive Services, University of Dundee. An eastern cult (a parody of the Thuggee cult) is about to sacrifice a woman to the goddess 'Kaili'. Just as she is about to be killed, the high priestess of the cult, Ahme (Bron) notices that she is not wearing the sacrificial ring. Ringo Starr, drummer of The Beatles, has and is wearing it; it was secretly sent to him by Ahme, to protect the victim, her sister. Determined to retrieve the ring and sacrifice the woman, the great Swami Clang (McKern), Ahme, and several cult members including Bhuta (Bluthal), leave for London. After several failed attempts to steal the ring, they confront the Beatles in an
    6.83
    6 votes
    14
    Polka de W.R.

    Polka de W.R.

    Sergei Rachmaninoff's Polka de W.R. is a virtuoso piano arrangement of Franz Behr's Lachtäubchen (Scherzpolka) in F major. Rachmaninoff wrote the arrangement on 24 March 1911, the day after the premiere of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in Saint Petersburg. He dedicated it to Leopold Godowsky. It was published the same year, as part of an album of Russian pieces called Nouvelle Collection de Musique; the other composers represented in the album were Alexander Scriabin, Nikolai Medtner, Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire and Alexander Goedicke. Polka de W.R. is in A flat major and in 2/4. The piece starts with semi-quavers in the right-hand and a melody in the left. After four bars, this then progresses to a melody with a quaver followed by triplet semi-quavers underneath. Meanwhile, the left-hand plays a typical Waltz oom-cha-cha rhythm with firstly a bass note and then two chords above. After twelve bars of this, there is then a melody in the right-hand and chords in the left. This continues for sixteen bars. There is then semi-quaver runs with the right hand, accompanied by more chords in the left. The tempo then changes to Poco piu mosso and the main theme starts. This is then
    7.80
    5 votes
    15
    Cello Concerto No. 1

    Cello Concerto No. 1

    Camille Saint-Saëns composed his Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 in 1872, when the composer was age 37. He wrote this work for the Belgian cellist, viola de gamba player and instrument maker Auguste Tolbecque. Tolbecque was part of a distinguished family of musicians closely associated with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, France’s leading concert society. The concerto was first performed on January 19, 1873 at a conservatoire concert with Tolbecque as soloist. This was considered a mark of Saint-Saëns' growing acceptance by the French musical establishment. Sir Donald Francis Tovey later wrote "Here, for once, is a violoncello concerto in which the solo instrument displays every register without the slightest difficulty in penetrating the orchestra." Many composers, including Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, considered this concerto to be the greatest of all cello concertos. Saint-Saëns broke with convention in writing the concerto. Instead of using the normal three-movement concerto form, he structured the piece in one continuous movement. This single movement contains three distinct sections. Those sections, tightly-structured, share interrelated ideas.
    7.60
    5 votes
    16
    Orchestral Suite No. 2

    Orchestral Suite No. 2

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C major, Op. 53, in 1883. It was premiered on February 16, 1884 at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow, conducted by Max Erdmannsdörfer. The piece was well enough received to be repeated a week later. It is dedicated to his brother Anatoly's wife, Praskovya Vladimirovna Tchaikovskaya. The suite is written in five movements. The music is scored for the following: Woodwinds Brass Percussion Miscellaneous Strings Tchaikovsky spent the late spring and early summer of 1883 with his brother Anatoly after spending some hectic months before that writing first his opera Mazeppa, then a march and the cantata Moscow for the coronation of Alexander III as tsar. Anatoly, now contentedly married and recently a father, had rented a house at Podushkino, near Moscow. Tchaikovsky found the house's location to be attractive and he often roamed the surrounding woods, picking mushrooms. He spent three months at Podushkino, two of them correcting proofs to Mazeppa but also finding time to sketch out his Second Orchestral Suite. When Tchaikovsky left Podushkino on September 13 to visit his sister Alexandra at her estate at Kamenka in
    7.60
    5 votes
    17
    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Sergei Rachmaninov composed his Piano Concerto Number 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1, in 1891, at age 18. He dedicated the work to Alexander Siloti. He revised the work thoroughly in 1917. This was actually Rachmaninov's second attempt at a piano concerto. In 1889 he had begun but abandoned a concerto in C minor (the same key, incidentally, in which he would later write his Second Piano Concerto). He wrote Natalya Skalon on 26 March 1891, "I am now composing a piano concerto. Two movements are already written; the last movement is not written, but is composed; I shall probably finish the whole concerto by the summer, and then in the summer orchestrate it" He finished composing and scoring the piece on July 6 and was satisfied with what he had written. The first movement was premiered on 17 March 1892 at the Moscow Conservatoire, with the composer as soloist and Vasily Safonov conducting. This may have been the only time the composer played the concerto in its original form, although Siloti, to whom it is dedicated, programmed it to play himself on several occasions. Composition students were usually advised to base their efforts on a specific model for their first exercises in new
    7.60
    5 votes
    18
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. The tallest mountain in the region is Harney Peak (7,242 ft or 2,207 m). South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region. Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site due to the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from environmentalists and Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and
    5.71
    7 votes
    19
    Symphony No. 4

    Symphony No. 4

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36, was written between 1877 and 1878. The symphony's first performance was at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow on February 22 (or the 10th using the calendar of the time) 1878, with Nikolai Rubinstein as conductor. The symphony is in four movements: The symphony is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and strings. During the composition of the symphony, Tchaikovsky wrote to his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck, that he wanted "very much" to dedicate it to her, and that he would write on it "Dedicated to My Best Friend". He had begun composing the symphony not long after von Meck had entered his life. He would complete it in the aftermath of his catastrophic marriage and claimed she would find in it "an echo of your most intimate thoughts and emotions." The dedication was significant in more than one way. One important facet of the paternalistic nature of Russian society was that, in artistic patronage, patron and artist were considered equals. Dedications of works to patrons were not gestures of humble gratitude
    6.50
    6 votes
    20
    3 Piano Sonatas

    3 Piano Sonatas

    The Three Early Piano Sonatas, WoO 47, "Kurfürstensonaten" were composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1782 and 1783, when he was eleven and twelve years old. Though lacking a distinct musical identity, the sonatas show a certain level of precocity and serve as a precursor to the masterworks he later produced. They are dedicated to the Elector (Kurfürst) Maximilian Frederick. Like Mozart, Beethoven's music talents were recognized at a young age, and it is in these three sonatas that we are given an early glimpse of the composer's abilities, as well as his boldness. Even at his young age, Beethoven was writing in a form usually attempted by older, more mature composers, as the sonata was a cornerstone of Classical piano literature.
    8.50
    4 votes
    21
    Ariodant

    Ariodant

    Ariodant is an opéra comique (drame mêlé de musique) in three acts by the French composer Étienne Méhul first performed at the Théâtre Favart in Paris on 11 October 1799. The libretto, by François-Benoît Hoffman is based on the same episode in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso that also inspired Handel's opera Ariodante. The work had a profound influence on the development of Romantic opera, particularly in Germany. The premiere took place on 11 October 1799. There were fears that the success of the opera might be damaged by the plot's similarity to Henri Montan Berton's Montano et Stéphanie, which had debuted on 15 April of the same year. In the event, the audience was warmly appreciative and Méhul appeared on stage at the end to take their applause (Hoffman had been kept at home by illness). Méhul dedicated the score to his friend Luigi Cherubini. Ina, daughter of King Edgard of Scotland, is in love with the knight Ariodant. Ina's rejected suitor, the villainous Othon, plots against her with Ina's maid Dalinde. Othon and Ariodant are about to fight when the feast is announced in the king's hall. A bard plays a song on his harp. Ariodant has arranged a midnight duel with Othon and Ina
    8.50
    4 votes
    22
    Syrinx

    Syrinx

    Syrinx, L. 129, is a piece of music for solo flute which Claude Debussy wrote in 1913. It generally takes three minutes or less to perform. It was the first significant piece for solo flute after the Sonata in A minor composed by C. P. E. Bach 150 years before (1763), and it is the first such solo composition for the modern Böhm flute, perfected in 1847. Syrinx is commonly considered to be an indispensable part of any flautist's repertoire. Many musical historians believe that "Syrinx", which gives the performer generous room for interpretation and emotion, played a pivotal role in the development of solo flute music in the early twentieth century. Some say Syrinx was originally written by Debussy without barlines or breath marks. The flautist Marcel Moyse may have later added these, and most publishers publish Moyse's edition. The piece is commonly performed off stage, as it is thought when Debussy dedicated the piece to the flautist Louis Fleury, it was for him to play during the interval of one of Debussy's ballets. Syrinx was written as incidental music to the uncompleted play Psyché by Gabriel Mourey, and was originally called "Flûte de Pan". Since one of Debussy's Chansons de
    8.50
    4 votes
    23
    Concert à quatre

    Concert à quatre

    Concert à quatre (Quadruple concerto) is one of the final works of the French composer Olivier Messiaen. Written between 1990 and 1991, Messiaen originally intended the piece to have five movements. However, work on another large-scale piece, Éclairs sur l'au-delà…, prevented him from completing it before his death. It is written for four solo instruments (piano, cello, flute, oboe) and orchestra. As it stands, the work is in four movements, in which Messiaen draws inspiration from Mozart, Scarlatti and Rameau as well as from his usual birdsong transcriptions. Of the completed movements, Messiaen's widow, Yvonne Loriod, in conjunction with the composers George Benjamin and Heinz Holliger, orchestrated the second half of the first movement and the whole of the fourth. In the latter, Messiaen had intended to include a free meter sequence based on various birdsongs. To write it, Loriod used similar sketches discarded from his opera Saint François d'Assise. She also added a chorus of bells from the same source The first movement contains a theme inspired by Susanna's aria in Act 2 of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. It also features various birdsongs: Garden Warbler (piano solo) as well as
    6.33
    6 votes
    24
    There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!. It tells the story of a gold miner-turned-oilman on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California's oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film received significant critical praise and numerous award nominations and victories. It appeared on many critics' "top ten" lists for the year, notably the American Film Institute, the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Day-Lewis won Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, NYFCC, and IFTA Best Actor awards for his performance. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning Best Actor for Day-Lewis and Best Cinematography for Robert Elswit. In late 2009, it was chosen by Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and At the Movies as the best film of the first decade of the 21st century.
    6.33
    6 votes
    25
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The story is set in the Town of "St. Petersburg", inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Mark Twain lived. In the 1840s an imaginative and mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid, in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. After playing hooky from school on Friday and dirtying his clothes in a fight, Tom is made to whitewash the fence as punishment all of the next day. At first, Tom is disheartened by having to forfeit his day off. However, he soon cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He trades the treasures he got by tricking his friends into whitewashing the fence for tickets given out in Sunday school for memorizing Bible verses, which can be used to claim a Bible as a prize. He received enough tickets to be given the Bible. However, he loses much of his glory when, in response to a question to show off his knowledge, he incorrectly answers that the first disciples were David and Goliath. Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in
    7.20
    5 votes
    26
    String Quartet No. 14

    String Quartet No. 14

    The String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K. 387, nicknamed the "Spring" quartet, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782 while in Vienna. In the composer's inscription on the title page of the autograph score is stated: "li 31 di decembre 1782 in vienna". The work was perhaps edited in 1783. This is the first of the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets he wrote during his first few years in Vienna in honor of the composer Joseph Haydn, who is generally viewed as the father of the string quartet form. As with all later Mozart quartets, this quartet has four movements: The first movement, in G major, contrasts fairly diatonic passages with chromatic runs. According to (Williams, 1997) "it must come as something of a surprise to anyone examining this quartet just how much chromaticism there is in it." In contrast to the standard quartet form, which places the minuet as the 3rd movement, this quartet has the minuet as its 2nd movement (another example of this ordering is the String Quartet No. 17). It is a long minuet, written in the tonic key of G major, with its chromatic fourths set apart by note-to-note dynamics changes. The minuet is followed by a slow movement in the
    8.25
    4 votes
    27
    Quartet in F Major

    Quartet in F Major

    Maurice Ravel completed his String quartet in F major in early April 1903 at the age of 28. Dedicated to his friend and teacher Gabriel Fauré, the work was introduced in Paris by the Heymann Quartet on March 5, 1904. The quartet follows a strict four movement classical structure: Moderato très doux begins as a sonata form allegro, the following Assez vif-Très rythmé functions as the quartet's scherzo, while Très lent acts as a contrasting foil. The last movement, Vif et agité, reintroduces themes from the earlier passages and ends with a striking finale. The Quartet in F major was Ravel's final submission to the Prix de Rome and the Conservatoire de Paris. The composition was rejected by both institutions soon after its premier on March 5, 1904. The quartet received mixed reviews from the Parisian press and local academia. Gabriel Fauré, to whom the work is dedicated, described the last movement as “stunted, badly balanced, in fact a failure.” Ravel himself commented on the work, “My Quartet in F major responds to a desire for musical construction, which undoubtedly is inadequately realized but which emerges much more clearly than in my preceding compositions.” As a result of major
    6.17
    6 votes
    28
    Die Walküre

    Die Walküre

    Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), WWV 86B, is the second of the four operas that form the cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. Die Walküre's best-known excerpt is the "Ride of the Valkyries". Wagner took his tale from the Norse mythology told in the Volsunga Saga and the Poetic Edda. It received its premiere at the National Theatre Munich on 26 June 1870 at the insistence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It premiered in Wagner's Bayreuth Festival as part of the complete cycle on 14 August 1876. The opera made its United States premiere at the Academy of Music in New York on 2 April 1877. Although Die Walküre is the second of the Ring operas, it was the third in order of conception. Wagner worked backwards from planning an opera about Siegfried's death, then deciding he needed another opera to tell of Siegfried's youth, then deciding he needed to tell the tale of Siegfried's conception and of Brünnhilde's attempts to save Siegfried's parents, and finally deciding he also needed a prelude that told of the original theft of the Rheingold and creation of the ring. Wagner intermingled development of the text of these last two planned operas, i.e. Die
    7.00
    5 votes
    29
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102, by Dmitri Shostakovich was composed in 1957 for his son Maxim's 19th birthday. Maxim premiered the piece during his graduation at the Moscow Conservatory. It is an uncharacteristically cheerful piece, much more so than most of Shostakovich's works. The work is scored for solo piano, three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, timpani, snare drum and strings. The concerto lasts around 20 minutes and has three movements, with the second movement played attacca, thereby moving directly into the third (although the second movement does come to an acceptable resolution in C minor, such that the third movement is not entirely necessary to bring the music to a conclusion): This concerto is sometimes dismissed as an unimportant work by the composer, especially in comparison to some of his symphonies. In a letter to Edison Denisov in mid-February 1957, barely a week after he had finished work on it, the composer himself wrote that the work has "no redeeming artistic merits". It is suggested that he wanted to pre-empt criticism by deprecating the work himself (having been the victim of official censure
    7.00
    5 votes
    30
    Washington Monument

    Washington Monument

    The Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, was the first architectural monument planned to honor George Washington. In 1815, a statue was designed by Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Construction began in 1815 and was completed by 1829. The 178 foot doric column holds a ground-floor museum offering information about Washington as well as construction of the monument. Climbing the 228 steps to the top provides an excellent view of the city from the historic neighborhood where it is located. Its neighbors include the Peabody Institute. The glorification of Washington began long before his death in December 1799, and the dedication of a memorial in his honor seemed certain. A monument honoring Washington in Baltimore was first proposed in 1809, and a committee was formed to commission and fund the monument. In 1811, the first of six lotteries, authorized by the Maryland General Assembly, was held, eventually raising enough funds to construct a Washington monument in Baltimore. Mills's design was chosen in an architectural competition in 1815, and the cornerstone laid on July 4 of that year. Early designs
    7.00
    5 votes
    31
    Nocturne Op. Posth. in C-sharp minor

    Nocturne Op. Posth. in C-sharp minor

    The Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione, P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16, is a solo-piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika Chopin, with the statement: "To my sister Ludwika as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto". First published 26 years after the composer's death, the piece is usually referred to as Lento con gran espressione, from its tempo marking. It is sometimes also called Reminiscence. The piece was famously played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for the Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth, with Goeth being so impressed with the rendition, that he spared Karp's life. The composition is marked Lento con gran espressione and is written in common time. After a soft, saddening introduction, the main theme starts at bar 5, with the left hand playing broken chords in portamento slurs throughout the section, imparting a haunting and continuous quality to the music. The theme then shifts to a dreamy pianissimo in bar 21, before returning to the original theme in bar 47, and finally concluding with a Picardy third. The themes from the middle section
    8.00
    4 votes
    32
    Salome

    Salome

    Salome (or in French: Salomé) is a tragedy by Oscar Wilde. The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the dance of the seven veils. Rehearsals for the play's debut on the London stage began in 1892, but were halted when the Lord Chamberlain's licensor of plays banned Salomé on the basis that it was illegal to depict Biblical characters on the stage. The play was first published in French in 1893, and an English translation, with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, in 1894. On the Dedication page, Wilde indicated that his lover Lord Alfred Douglas was the translator. In fact, Wilde and Douglas had quarrelled over the latter's translation of the text which had been nothing short of disastrous given his poor mastery of French — though Douglas claimed that the errors were really in Wilde's original play. Beardsley and the publisher John Lane got drawn in when
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    4 votes
    33
    Unforgiven

    Unforgiven

    Unforgiven is a 1992 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood with a screenplay written by David Webb Peoples. The film tells the story of William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job years after he had hung up his guns and turned to farming. A dark Western that deals frankly with the uglier aspects of violence and the myth of the Old West, it stars Eastwood in the lead role, with Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris. Eastwood dedicated the movie to deceased directors and mentors Don Siegel and Sergio Leone. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Hackman), and Best Film Editing. Eastwood himself was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, but he lost to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman. In 2004, Unforgiven was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film was only the third western to win the Oscar for Best Picture following Cimarron (1931) and Dances With Wolves (1990). A group of prostitutes in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, led by Strawberry Alice (Frances
    8.00
    4 votes
    34
    Fennimore and Gerda

    Fennimore and Gerda

    Fennimore und Gerda (subtitled Two Episodes from the Life of Niels Lyhne in Eleven Pictures) is a German-language opera with four interludes, by the English composer Frederick Delius. It is usually performed and recorded in English, as Fennimore and Gerda in a translation by Philip Heseltine. The German libretto, by the composer himself, is based on the novel Niels Lyhne by the Danish writer Jens Peter Jacobsen. In neither German nor English is the libretto highly regarded; rather, the work is considered an "orchestral opera," limited in its dramatic appeal but voluptuous and engaging in its instrumental texture. Delius began writing Fennimore und Gerda in 1908; he finished in 1910, but the premiere, intended for the Cologne Opera, was delayed by the First World War and did not take place until 21 October 1919, and then at the Opernhaus in Frankfurt. It was the composer's last opera. Two cousins, the writer Niels Lyhne and the painter Erik Refstrup, are in love with the consul's daughter, Fennimore. She chooses Erik but the marriage begins to break down as a result of the artist's drinking and Fennimore embarks on an affair with Niels. Erik is killed in an accident and, overwhelmed
    6.80
    5 votes
    35
    Leviathan

    Leviathan

    Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly referred to as Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as a classic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all") could only be averted by strong central government. After lengthy discussion with Hobbes, the Parisian Abraham Bosse created the etching for the book's famous frontispiece in the geometrico style which Bosse himself had refined. It is similar in organization to the frontispiece of Hobbes' De Cive (1642), created by Jean Matheus. The frontispiece has two main elements, of which the upper part is by far the most
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    4 votes
    36
    String Quartet No. 19

    String Quartet No. 19

    The String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, KV. 465 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, nicknamed "Dissonance" on account of its unusual slow introduction, is perhaps the most famous of his quartets. It is the last in the set of six quartets composed between 1782-1785 that he dedicated to Joseph Haydn. According to the catalog of works Mozart began early the preceding year, the quartet was completed on January 14, 1785. As is normal with Mozart's later quartets, it is in four movements: The first movement opens with ominous quiet Cs in the cello, joined successively by the viola (on A♭ moving to a G), the second violin (on E♭) and the first violin (on A), thus creating the "dissonance" itself and narrowly avoiding a greater one. This lack of harmony and fixed key continues throughout the slow introduction before resolving into the bright C major of the Allegro section of the first movement, which is in sonata form. Mozart goes on (Listen) to use chromatic and whole tone scales to outline fourths. Arch shaped lines emphasizing fourths in the first violin (C - F - C) and the violoncello (G - C - C' - G') are combined with lines emphasizing fifths in the second violin and viola. Over the barline
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    4 votes
    37
    Symphony No.5

    Symphony No.5

    The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written in 1804–1808. It Is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterwards. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time". It begins by stating a distinctive four-note "short-short-short-long" motif twice: ( listen (help·info)) The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are well known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television. The Fifth Symphony had a long gestation. The first sketches date from 1804 following the completion of the Third Symphony. However, Beethoven repeatedly interrupted his work on the Fifth to prepare other compositions, including the first version of Fidelio, the Appassionata piano sonata, the three Razumovsky string quartets, the Violin Concerto, the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Fourth Symphony, and the Mass in C. The final preparation of the Fifth
    7.75
    4 votes
    38
    Gladiator

    Gladiator

    Gladiator is a 2000 epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the loyal Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when the Emperor's ambitious son, Commodus, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his Emperor. Released in the United States on May 5, 2000, Gladiator was a box office success, receiving positive reviews, and was credited with rekindling interest in the historical epic. The film was nominated for and won multiple awards, particularly five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture. In AD 180, General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) leads the Roman army to a decisive victory against Germanic tribes at Vindobona, ending a long war on the Roman frontier and earning the esteem of the elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Though he has a son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the dying emperor wishes to grant temporary leadership to
    6.60
    5 votes
    39
    Lethal Weapon

    Lethal Weapon

    Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film and the first in a series of films, all directed by Richard Donner and starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of LAPD detectives, and Gary Busey as their primary adversary. After the first film, the series fell into the action thriller genres, and is generally considered to typify the "buddy cop" plot device. L.A.P.D. Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is worried about getting old, having recently celebrated his 50th birthday. He receives a message from Michael Hunsaker (Tom Atkins), an old Vietnam War friend who Murtaugh realizes he has not seen in over 12 years. Before he can meet him, he is called to investigate a suicide and learns that the victim is Hunsaker's daughter, Amanda. Elsewhere, L.A.P.D. Narcotics Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), who is suicidal following the recent death of his wife in a traffic accident, nearly kills a disarmed suspect after flying into a psychotic rage during a drug bust. Wary of his behavior, Riggs' superiors transfer him to Homicide, making him and Murtaugh reluctant partners. Amanda's autopsy results show that she had taken drugs laced with drain cleaner.
    6.60
    5 votes
    40
    Das Wunder der Heliane

    Das Wunder der Heliane

    Das Wunder der Heliane (German for The Miracle of Heliane), Op.20 is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold with a libretto by Hans Müller-Einigen, after Hans Kaltneker. It was first performed at the Hamburg State Opera on 7 October 1927. A suite for violin and piano based on the music from the aria "Ich ging zu ihm" is in print at Schott publishing. After many successful premieres across Germany, Korngold composed this new opera beginning in 1924. Before its premiere in 1927 Korngold claimed that this would be his masterwork. At the world premiere in Hamburg the audiences and critics were unimpressed, feeling that Korngold's music held no new surprises and it was not modern. Critics were united in their lack of esteem for the work, many simply dismissing it as kitsch. The opera is generally considered to have been a flop for Korngold, following as it did the critical and public success of Die Tote Stadt and several other operas by the composer. Within the artistic community however there is evidence that there was admiration for the work, soprano Lotte Lehman even stating that the title role was her favorite. It was presented at the Berlin Städtische Oper under Bruno
    7.50
    4 votes
    41
    Order of Saint Stephen

    Order of Saint Stephen

    The Order of Saint Stephen (Official: Sacro Militare Ordine di Santo Stefano Papa e Martire, "Holy Military Order of St. Stephen Pope and Martyr") is a Tuscan dynastic-military order founded in 1561. The order was created by Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany. The last member of the Medici dynasty to be a leader of the order was Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The order was permanently abolished in 1859 by the annexation of Tuscany to the Kingdom of Sardinia. The former Kingdom of Italy and the current Italian Republic also did not recognize the order as a legal entity but tolerates it as a private body. The order was founded by Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, with the approbation of Pope Pius IV on 1 October 1561. The rule chosen was that of the Benedictine Order. The first grand master was Cosimo himself and he was followed in that role by his successors as grand duke. The dedication to the martyred Pope Stephen I, whose feast day is 2 August, derives from the date of Cosimo's victories at the Battle of Montemurlo on 1 August 1537 and the Battle of Marciano(Scannagallo) on 2 August 1554. The objective of the order was to fight the Ottoman Turks and
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    4 votes
    42
    Pavane

    Pavane

    The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a composition by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but is better known in Fauré's version for orchestra and optional chorus. Obtaining its rhythm from the slow processional Spanish court dance of the same name, the Pavane ebbs and flows from a series of harmonic and melodic climaxes, conjuring a cool, somewhat haunting, Belle Époque elegance. The piece is scored for only modest orchestral forces consisting of string instruments and one pair each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns. A typical performance lasts about six minutes. The original version of the Pavane was written for piano in the late 1880s. The composer described it as "elegant, but not otherwise important." Fauré intended it to be played more briskly than it has generally come to be performed in its more familiar orchestral guise. The conductor Sir Adrian Boult heard Fauré play the piano version several times and noted that he took it at a tempo no slower than crochet=100. Boult commented that the composer's sprightly tempo emphasised that the Pavane was not a piece of German romanticism, and that the text later added
    7.50
    4 votes
    43
    Sonata on the 94th Psalm

    Sonata on the 94th Psalm

    The Sonata on the 94th Psalm in C minor is a sonata for solo organ by Julius Reubke, based on the text of Psalm 94. It is considered one of the pinnacles of the Romantic repertoire. It is in three movements: Length: c. 23 - 28 minutes Reubke composed the sonata while he was studying piano and composition in Weimar with Franz Liszt, and living at the Altenburg house. He composed it at the same time as his other large work, the Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, and finished it in April 1857. He dedicated it to Professor Carl Riedel and played the premiere on the Ladegast organ (1853-1855) of Merseburg Cathedral on June 17, 1857. The 94th Psalm Sonata is considered to be inspired by Liszt's Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, Piano Sonata, symphonic poems and Wagner's operas. It is nonetheless a very individual work composed well for the organ, requiring very advanced pedal technique - which testifies to Reubke's much greater ability at the organ than Liszt - and a resourceful use of all the organ's departments. (Not that this is surprising, of course: Liszt was first and foremost a pianist. His transcendental forays into organ composition are demonstrative of his
    7.50
    4 votes
    44
    Valses nobles et sentimentales

    Valses nobles et sentimentales

    The Valses nobles et sentimentales is a suite of waltzes composed by Maurice Ravel. The piano version was published in 1911, and an orchestral version was published in 1912. The suite contains an eclectic blend of Impressionist and Modernist music, which is especially evident in the orchestrated version. Ravel was intrigued by the waltz genre. By 1906 he had started composing what later would become La valse, in which he tried to epitomise everything this popular genre encompassed. In 1911, prior to the 1919 publication of La valse, he published the piano version of his suite of eight Valses nobles et sentimentales. The work was first performed on May 8, 1911 by Louis Aubert, to whom the work is dedicated, at a performance of new works where the composers were not identified. It was sponsored by the Société Musicale Indépendante, to promote the works of more adventurous composers, without "burdening" critics with the attached labels of authorship. This was in theory supposed to encourage the critics to evaluate what they actually heard rather than simply judging the piece by the name of the composer. The anonymous work generated a disturbing chorus of boos and cat calls. Many were
    7.50
    4 votes
    45
    Cello Concerto No. 2

    Cello Concerto No. 2

    The Cello Concerto No. 2, Opus 126, was written by Dmitri Shostakovich in the spring of 1966 in the Crimea. Like the first concerto, it was written for Mstislav Rostropovich, who gave the premiere in Moscow under Yevgeny Svetlanov on 25 September 1966 at the composer's 60th birthday concert. Sometimes the concerto is listed as being in the key of G, but the score gives no such indication. Along with the Eleventh String Quartet, the Preface to the Complete Works, and the Seven Romances on Texts by Alexander Blok, the Second Cello Concerto signaled the beginning of Shostakovich's late period style. Like the Fourth Symphony and Ninth String Quartet before it and the Fifteenth Symphony after it, the Second Cello Concerto gave Shostakovich some problems in the compositional stages. The opening Largo, for example, was originally conceived to be the start of a new symphony. Shostakovich later abandoned this idea, however, and reworked this movement into its present form. The finale also gave the composer considerable trouble. He confessed to Mstislav Rostropovich, the concerto's dedicatee, that he had a finale completely written out but decided to scrap that version and supplant it with
    8.67
    3 votes
    46
    Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

    Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

    Mark Twain's work on Joan of Arc is titled in full, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte, who is identified further as Joan's page and secretary. The fictional work is presented as a translation from a manuscript by Jean Francois Alden, or, in the words of the published book, "Freely Translated out of the Ancient French into Modern English from the Original Unpublished Manuscript in the National Archives of France". Originally, Mark Twain's work was published as a serialization in Harper's Magazine beginning in 1895 and it was published in book form during 1896. At Twain’s request, Harper's Magazine published it anonymously to avoid expectations for it to be humorous. Because the copyright has expired, the work is in the public domain, and may be found for free on the Internet. The most current edition of the book has been published by Ignatius Press since 1989, and it also contains an essay by Mark Twain entitled Saint Joan of Arc in an appendix. The "de Conte" work is a fictionalized version of that of Joan of Arc's page, Louis de Contes, providing narrative unity to the story. de Conte is presented as an individual who was with Joan during the three
    8.67
    3 votes
    47
    Piano Sonata No. 7

    Piano Sonata No. 7

    Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 in B♭ major, Op. 83 (1942) ("Stalingrad") is a sonata composed for solo piano, the second of the Three War Sonatas. The sonata was first performed on January 18, 1943 in Moscow by Sviatoslav Richter. On 20 June 1939 Prokofiev's close friend and professional associate, the director Vsevolod Meyerhold, was arrested by the NKVD (Stalin's Secret Police) just before he was due to rehearse Prokofiev's new opera Semyon Kotko; he was shot on 2 February 1940. Although his death was not publicly acknowledged, let alone widely known about until after Stalin's reign, the brutal murder of Meyerhold's wife, Zinaida Raikh, less than a month after his arrest was a notorious event. Only months afterwards, Prokofiev was 'invited' to compose Zdravitsa (literally translated 'Cheers!', but more often given the English title Hail to Stalin) (Op. 85) to celebrate Joseph Stalin's 60th birthday. Later that year, Prokofiev started composing his Piano Sonatas Nos 6, 7, and 8, Opp. 82–84, widely known today as the "War Sonatas." These sonatas contain some of Prokofiev's most dissonant music for the piano. Biographer Daniel Jaffé has argued that Prokofiev, "having forced
    8.67
    3 votes
    48
    Violin Concerto No. 1

    Violin Concerto No. 1

    The Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 77, was originally written by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1947-48. He was still working on the piece at the time of the Zhdanov decree, and in the period following the composer's denunciation the work could not be performed. In the period between the work's initial completion and the first performance on 29 October 1955, the composer and its dedicatee, David Oistrakh, worked on a number of revisions. The work was finally premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky. It was well received, Oistrakh remarking on the "depth of its artistic content" and describing the violin part as a "pithy 'Shakespearian' role". Oistrakh characterised the first movement Nocturne as "a suppression of feelings", and the second movement Scherzo as "demoniac". The Scherzo is also notable for an appearance by the DSCH motif—a motif that reoccurs in many of the composer's works representing Shostakovich himself. Boris Schwarz (Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1972), commented on the Passacaglia's "lapidary grandeur" and the Burlesque's "devil-may-care abandonment". The beginning of the Passacaglia is also notable for its juxtaposition of the
    8.67
    3 votes
    49
    Piano Sonata No.32

    Piano Sonata No.32

    The Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, is the last of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas. Along with Beethoven's 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, op. 120 (1823) and his two collections of bagatelles—Opus 119 (1822) and Opus 126 (1824)—this was one of Beethoven's last compositions for piano. The work was written between 1821 and 1822. Like other "late period" sonatas, it contains fugal elements. The work is in two highly contrasting movements: The first movement, like many other works by Beethoven in C minor (see Beethoven and C minor), is stormy and impassioned. It abounds in diminished seventh chords, as in for instance the first full bar of its opening introduction: The final movement, in C major, is a set of variations on a 16-bar theme, with a brief modulating interlude and final coda. The last two are famous for introducing small notes which constantly divide the bar in 36 resp. 27 parts, which is very uncommon. Beethoven eventually introduces a trill which gives the impression of a further step (i.e. dividing each bar into 81 parts), though this is extremely technically difficult without slowing down to half-tempo. Beethoven’s markings indicate that he
    6.40
    5 votes
    50
    Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown

    Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown

    Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown is an animated short directed and animated by Jim Reardon, who would later become director and storyboard consultant for The Simpsons. The cartoon was made in 1986 while he was at CalArts. It has a rough draft-like, unfinished black-and-white look to it, with no real color other than the necessary black outlines. The short film is a faux trailer for another forthcoming Peanuts television special, and parodies the aforementioned series of Peanuts specials. The "special" is said to be due for broadcast on Tuesday night at 8.00pm, and was sponsored by a foods company called "Madison Barns, makers of ding-dongs, swinkies, poop tarts and wussy cakes". The Great Pumpkin puts a bounty on Charlie Brown's head, prompting the entire Peanuts cast to try to kill him. Lucy tries to get Charlie Brown to kick a bomb disguised as a football, Schroeder dumps his (full-sized, not toy) piano on Charlie Brown's head, Snoopy bites off his hand (which gushes blood), the Kite Eating Tree falls on him, and Linus strangles him with his blanket (which he had turned into a makeshift Garroting Wire). Finally tired of running, Charlie Brown suddenly dons a mohawk and arms
    7.25
    4 votes
    51
    Cello Concerto No. 1

    Cello Concerto No. 1

    The Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Opus 107, was composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich. It is perhaps the most popular 20th Century cello concerto. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days and gave the premiere on October 4, 1959, with Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory. The first recording was made in November of that year by Rostropovich and the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. The concerto is scored for two flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets (each doubling B-flat and A), two bassoons (2nd doubling contrabassoon), one horn, timpani, celesta, and strings. The work has four movements in two sections, with movements two through four played without a pause: A typical performance runs approximately 28 minutes in length. The first concerto is widely considered to be one of the most difficult concerted works for cello, along with the Sinfonia Concertante of Sergei Prokofiev, with which it shares certain features (such as the prominent role of isolated timpani strokes). Shostakovich said
    7.25
    4 votes
    52
    Order of the Golden Kite

    Order of the Golden Kite

    The Order of the Golden Kite (金鵄勲章, Kinshi Kunsho) was an order of the Empire of Japan, established on 12 February 1890 by Emperor Meiji "in commemoration of Jimmu Tennō, the Romulus of Japan." It was officially abolished by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers of Occupied Japan in 1947 after World War II. The Order of the Golden Kite was an exclusively military award, conferred for bravery, leadership or command in battle. The order consisted of seven classes. Enlisted rank soldiers were eligible for the 7th - 5th classes, non-commissioned officers were eligible for the 6th - 4th classes, junior officers for the 5th - 3rd classes, field grade officers for the 4th-2nd classes and general officers for the 3rd-1st classes. A total of 1,067,492 Order of the Golden Kite awards were made over the history of the order, most of them in the two lower 6th and 7th classes. Only 41 of the 1st class and 201 of the 2nd class were awarded. By conflict: The award came with an annual monetary stipend, fixed in 1916. This was awarded for the lifetime of the recipient, and following his death, it would be awarded to the recipient's family for one year after. If the recipient died within 5
    7.25
    4 votes
    53
    Piano Sonata No.13

    Piano Sonata No.13

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat major "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 1, was composed in 1800–1801. Beethoven was about 30 years old when he wrote the sonata. He had already made a name for himself in Vienna as pianist and composer and was beginning to explore alternatives to the classical-era compositional procedures that he had largely adhered to during the 18th century. The most famous works of his "middle period", often emphasizing heroism, were yet to come. Beethoven's sketches for the first, second, and final movements survive, but the original autograph copy is lost. The sonata was published separately from its more famous companion, Opus. 27 No. 2 (the so-called "Moonlight" Sonata), but at the same time, by Cappi in Vienna; the first advertisements for the work appeared 3 March, 1802. Both Op. 27 sonatas were originally titled Sonata quasi una fantasia. The dedicatee of the work was (as was typical of the time) an aristocrat, Princess Josephine von Liechtenstein (1776-1848). Little is known of Beethoven's relationship with her. Grove Music Online translates the Italian title Sonata quasi una fantasia as "sonata in the manner of a fantasy". While we
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    54
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the well-known adaptation 1939 film version, starring Judy Garland. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a tornado. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum's writing thirteen more Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956. Baum dedicated the book "to my good friend & comrade, My Wife", Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901, George M. Hill Company, the publisher, completed printing the first edition, which probably totaled around 35,000 copies. Records indicate that 21,000 copies were sold through 1900.
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    4 votes
    55
    Lohengrin

    Lohengrin

    Lohengrin is a romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself inspired by the epic of Garin le Loherain. It is part of the Knight of the Swan tradition. The opera has proved inspirational towards other works of art. Among those deeply moved by the fairy-tale opera was the young King Ludwig II of Bavaria. 'Der Märchenkönig' ('The Fairy-tale King') as he was dubbed later built his ideal fairy-tale castle and dubbed it "New Swan Stone," or "Neuschwanstein", after the Swan Knight. It was King Ludwig's patronage that later gave Wagner the means and opportunity to compose, build a theatre for, and stage his epic cycle, the Ring of the Nibelung. The most popular and recognizable part of the opera is the Bridal Chorus, better known as "Here Comes the Bride", often played as a processional at weddings in the West. The first production of Lohengrin was in Weimar, Germany on 28 August 1850 at the Staatskapelle Weimar under the direction of Franz Liszt, a close
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    3 votes
    56
    Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9

    Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9

    The Roman Carnival Overture, Op.9 (1844), is a composition by French composer Hector Berlioz. It is a stand-alone overture intended for concert performance, and is made up of material and themes from Berlioz's opera Benvenuto Cellini (1838), including some music from the opera's carnival scene - hence the overture's title. It is scored for large orchestra, is in the key of A major, and features a prominent and famous solo for the English horn (cor anglais).
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    57
    Symphony No. 6

    Symphony No. 6

    Ralph Vaughan Williams's Symphony in E minor, published as Symphony No. 6, was composed in 1946–47, during and immediately after World War II. Dedicated to Michael Mullinar, it was first performed by Sir Adrian Boult and the BBC Symphony Orchestra on April 21, 1948. Within a year it had received some 100 performances, including the U.S. Premiere by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky on August 7, 1948. Leopold Stokowski gave the first New York performances the following January with the New York Philharmonic and immediately recorded it, declaring that "this is music that will take its place with the greatest creations of the masters." However, Vaughan Williams, very nervous about this symphony, threatened several times to tear up the draft. At the same time, his programme note for the first performance took a defiantly flippant tone. Perhaps the composer never intended the symphony to be programmatic, but it was inevitable that his post-war audience should associate its disturbing and often violent character with the detonation of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In response to these questions, he is widely quoted as having said, "It never seems to
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    3 votes
    58
    Children's Corner

    Children's Corner

    Children's Corner (L. 113) is a six-movement suite for solo piano by Claude Debussy. It was published by Durand in 1908, and was given its world première in Paris by Harold Bauer on December 18 of that year. In 1911, an orchestration of the work by Debussy's friend André Caplet received its première and was subsequently published. There is also a forthcoming version for organ by Michael Hey. A typical performance of the suite lasts roughly 15 minutes. It is dedicated to Debussy's daughter, Claude-Emma (known as "Chou-Chou"), who was three years old at the time. The pieces are not intended to be played by children; rather they are meant to be evocative of childhood and some of the toys in Claude-Emma's toy collection. Claude-Emma was born on October 30, 1905 in Paris, and is described as a lively and friendly child who was adored by her father. She died of diphtheria on July 14, 1919, scarcely a year after her father's death. There are six pieces in the suite, each with an English-language title. This choice of language is most likely Debussy's nod towards Chou-Chou's English governess. The pieces are: The title of the first alludes to Muzio Clementi's collection of instructional
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    59
    Piano Sonata No.15

    Piano Sonata No.15

    Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28, is a piano sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was named Pastoral or Pastorale by Beethoven's publisher at the time, A. Cranz. While not as widely recognised as its immediate predecessor, Piano Sonata No. 14, it is admired for the intricacy and technicality in the beauty it portrays. It takes roughly 35 minutes to play the entire work as intended with repeats. Published in 1801, it is dedicated to the Count Joseph von Sonnenfels. This sonata was written at a time when Beethoven's alarm at his worsening deafness was increasing. Nevertheless, Beethoven paints a serene image with this sonata. The whole sonata is in D major, and follows the typical four-movement form of the classical sonata. The first movement, Allegro, begins in the tonic major with a repetitive and monotone bass line sometimes described as "timpanic." This droning theme continues in various forms throughout the sonata. On top is the simple primary theme of the movement. It is very simple and quiet, yet cunning. Eventually, the work introduces a second, more tense melody in F-sharp minor, which builds up into a passage of constant quavers, on which is laid a rather simple, yet
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    5 votes
    60
    Death and the Maiden Quartet

    Death and the Maiden Quartet

    The String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as Death and the Maiden, by Franz Schubert, is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire. Composed in 1824, after the composer suffered through a serious illness and realized that he was dying, it is Schubert's testament to death. The quartet is named for the theme of the second movement, which Schubert took from a song he wrote in 1817 of the same title; but the theme of death is palpable in all four movements of the quartet. The quartet was first played in 1826 in a private home, and was not published until 1831, three years after Schubert's death. Yet, passed over in his lifetime, the quartet has become a staple of the quartet repertoire. It is D. 810 in Otto Erich Deutsch's thematic catalog of Schubert's works. 1823 and 1824 were hard years for Schubert. For much of 1823 he was sick with an outburst of tertiary stage syphilis, and in May had to be hospitalized. He was broke: he had entered into a disastrous deal with Diabelli to publish a batch of works, and received almost no payment; and his latest attempt at opera, Fierabras, was a flop. In a letter to a friend, he wrote, Yet, despite his bad health, poverty and
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    61
    Piano Concerto

    Piano Concerto

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed his Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 30 between 1882 and 1883. It was first performed in March 1884 at one of Mily Balakirev's Free Music School concerts in St. Petersburg. The concerto is written in one continuous movement with three contrasting sections: After a long hiatus, Mily Balakirev reappeared on the Russian music scene in 1881, at the first Free Music School concert of the 1881-82 season. Likewise, it was Balakirev who suggested that Rimsky-Korsakov write a piano concerto. Rimsky-Korsakov was not a pianist. Nevertheless, as Rimsky-Korsakov wrote, "It must be said that it sounded beautiful and proved entirely satisfactory in the sense of piano techinique and style; this greatly astonished Balakirev, who found my concerto to his liking. He had by no means expected that I ... should know how to compose anything entirely pianistic." Rimsky-Korsakov acknowledged his indebtedness to Franz Liszt in writing this work, dedicating it to him. Like Liszt's concertos, particularly the second, it is in one movement, with sections that contrast yet flow into one another without strict boundaries. It is also Lisztian in its virtuosic decorative
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    62
    Tess

    Tess

    Tess is a 1979 romance film directed by Roman Polanski, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It tells the story of a strong-willed, young peasant girl who finds out she has title connections by way of her old aristocratic surname and who is raped by her wealthy cousin, whose right to the family title may not be as strong as he claims. The screenplay was by Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn, and Roman Polanski. The story takes place in rural Dorset, England, during the Victorian period. Its events are set in motion innocently enough when a clergyman, Parson Tringham, has a conversation with a simple farmer, John Durbeyfield. Tringham is a local historian; in the course of his research, he has discovered that the "Durbeyfields" are actually descended from the d'Urbervilles, a noble family whose lineage extends to the time of William the Conqueror. It is useless knowledge, really, as the family lost its land and prestige when the male heirs died out. The parson merely thinks Durbeyfield might like to know his origins as a passing historical curiosity. Unfortunately, Durbeyfield immediately becomes fixated upon the idea of regaining his lost nobility, and
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    63
    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto

    Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61, is one of his longest orchestral compositions, and the last of his works to gain immediate popular success. The concerto was composed for the violinist Fritz Kreisler, who gave the premiere in London in 1910, with the composer conducting. Plans by the recording company His Master's Voice to record the work with Kreisler and Elgar fell through, and the composer made a recording with the teenaged Yehudi Menuhin that has remained in the catalogues since its first release in 1932. Elgar's music was out of fashion in the middle of the twentieth century, but the concerto nevertheless continued to be programmed. By the end of the century, when Elgar's music was restored to the general repertory, there had been more than twenty recordings of the concerto. In 2010, centenary performances of the concerto were given around the world. Elgar had begun work on a violin concerto in 1890, but he was dissatisfied with it and destroyed the manuscript. In 1907 the violinist Fritz Kreisler, who admired Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, asked him to write a violin concerto. Two years earlier, Kreisler had told an English newspaper: If you want to know
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    2 votes
    64
    Hustle & Flow

    Hustle & Flow

    Hustle & Flow is a 2005 independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. It was released on July 22, 2005. Terrence Howard stars as a Memphis hustler and pimp who faces his aspiration to become a rapper. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp." Howard was nominated for Best Actor. DJay (Terrence Howard) is a pimp and drug dealer who is dissatisfied with his life. After acquiring a keyboard and reacquainting himself with an old friend from school, Key (Anthony Anderson), who has become a sound technician, DJay decides to try his hand at making hip hop songs. Key and his sound-mixer friend Shelby (DJ Qualls) help DJay put together several "flow" songs. While DJay quickly proves to have a real talent for lyrics, in which he expresses the frustrations of a small-time hustler struggling to survive, it is his first fixed-length song, done at the urging of these friends, which most obviously has the chance of becoming a hit and getting local radio play. The group experiences many setbacks throughout the creative process. DJay must hustle those around him in
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    3 votes
    65
    Minute Waltz

    Minute Waltz

    The Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1, popularly known as the Minute Waltz and also Valse de l'adieu, is a waltz for solo piano whose music was composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka. Chopin wrote the waltz in 1847 and had it published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig the same year, as the first of the Trois Valses, Op. 64. The second waltz is in the enharmonic parallel minor key of C sharp minor. The piece is given the tempo marking Molto vivace. Although it has long been known as the "Minute (accent on second syllable) Waltz", a nickname meaning a "small" waltz, given by its publisher, Chopin did not intend for this waltz to be played in one minute: a typical performance of the work will last between one and a half and two and a half minutes.The waltz is 138 measures long with one fifteen-measure repeat included, and thus it would have to be played at almost 420 quarter notes per minute in order to play it completely within a single minute. Playing the piece as fast as possible is still a feat some pianists attempt. Camille Bourniquel, one of Chopin's biographers, reminds the reader that Chopin got the inspiration for this waltz as he was
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    66
    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Piano Concerto No. 1

    The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875. It was revised in the summer of 1879 and again in December 1888. The first version received heavy criticism from Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's desired pianist. Rubinstein later repudiated his previous accusations and became a fervent champion of the work. It is one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concerti. The work is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in F, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), timpani, solo piano, and strings. The concerto follows the traditional form of three movements: The first movement is initiated with four emphatic B-flat minor chords, which leads to a lyrical and passionate theme in D-flat major. This subsidiary theme never appears again throughout the movement. The main theme of the concerto is a Ukrainian folk theme which is contrasted with a romantic theme. The development section juxtaposes the folk theme with the romantic theme. The primary theme is once again recapitulated in the tonic key and the romantic theme in
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    67
    String Quartet No. 13

    String Quartet No. 13

    The String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, op. 130, by Ludwig van Beethoven was completed in November 1825. The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually the fourteenth quartet in order of composition. It was premiered in March 1826 by the Schuppanzigh Quartet and dedicated to Nikolai Galitzin on its publication in 1827. Its original form consisted of six movements totalling approximately 50 minutes; they are as follows: Nomenclature: "danza tedesca" is a German dance, "Cavatina" a short and simple song, "Große Fuge" is "Great (or Grand) Fugue". After the first performance of this work, mixed reactions and publisher suggestion convinced Beethoven to substitute a different final movement, much shorter and lighter than the enormous Große Fuge. This new finale was written between September and November 1826. This movement is marked: Beethoven never witnessed the first performance of the quartet in its final form, since this did not happen until April 22, 1827, almost one month after his death. The original finale was then published separately under the title Große Fuge as opus 133. Modern performances sometimes follow the composer's
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    68
    Symphony No.2

    Symphony No.2

    Symphony No. 2 in D major (Op. 36) is a symphony in four movements written by Ludwig van Beethoven between 1801 and 1802. The work is dedicated to Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky. Beethoven's Second Symphony was mostly written during Beethoven's stay at Heiligenstadt in 1802, at which time his deafness was becoming more apparent and he began to realize that it might be incurable. The work was premiered in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 5 April 1803, and was conducted by the composer. During that same concert, the Third Piano Concerto and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives were also debuted. It is one of the last works of Beethoven's so-called "early period". Beethoven wrote the Second Symphony without a standard minuet; instead, a scherzo took its place, giving the composition even greater scope and energy. The scherzo and the finale are filled with vulgar Beethovenian musical jokes, which shocked the sensibilities of many contemporary critics. One Viennese critic for the Zeitung fuer die elegante Welt (Newspaper for the Elegant World) famously wrote of the Symphony that it was "a hideously writhing, wounded dragon that refuses to die, but writhing in its last agonies
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    69
    Les Fleurs du mal

    Les Fleurs du mal

    Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist movements. The subject matter of these poems deals with themes relating to decadence and eroticism. The initial publication of the book was arranged in six thematically segregated sections: The foreword to the volume, identifying Satan with the pseudonymous alchemist Hermes Trismegistus and calling boredom the worst of miseries, neatly sets the general tone of what is to follow: Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie, N'ont pas encore brodé de leurs plaisants dessins Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins, C'est que notre âme, hélas! n'est pas assez hardie. The preface concludes with the following malediction: C'est l'Ennui! —l'œil chargé d'un pleur involontaire, Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka. Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat, —Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère! The author and the publisher were prosecuted under the regime of the Second Empire as an outrage aux bonnes mœurs (trans. "an insult to public decency"). As a consequence of this prosecution,
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    4 votes
    70
    Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor

    Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor

    Frédéric Chopin composed his Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, in 1844 and dedicated it to Countess Emilie de Perthuis. As his last sonata for solo piano, it has been suggested that this was his attempt to address the criticisms of his earlier Sonata No. 2, Op. 35. The sonata consists of four movements, a similar structure to the second sonata, with a lyrical largo rather than a funeral march. A performance of the work lasts around 25–35 minutes. The work opens on a martial note, the heavy chords and filigree in the opening of the first movement giving way to a more melodic second theme, eventually leading to the conclusion of the exposition in the relative major, D. Motives of the original theme emerge in the development, which, unconventionally, returns to the second theme (as opposed to the first) for the recapitulation. The movement concludes in B major. The scherzo, in the distant key of E flat and in strict ternary form, characterised by ebullient quaver runs in the right hand, with a more demure chordal middle section. If played slowly, the main E-flat theme sounds somewhat similar to the E-flat melody from the composer's First Ballade. Unlike the scherzo of the B-flat
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    4 votes
    71
    L'Apothéose (Symphonie funèbre et triomphale)

    L'Apothéose (Symphonie funèbre et triomphale)

    Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale (English: Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony), Op. 15, is the fourth and last symphony by the French composer Hector Berlioz, first performed on 28 July 1840 in Paris. The symphony was a commission by the French government to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the July Revolution which had brought Louis-Philippe to power, by erecting the July Column in the place de la Bastille, Paris. Berlioz had little sympathy for the régime, but he accepted the opportunity to write the work which brought him a payment of 10,000 francs. The Symphonie militaire (later renamed Symphonie funébre et triomphale), far from being a successor to Romeo and Juliet represents a reversion to an earlier, pre-Beethovenian style, the monumental French tradition of public ceremonial music. Remarkably, Berlioz claimed to have finished the score to the entire symphony in only 40 hours. This strengthens the supposition that Berlioz in fact harvested much of the musical material for the Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale from unfinished works. The first movement, the Marche funèbre, was constructed from the Fête musicale funèbre à la mémoiredes homes illustres de la
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    72
    Le pauvre matelot

    Le pauvre matelot

    Le pauvre matelot (The Poor Sailor) is a three act opera (described as a 'complainte') composed by Darius Milhaud with libretto by Jean Cocteau. Its first performance was at the Opéra-Comique on December 16, 1927. Le pauvre matelot is short, lasting about 35 minutes when performed, and is dedicated to Henri Sauguet. The composer conducted a complete recording with forces of the Paris Opera in 1956. The United States premiere of the opera, produced by the Curtis Institute of Music, took place on 1 April 1937 at the Philadelphia Academy of Music in a production directed by Austrian composer, librettist, and stage director Ernst Lert and using set and costume designs by Tony Award winning designer Donald Oenslager. The opera was presented in a double bill with the world premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's Amelia Goes to the Ball. Both operas were conducted by Fritz Reiner with Sylvan Levin serving as chorus master and a young Boris Goldovsky working as Assistant Conductor. The Milhaud/Menotti double bill played later that month in Baltimore at the city's Lyric Theatre and at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The setting of the opera is in the present at a seaport. The wife
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    2 votes
    73
    Organ Sonata

    Organ Sonata

    The Sonata in G major, Op 28 is Sir Edward Elgar's first sonata composed for the organ and first performed on 8 July 1895. It also exists in an arrangement for full orchestra made after Elgar's death. A second organ sonata was arranged by Ivor Atkins from Elgar's Severn Suite, written as a test piece for a 1930 brass band competition. There are four movements: The outer movements follow the classic sonata form; the inner movements are in three-part A-B-A form. Michael Kennedy observes that to play the finale successfully, the organist needs to be a mental and physical athlete. The genesis of the work was a request to Elgar to write an organ voluntary for a convention of American organists in the English city of Worcester in 1895. Instead, Elgar decided on a four movement sonata of nearly half an hour's length. It was first performed by the Worcester Cathedral organist, Hugh Blair, on 8 July, 1895. According to the score inscription, it took Elgar only a week to write the piece. The work was dedicated to Elgar’s friend and fellow-musician, Charles Swinnerton Heap (1847-1900). In the 1940s, the decade after Elgar’s death, the publishers decided that an orchestration of the sonata
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    2 votes
    74
    Piano Concerto No. 4

    Piano Concerto No. 4

    Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 is a major work by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, completed in 1926. The work exists in three versions. Following its unsuccessful premiere (1st version), the composer made cuts and other amendments before publishing it in 1928 (2nd version). With continued lack of success, he withdrew the work, eventually revising and republishing it in 1941 (3rd version, most generally performed today). The original manuscript version was released in 2000 by the Rachmaninoff Estate to be published and recorded. The work is dedicated to Nikolai Medtner, who in turn dedicated his Second Piano Concerto to Rachmaninoff the following year. Compared to its predecessors, the Fourth Concerto contains sharper thematic profiles along with a refinement of textures in keyboard and orchestra. These qualities do not lead to greater simplicity but to a different sort of complexity. It was also a continuation of Rachmaninoff's long-range creative growth: the Third Concerto and the recomposed First Concerto were less heavily orchestrated than the Second Concerto. In keeping with its general character, the Fourth Concerto is lighter still, yet more oblique. The
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    2 votes
    75
    Six Metamorphoses after Ovid

    Six Metamorphoses after Ovid

    English composer Benjamin Britten composed the program music Six Metamorphoses after Ovid (Op. 49) for solo Oboe in 1951. Intended to evoke images of the Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses, the piece is dedicated to oboist Joy Boughton who gave the first performance at the Aldeburgh Festival on 14 June 1951. Joy Boughton was the daughter of Britten's friend and contemporary, the composer Rutland Boughton. As its title suggests, it is in six movements, each of which bears a superscription: Most of the six movements are marked by frequent pauses between phrases, denoted either by breath mark or fermata. A typical performance lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. In depicting its free-spirited, eponymous mythological figure, the first movement is marked Senza misura, or "without measure." This, combined with its frequent phrase-ending fermatas, gives the piece an ad libitum feel: Marked Vivace ritmico, the second movement depicts Phaeton's ride on the chariot of his father, the sun god Helios. The inexorable, rhythmic eighth notes evoke images of this ride, first ascending as Phaeton soars too high, then descending as he plummets to Earth: In contrast to the previous movement, the third
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    2 votes
    76

    Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. Atlas Shrugged includes elements of romance, mystery and science fiction, and it contains Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction. The book explores a dogmatic dystopian United States where many of society's most productive citizens refuse to be exploited by increasing taxation and government regulations and go on strike. The refusal evokes the imagery of what would happen if the mythological Atlas refused to continue to hold up the world. They are led by John Galt. Galt describes the strike as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the minds that drive society's growth and productivity. In their efforts, these people "of the mind" hope to demonstrate that a world in which the individual is not free to create is doomed, that civilization cannot exist where every person is a slave to society and government, and that the destruction of the profit motive leads to the collapse of society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart,
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    3 votes
    77
    Béatrice et Bénédict

    Béatrice et Bénédict

    Béatrice et Bénédict (Beatrice and Benedick) is an opera in two acts by Hector Berlioz. Berlioz wrote the French libretto himself, based closely on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Berlioz composed the score of Béatrice et Bénédict following the completion of Les Troyens in 1858. It was first performed at the Theater der Stadt, Baden-Baden on 9 August 1862. Berlioz conducted the first two performances of a German version in Weimar, where, as he wrote in his memoirs, he was "overwhelmed by all sorts of kind attention." The first performances of the opera in France took place at the Opéra-Comique in 1890. It was again produced at that theatre in 2010. Although rather infrequently performed and not part of the standard operatic repertoire, other recent productions have included Amsterdam and Welsh National Opera tour in 2001, Santa Fe Opera in 2004, Strasbourg in 2005, Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2007, Houston Grand Opera in 2008, and Opera Boston in 2011. Don Pedro, prince of Aragon, is visiting Messina after a successful military victory over the Moors, which is celebrated by all of Sicily. He is joined by two friends and fellow soldiers, Claudio and Bénédict. They are greeted by
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    3 votes
    78
    De architectura

    De architectura

    De architectura (English: On architecture, published as Ten Books on Architecture) is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects. The work is one of the most important sources of modern knowledge of Roman building methods as well as the planning and design of structures, both large (aqueducts, buildings, baths, harbours) and small (machines, measuring devices, instruments). It is also the prime source of the famous story of Archimedes and his bath-time discovery. Probably written around 15 BC, it is the only contemporary source on classical architecture to have survived in its entirety. Divided into ten sections or "books", it covers almost every aspect of Roman architecture. The books break down as follows: De architectura - Ten Books on Architecture Roman architects were skilled in engineering, art, and craftsmanship combined. Vitruvius was very much of this type, a fact reflected in De architectura. He covers a wide variety of subjects that he saw as touching on architecture. This included many aspects that may seem irrelevant to modern eyes, ranging from
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    3 votes
    79
    Harold en Italie, Symphonie avec un alto principal en 4 parties

    Harold en Italie, Symphonie avec un alto principal en 4 parties

    Harold en Italie, Symphonie en quatre parties avec un alto principal (English: Harold in Italy, Symphony in Four Parts with Viola Obbligato), Op. 16, is Hector Berlioz' second symphony, written in 1834. Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) encouraged Berlioz (1803–1869) to write Harold en Italie. The two first met after a concert of Berlioz’s works conducted by Narcisse Girard on 22 December 1833, three years after the premiere of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Paganini had acquired a superb viola, a Stradivarius — "But I have no suitable music. Would you like to write a solo for viola? You are the only one I can trust for this task." Berlioz began "by writing a solo for viola, but one which involved the orchestra in such a way as not to reduce the effectiveness of the orchestral contribution." When Paganini saw the sketch of the allegro movement, with all the rests in the viola part, he told Berlioz it would not do, and that he expected to be playing continuously. They then parted, with Paganini disappointed. Harold en Italie is a four-movement work featuring an extensive part for solo viola. Lord Byron's poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage inspired the mood of Harold. Berlioz wrote, "My
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    3 votes
    80
    Spartacus

    Spartacus

    Spartacus is a 2004 North American miniseries directed by Robert Dornhelm and produced by Ted Kurdyla from a teleplay by Robert Schenkkan. It aired over two nights the USA Network, and stars Goran Visjnic, Alan Bates, Angus Macfadyen, Rhona Mitra, Ian McNeice, Ross Kemp and Ben Cross. It is based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast. There are also four television serials named after Spartacus; Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned. The plot, setting, and costumes are nearly identical to those of the Stanley Kubrick 1960 version; however, this adaptation follows Howard Fast's novel more closely than does Kubrick's film. (Two of the more noticeable omissions from the new adaptation are the "I'm Spartacus!" scene and Spartacus' and his wife's reunion after the battle.) The miniseries is shown as a story a woman narrates to her son, who are later revealed to be Spartacus' wife and son. A notable piece of dramatic license has Spartacus' son born exactly at the moment Spartacus dies in battle. As Marcus Crassus and Pomepey Magnus are being proclaimed co-consuls, the announcer calls Rome an Empire, when it
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    3 votes
    81
    Symphony No.7

    Symphony No.7

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, in 1811, was the seventh of his nine symphonies. He worked on it while staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in the hope of improving his health. It was completed in 1812, and was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries. At its debut, Beethoven was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works. The second movement Allegretto was the most popular movement and had to be encored. The instant popularity of the Allegretto resulted in its frequent performance separate from the complete symphony. The work was premiered in Vienna on 8 December 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau, with Beethoven himself conducting; the program also included the patriotic Wellington's Victory. The orchestra was led by Beethoven's friend, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and included some of the finest musicians of the day: violinist Louis Spohr, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Antonio Salieri, Anton Romberg, and the Italian double bass virtuoso, Domenico Dragonetti, whom Beethoven himself described as playing "with great fire and expressive power". It is also said that the Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani
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    3 votes
    82
    Burleske

    Burleske

    The Burleske in D minor is a composition for piano and orchestra by Richard Strauss in 1885-86, when he was 21. The work's original title was Scherzo in D minor, and it was written for Hans von Bülow, who had appointed Strauss assistant conductor of the Meiningen Orchestra. However, von Bülow considered it a "complicated piece of nonsense" and refused to learn it. He said the piano part was "Lisztian" and "unplayable", particularly for a pianist with a small handspan (Strauss says that von Bülow could barely reach an octave). Strauss rehearsed the work with the Meiningen Orchestra, conducting and playing the solo part himself, but then set it aside. He wrote to von Bülow: "... given an outstanding (!) pianist, and a first-rate (!) conductor, perhaps the whole thing will not turn out to be the unalloyed nonsense I took it for after the first rehearsal. After the first run-through, I was totally discouraged ...". In 1889, Strauss became acquainted with Eugen d'Albert, who liked the work, although he suggested some cuts and changes to the piano part. Strauss rededicated the revised work to d'Albert, who premiered it under its new title Burleske, at a convention of the General German
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    1 votes
    83
    Ebrach Abbey

    Ebrach Abbey

    Ebrach Abbey (Kloster Ebrach) was a Cistercian monastery in Ebrach in Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany. It is located in the Bishopric of Würzburg. The abbey, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Nicholas, was founded in 1126 or 1127 by Conrad III of Germany, his consort Gertrude, who at her death in 1146 was buried here, and various Frankish nobles, including Berno and Richwin. It was settled by twelve monks from Morimond Abbey in Burgundy, under the first abbot, Adam of Ebrach. It was dissolved during the secularisation of Bavaria in 1803. The abbey church became the local parish church. Beginning with the 13th century, the bishops of Würzburg had their hearts brought to the monastery in Ebrach (entrails to the chapel of the Marienburg, bodies to the St. Kilian cathedral). About 30 hearts of bishops, some of which had been desecrated during the German Peasants' War. , are said to have found their final resting place at Ebrach. The prince-bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn broke with this tradition and had his heart buried in the Neubaukirche. Since 1851 the premises have served as a prison - Justizvollzugsanstalt Ebrach - and since 1958 as a young
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    84
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

    The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is a presidential memorial dedicated to the memory of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and to the era he represents. For the memorial's designer, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, the memorial site represents the capstone of a distinguished career, partly because the landscape architect had fond memories of Roosevelt, and partly because of the sheer difficulty of the task. Dedicated on May 2, 1997 by President Bill Clinton, the monument, spread over 7.5 acres (3.0 ha), traces 12 years of the history of the United States through a sequence of four outdoor rooms, one for each of FDR's terms of office. Sculptures inspired by photographs depict the 32nd president alongside his dog Fala. Other sculptures depict scenes from the Great Depression, such as listening to a fireside chat on the radio and waiting in a bread line, a bronze sculpture by George Segal. A bronze statue of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt standing before the United Nations emblem honors her dedication to the UN. It is the only presidential memorial to depict a First Lady. Considering Roosevelt's disability, the memorial's designers intended to create a memorial that
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    1 votes
    85
    Guntram

    Guntram

    Guntram (Op. 25) is an opera in three acts by Richard Strauss with a German libretto written by the composer. It was Strauss' first opera and shows a strong Wagnerian influence. The music of Guntram is quoted in Strauss's tone-poem Ein Heldenleben. The composer revised the score in 1940. The opera was not very successful, and was only staged a few times during Strauss' lifetime: The first performance took place on 10 May 1894 at the Grossherzogliches Hoftheater in Weimar. The soprano role of Freihild was sung by Pauline de Ahna, Strauss's future wife. Later performances conducted by Strauss included those in Munich on 16 November 1895 and in Prague on 9 October 1901. A performance in Frankfurt was given on 9 March 1910 conducted by Ludwig Rottenberg. The revised version was first given in Weimar on 29 October 1940, conducted by Paul Sixt, and later in 1942 in Berlin conducted by Robert Heger. In Hamburg, on 4 February 1895, Gustav Mahler included the Prelude to Act 1 in his 6th Philharmonic Concert. He included the Preludes to Acts 1 and 2 in a concert in Vienna on 19 February 1899, and in New York on 30 March 1910 with the New York Philharmonic. Set in medieval Germany, the
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    1 votes
    86
    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Sergei Prokofiev set about composing his Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10 in 1911 and finished it in 1912. A one-movement concerto, it is the shortest of his five complete piano concertos, lasting only around a quarter of an hour. The concerto can be divided into three sections as follows: The first and last sections have a clear thematic relationship, as the concerto begins and ends with the same spacious D-flat major theme. The middle section (G-sharp minor) is darker but hardly less glorious than the other two, its climax abysmal rather than overbearing. Prokofiev dedicated his first piano concerto to the "dreaded Tcherepnin". The concerto was first performed in Moscow on 25 July/7 August 1912, with the composer as soloist and Konstantin Saradzhev conducting. Prokofiev later wrote that Saradzhev "realized splendidly all my tempos". Prokofiev won the Anton Rubinstein Prize for his pianistic accomplishments in a performance of the work before the Saint Petersburg Conservatory on 18 May 1914. Prokofiev proposed his own concerto for the competition programme, reasoning that though he may not be able to win with a classical concerto, with his own concerto the jury would
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    1 votes
    87
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2

    The Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms is a composition for solo piano with orchestral accompaniment. It is separated by a gap of 22 years from the composer's first piano concerto. Brahms began work on the piece in 1878 and completed it in 1881 while in Pressbaum near Vienna. It is dedicated to his teacher, Eduard Marxsen. The premiere of the concerto was given in Budapest on November 9, 1881, with Brahms as soloist, and was an immediate success. He proceeded to perform the piece in many cities across Europe. The piece is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (B-flat), 2 bassoons, 4 horns (initially 2 in B-flat bass, 2 in F), 2 trumpets (B-flat), timpani (B-flat and F), and strings. (The trumpets and timpani are used only in the first two movements, which is unusual.) The piece is in four movements, rather than the three typical of concertos in the Classical and Romantic periods: The additional movement results in a concerto considerably lengthier than most other concertos written up to that time, with typical performances lasting around 50 minutes. Upon its completion, Brahms sent its score to his friend, the surgeon and violinist Theodor Billroth
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    1 votes
    88
    Superman

    Superman

    Superman (also known as Superman: The Movie) is a 1978 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Richard Donner directed the film, which stars Christopher Reeve as Superman, as well as Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty. The film depicts the origin of Superman, including his infancy as Kal-El of Krypton and his youthful years in the rural town of Smallville. Disguised as reporter Clark Kent, he adopts a mild-mannered disposition in Metropolis and develops a romance with Lois Lane, while battling the villainous Lex Luthor. This version was conceived in 1973 by Ilya Salkind. Several directors, most notably Guy Hamilton, and screenwriters (Mario Puzo, David and Leslie Newman and Robert Benton) were associated with the project before Donner was hired to direct. Donner brought Tom Mankiewicz to rewrite the script, feeling it was too campy. Mankiewicz was credited as creative consultant. It was decided to film both Superman and Superman II simultaneously. Principal photography started in March 1977 and ended in October 1978. Tensions rose between Donner and the
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    1 votes
    89
    Symphony-Concerto in E minor

    Symphony-Concerto in E minor

    Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto in E minor, Op. 125 (sometimes referred to as Sinfonia Concertante) is a large-scale work for cello and orchestra. Prokofiev dedicated it to Mstislav Rostropovich, who premiered it on February 18, 1952 with Sviatoslav Richter conducting (the only instance of Richter conducting). After this first performance (under the title 'Cello Concerto No. 2'), it was revised and given its current title. It is itself a revised version of his earlier Cello Concerto, Op. 58, written in 1933–8. The work was written and revised mostly in 1950 and 1951, a period when Prokofiev was in declining health and official disfavor for formalism. One of his final completed works, it is about 40 minutes long in three movements: This work inspired Dmitri Shostakovich to write his Cello Concerto No. 1, also dedicated to Rostropovich. The premiere of Prokofiev's Cello Concerto (Op. 58) was generally thought to have been very poorly interpreted by the cellist, though the blame fell on Prokofiev for writing a "soul-less" concerto. The concerto was seldom played afterwards, until Prokofiev heard Rostropovich play it at a 1947 concert at the Moscow Conservatory. The performance
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    1 votes
    90
    Vocalise

    Vocalise

    Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 is a song by Sergei Rachmaninoff, published in 1912 as the last of his Fourteen Songs, Op. 34. Written for voice (soprano or tenor) with piano accompaniment, it contains no words, but is sung using any one vowel (of the singer's choosing). It was dedicated to soprano Antonina Nezhdanova. Although the original publication stipulates that the song may be sung by either soprano or tenor voice, it is usually chosen to be performed by a soprano. As with many classical vocal pieces, it is transposed into a variety of keys, allowing performers to choose a vocal range more suitable to their natural voice, so that artists who may not have the higher range of a soprano can nevertheless perform the song. Vocalise's popularity is so great that it has been arranged for many different instrument combinations. Among them: A segment of this song is featured towards the conclusion of Christina Aguilera's "Hurt".
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    1 votes
    91
    In the Bedroom

    In the Bedroom

    In the Bedroom is a 2001 American crime drama film directed by Todd Field, and dedicated to Andre Dubus, whose short story Killings is the source material on which the screenplay, by Field and Robert Festinger, is based. The film stars Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother. The title refers to the rear compartment of a lobster trap known as the "bedroom" and the fact that it can hold two lobsters before they begin to turn on each other. The film is set in the Mid-Coast town of Camden, Maine. Dr. Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth Fowler (Sissy Spacek) enjoy a happy marriage and a good relationship with their son Frank (Nick Stahl), a recent college graduate who has come home for the summer. Frank has fallen in love with an older woman with children, Natalie Strout (Marisa Tomei). Frank is also applying to graduate school for architecture, but is considering staying in town to work in the fishing industry and be near to Natalie. Natalie's ex-husband, Richard Strout (William Mapother), whose family owns a local fish-processing and delivery business, is violent and abusive. Richard actively tries to find a way into his ex-wife and son's lives,
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    4 votes
    92
    Reservoir Dogs

    Reservoir Dogs

    Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 crime film marking the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino. It depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist, but not the heist itself. Reservoir Dogs stars an ensemble cast: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, and Lawrence Tierney. Tarantino has a minor role, as does criminal-turned-author Eddie Bunker. It incorporates many themes that have become Tarantino's hallmarks: violent crime, pop culture references, profuse profanity, and a nonlinear storyline. The film contains key elements similar to those found in Ringo Lam's 1987 film City On Fire. The film has become a classic of independent film and a cult hit. It was named "Greatest Independent Film of all Time" by Empire. Reservoir Dogs was generally well received, and the cast was praised by many critics. Although it was never given much promotion upon release, the film was a modest success in the United States by grossing $2,832,029, which made its $1.2 million budget back. The film was more successful in the United Kingdom, grossing nearly £6.5 million, and it achieved higher popularity after the success of Tarantino's next directorial effort,
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    4 votes
    93
    Violin Sonata No.9

    Violin Sonata No.9

    The Violin Sonata No. 9 of Ludwig van Beethoven, commonly known as the Kreutzer Sonata, was published as Beethoven's Opus 47. It is known for its demanding violin part, unusual length (a typical performance lasts slightly less than 40 minutes), and emotional scope — while the first movement is predominantly furious, the second is meditative and the third joyous and exuberant. The sonata was originally dedicated to the violinist George Bridgetower (1778–1860), who performed it with Beethoven at the premiere on 24 May 1803 at the Augarten Theatre at a concert that started at the unusually early hour of 8:00 am. Bridgetower sight-read the sonata; he had never seen the work before, and there had been no time for any rehearsal. However, research indicates that after the performance, while the two were drinking, Bridgetower insulted the morals of a woman whom Beethoven cherished. Enraged, Beethoven removed the dedication of the piece, dedicating it instead to Rodolphe Kreutzer, who was considered the finest violinist of the day. However, Kreutzer never performed it, considering it "outrageously unintelligible". He did not particularly care for any of Beethoven's music, and they only ever
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    4 votes
    94
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a 1982 comedy-mystery film directed by Carl Reiner. Starring Steve Martin and Rachel Ward, the film is a parody of (and an homage to) film noir and the pulp detective movies of the 1940s. Edited by Bud Molin, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a collage film incorporating clips from 18 different vintage films. They are combined with more recent footage of Martin and other actors similarly shot in black-and-white, with the result that the original dialogue and acting of the classic films have now become part of a completely different story. Among the actors who appear from classic films are Edward Arnold, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Wally Brown, James Cagney, William Conrad, Jeff Corey, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Brian Donlevy, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Burt Lancaster, Charles Laughton, Charles McGraw, Fred MacMurray, John Miljan, Ray Milland, Edmund O'Brien, Vincent Price, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner and Norma Varden. This was the last film for both costume designer Edith Head and composer Miklós Rózsa. In the opening scene, John Hay Forrest (George Gaynes), noted scientist and cheesemaker, dies in a
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    5 votes
    95
    Le tombeau de Couperin

    Le tombeau de Couperin

    Le tombeau de Couperin is a suite for solo piano by Maurice Ravel, composed between 1914 and 1917, in six movements. Each movement is dedicated to the memory of friends of the composer who had died fighting in World War I. Ravel himself was an army driver during the war. The work is the best-known example of the musical genre of tombeau. The work also exists in an orchestral version, but not all the movements were included. While the word-for-word meaning of the title invites the assumption that the suite is a programmatic work, describing what is seen and felt in a visit to the tomb of Couperin, tombeau is actually a musical term popular in the 17th century and meaning "a piece written as a memorial". The specific Couperin (among a family noted as musicians for about two centuries) that Ravel intended to be evoked, along with the friends, would presumably be François Couperin "the Great" (1668-1733). However, Ravel stated that his intention was never to imitate or tribute Couperin himself, but rather was to pay homage to the sensibilities of the Baroque French keyboard suite. This is reflected in the structure which imitates a Baroque dance suite. As a preparatory exercise, Ravel
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    2 votes
    96
    Cello Sonata

    Cello Sonata

    Sergei Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19, a sonata for cello and piano, was completed in November 1901 and published a year later. Rachmaninoff disliked calling it a cello sonata because he thought the two instruments were equal. Because of this, it is often referred to as Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano. Most of the themes are introduced by the piano, while they are embellished and expanded in the cello's part. He dedicated it to Anatoliy Brandukov, who gave the first performance in Moscow with the composer at the piano, on 2 December 1901. Rachmaninoff seems to have made some last-minute alterations after the premiere, as he wrote the date "12 December 1901" on the score. The sonata was overshadowed by the huge success of his Piano Concerto No. 2, which premiered on 27 October 1901. As typical of sonatas in the Romantic period, it has four movements: The work takes approximately 30 minutes to perform.
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    3 votes
    97
    Ise Shrine

    Ise Shrine

    Ise Grand Shrine (伊勢神宮, Ise Jingū) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture, Japan. Officially known simply as Jingū (神宮), Ise Jingū is in fact a shrine complex composed of a large number of Shinto shrines centered on two main shrines, Naikū (内宮) and Gekū (外宮). The Inner Shrine, Naikū (also officially known as "Kotai Jingū"), is located in the town of Uji-tachi, south of central Ise City, and is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu-ōmikami. The Outer Shrine, Gekū (also officially known as "Toyouke Daijingu"), is located about six kilometers from Naikū and dedicated to Toyouke no ōmikami, the deity of agriculture and industry. Besides Naikū and Gekū, there are an additional 123 Shinto shrines in Ise City and the surrounding areas, 91 of them connected to Naikū and 32 to Gekū. Purportedly the home of the Sacred Mirror, the shrine is arguably one of Shinto's holiest and most important sites. Access to both sites is strictly limited, with the common public allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind four tall wooden fences. The high priest or priestess of Ise Shrine must come
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    3 votes
    98
    Les francs-juges

    Les francs-juges

    Les francs-juges is the title of an unfinished opera by the French composer Hector Berlioz written to a libretto by his friend Humbert Ferrand in 1826. The opera itself was abandoned by Berlioz, who destroyed most of the music. He did, however, retain the overture which has become a popular concert item in its own right and some other musical material was reused in later compositions. Ferrand was a law student with a love of poetry who became a lifelong friend of Berlioz. He had already written the words to a cantata for the composer, La Révolution grecque in 1825. Now Ferrand gratified Berlioz's eagerness to write his first opera by providing him with a three-act libretto, Les francs-juges. The work is set in Mediaeval Germany and the title literally means "The Free Judges", referring to the secret "Vehmic" trials held in the region during the late Middle Ages. The plot, with its stormy passions and theme of rescue from oppression, offered Berlioz the opportunity to compose a work in the style of the French Revolutionary operas of Méhul and Cherubini. Berlioz intended Les francs-juges for performance at the Odéon theatre and the management accepted it on the basis of Ferrand's
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    3 votes
    99
    Me, Myself & Irene

    Me, Myself & Irene

    Me, Myself & Irene is a 2000 American comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers, and starring Jim Carrey and Renée Zellweger. Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, Richard Jenkins, Daniel Greene, Anthony Anderson, Jerod Mixon, and Mongo Brownlee co-star. The film is about a Rhode Island state trooper named Charlie who, after years of continuously suppressing his rage and feelings, suffers a psychotic breakdown which results in a second personality, Hank. Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey) is an 18-year veteran Rhode Island State Police trooper who has been taken advantage of by people throughout most of his life. Immediately after his marriage, his wife, Layla (Traylor Howard), cheats on him with a dwarf African-American limousine driver, named Shonté (Tony Cox), who, like Layla, is a member of the high IQ group Mensa. Although Charlie's friends try informing him of his wife's infidelity, he still denies the possibility. One year later, Layla abandons Charlie and runs off with Shonté; leaving Charlie to raise three biracial sons who are the products of Layla's adulterous affair with the limo driver. Charlie never sees his wife again. Charlie raises his illegitimate triplet sons using
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    3 votes
    100
    Canticum Sacrum

    Canticum Sacrum

    Canticum Sacrum ad Honorem Sancti Marci Nominis is a 17-minute choral-orchestral piece composed in 1955 by Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) in tribute "To the City of Venice, in praise of its Patron Saint, the Blessed Mark, Apostle." The piece is compact and stylistically varied, ranging from established neoclassical modes to experimental new techniques. The second movement, "Surge, Aquilo", represents Stravinsky's first movement based entirely on a tone row. Though most often abbreviated "Canticum Sacrum", the piece's full name is Canticum Sacrum ad honorem Sancti Marci Nominis, or Canticle to Honor the Name of Saint Mark. Stravinsky selected all of his texts except the opening dedication from the Latin Vulgate. They are presented here in an English translation: Canticum Sacrum is scored for tenor and baritone soloists, mixed chorus, and an orchestra of 1 flute (which plays only in the second movement), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 3 trumpets in C, bass trumpet in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, organ, harp, violas, and double basses. Clarinets, horns, violins, and cellos are all absent. Canticum Sacrum is Stravinsky’s only piece to make
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    3 votes
    101
    Hebrides Overture

    Hebrides Overture

    The concert overture The Hebrides (German: Die Hebriden), Op. 26, also known as Fingal's Cave (die Fingalshöhle), was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1830. The piece was inspired by a cavern known as Fingal's Cave on Staffa, an island in the Hebrides archipelago located off the west coast of Scotland. As is common with Romantic era pieces, this is not an overture in the sense that it precedes a play or opera; the piece is a concert overture, a stand-alone musical selection, and has now become part of standard orchestral repertoire. The piece was dedicated to King Frederick William IV of Prussia (then Crown Prince of Prussia). Mendelssohn first travelled to England at the invitation of a German lord after the composer's twentieth birthday. Following his tour of England, Mendelssohn proceeded to Scotland, where he began work on his symphony number 3, the Scottish Symphony. He was engaged on a tour of Scotland with his travelling companion Karl Klingemann when he sent a postcard to his family with the opening phrase of the overture written on it. In a note to his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn he said: "In order to make you understand how extraordinarily The Hebrides affected me, I send
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    3 votes
    102
    Menuet antique

    Menuet antique

    Menuet antique is a piece for solo piano composed by Maurice Ravel. The original piano version was written in 1895 and orchestrated by the composer in 1929. Ravel wrote the piece to pay tribute to Emmanuel Chabrier, who had kindly welcomed his early works and helped to establish his musical reputation. The piano version was first performed on April 18, 1898 by Ricardo Viñes, a long-time friend to whom the composer dedicated the composition. Viñes also gave the premieres of many of Ravel's other works. The orchestral version was first heard in public on 11 January 1930. The menuet form reappears in some of Ravel's later compositions, such as the central movement of the Sonatine and the fifth movement of Le Tombeau de Couperin.
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    3 votes
    103
    Sequenza I

    Sequenza I

    Sequenza I is a composition written in 1958 by Luciano Berio for the flutist Severino Gazzelloni. It was first published by Suvini-Zerboni, but the notation was revised much later and this version published by Universal Edition in 1992. It is the first in a series of fourteen Sequenze, each for a different solo instrument (or voice), the last composed in 2002.
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    3 votes
    104
    Feuersnot

    Feuersnot

    Feuersnot (The Need for Fire or Fire Famine), Op. 50, is a Singgedicht (sung poem) or opera in one act by Richard Strauss. The German libretto was written by Ernst von Wolzogen, based on J. Ketel's report "Das erloschene Feuer zu Audenaerde" in the Oudenaarde Gazette, Leipzig, 1843. It was Strauss' second opera. Thematically, the opera has been interpreted as a parody of Richard Wagner's idea of "redemption through love", with the character of Kunrad representing Strauss himself. The premiere was at the Dresden Hofoper on 21 November 1901. Gustav Mahler directed the Vienna premiere at the Hofoper on 29 January 1902, in the presence of the composer, but it was not a commercial success, in spite of Mahler's careful musical preparation. At the time of the premiere, the sexual and erotic subtexts and psychology were disturbing to audiences, as well as the perceived "advanced" nature of the music itself to more conservative-minded musicians. The Berlin premiere was on 28 October 1902. Since Strauss's time, the opera has rarely been staged or performed. In London it was presented on 9 July 1910, while the US premiere was not given until 1 December 1927 by the Philadelphia Civic Opera
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    4 votes
    105
    Orchestral Suite No. 3

    Orchestral Suite No. 3

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G, Op. 55 in 1884, writing it concurrently with his Concert Fantasia in G, Op. 56, for piano and orchestra. The originally intended opening movement of the suite, Contrastes, instead became the closing movement of the fantasia. Both works were also intended initially as more mainstream compositions than they became; the fantasia was intended as a piano concerto, while the suite was conceived as a symphony. The suite's first performance was in Saint Petersburg, Russia on January 24, 1885, under the direction of Hans von Bülow. It was dedicated to the conductor Max Erdmannsdörfer, who gave the Moscow premiere a few days later, and who had conducted the premieres of the first two suites. The suite is divided into four movements, the fourth a theme and variations longer than the other three movements combined: I) Élégie (Andantino molto cantabile, G major) II) Valse mélancolique (Allegro moderato, E minor) III) Scherzo (Presto, E minor) IV) Tema con variazioni (Andante con moto, G major) "I meant to write a symphony, but the title is of no importance", Tchaikovsky wrote Sergei Taneyev. When he had gone to the Davidov
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    106
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2

    The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting. This piece is one of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces, and established his fame as a concerto composer. At its 1897 premiere, Rachmaninoff's first symphony, though now considered a significant achievement, was derided by contemporary critics. Compounded by problems in his personal life, Rachmaninoff fell into a depression that lasted for several years. His second piano concerto confirmed his recovery from clinical depression and writer's block. The concerto was dedicated to Nikolai Dahl, a physician who had done much to restore Rachmaninoff's self-confidence. The work is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B♭ (I mov.) and A (II & III mov.), 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B♭, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, solo piano, and strings.
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    107
    Lyric Suite

    Lyric Suite

    Lyric Suite is a six-movement work for string quartet written by Alban Berg between 1925 and 1926 using methods derived from Schoenberg's twelve tone technique. Though publicly dedicated to Alexander von Zemlinsky (from whose Lyric Symphony it quotes), the work has been revealed to possess a 'secret dedication' and outline a 'secret programme' (Perle 1977). Berg himself arranged three of the movements for string orchestra. According to Berg's friend and Schoenberg pupil Erwin Stein in the preface to the score, "The work (Ist and VIth part, the main part of the IIIrd and the middle section of the Vth) has been mostly written strictly in accordance with Schoenberg's technique of the 'Composition with 12 inwardly related tones.' A set of 12 different tones gives the rough material of the composition, and the portions which have been treated more freely still adhere more or less to the technique."(Perle 1990, 123) Perle points out that the first movement is not strictly twelve-tone, with the opening four chords being derived not from the series but from the interval-7 cycle (Perle 1977, 21). According to René Leibowitz it is "entirely written in the twelve-tone technique, [it] is a
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    108
    Macbeth

    Macbeth

    Macbeth is a symphonic poem written by Richard Strauss between 1886 and 1888. The work was his first tone poem, which Strauss described as "a completely new path" for him compositionally. Written in some semblance of sonata form, the piece was revised more thoroughly than any of Strauss's other works; these revisions, focused primarily on the development and recapitulation sections, show how much the composer was struggling at this point in his career to balance narrative content with musical form. Bryan Gilliam writes in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians that, "New path or not, Macbeth failed to find a firm place in the concert repertory, because it lacked the thematic cogency and convincing pacing of musical events so evident in the two antecedent works [Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration)]. And despite revisions to the orchestration, in an attempt to restrain inner voices and highlight principal themes, Macbeth still falls short of Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung in sonic clarity." The piece is scored for 3 flutes, (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, bass
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    109
    Piano Concerto No. 1

    Piano Concerto No. 1

    The Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, is a piano concerto written by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. It was first performed on 11 October of that year, in Warsaw, with the composer as soloist, during one of his "farewell" concerts before leaving Poland. It was the first of Chopin's two piano concerti to be published, and was therefore given the designation of Piano Concerto "No. 1" at the time of publication, even though it was actually written immediately after what was later published as Piano Concerto No. 2. It is dedicated to Friedrich Kalkbrenner. The concerto is scored for solo piano, pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, tenor trombone, timpani and strings. It contains the three movements typical of instrumental concertos of the period: Classical critics usually fall into one of two schools of thought concerning the piece. The first of these says that, given that Chopin was a composer for the piano first and foremost, the orchestral part of this piece acts more as a vehicle for the pianist, with the individual instrumental parts being uninteresting to perform. The second suggests that the orchestral backing is carefully and deliberately
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    110
    Piano Concerto No. 3

    Piano Concerto No. 3

    The Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30, composed in 1909 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (colloquially known as "Rach 3") is famous for its technical and musical demands on the performer. It has the reputation of being one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. Following the form of a standard concerto, the piece is in three movements: Rachmaninoff authorized several cuts in the score, to be made at the performer's discretion. These cuts, particularly in the second and third movements, were commonly taken in performance and recordings during the initial decades following the Concerto's publication. More recently, it has become commonplace to perform the concerto without cuts. A typical performance of the complete concerto lasts about forty minutes. Rachmaninoff composed the concerto in the peaceful setting of his family's country estate, Ivanovka, completing it on September 23, 1909. Contemporary with this work are his First Piano Sonata and his tone poem The Isle of the Dead. The concerto is respected, even feared, by many pianists. Josef Hofmann, the pianist to whom the work is dedicated, never publicly performed it, saying that it
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    111
    Suite No. 1 for two pianos

    Suite No. 1 for two pianos

    Suite No. 1 (or Fantaisie-Tableaux for two pianos), Op. 5, is a composition for two pianos by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Composed in 1893, this suite illustrates four extracts of poems, written by Mikhail Lermontov, Lord Byron, Fyodor Tyutchev and Aleksey Khomyakov . This work was first performed on November 30, 1893, by Rachmaninoff and Pavel Pabst in Moscow, and is dedicated to Tchaikovsky. Rachmaninoff composed a second suite in 1901. The four movements are: I. Barcarolle. Allegretto, in G minor. II. La nuit... L'amour... Adagio sostenuto, in D major. (The night...the love...) III. Les Larmes. Largo di molto, in G minor. (The Tears) IV. Pâques. Allegro maestoso, in G minor. (Easter)
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    112
    Symphony No. 1

    Symphony No. 1

    Sir Edward Elgar's Symphony No. 1 in A-flat major, Op. 55 is one of his two completed symphonies. The first performance was given by the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter in Manchester, England, on 3 December 1908. It was widely known that Elgar had been planning a symphony for more than ten years, and the announcement that he had finally completed it aroused enormous interest. The critical reception was enthusiastic, and the public response unprecedented. The symphony achieved what The Musical Times described as "immediate and phenomenal success", with a hundred performances in Britain, continental Europe and America within just over a year of its première. The symphony is regularly programmed by British orchestras, and features occasionally in concert programmes in North America and Europe. It is well represented on record, with recordings ranging from the composer's 1931 version with the London Symphony Orchestra to modern digital recordings, of which more than 20 have been issued since the mid 1980s. Nearly ten years before composing the Symphony No 1, Elgar had been obsessed with the idea of writing a symphony to commemorate General Charles George Gordon rather as
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    113
    Symphony No. 7

    Symphony No. 7

    Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major (WAB 107) is one of his best-known symphonies. It was written between 1881 and 1883 and was revised in 1885. It is dedicated to Ludwig II of Bavaria. The premiere, given under Arthur Nikisch and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in the opera house at Leipzig on 30 December 1884, brought Bruckner the greatest success he had known in his life. The symphony is sometimes referred to as the "Lyric", though the appellation is not the composer's own, and is seldom used. The symphony has four movements: This was the version performed at the work's premiere. Unfortunately it survives only in one autograph copy which includes later changes by Bruckner and others, so the exact contents of this version are lost unless new manuscripts are found. This version is unpublished. Some changes were made after the 1884 premiere but before the first publication by Gutmann in 1885. It is widely accepted that Nikisch, Franz Schalk and Ferdinand Löwe had significant influence over this edition, but there is some debate over the extent to which these changes were authorized by Bruckner. These changes mostly affect tempo and orchestration. Robert Haas attempted to remove the
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    114
    Thomas Jefferson Memorial

    Thomas Jefferson Memorial

    The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third President of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction of the building began in 1938 and was completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. It became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission, had proposed placing a pantheon-like structure on the site hosting "the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future"; no action was ever taken by Congress on this issue. The completion of the Tidal Basin Inlet
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    115
    Choral Fantasy

    Choral Fantasy

    The Fantasy in C minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 80, was composed in 1808 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Fantasia was first performed at the Akademie (benefit concert) of 22 December 1808, which also saw the premières of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies as well as a performance of portion of the C major Mass. To conclude this memorable concert program, Beethoven wanted a "brilliant Finale" that would unite in a single piece the different musical elements highlighted in the concert night: piano solo, chorus and orchestra. The Fantasia op. 80, written shortly prior, was thus written expressly to fulfil this role. Beethoven himself played the piano part and the opening solo offers an example of his improvisational style (at the première he did, in fact, improvise this section). Beethoven wrote the piece during the second half of December, an unusually short time by his standards. He commissioned a poet—whose identity is disputed—to write the words shortly before the performance to fit the already written parts. According to Beethoven's pupil Karl Czerny, the poet was Cristoph Kuffner; the later Beethoven scholar Gustav Nottebohm doubted this attribution and suggested the poet
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    116
    Ein Heldenleben

    Ein Heldenleben

    A Hero's Life, Op. 40 (German: Ein Heldenleben) is a tone poem by Richard Strauss. The work was completed in 1898, and heralds the composer's more mature period in this genre. The piece is said to depict a hero fighting his enemies. A Hero's Life is a through-composed, circa fifty-minute work, performed without pauses, except for a dramatic grand pause at the end of the first movement. The movements are titled as follows (later editions of the score may not show these titles, owing to the composer's request that they be removed): A Hero's Life employs the technique of leitmotifs that Richard Wagner used, but almost always as elements of its enlarged sonata-rondo symphonic structure. 1. "The Hero": The first theme has been said to represent the hero. In unison, horns and celli play E-flat major triads ascending through an almost four-octave span. A contrasting lyrical theme first appears in high strings and winds in B major. A second motive appears, outlining a stepwise descending fourth. Trumpets sound a dominant seventh chord followed by a grand pause, the only prolonged silence throughout the entire piece. 2. "The Hero's Adversaries": The movement opens with chromatic woodwinds
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    117
    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British crime film directed and written by Guy Ritchie. The story is a heist film involving a self-confident young card sharp who loses £500,000 to a powerful crime lord in a rigged game of three card brag. In order to pay off his debts, he and his friends decide to rob a small-time gang who happen to be operating out of the flat next door. The film brought Guy Ritchie international acclaim and introduced actors Vinnie Jones, a former Welsh international footballer, and Jason Statham, a former street merchant, to worldwide audiences. A television series, Lock, Stock..., followed in 2000, only running for seven episodes including the pilot. Long-time friends Bacon (Jason Statham), Soap (Dexter Fletcher), Tom (Jason Flemyng), and Eddy (Nick Moran) put together £100,000 so that Eddy, a genius at cards, can buy in to one of Harry "The Hatchet" Lonsdale's (P. H. Moriarty) weekly high-stakes three card brag game. Harry learns that Eddy is a card savant from his bodyguard Barry "the Baptist" (Lenny McLean). Knowing that he cannot win he decides to fix the game. He does so by having Barry watch a feed from a camera hidden behind Eddy, and
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    118
    Piano Trio

    Piano Trio

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, was written in Rome between December 1881 and late January 1882. It is subtitled In memory of a great artist, in reference to Nikolai Rubinstein, his close friend and mentor, who had died on 23 March 1881. It is scored for the usual combination of piano, violin, and cello. The work's first version was completed by late January 1882. Private performances were held in March and April. The work underwent considerable revision before its premiere on 30 October at a quartet concert of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow. The piano soloist was Sergei Taneyev; the other performers are unknown. The piece is marked by a tragic perspective and is in two movements: Total timing: approx 47:00. The variations are as follows: The pezzo is a darkly brooding and rather conventional romantic first movement with a beautiful opening cello solo with a theme that returns for a final funeral march. The second movement is rather more unusual: it opens with an almost classical melody, much like Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello, and then proceeds with an assured set of variations, also like the Rococo Variations. After working
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    1 votes
    119
    Symphony No.4

    Symphony No.4

    Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major (Op. 60), is a symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, written in the summer of 1806. It was premiered in March 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Coriolan Overture and the fourth piano concerto were premiered in that same concert. The work was dedicated to Count Franz von Oppersdorff, a relative of Beethoven's patron, Prince Lichnowsky. The Count met Beethoven when he traveled to Lichnowsky's summer home where Beethoven was staying. Von Oppersdorff listened to Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D Major, and liked it so much that he offered a great amount of money for Beethoven to compose a new symphony for him. The dedication was made to "the Silesian nobleman Count Franz von Oppersdorf". Hector Berlioz was so enamoured of the symphony's 2nd movement that he claimed it was the work of the Archangel Michael, and not that of a human. The symphony is scored for flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in B flat and E flat, 2 trumpets in B flat and E flat, timpani and strings. The work is in four movements: The work takes about 33 minutes to perform. The sound files are from a performance by the
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    120
    Variations on a Theme of Corelli

    Variations on a Theme of Corelli

    Variations on a Theme of Corelli (Russian: Вариации на тему А. Корели, Variatsii na temu A. Koreli), Op. 42, is set of variations for solo piano, written in 1931 by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. He composed them at his holiday home in Switzerland. The theme is La Folia, which was not in fact composed by Arcangelo Corelli, but was used by him in 1700 as the basis for 23 variations in his Sonata for violin, violone, and harpsichord in D minor, Op. 5, No. 12. La Folia was popularly used as the basis for variations in Baroque music. Franz Liszt had used the same theme in his Rhapsodie espagnole. S. 254 (1863). Rachmaninoff dedicated the work to his friend the violinist Fritz Kreisler. He wrote to another friend, the composer Nikolai Medtner, on 21 December 1931: I've played the Variations about fifteen times, but of these fifteen performances only one was good. The others were sloppy. I can't play my own compositions! And it's so boring! Not once have I played these all in continuity. I was guided by the coughing of the audience. Whenever the coughing would increase, I would skip the next variation. Whenever there was no coughing, I would play them in proper order. In one
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    121
    Washington Monument

    Washington Monument

    The Washington Monument in Washington County, Maryland, United States, honors the "Father of Our Country," George Washington. Located within Washington Monument State Park four miles (6 km) east of the town of Boonsboro, the monuments sits near the summit of South Mountain's Monument Knob (1540 feet / 470 m). Built in 1827, it was the first monument to George Washington to be completed. The Baltimore Washington Monument was completed two years later, although it had been started considerably earlier in 1815. The famous Washington Monument in the District of Columbia was not completed until 1885. The stone tower was built and dedicated to the first president by the citizens of Boonsboro, Maryland on July 4, 1827. The tower is 34 feet (10.4 m) tall and was built by the citizens of the village of Boonsboro. On July 4, 1827, at 7 a.m., most of the 500 inhabitants of the town and a Fife and Drum Corps assembled in the public square. A dedication service was held at noon. The volunteers gathered for lunch, and then work was resumed and continued until 4 o'clock, when the monument stood 15 feet (4.6 m) high on a base 54 feet (16 m) in circumference. Plans were made to complete the tower
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    1 votes
    122
    Griselda

    Griselda

    Griselda is a dramma per musica in three acts that was composed by Antonio Maria Bononcini. The opera uses a slightly revised version of the 1701 Italian libretto by Apostolo Zeno that was based on Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron (X, 10, "The Patient Griselda"). The opera was dedicated to Prince Maximilian Karl von Löwenstein, the Austrian governor of Milan, who died during the opera's world première on 26 December 1718 at the Teatro Regio Ducal in Milan. Nevertheless, Bononcini's opera was well received and enjoyed several revivals during the eighteenth century. His brother, Giovanni Battista Bononcini, wrote an even more popular version of his own to Zeno's libretto in 1722. Years before the action begins, Gualtiero, King of Sicily, had married a poor shepherdess, Griselda. The marriage was deeply unpopular with the king's subjects and when a daughter, Costanza, was born, the king had to pretend to have her killed while secretly sending her to be brought up by Prince Corrado of Apulia. Now, faced with another rebellion from the Sicilians, Gualtiero is forced to renounce Griselda and promises to take a new wife. The proposed bride is in fact Costanza, who is unaware of her true
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    123
    Piano Sonata No.1

    Piano Sonata No.1

    Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1, was written in 1795 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn. It is the first piano sonata written by Beethoven. A typical performance of the entire work lasts about 20 minutes. The sonata is in four movements: The first movement, in 2/2 time, is in sonata form. The first theme is driven by a Mannheim Rocket, very similar to the opening of the fourth movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 40. The second theme, in A-flat major, is accompanied by eighth-note octaves in the bass (usually with dominant harmony). There are two codettas; the first consists of a series of energetic descending scales in A-flat major, and the second is a lyrical passage marked con espressione. In this second codetta and in the second theme Beethoven makes interesting use of mode mixture as the right hand parts borrows from the parallel minor. The development opens with the initial theme, but is mostly dedicated to the second theme and its eighth-note accompaniment. The retransition to the main theme uses its sixteenth-note triplet. The recapitulation repeats the material from the exposition without much change, except that it stays in F minor throughout. There is a
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    3 votes
    124
    Piano Sonata No.23

    Piano Sonata No.23

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 (colloquially known as the Appassionata) is a piano sonata. It is considered one of the three great piano sonatas of his middle period (the others being the Waldstein, Op. 53 and Les Adieux, Op. 81a). It was composed during 1804 and 1805, and perhaps 1806, and was dedicated to Count Franz von Brunswick. The first edition was published in February 1807 in Vienna. Unlike the early Sonata No. 8, Pathétique, the Appassionata was not named during the composer's lifetime, but was so labeled in 1838 by the publisher of a four-hand arrangement of the work. The Appassionata was considered by Beethoven to be his most tempestuous piano sonata until the twenty-ninth piano sonata known as the Hammerklavier being described as a "brilliantly executed display of emotion and music". 1803 was the year Beethoven came to grips with the irreversibility of his progressively deteriorating deafness. An average performance of the entire Appassionata sonata lasts about twenty-three minutes. The sonata, in F minor, consists of three movements: A sonata-allegro form in 12/8 time, the first movement moves quickly through startling changes in tone
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    3 votes
    125
    Fantasia in F minor for piano four-hands

    Fantasia in F minor for piano four-hands

    The Fantasia in F minor by Franz Schubert, D.940 (Op. posth. 103), for piano four-hands (two players at one piano), is one of Schubert’s most important works for more than one pianist and one of his most important piano works altogether. Schubert composed it in 1828, the last year of his life, and dedicated it to his pupil, Karoline Esterházy. Musicologist Christopher Gibbs has characterized the work as "among not only his greatest but his most original" compositions for piano duet. Schubert began writing the Fantasia in January 1828 in Vienna. The work was completed in March of that year, and first performed in May. Schubert's friend Eduard von Bauernfeld recorded in his diary on May 9 that a memorable duet was played, by Schubert and Franz Lachner. The work was dedicated to Karoline Esterházy, with whom Schubert was in (unrequited) love. Schubert died in November 1828. After his death, his friends and family undertook to have a number of his works published. This work is one of those pieces; it was published by Anton Diabelli in March 1829. The original manuscript resides at the Austrian National Library. The Fantasia is divided into four movements, that are interconnected and
    5.75
    4 votes
    126
    Friedenstag

    Friedenstag

    Friedenstag (Peace Day) is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss, his Opus 81, to a German libretto by Joseph Gregor. Strauss had hoped to work again with Stefan Zweig on a new project after their previous collaboration of Die schweigsame Frau, but the Nazi authorities had harassed Strauss over his collaboration with Zweig, who was of Jewish ancestry. While the idea for the story was from Zweig, he then suggested Gregor as a "safe" collaborator for the actual writing of the libretto. Zweig's influence on the work nonetheless remained in its "form and dramatic substance". The opera was premiered at Munich on July 24, 1938 and dedicated to Viorica Ursuleac and her husband Clemens Krauss, the lead and conductor respectively. Strauss had intended Friedenstag as part of a double-bill, to be conducted by Karl Böhm in Dresden, that would include as the second part his next collaboration with Gregor, Daphne. The opera thematically expresses anti-war sentiments, which William Mann has described as "a determined counter to the militaristic policies of Nazi Germany". These caused the work to be shelved after the outbreak of World War II. In Germany, Friedenstag was revived in Munich in 1960
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    4 votes
    127
    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6

    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6

    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D-flat major is the sixth work of the 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies composed by Franz Liszt. This work was dedicated to Count Antoine of Appony and uses the form of Lassan and Friska like many other rhapsodies. The piece was later arranged for orchestra. The piece is divided in to three main sections: The first part of the rhapsody is an introduction (Tempo Giusto), where the left hand of the player plays a steady bassline made up of the chords in the D-flat major scale. Due to the overlapping of the melody over the bars, the piece does not sound as though if it is in a 2/4 rhythm. This is because Liszt did not start the first chord of the piece as an upbeat, which is what many composers would have done to relate to the time signature of the piece. The melody of the first part is quite repetitive, ending with a long cadenza, using mostly the black keys. The second part (presto) is in C-sharp major (which is simply an enharmonic version of the previous D-flat, not a modulation) and has a lively rhythm, leading to the Lassan, in B-flat minor. The Lassan is played slowly like an improvised rhythm, again finishing with a large cadenza at the end, leading
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    2 votes
    128
    Il Bellerofonte

    Il Bellerofonte

    Il Bellerofonte is an 18th-century Italian opera in three acts by the Czech composer Josef Mysliveček. It conforms to the serious type (opera seria) that was typically set in the distant past. The libretto, based on the Greek legend of Bellerophon, was written by Giuseppe Bonecchi. The work was dedicated to King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on 20 January 1767, the birthday of his father, King Charles III of Spain. The cast featured two stellar singers of the time, Caterina Gabrielli and Anton Raaff, in the leading roles. The opera was only the composer's second one, and the first that permitted him the opportunity to write music for first-rate vocal artists. The production was highly successful, indeed responsible for a meteoric rise in his reputation as an operatic composer. From the time of the premiere of Bellerofonte until his death in 1781, Mysliveček succeeded in having more new opere serie brought into production than any other composer in Europe. During the same time span, he also had more new operas staged at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples than any other composer. The subject, chosen by the management of the
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    2 votes
    129
    Jeux d'eau

    Jeux d'eau

    Jeux d’eau (pronounced: [ʒø do]) is a piece for solo piano by Maurice Ravel. The title is often translated as “Fountains”, “Water Games”, or “Playing water” (see Jeux d'eau, water features in gardens). At the time of writing Jeux d'eau, Ravel was a student of Gabriel Fauré, to whom the piece is dedicated. Pianist Ricardo Viñes was the first to publicly perform the work in 1902, although it had been privately performed for Les Apaches previously. The piece was inspired by Franz Liszt's piece Les jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este (from the 3ème année of his Années de pèlerinage), and Ravel explained its origins in this way: Written on the manuscript by Ravel, and often included on published editions, is the text "Dieu fluvial riant de l'eau qui le chatouille..." a quote from Henri de Régnier's Cité des eaux, which in English editions is sometimes translated to "River god laughing as the water tickles him...".
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    2 votes
    130
    Life of Brian

    Life of Brian

    Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film written, directed and largely performed by the Monty Python comedy team. It tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Graham Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as, and next door to, Jesus Christ, and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah. The film contains themes of religious satire that were controversial at the time of its release, drawing accusations of blasphemy and protests from some religious groups. Thirty-nine local authorities in the UK either imposed an outright ban, or imposed an X (18 years) certificate (effectively preventing the film from being shown, as the distributors said the film could not be shown unless it was unedited and carried the original AA (14) certificate). Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned its showing, with a few of these bans lasting decades. The film makers used such notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters stating "So funny it was banned in Norway!". The film was a box-office success, grossing fourth-highest of any film in the UK in 1979 and highest of any British film in the United States that year.
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    131
    Nursery Suite

    Nursery Suite

    The Nursery Suite is one of the last compositions by Edward Elgar. Like Elgar's The Wand of Youth suites, it makes use of sketches from the composer's childhood. There are seven movements and a coda: The composition of the Nursery Suite came about when Elgar mentioned in September 1930 to William Laundon Streeton of HMV (the Gramophone Company) that he had lately run across a box of musical sketches from the days of his youth. Streeton suggested that, as Master of the King's Musick, he might suitably draw on them for a work to mark the recent birth of Princess Margaret Rose (then fourth in line to the throne). The suite was dedicated to Princess Margaret, her older sister Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and their mother (the Duchess of York). Most of the movements appear light, in the style of The Wand of Youth suites, and predominantly sunny in character. Some commentators have made an exception of "The Waggon (Passes)": the Elgar authority Michael Kennedy suggests that as the wagon (Elgar used the older spelling, 'waggon') rumbles towards us the music becomes sinister in a manner reminiscent of the bars in the Scherzo of the Second Symphony, when, in Elgar's
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    132
    String Quartet No. 12

    String Quartet No. 12

    The String Quartet No. 12 in E♭ major, op. 127, by Ludwig van Beethoven, was completed in 1825. It is the first of Beethoven's late quartets. There are four movements: The first movement is twice interrupted — just before the development of the sonata form begins, and when that section is almost but not quite over — by recurrences of the opening's Maestoso music. The immense second movement is in the subdominant key of A♭ major. It consists of a set of six variations and a coda. The first variation is in 12/8 meter with darker harmonies and quick changes in dynamics. The second variation increases the tempo to andante con moto and adjusts the meter to 4/4. Here, the two violins engage in a dialogue over staccato accompaniment. The third variation shifts to E major, enharmonically the flat submediant, and the tempo shifts to a hymn-like adagio molto espressivo. The fourth variation returns to 12/8 and drops a half-step to the dominant key of E♭ major. This variation has a codetta which transitions the key to D♭ major in preparation for the next variation. The fifth variation is sotto voce and has been called a "mysterious episode" and begins in D♭ major and transitions to the
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    133
    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

    Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

    The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in the Tallinn Old Town, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea where the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg is said to have been buried according to a legend. (There are many such legendary burial places of him in Estonia.) The cathedral was built during the period of late 19th century Russification and was so disliked by many Estonians as a symbol of oppression that the Estonian authorities scheduled the cathedral for demolition in 1924, but the decision was never implemented due to lack of funds and the building's massive construction. As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this
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    134
    Aus Italien

    Aus Italien

    Aus Italien, Op. 16 (From Italy) is a tone poem for full orchestra composed by Richard Strauss in 1886. It was inspired by the composer's visit to Italy (encouraged by Johannes Brahms) in the summer of the same year, where he travelled to Rome, Bologna, Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, and Capri. He began to sketch the work while still on the journey. The full score of the work, Strauss's first tone poem, was completed in Munich on September 12, 1886. The work is named by the composer as "Symphonic Fantasy", and is dedicated to his mentor Hans von Bülow. It is the only work by Richard Strauss for which he himself wrote a specific program. The entire work takes over forty minutes to perform. Strauss incorporated the tune of "Funiculì, Funiculà" into the symphony's fourth part "Scenes from Neapolitan Life", thinking it was a traditional Italian folk song. When Luigi Denza, who had actually composed "Funiculì, Funiculà" in 1880, discovered this, he sued Strauss for royalties, and won. The first performance of the work took place in Munich on March 2, 1887, by the Court Orchestra, which was conducted by the composer himself. As Richard Strauss's sister Johanna later recalled, the first three
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    135
    Dem Andenken Petöfis

    Dem Andenken Petöfis

    Dem Andenken Petőfis (In Petofi's Memory; its original Hungarian title was "Petőfi szellemének") is a piece for piano by Liszt, written in 1877. It is an elegy, like many of Liszt's works. This was written in memory of the Hungarian poet Sándor Petöfi, whose poems Liszt sometimes sets to music. It was one of the ABRSM's grade 8 piano exam pieces in 2005-06.
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    136
    Götterdämmerung

    Götterdämmerung

    Götterdämmerung (help·info) (Twilight of the Gods) is the last in Richard Wagner's cycle of four operas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or The Ring for short). It received its premiere at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 17 August 1876, as part of the first complete performance of the Ring. The title is a translation into German of the Old Norse phrase Ragnarök, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war of the gods that brings about the end of the world. However, as with the rest of the Ring, Wagner's account of this apocalypse diverges significantly from his Old Norse sources. The German title of the book by Friedrich Nietzsche Twilight of the Idols, written in 1888 and published in 1889, is Götzen-Dämmerung, a pun on the title of Wagner's opera. Götze is a German word for "idol" or "false god". The term Götterdämmerung is occasionally used in English, referring to a disastrous conclusion of events. The three Norns, daughters of Erda, gather beside Brünnhilde's rock, weaving the rope of Destiny. They sing of the past and the present, and of the future when Wotan will set fire to Valhalla to signal the end of the gods. Without warning, their rope
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    137
    Piano Concerto No.3

    Piano Concerto No.3

    The Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1800 and was first performed on 5 April 1803, with the composer as soloist. During that same performance, the Second Symphony and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives were also debuted. The composition was dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. The first primary theme is reminiscent of that of Mozart's 24th Piano Concerto. The concerto is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in E-flat, 2 trumpets in C, timpani, strings and piano soloist. As is standard for Classical/Romantic-era concertos, the work is in three movements: This movement is known to make forceful use of the theme (direct and indirect) throughout. In the orchestral exposition, the theme is introduced by the strings, and used throughout the movement. It is developed several times. In the third section (second subject), the clarinet introduces the second main theme, which is in the relative major key, E flat major. The piano enters with an ascending scale motif. The structure of the exposition in the piano solo is similar to that of the orchestral exposition. The piano enters, playing
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    138
    Piano Sonata in G major

    Piano Sonata in G major

    The Grand Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 37, was written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878. Though initially received with critical acclaim, the sonata has struggled to maintain a solid position in the modern repertoire. Nevertheless, the sonata has been recorded numerous times and is recognized as one of the composer's masterworks. It is dedicated to Karl Klindworth. The sonata was composed at Clarens and Kamenka between March and April 1878, around the same time as the famous Violin Concerto in D. In a letter to his younger brother Anatolii, Tchaikovsky complains about the difficulties he faced in writing his sonata: When Tchaikovsky's violinist friend Iosif Kotek arrived at Clarens, the composer's efforts quickly became focused on his Violin Concerto, and work on the sonata was discontinued. He resumed work on the sonata in mid-April and completed it before the month's end. It was premiered in a concert of the Russian Musical Society by pianist Nikolai Rubinstein, much to the composer's delight: The work was later performed by Rubinstein again, and was met with great critical acclaim. It was first published by P. Jurgenson in 1879. The work is in an expanded
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    139
    Symphony No. 4

    Symphony No. 4

    The Symphony No. 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams was dedicated by the composer to Arnold Bax. Unlike Vaughan Williams's first three symphonies it was not given a title, the composer stating that it was to be understood as pure music, without any incidental or external inspiration. In contrast to many of Vaughan Williams's previous compositions, the symphony displays a severity of tone. The composer himself once observed of it, "I'm not at all sure that I like it myself now. All I know is that it's what I wanted to do at the time." The British composer Sir William Walton admired the work greatly, speaking of it as "the greatest symphony since Beethoven". The work was first performed on April 10, 1935 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adrian Boult. Its first recording, made two years later, featured the composer himself conducting the same orchestra in what proved to be his only commercial recording of any of his symphonies. It was released on 78-rpm discs in the U.K. by HMV and in the U.S. by RCA Victor, and has been reissued on LP and CD. The U.S. Premiere was given on December 19, 1935 by Artur Rodzinski and the Cleveland Orchestra. The earliest American
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    140
    Anger Management

    Anger Management

    Anger Management is a 2003 American slapstick comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by David S. Dorfman, and starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. It was produced by Revolution Studios in association with Sandler's production company Happy Madison Productions and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. In 1978, a young Dave Buznik is about to kiss the girl of his dreams, when a local bully, Arnie Shankman, pulls down his pants and underwear, embarrassing him in front of everybody. This leaves Dave with lasting trauma about public affection, as well as repressing his emotions. In the present day, Dave Buznik lives in New York, working as a secretary for Frank, an abusive boss who takes credit for Dave's work. His problems also extend to his private life, much to the concern of his girlfriend Linda. Her ex-boyfriend and best friend Andrew is in her life constantly, and makes no resistance in being condescending to Dave. While flying to a business meeting, Dave sits next to a man named Buddy Rydell. Buddy irritates Dave, and after Buddy pressures Dave to watch a movie with him, Dave asks the flight attendant for a headset. She ignores him, and when Dave asks her again, she
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    141
    Symphony No. 7

    Symphony No. 7

    Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 dedicated to the city of Leningrad was completed on 27 December 1941. In its time, the symphony was extremely popular in both Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance and defiance to Nazi totalitarianism and militarism. Still today it is regarded as the major musical testament of the 25 million Soviet citizens who lost their lives in World War II due to the German invasion. It is played at the Leningrad Cemetery where half a million victims of The 900-days Siege of Leningrad are buried. As a condemnation of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the piece is particularly representative of the political responsibilities that Shostakovich felt he had for the state, regardless of the conflicts and criticisms he faced throughout his career with Soviet censors and Joseph Stalin. The symphony is Shostakovich's longest, and one of the longest in the repertoire, with performances taking approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. The scale and scope of the work is consistent with Shostakovich’s other symphonies as well as with those of composers considered to be his strongest influences, including Bruckner, Mahler, and
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    142
    Tod und Verklärung

    Tod und Verklärung

    Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung), Op. 24, is a tone poem for large orchestra by Richard Strauss. Strauss began composition in the late summer of 1888 and completed the work on November 18, 1889. The work is dedicated to the composer's friend Friedrich Rosch. The music depicts the death of an artist. At Strauss's request, this was described in a poem by the composer's friend Alexander Ritter as an interpretation of Death and Transfiguration, after it was composed. As the man lies dying, thoughts of his life pass through his head: his childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, the attainment of his worldly goals; and at the end, he receives the longed-for transfiguration "from the infinite reaches of heaven". Strauss conducted the premiere on 21 June 1890 at the Eisenach Festival (on the same program with the premiere of his Burleske in D minor for piano and orchestra). He also conducted this work for his first appearance in England, at the Wagner Concert with the Philharmonic Society on 15 June 1897 at the Queen's Hall in London. English music critic Ernest Newman described this as music to which one would not want to die or awaken. "It is too spectacular, too
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    143
    V for Vendetta

    V for Vendetta

    V for Vendetta is a 2006 dystopian thriller film directed by James McTeigue and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers, who also wrote the screenplay. It is an adaptation of the V for Vendetta comic book by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in London in a near-future dystopian society, Natalie Portman stars as Evey, a working-class girl who must determine if her hero has become the very menace he is fighting against. Hugo Weaving plays V—a bold, charismatic freedom fighter driven to exact revenge on those who disfigured him. Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to capture V before he ignites a revolution. The film was originally scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on Friday, November 4, 2005 (a day before the 400th Guy Fawkes Night), but was delayed; it opened on March 17, 2006, to positive reviews. Alan Moore, having already been disappointed with the film adaptations of two of his other graphic novels, From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, after reading the script for V for Vendetta refused to view the film and subsequently distanced himself from it. The film had been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by
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    144
    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto

    The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878, is one of the best known of all violin concertos. It is also considered to be among the most technically difficult works for violin. The concerto is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in A and B-flat, two bassoons, four horns in F, two trumpets in D, timpani and strings. As with most concertos, the piece is in three movements: There is no break or pause between the second and third movements. A typical performance runs approximately 35 minutes. The piece was written in Clarens, a Swiss resort on the shores of Lake Geneva, where Tchaikovsky had gone to recover from the depression brought on by his disastrous marriage to Antonina Miliukova. Tchaikovsky was joined there by his composition pupil, the violinist Iosif Kotek, who had been in Berlin for violin studies with Joseph Joachim. The two played works for violin and piano together, including a violin-and-piano arrangement of Édouard Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, which they may have played through the day after Kotek's arrival. This work may have been the catalyst for the composition of the concerto. He wrote to his patroness Nadezhda von
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    145
    Violin Sonata No. 1

    Violin Sonata No. 1

    Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op 80, written between 1938 and 1946 (completed two years after Violin Sonata No. 2), is one of the darkest and most brooding of the composer's works. The work is about 30 minutes long and is in four movements: Prokofiev had described the slithering violin scales at the end of the 1st and 4th movements as 'wind passing through a graveyard'. The work was premiered by David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin, under the personal coaching of the composer. During rehearsals, Oborin played a certain passage, marked forte, too gently for Prokofiev's liking, who insisted it should be more aggressive. Oborin replied that he was afraid of drowning out the violin, but Prokofiev said "It should sound in such a way that people should jump in their seat, and people will say 'Is he out of his mind?'". The first and third movements of the sonata were played at Prokofiev's funeral by Oistrakh and Samuil Feinberg.
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    146
    Der Hirt auf dem Felsen

    Der Hirt auf dem Felsen

    "The Shepherd on the Rock" (German: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen), D. 965, is a famous lied for soprano, clarinet, and piano by Franz Schubert. It was composed in 1828 during the final months of his life. While officially classified as a lied, it could just as easily be described as a work of chamber music. Of the seven verses, the first four and the last came from the poetry of Wilhelm Müller, while verses five and six were written by Karl August Varnhagen von Ense (and not by Helmina von Chézy). The lied was written as a belated response to a request from the operatic soprano Pauline Anna Milder-Hauptmann, a friend of Franz Schubert. She had requested a showpiece that would allow her to express a wide range of feelings. It was published a year and a half after Schubert's death. Milder had sung it for the first time at the House of the Blackheads in Riga on 10 February 1830. The lied is multi-sectional with the clarinet and the voice equally challenged. The first section is warm as the lonely shepherd, high on the mountain top, listens to the echoes rising from below. The second section becomes quite dark as the shepherd expresses his all encompassing grief and loneliness. The third
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    147
    Mathias Sandorf

    Mathias Sandorf

    Mathias Sandorf was an 1885 adventure book by French writer Jules Verne. It was first serialized in Le Temps in 1885, and it was Verne's epic Mediterranean adventure. It employs many of the devices that had served well in his earlier novels: islands, cryptograms, surprise revelations of identity, technically advanced hardware and a solitary figure bent on revenge. Verne dedicated the novel to the memory of Alexandre Dumas, pere, hoping to make Mathias Sandorf the Monte Cristo of Voyages Extraordinaires (The Extraordinary Voyages) series. In Trieste, 1867, two petty criminals, Sarcany and Zirone, intercept a carrier pigeon. They find a ciphered message attached to its leg and uncover a plot to liberate Hungary from Habsburg-Austrian rule. The two meet with Silas Toronthal, a corrupt banker and form a plan to deliver the conspirators to the police in exchange for a rich reward. The three Hungarian conspirators, Count Mathias Sandorf, Stephen Bathory and Ladislas Zathmar (in their Hungarian form: Sándor Mátyás, Báthory István and Szatmári László, respectively) are arrested and sentenced to death. Only Sandorf can escape. Fifteen years later, the renowned physician Dr. Antekirtt
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    148
    Symphony No. 6

    Symphony No. 6

    Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) composed his Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, B. 112, in 1880. It is dedicated to Hans Richter, who was the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. With a performance time of approximately 40 minutes, the four-movement piece was one of the first of Dvořák’s large symphonic works to draw international attention. In it, he manages to capture a bit of the Czech national style within a standard Germanic classical-romantic form. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6 was composed for the Vienna Philharmonic. In order to understand the context in which he composed this symphony, the climate and reception of Dvořák’s earlier works in Vienna should be taken into consideration. In late 1879, Hans Richter conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in a subscription concert that included the Third Slavonic Rhapsody. According to Dvořák, in a letter dated 23 November, 1879, I set out last Friday and was present at the performance of my Third Rhapsody, which was liked very much, and I had to show myself to the audience. I sat next to Brahms by the organ in the orchestra, and Richter drew me out. I had to appear. I must tell you that I immediately won the sympathy of
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    149
    Washington Monument

    Washington Monument

    The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first US president, General George Washington. The monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5+⁄8 inches (169.294 m). Taller monumental columns exist, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks. Construction of the monument began in 1848, but was halted from 1854 to 1877, and finally completed in 1884. The hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted. Its original design was by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s, but his design was modified significantly when construction resumed. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously
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    150
    Wesendonck-Lieder

    Wesendonck-Lieder

    The Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91, is a song cycle composed by Richard Wagner while he was working on Die Walküre. This and the Siegfried Idyll are his only two non-operatic works that are still regularly performed. The Wesendonck Lieder were published under the title Fünf Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonk für eine Frauenstimme und Klavier in 1857 and 1858 by C. F. Peters. The cycle is a setting of poems by Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of one of Wagner's patrons. Wagner had become acquainted with Otto Wesendonck in Zurich, where he had fled on his escape from Saxony after the May Uprising in Dresden in 1849. For a time Wagner and his wife Minna lived together in the Asyl (German for Asylum in the sense of "sanctuary"), a small cottage on the Wesendonck estate. It is sometimes claimed that Wagner and Mathilde had a love affair; in any case, the situation and mutual infatuation certainly contributed to the intensity of the first act of Die Walküre which Wagner was working on at the time, and the conceiving of Tristan und Isolde; there is certainly an influence on Mathilde's poems as well. The poems themselves are in a wistful, pathos-laden style influenced by Wilhelm Müller, the author of
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    151
    Bad Santa

    Bad Santa

    Bad Santa is a 2003 American Christmas crime comedy film written and directed by Terry Zwigoff, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Lauren Graham, with Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, and John Ritter in supporting roles. It was Ritter's last film appearance. The Coen brothers are credited as "executive producers". The film was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. An unrated version was released on DVD on March 5, 2004 and on Blu-ray Disc on November 20, 2007 as Bad(der) Santa. A director's cut DVD was released in November 2006, which features Zwigoff's cut of the film (including an audio commentary with him and the film's editor), but is three minutes shorter than the theatrical cut and ten minutes shorter than the unrated version. Willie T. Stokes works the holiday seasons as a mall Santa with his dwarf friend, Marcus, who works as Santa's elf. Every Christmas Eve they disable the security alarm after hours and rob the mall; afterwards, Marcus returns to living with his wife, Lois, while Willie goes to Miami and spends all his money on alcohol and other hedonistic, self-destructive and usually illegal pursuits. The next year at a new mall
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    152
    Capriccio Italien

    Capriccio Italien

    The Capriccio Italien, Op. 45, is a fantasy for orchestra composed between January and May 1880 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The Capriccio was inspired by a trip Tchaikovsky took to Rome, during which he saw the Carnival in full swing, and is reminiscent of Italian folk music and street songs. As these elements are treated rather freely initially he intended this piece to be called Italian Fantasia. Tchaikovsky even uses as the introduction a bugle call that he overheard from his hotel played by Italian cavalry regiment. Another source of inspiration for this piece are Mikhail Glinka's Spanish Pieces. The premiere was held in Moscow on December 18 of the same year; the orchestra was led by Nikolai Rubinstein. Although Tchaikovsky wrote to his patroness Nadezhda von Meck that the work would be successful (the piece was praised by most critics) by the time he came to orchestrate the work he expressed doubts about its musical substance. Dedicated to Karl Davydov, the Capriccio was later arranged by the composer for 4-hand piano. A typical performance lasts for around 15 minutes. The middle part was used by Freddy Breck for his schlager "Bianca". The Capriccio is scored for 3 flutes
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    153
    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, first published in 1851. It is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge. In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and the metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the journey of the main characters, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined, as the main characters speculate upon their personal beliefs and their places in the universe. The narrator's reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices, such as stage directions, extended soliloquies, and asides. The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the
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    154
    Piano Sonata No.28

    Piano Sonata No.28

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101, was written in 1816 and was dedicated to the pianist Baroness Dorothea Ertmann. This piano sonata runs for about 20 minutes and consists of four movements: The Piano Sonata No. 28, Op. 101 is the first of the series of Beethoven's "Late Period" sonatas, when his music moved in a new direction toward a more personal, more intimate, sometimes even an introspective, realm of freedom and fantasy. In this period he had achieved a complete mastery of form, texture and tonality and was subverting the very conventions he had mastered to create works of remarkable profundity and beauty. It is also characteristic of these late works to incorporate contrapuntal techniques (e.g. canon and fugue) into the sonata form. Beethoven himself described this sonata, composed in the town of Baden, just south of Vienna, during the summer of 1816, as "a series of impressions and reveries." The more intimate nature of the late sonatas probably has some connection with his deafness, which by this stage was almost total, isolating him from society so completely that his only means of communicating with friends and visitors was by means of a
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    155
    Piano Sonata No.30

    Piano Sonata No.30

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109, composed in 1820, is the antepenultimate of his piano sonatas. In it, after the huge Hammerklavier sonata, Op. 106, Beethoven returns to a smaller scale and a more intimate character. It is dedicated to Maximiliane Brentano, the daughter of Beethoven's long-standing friend Antonie Brentano, for whom Beethoven had already composed the short piano trio in B flat major WoO 39 in 1812. Musically, the work is characterised by a free and original approach to the traditional sonata form. Its focus is the third movement, a set of variations that interpret its theme in a wide variety of individual ways. Work on Op. 109 can be traced back to early in 1820, even before Beethoven's negotiations with Adolf Schlesinger, the publisher of his last three sonatas. Recent research suggests that Friedrich Starke had asked Beethoven for a composition for his piano anthology The Vienna Pianoforte School, and that Beethoven had interrupted work on the Missa Solemnis. In the end, though, he offered Starke numbers 7-11 of the Bagatelles, Op. 119. There is an April entry in Beethoven's conversation book describing a "small new piece" that is,
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    156
    Sinfonia

    Sinfonia

    Sinfonia (Symphony) is a composition by the Italian composer Luciano Berio which was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary. Composed in 1968–69 for orchestra and eight amplified voices, it is a musically innovative post-serial classical work, with multiple vocalists commenting about musical (and other) topics as the piece twists and turns through a seemingly neurotic journey of quotations and dissonant passages. The eight voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout words by Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose Le cru et le cuit provides much of the text, excerpts from Samuel Beckett's novel The Unnamable, instructions from the scores of Gustav Mahler and other writings. Leonard Bernstein states in the text version of his Charles Eliot Norton lectures from 1973 that Sinfonia was representative of the new direction classical music was taking after the pessimistic decade of the sixties (Bernstein 1976, p. 423). Originally commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary, Sinfonia was premiered on October 10, 1968 by the orchestra and The Swingle Singers, with Berio
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    157
    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 is a violin concerto in three movements composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms's only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti. It is scored for solo violin and an orchestra consisting of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons; 4 horns in D, F, and E, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings. It follows the standard concerto form, with three movements in the pattern quick-slow-quick: Originally, the work was planned in four movements like the second piano concerto. The middle movements, one of which was intended to be a scherzo — a mark that Brahms intended a symphonic concerto rather than a virtuoso showpiece — were discarded and replaced with what Brahms called a "feeble Adagio." Some of the discarded material was reworked for the second piano concerto. Brahms, who was impatient with the minutiae of slurs marking the bowing, rather than phrasing, as his usual practice was, asked Joachim's advice on the writing of the solo violin part. Joachim, who had first been alerted when Brahms informed him in August that "a few violin passages"
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    158
    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto

    Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed his Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, in 1945. Working in the lush, lyrical idiom reminiscent of fin de siècle Vienna, Korngold scored the concerto for elaborate instrumental forces. In addition to the solo violin, the concerto calls for two flutes (one also piccolo), two oboes (one also cor anglais), two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons (one also double bassoon), four horns, two trumpets, trombone, harp, strings, as well as a colorful percussion section of timpani, bass drum, cymbals, gong, tubular bell, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, and celesta. A typical performance lasts about 25 minutes. Korngold had vowed to give up composing anything other than film music, with which he supported himself and his family, until Hitler had been defeated. With the end of World War II, he retired from films to concentrate on music for the concert hall. The Violin Concerto was the first such work that Korngold penned, following some initial persuasion from the violinist and fellow émigré Bronisław Huberman. Korngold had been hurt by the assumption that a successful film composer was one that had sold his integrity to Hollywood, just as earlier he had
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    159
    Concert Fantasia

    Concert Fantasia

    The Concert Fantasia in G, Op. 56, for piano and orchestra, was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between June and October 1884. It was premiered in Moscow on 6 March [O.S. 22 February] 1885, with Sergei Taneyev as soloist and Max Erdmannsdörfer conducting. The Concert Fantasia received many performances in the first 20 years of its existence. It then disappeared from the repertoire and lay virtually unperformed for many years, but it has undergone a recent revival. This work is written in two movements and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Tchaikovsky had voiced his dislike for the sound of piano and orchestra while writing his Second Piano Concerto with his isolating the soloist from the orchestra as much as possible. Tchaikovsky scholar David Brown notes that the middle section of the quasi Rondo of the Fantasia, written for piano solo, "was the logical goal toward which this precedent had pointed". This gives the section the appearance of a cadenza while actually being based on new material. This cadenza substitutes for the development section in sonata form. The Fantasia is scored for piano solo plus the following: Woodwinds Brass Percussion Strings Tchaikovsky returned from
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    160
    Double Concerto in A minor

    Double Concerto in A minor

    The Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, by Johannes Brahms is a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra. The Double Concerto was Brahms' final work for orchestra. It was composed in the summer of 1887, and first performed on 18 October of that year in the Gürzenich in Köln, Germany. Brahms approached the project with anxiety over writing for instruments that were not his own. He wrote it for the cellist Robert Hausmann, a frequent chamber music collaborator, and his old but estranged friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. The concerto was, in part, a gesture of reconciliation towards Joachim, after their long friendship had ruptured following Joachim's divorce from his wife Amalie. (Brahms had sided with Amalie in the dispute.) The concerto makes use of the musical motif A-E-F, a permutation of F-A-E, which stood for a personal motto of Joachim, Frei aber einsam ("free but lonely"). Thirty-four years earlier, Brahms had been involved in a collaborative work using the F-A-E motif in tribute to Joachim: the F-A-E Sonata of 1853. The composition consists of three movements in the fast-slow-fast pattern typical of classical instrumental concertos: Joachim and Hausmann repeated the
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    161
    Fantaisie-Impromptu

    Fantaisie-Impromptu

    Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. posth. 66, is a solo piano composition and one of his best-known pieces. It was composed in 1834 and dedicated to Julian Fontana, who published the piece in spite of Chopin's request not to do so. Some aspects of this piece are similar to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which is also in C-sharp minor. Two measures after the melody begins, an abrupt run up and down has exactly the same notes as the cadenza in movement 3 (Presto agitato) of that work. The climax on a six-four chord is similar in both pieces. Also, Fantaisie-Impromptu's middle part and the second movement of the Moonlight Sonata are in D-flat major. The first and third movements are in C-sharp minor. The piece uses many cross-rhythms (the right hand plays sixteenth notes against the left hand playing triplets) and a ceaselessly moving note figuration and is in cut time (2/2). The opening tempo is marked allegro agitato. The tempo changes to largo and later moderato cantabile when the key changes to D-flat major, the enharmonic equivalent of the more obscure tonic major key of C-sharp major, that is, the parallel major of C-sharp minor. The piece then changes to
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    162
    Piano Trio in A minor

    Piano Trio in A minor

    Maurice Ravel's Trio for piano, violin and cello is a chamber work composed in 1914. Dedicated to Ravel's counterpoint teacher André Gedalge, the trio was first performed in Paris in January 1915, by Alfredo Casella (piano), Gabriel Willaume (violin), and Louis Feuillard (cello). This piece requires a high level of virtuosity for all instruments and is regarded by some people as a technical masterpiece. A typical performance of the work lasts about 30 minutes. Ravel had been planning to write a trio for at least six years before beginning work in earnest in March 1914. At the outset, Ravel remarked to his pupil Maurice Delage, "I’ve written my trio. Now all I need are the themes." During the summer of 1914, Ravel did his compositional work in the French Basque commune of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Ravel was born across the bay in the Basque town of Ciboure; his mother was Basque, and he felt a deep identification with his Basque heritage. During the Trio's composition, Ravel was also working on a piano concerto based on Basque themes entitled Zazpiak Bat (Basque for "The Seven are One"). Although eventually abandoned, this project left its mark on the Trio, particularly in the opening
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    163
    Pinocchio

    Pinocchio

    Pinocchio is a 2002 Italian live-action family film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. The film is based on The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi with Benigni portraying Pinocchio. It was shot in Italy and Kalkara, Malta. The actors Gonnella and Dori are natives of Italy. A magical log falls off a wagon and rolls through an Italian town causing considerable damage and some injuries. It comes to rest in front of the house of Geppetto, a poor wood carver, who carves a puppet, Pinocchio, from it. To Geppetto's surprise, the puppet comes to life and to his dismay, it becomes very mischievous. Geppetto sells his only coat to provide schoolbooks for Pinocchio; however, the rambunctious puppet goes on several adventures, dreading school. He joins a puppet theater and is almost eaten by the gigantic puppet master. Pinocchio lies to get out of the situation, claiming misery and poverty in his family, and the puppet master gives him five gold coins. He then meets Fox and Cat, two crooks who trick him out of his money, telling him to plant the coins in the ground in order to grow a "money tree". The watchful Blue Fairy, who encourages him to give up his obnoxious ways, saves him
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    164
    Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

    Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

    Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (German: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, pronounced [tɪl ˈoʏ̯lənʃpiːɡl̩s ˈlʊstɪɡə ˈʃtraɪçə], 1894–95), Op. 28, is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, chronicling the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero, Till Eulenspiegel. The two themes representing Till are played respectively by the horn and the D clarinet. The horn theme is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, falls downward, and ends in three long, loud notes, each progressively lower. The clarinet theme is crafty and wheedling, suggesting a trickster doing what he does best. The work opens with a "Once upon a time" theme, with solo horn bursting in with two repetitions of the first Till theme. The theme is taken by the rest of the orchestra in a rondo form (which Strauss spelled in its original form, rondeau), and this beginning section concludes with the tutti orchestra repeating two notes. The clarinet theme is heard next, suggesting Till's laughter as he plots his next prank. The music follows Till throughout the countryside, as he rides a horse through a market, upsetting the goods and wares, pokes fun at the strict Teutonic clergy (represented by the violas), flirts
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    165
    Tzigane

    Tzigane

    Tzigane is a rhapsodic composition by the French composer Maurice Ravel. It was commissioned by and dedicated to Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi, great-niece of the influential violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim. The original instrumentation was for violin and piano (with optional luthéal attachment). The first performance took place in London on April 26, 1924 with the dedicatee on violin and with Henri Gil-Marchex at the piano (with luthéal). The luthéal was, in Ravel's day, a new piano attachment (first patented in 1919) with several tone-colour registrations which could be engaged by pulling stops above the keyboard. One of these registrations had a cimbalom-like sound, which fitted well with the gypsy-esque idea of the composition. The original score of Tzigane included instructions for these register-changes during execution. The luthéal, however, did not achieve permanence. By the end of the 20th century the first print of the accompaniment with luthéal was still available at the publishers, but by that time the attachment had long since disappeared from use. In this sense Tzigane is comparable to Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata: that piece was also written in order to promote
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    3 votes
    166
    A Walk to Remember

    A Walk to Remember

    A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age teen romantic drama film based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, was directed by Adam Shankman, and produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros. The novel is set in the 1950s while the film is set in 1998. When a prank on fellow high-school student Clay Gephardt goes wrong, popular but rebellious Landon Carter (Shane West) is threatened with expulsion. His punishment is mandatory participation in various after-school activities, such as the drama club, where he is forced to interact with quiet, kind and bookish Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl he has known for many years but to whom he has rarely ever spoken. Their differing social statures leave them worlds apart, despite their close physical proximity. When Landon has trouble learning his lines he asks Jamie for help. They begin practicing together at her house after school. At first Landon is only using Jamie for her help with the play, and treats her coldly when his other friends are around. But as he spends more and more time with her, he is surprised to find she is far from the person
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    167
    Missa Brevis

    Missa Brevis

    The Missa Brevis in D, Op. 63 is a setting of the Mass composed by Benjamin Britten on Trinity Sunday, 1959. It was first performed at London's Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral on 22 July of the same year. The piece is set for three-part treble chorus and organ. The printed dedication reads "For George Malcolm and the boys of Westminster Cathedral Choir". The Missa Brevis was composed for Malcolm's retirement as organist and choirmaster at Westminster. It was Britten's first published setting of the Mass. Malcolm's live recording of the piece, from a service at the cathedral, lasts ten minutes. The Missa Brevis contains only four movements, omitting the Credo, notable since the sung Masses of the Westminster Cathedral Choir would have usually included this movement, central to the Catholic faith. The piece rather seems predisposed towards the liturgy of the Church of England or the Protestant Episcopal Church of America, which traditionally omit the Credo. In the Sanctus, Britten writes an optional transition between the first Hosanna and the Benedictus. This serves two functions: 1) it allows the sections to be elided seamlessly if the work is performed non-liturgically, and
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    168
    Piano Sonata No.8

    Piano Sonata No.8

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande sonate pathétique (to Beethoven's liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata's tragic sonorities. Prominent musicologists debate whether or not the Pathétique may have been inspired by Mozart's piano sonata K. 457, since both compositions are in C minor and have three very similar movements. The second movement, "Adagio cantabile", especially, makes use of a theme remarkably similar to that of the spacious second movement of Mozart's sonata. However, Beethoven's sonata uses a unique motif line throughout, a major difference from Haydn or Mozart’s creation. In its entirety, encompassing all three movements, the work takes approximately 19 minutes to perform. The sonata has three movements: The first movement is in sonata form. It begins with a slow introductory theme, marked Grave. The exposition,
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    169
    Symphonic Dances

    Symphonic Dances

    The Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, is an orchestral suite in three movements. Completed in 1940, it is Sergei Rachmaninoff's last composition. The work summarizes Rachmaninoff's compositional output. The work is fully representative of the composer's late style with its curious, shifting harmonies, the almost Prokofiev-like grotesquerie of the outer movements and the focus on individual instrumental tone colors throughout (highlighted by his use of an alto saxophone in the opening dance). The opening three-note motif, introduced quietly but soon reinforced by heavily staccato chords and responsible for much of the movement's rhythmic vitality, is reminiscent of the Queen of Shemakha's theme in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel, the only music by another composer he had taken out of Russia with him in 1917. The Dances allowed him to indulge in a nostalgia for the Russia he had known, much as he had done in the Third Symphony, as well as to effectively sum up his lifelong fascination with ecclesiastical chants. He quotes in the first dance the opening theme of his First Symphony, itself derived from motifs characteristic of Russian church music. In the finale he quotes both the
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    170
    Symphony No. 3

    Symphony No. 3

    Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D minor (WAB 103) was dedicated to Richard Wagner and is sometimes known as his "Wagner Symphony". It was written in 1873, revised in 1877 and again in 1891. The work has been characterised as "difficult", and is regarded by some as Bruckner's artistic break-through work. According to Rudolf Kloiber, the third symphony "opens the sequence of Bruckner's masterpieces, in which his creativity meets monumental ability of symphonic construction." The Third is notorious as the most-revised of Bruckner's symphonies, and there exist no less than six different versions, with three of them (1873, 1880 and 1889) widely performed today. Bruckner wrote the first version of the symphony in 1873. In September 1873, before the work was finished, Bruckner visited Richard Wagner, whom he had first met in 1865 at the premiere of Tristan and Isolde in Munich. Bruckner showed both his Second and Third symphonies to Wagner, asking him to pick one he preferred. To Bruckner's delight, Wagner chose the Third, and Bruckner dedicated the symphony to the master he highly respected. After getting home, Bruckner continued to work on the symphony, finishing the finale on 31
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    171
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is a 1991 American live-action film. It is the sequel to the 1990 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Secret of the Ooze was then followed by a third film in 1993, and a fourth film (TMNT) in 2007. The film is commonly abbreviated as TMNT II. The movie is distributed by New Line Cinema. Outside the United States, it is internationally distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film follows the adventures of the four Turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Raphael. Roughly resuming from the events of the last film, the villain, Shredder, returns to take back command of the Foot Clan, and work towards getting revenge on the Turtles. When he learns the secret behind the Turtles' mutation, he becomes more dangerous than ever. The film sheds some light on the origins of Splinter and the Turtles, as well as introduces two new villains: Tokka and Rahzar. Unlike the first film, this one rarely showed the use of the Turtles' weapons. They instead fight bare-fisted for much of the film as part of an attempt to tone down the violence of the previous movie. The film was released on March 22, 1991, and received mixed reviews from
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    172
    The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at St. James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play. The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, father of Lord Alfred Douglas, an intimate friend of Wilde, planned to present Wilde a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards, however,
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    173
    Three Russian Songs, Op. 41

    Three Russian Songs, Op. 41

    The Three Russian Songs, Op. 41 (Trois Chansons Russes; Tri Russkie Pesni) for chorus and orchestra (also seen as Three Russian Folk Songs) were written by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1926. It is the last of Rachmaninoff's three works for chorus and orchestra, the others being the cantata Spring, Op. 20 (1902), and the choral symphony The Bells, Op. 35 (1913). The work takes about 15 minutes to perform. The thematic material for the work came from three traditional folk songs: The Three Russian Songs were dedicated to Leopold Stokowski, who conducted the first performance in Philadelphia on 18 March 1927 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. The program also included the world premiere of Rachmaninoff's Fourth Piano Concerto, with the composer as soloist. The Three Russian Songs were favourably received by the critics, the concerto less so. The pair of works was repeated on 19 March, and given in New York on 22 March, with similar critical reactions. The songs are scored for altos and basses only, and they sing mostly in unison. The orchestration is quite extensive, although all the instruments rarely play simultaneously: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English
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    174
    Violin Concerto No. 2

    Violin Concerto No. 2

    The Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Opus 129, was Dmitri Shostakovich's last concerto. He wrote it in the spring of 1967 as an early 60th birthday present for its dedicatee, David Oistrakh. It was premiered unofficially in Bolshevo, near Moscow, on 13 September 1967, and officially on 26 September by Oistrakh and the Moscow Philharmonic under Kirill Kondrashin in Moscow. The concerto is scored for piccolo, flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, timpani, tom-tom and strings. It lasts around 30 minutes and has three movements: The key of C sharp minor is not a natural one on the violin, and may be intended to recall Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet, Mahler's Fifth Symphony, or Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7, a work he liked very much. The first movement is in sonata form, referring to the composer's Fifth Symphony and concluding with a contrapuntal cadenza. The Adagio is in three parts, with a central accompanied cadenza. The final movement is a complex rondo. It has a slow introduction, three episodes between the refrains, and a further long cadenza before the third episode reprising material from earlier in the work.
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    175
    Beethoven Symphonies

    Beethoven Symphonies

    Beethoven Symphonies (French: Symphonies de Beethoven), S.464, is a set of nine transcriptions for solo piano by Franz Liszt of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies. Liszt began the work in 1838, but at that time only completed the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Symphonies, of which the Fifth and Sixth were published by Breitkopf & Härtel and the Seventh by Tobias Haslinger. In 1843, he arranged the third movement of the Third Symphony, which was later published by Pietro Mechetti in 1850. Liszt was paid 8 francs per page by Breitkopf & Härtel, who first requested two symphonies to be transcribed. During his 1840 travels in Europe he might have given the transcribed symphonies some publicity by playing them at his concerts. With three symphonies transcribed, Liszt set aside the work for another 23 years. It wasn't until 1863 that Breitkopf & Härtel suggested to Liszt that he transcribe the complete set for a future publication. For this work, Liszt recycled his previous transcriptions by simplifying passages, stating that "the more intimately acquainted one becomes with Beethoven, the more one clings to certain singularities and finds that even insignificant details are not without their
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    176
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44, was written in 1879-1880. It was dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein, who had insisted he be allowed to perform it at the premiere as a way of making up for his harsh criticism of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto. Rubinstein was never destined to play it, however, as he died in March 1881. The premiere performance took place in New York, on 12 November 1881. The soloist was Madeline Schiller, and Theodore Thomas conducted the New York Philharmonic orchestra. The first Russian performance was in Moscow in May 1882, conducted by Anton Rubinstein with Tchaikovsky's pupil, Sergei Taneyev, at the piano. The piano concerto consists of three movements: The second movement contains prominent solos for the violin and cello, making the work in effect a concerto for piano trio and orchestra briefly, though a once-popular edition by Alexander Siloti removed large sections of the work, including those solos. Also noteworthy is the degree of segregation of orchestra and soloist, especially in the opening movement. Tchaikovsky had told his close friend Hermann Laroche many years earlier that he would never write a piano concerto
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    177
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Piano Concerto No. 2

    Franz Liszt wrote drafts for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in A major, S.125, during his virtuoso period, in 1839 to 1840. He then put away the manuscript for a decade. When he returned to the concerto, he revised and scrutinized it repeatedly. The fourth and final period of revision ended in 1861. Liszt dedicated the work to his student Hans von Bronsart, who gave the first performance, with Liszt conducting, in Weimar on January 7, 1857. A typical performance of this concerto lasts about 20 minutes. The concerto is scored for solo piano, three flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets in A, two bassoons, two horns in E, two trumpets in E, three trombones (two tenor, bass), tuba, timpani in D and A, cymbals and strings. This concerto is one single, long movement, divided into six sections that are connected by transformations of several themes: The second concerto, while less virtuosic than the First Piano Concerto, shows far more originality in form. In this respect it reveals a closer link to Liszt's better known symphonic poems in both style and structure. Also, while the final version of the First Concerto could be considered a soloist's showpiece,
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    178
    Piano Sonata No.5

    Piano Sonata No.5

    The Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1, was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is dedicated to Anna Margarete von Browne, the wife of one of Beethoven's patrons, a Russian diplomat in Vienna. All 3 sonatas of his Opus 10 are dedicated to Countess von Browne. The first movement of the sonata has a 3/4 meter, the second movement 2/4, and the final movement 2/2. Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 5 is a first period composition, anticipating more notable C minor works such as the Pathétique Sonata and the Fifth Symphony in its nervous energy. The sonata is divided into three movements: The first movement, in sonata form, opens energetically with contrasting loud and soft phrases. The theme is highly angular, consisting of rising dotted quaver arpeggios. A 24-bar modulating passage provides a quiet contrast before arriving at the second theme in E-flat, which is accompanied by an Alberti bass. In the recapitulation, the second theme is initially in F major before returning to C minor. The second movement is a lyrical Adagio with many embellishments. It is in A-B-A-B or "sonatina" form (there is no development section, only a single bar of a rolled V7 chord leading back to the
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    179
    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a 1991 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the sixth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series. It was directed by Nicholas Meyer and written by Meyer with Denny Martin Flinn. After the destruction of the moon Praxis leads the Klingon Empire to pursue peace with their long-time adversary the Federation, the crew of the USS Enterprise must race against unseen conspirators with a militaristic agenda. The Undiscovered Country was initially planned as a prequel to the original series, with younger actors portraying the crew of the Enterprise while attending Starfleet Academy, but the idea was discarded because of negative reaction from the cast and the fans. Faced with producing a new film in time for Star Trek's 25th anniversary, Flinn and Meyer, the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, wrote a script based on a suggestion from Leonard Nimoy about what would happen if "the wall came down in space", touching on the contemporary events of the Cold War. Principal photography took place between April and September of 1991. The production budget was smaller than anticipated because
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    180
    Symphony No.1 in C

    Symphony No.1 in C

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21, was dedicated to Baron Gottfried van Swieten, an early patron of the composer. The piece was published in 1801 by Hoffmeister & Kühnel of Leipzig. It is unknown exactly when Beethoven finished writing this work, but sketches of the finale were found from 1795. The symphony is clearly indebted to Beethoven's predecessors, particularly his teacher Joseph Haydn as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but nonetheless has characteristics that mark it uniquely as Beethoven's work, notably the frequent use of sforzandi and the prominent, more independent use of wind instruments. Sketches for the finale are found among the exercises Beethoven wrote while studying counterpoint under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger in the spring of 1787. The premiere took place on 2 April 1800 at the K.K. Hoftheater nächst der Burg in Vienna. The concert program also included his Septet and Piano Concerto No. 2, as well as a symphony by Mozart, and an aria and a duet from Haydn's oratorio The Creation. This concert effectively served to announce Beethoven's talents to Vienna. The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in C, 2 bassoons, 2 horns
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    181
    Triple Quartet

    Triple Quartet

    Triple Quartet is a piece written by Steve Reich in 1998. It was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Kronos Quartet, and was premiered by them on May 22, 1999 in the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. As the name suggests, the triple quartet is written for three string quartets, each containing 2 violins, a viola and a cello. However, it is designed to be performed by only one string quartet through the use of prerecorded tracks for the other 8 voices. The composer had this to say about the structure of the piece: The piece is in three movements (fast–slow–fast) and is organized harmonically on four dominant chords in minor keys a minor third apart—E minor, G minor, B-flat minor, C-sharp minor—and then returning to E minor to form a cycle. The first movement goes through this harmonic cycle twice with a section about one minute long on each of the four dominant chords. The result is a kind of variation form. Rhythmically, the first movement has the second and third quartet playing interlocking chords while the first quartet plays longer melodies in canon between the first violin and viola against the second violin and cello. The slow movement is more completely contrapuntal, with a
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    182
    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto

    Richard Strauss's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 8, was written in 1881-1882. This violin concerto was written during the composer's teenage years while he was still attending his last two years of school, and is less distinctive than many of his later orchestral works. Despite this it contains some bold and inventive solo writing as well as occasional passages that hint at the composer's mature harmonic style. Though written in the romantic tradition of its time, it hints at the young composer's reverence of masters of the preceding classical period, especially Mozart and Beethoven. In 1880 he had first begun to turn to large scale compositions during a tempestuous compositional interval after having decided to devote his life to composition, including a symphony in D minor (AV 69) which was well received. The following year he began to sketch the violin concerto in D minor among several other compositions. Although it is today rarely performed, it received encouraging reviews, including the following by Karl Klindworth: So far as the form of the pieces is concerned there is little to find fault with, but I could wish for content of greater significance before
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    183
    Orchestral Suite No. 1

    Orchestral Suite No. 1

    Orchestral Suite No. 1 in D minor is an orchestral suite, Op. 43, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878 and 1879. It was premiered on December 20, 1879 at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow, conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein. The piece is dedicated to Tchaikovsky's patroness, Nadezhda von Meck. Some critics have stated that, since Tchaikovsky used specific pre-classical types for the outer movements (Introduction and Fugue and Gavotte), his model for this work was the Baroque suite and not, as he had written to von Meck, the orchestral suites of Franz Lachner. The suite is written in six movements. Woodwinds Brass Percussion Strings By the summer of 1878, Tchaikovsky, exhausted from working on the Fourth Symphony the previous year, decided he needed a sabbatical from symphonic music. However, in foregoing the composition of emotionally heavy music, he did not wish to negate his personality as much as he had in writing the Variations on a Rococo Theme. Instead, he decided to achieve the same classical polish and poise he had displayed in the Rococo Variations within his own compositional idiom. While the suite could be simply a selection of excerpts from a larger
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    184
    Kidnapped

    Kidnapped

    Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. Written as a "boys' novel" and first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886, the novel has attracted the praise and admiration of writers as diverse as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Seamus Heaney. A sequel, Catriona, was published in 1893. As historical fiction, it is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the "Appin Murder", which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising. Many of the characters, and one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart, were real people. The political situation of the time is portrayed from different viewpoints, and the Scottish Highlanders are treated sympathetically. Beginning with some of the earliest reviews of Kidnapped in 1886, it has been thought the novel was structured after the true story of James Annesley, a presumptive heir to five aristocratic titles who was kidnapped at the age of 12 by his uncle Richard and shipped from Dublin to America in 1728. He managed to escape after 13 years and return to reclaim his birthright from his uncle in one of the longest court-room dramas of its
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    185
    Lady Windermere's Fan

    Lady Windermere's Fan

    Lady Windermere's Fan, A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James's Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage. The story concerns Lady Windermere, who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to his wife's birthday ball. Angered by her husband's unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. She sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save Lady Windermere's marriage as Mrs Erlynne is Lady Windermere’s mother, who abandoned her family twenty years before the time the play is set. Mrs. Erlynne was originated by Marion Terry, and Lady Windermere by Winifred Emery. The play's Broadway première on 5 February 1893 at Palmer's Theatre was also the first
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    186
    Madame Bovary

    Madame Bovary

    Madame Bovary (1856) is Gustave Flaubert's first published novel and is considered by many critics to be a masterpiece. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Though the basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal, the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was a notorious perfectionist and claimed always to be searching for le mot juste ("the right word"). When it was first serialized in La Revue de Paris between 1 October 1856 and 15 December 1856, the novel was attacked for obscenity by public prosecutors. The resulting trial, held in January 1857, made the story notorious. After Flaubert's acquittal on 7 February 1857, Madame Bovary became a bestseller when it was published as a single volume in April 1857. Flaubert's masterpiece is now considered a seminal work of Realism and one of the most influential novels ever written. In fact, the notable, British-American critic, James Wood writes in How Fiction Works, "Flaubert established for good or ill, what most readers think of as modern realist narration, and his
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    187
    Masoom

    Masoom

    Masoom (Hindi: मासूम, meaning "The Innocent") is a 1983 Indian film and first directorial venture of critically acclaimed director Shekhar Kapur. The film is a coming-of-age story starring Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi in lead roles along with Tanuja, Supriya Pathak and Saeed Jaffrey. It features Jugal Hansraj, Aradhana and Urmila Matondkar as child actors. The screenplay, dialogues and lyrics are written by Gulzar and the music is contributed by R.D. Burman. The plot was broadly based on Man, Woman and Child written by Erich Segal. Shekhar Kapur, the director of the movie, went on to make several other internationally acclaimed movies like Bandit Queen and Elizabeth. Indu (played by Shabana Azmi) and DK (played by Naseeruddin Shah) have a happy marriage and two daughters — Pinky and Minni. The tranquility of their life is shattered when DK receives word that he has a son from a short-term affair with Bhavana (played by Supriya Pathak) during his visit to Nainital when his wife Indu was about to give birth to their first child Pinky. Bhavana did not tell DK about this since she did not want to disturb his life. Now that she is dead, her guardian Masterji sends word to DK in
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    188
    Première rhapsodie

    Première rhapsodie

    The Première rhapsodie (First Rhapsody) by Claude Debussy is a piece for accompanied solo clarinet. Composed between December 1909 and January 1910, it was dedicated to the French clarinet professor Prosper Mimart. In 1909, Gabriel Fauré, Director of the Paris Conservatoire, named Debussy to its Board of Directors (le Conseil Supérieur). One of Debussy's first duties was to supply two works for the next year's clarinet examinations. The Rhapsodie was first performed as part of the examinations on July 14, 1910. The original composition was for clarinet and piano; Debussy published his own orchestration of the accompaniment in 1911, after the official premiere with Mimart.
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    189
    String Quartet No. 15

    String Quartet No. 15

    The Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, by Ludwig van Beethoven, was written in 1825, given its public premiere on November 6 of that year by the Schuppanzigh Quartet and was dedicated to Count Nicolai Galitzin, as were Opp. 127 and 130. The number traditionally assigned to it is based on the order of its publication; it is actually the thirteenth quartet in order of composition. The five movements of the quartet are: The slow introduction to the first movement, like that of the thirteenth quartet, is based on a motif that recurs throughout the late quartets and in the Große Fuge as well, the half step. The movement's unusual structure was described by Roger Sessions as more of a triple exposition than a normal sonata form in his classes. With three statements of exposition material (including recap), it mimics the repeat seen in classical sonata form expositions, but adds the extra interest of a presentation in a different key and different registral possibilities. This movement is in a very modified sonata form. Exposition #1 (mm. 1–74) 1st tonal area, (A minor; mm. 1–29) Transition 2nd tonal area, (F major; mm. 48–58) Closing (mm. 59–74) Note: There is no repeat. Pseudo Development
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    190
    Suite No. 2 for two pianos

    Suite No. 2 for two pianos

    Suite No. 2, Op. 17, is a composition for two pianos by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This work was composed in Italy in the first months of 1901, and like the famous second piano concerto, Op.18, it confirms the comeback of the creativity of the composer after four years of silence since the flop of his first symphony. The Suite was first performed on November 24, 1901, by the composer and his cousin Alexander Siloti. In contrast to the First Suite for two pianos, the work is not based on literature, and the form tends to approach the traditional suite. The movements are: I. Introduction (Alla marcia, in C major) II. Valse (Presto, in G major) III. Romance (Andantino, in A flat major) IV. Tarantelle (Presto, in C minor) The most famous performance of this piece was in Los Angeles in the early 1940s, just before Rachmaninoff died. He and Vladimir Horowitz were at a party and played the piece, the first and only time they ever did.
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    191
    Ballade in F major

    Ballade in F major

    Frédéric Chopin's four ballades are one-movement pieces for solo piano, composed between 1835 and 1842. They are some of the most challenging pieces in the standard piano repertoire. The term "ballade" was associated with French poetry until the mid-19th century, when Chopin was among the first to pioneer the ballade as a musical form. The four ballades are said to have been inspired by poet Adam Mickiewicz. The exact inspiration for each individual ballade, however, is unclear and disputed. It is clear, however, that they are a novel innovation of Chopin's, and that they cannot be placed into another (e.g. the sonata) form. Although they do not conform exactly to Sonata form, the "ballade form" created by Chopin for his 4 ballades is a distinct variant of Sonata form with specific discrepancies, such as the mirror reprise (presenting the two expositional themes in reverse order during the recapitulation). The ballades have also directly influenced composers such as Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms who, after Chopin, wrote ballades of their own. Besides sharing the title, the four ballades are entities distinct from each other. According to composer and music critic Louis Ehlert,
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    192
    Russian Easter Festival Overture

    Russian Easter Festival Overture

    Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 (Svetliy prazdnik, also known as The Great Russian Easter Overture) is a concert overture written by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov between August 1887 and April 1888, and dedicated to the memories of Modest Mussorgsky and Alexander Borodin, two members of the legendary "Mighty Handful." It is subtitled "Overture on Liturgical Themes." It is the last of the composer's series of three exceptionally brilliant orchestral works, preceded by Capriccio Espagnol and Scheherazade. The work received its premiere in St. Petersburg in late December 1888. The overture is scored for a Romantic Orchestra consisting of 3 flutes (1 doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in C, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B-flat, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 timpani in A, D and G, percussion (glockenspiel, triangle, cymbals, snare drum, tamtam), harp, and strings. The tunes in the overture are largely from the Russian Orthodox liturgy, based on a collection of old Russian Orthodox liturgical chants called the Obikhod. Rimsky-Korsakov includes several biblical quotations in the score to guide the listener as to his intent, including Psalm 68 and Mark 16. In
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    193
    Radetzky March

    Radetzky March

    Radetzky March, Op. 228, is a march composed by Johann Strauss Sr. in 1848. It was dedicated to the Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, and became quite a popular march among soldiers. It has been remarked that its tone is more celebratory than martial-- Strauss was commissioned to write the piece for a celebration of Radetsky's victory at the Battle of Custoza. When it was first played in front of Austrian officers they spontaneously clapped and stamped their feet when they heard the chorus. This tradition is kept alive today when the march is played in classical music venues in Vienna, among members of the audience who are familiar with the tradition. It is almost always played as the last piece at the Neujahrskonzert, the Vienna New Year Concert. Radetzky March consists of three main parts: Since 1899 it has been the official presentation march of the Chilean Army's Military School of the Liberator Bernardo O'Higgins. The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards adopted the Radetzky March as its regimental quick march. Jeroen H.C. Tempelman, "On the Radetzky March," Vienna Music, no. 99 (Summer 2000), pp. 12–13 It was in the movie "Hugo" on a German Orchestrion on the
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    194
    Clarinet Sonatas

    Clarinet Sonatas

    The Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120, Nos. 1 and 2 are a pair of works written for clarinet and piano by the Romantic composer Johannes Brahms. They were written in 1894 and are dedicated to the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld. The sonatas stem from a period in Brahms’s life where he “discovered” the beauty of the sound and color of the clarinet. The form of the clarinet sonata was largely undeveloped until after the completion of these sonatas, after which the combination of clarinet and piano was more readily used in composers’ new works. These were the last chamber pieces Brahms wrote before his death and are considered two of the great masterpieces in the clarinet repertoire. By 1890, Brahms vowed to retire from composing, but his promise was short lived. In January 1891 he made a trip to Meiningen for an arts festival and was captivated by performances of the Weber Clarinet Concerto and the Mozart Clarinet Quintet. The solo clarinetist was Richard Mühlfeld, and Brahms began a fond friendship with the man whom he so admired. The beautiful tone of “Fräulein Klarinette” (as Brahms would nickname Mühlfeld) inspired him to begin composing again less than a year after he retired. The fruits
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    195
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial

    The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a monument to the late U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA) erected in 1970. This simple, concrete memorial to President Kennedy dominates a square in downtown Dallas near where the President was assassinated. Philip Johnson’s design is a “cenotaph,” or open tomb, that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit. The memorial is a square, roofless room, 30 feet (9 m) high and 50 (9 m) by 50 feet (9 m) wide with two narrow openings facing north and south. The walls consist of 72 white precast concrete columns, most of which seem to float with no visible support two feet above the earth. Eight columns extend to the ground, acting as legs that seem to hold up the monument. Each column ends in a light fixture. At night, the lights create the illusion that the structure is supported by the light itself. The corners and “doors” of this roofless room are decorated with rows of concrete circles, or medallions, each identical and perfectly aligned. These decorations introduce the circular shape into the square architecture of the Kennedy Memorial. Visitors enter the room after a short
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    196
    Little Buddha

    Little Buddha

    Little Buddha is a 1993 feature film by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Chris Isaak, Bridget Fonda, and Keanu Reeves as Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha before his enlightenment). Made by Bertolucci's regular partner, British producer Jeremy Thomas, it marked the team's return to the East after The Last Emperor. Tibetan Buddhist monks from a monastery in Bhutan, led by Lama Norbu (Ruocheng Ying), are searching for a child who is the rebirth of a great Buddhist teacher, Lama Dorje (Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen). Lama Norbu and his fellow monks believe they have found a candidate for the child in whom Lama Dorje is reborn: an American boy named Jesse Conrad (Alex Wiesendanger), the young son of an architect and a teacher who live in Seattle. The monks come to Seattle in order to meet the boy. Jesse is fascinated with the monks and their way of life, but his parents, Dean (Chris Isaak) and Lisa (Bridget Fonda), are wary, and that wariness turns into near-hostility when Norbu announces that he would like to take Jesse back with him to Bhutan to be tested. Dean changes his mind however, when one of his close friends and colleagues commits suicide because he went broke. Dean then
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    197
    Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir psychological thriller written and directed by David Lynch, starring Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. The surrealist film was highly acclaimed by many critics and earned Lynch the Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director Award) at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Mulholland Drive launched the careers of Watts and Harring and was the last feature film to star veteran Hollywood actress Ann Miller. The film is widely regarded as one of Lynch's finest works, alongside Eraserhead (1977) and Blue Velvet (1986), and has been chosen by many critics as representing a significant perspective of the 2000s. Originally conceived as a television pilot, a large portion of the film was shot with Lynch's plan to keep it open-ended for a potential series. After viewing Lynch's version, however, television executives decided to reject it; Lynch then provided an ending to the project, making it a feature film. The half-pilot, half-feature result, along with Lynch's characteristic style, has left the general meaning of the movie's events open to interpretation. Lynch has declined to offer an
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    198
    Piano Sonata No.29

    Piano Sonata No.29

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 (known as the Große Sonate für das Hammerklavier, or more simply as the Hammerklavier) is a piano sonata widely considered to be one of the most important works of the composer's third period and among the greatest piano sonatas. It is widely considered Beethoven's single most challenging composition for the piano, and it remains one of the most challenging solo works in the classical piano repertoire. Dedicated to his patron, the Archduke Rudolf, the sonata was written primarily from the summer of 1817 to the late autumn of 1818, towards the end of a fallow period in Beethoven's compositional career. It represents the spectacular emergence of many of the themes that were to recur in Beethoven's late period: the reinvention of traditional forms, such as sonata form; a brusque humour; and a return to pre-classical compositional traditions, including an exploration of modal harmony and reinventions of the fugue within classical forms. The Hammerklavier also set a precedent for the length of solo compositions (performances typically take about 45 minutes). While orchestral works such as symphonies and concerti had
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    199
    Symphony No.3

    Symphony No.3

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major (Op. 55), also known as the Eroica (Italian for "heroic"), is a musical work marking the full arrival of the composer's "middle-period," a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor. The symphony is widely regarded as a mature expression of the classical style of the late eighteenth century that also exhibits defining features of the romantic style that would hold sway in the nineteenth century. The Third was begun immediately after the Second, completed in August 1804, and first performed 7 April 1805. The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 3 horns in E flat, 2 trumpets in E flat and C, timpani in E flat and B flat, and strings. The piece consists of four movements: The performance time is about 50 minutes. The first movement, in 3/4, is of the sonata-allegro form. The movement opens with two large E flat major chords played by the whole orchestra, thus firmly establishing the tonality. The first theme is introduced by the cellos, and by the fifth bar of the melody, a chromatic note (C♯) is introduced, thus establishing the harmonic tension of the
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    200
    Symphony No.6

    Symphony No.6

    Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, also known as the Pastoral Symphony (German Pastoral-Sinfonie), is a symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, and was completed in 1808. One of Beethoven's few works containing explicitly programmatic content, the symphony was first performed in the Theater an der Wien on 22 December 1808 in a four hour concert. The work has become one of the central works of the symphonic repertoire. It is frequently performed, and has been often recorded. Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country. He frequently left Vienna to work in rural locales. The first sketches of the Pastoral Symphony appeared in 1802. It was composed simultaneously with Beethoven's more famous—and more fiery—Fifth Symphony. Both symphonies were premiered in a long and under-rehearsed concert in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, on 22 December 1808. The composer said that the Sixth Symphony is "more the expression of feeling than painting", a point underlined by the title of the first movement ("Awakening of cheerful feelings..."). The symphony is scored for piccolo (fourth movement only), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2
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    201
    Violin Concerto No. 3

    Violin Concerto No. 3

    The Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61, by Camille Saint-Saëns is a piece for violin and orchestra written in 1880. Saint-Saëns dedicated the concerto to fellow composer-virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, who played the solo part at the premiere. The work is in three movements: Even though the third (and last) of Saint-Saëns' violin concertos seems to impose fewer technical demands on the soloist than its predecessors, its melodic invention and impressionistic subtlety present significant interpretive challenges. This stress is most notable in the second movement and the chorale of the finale, which is reminiscent of the conclusion of the Fourth Piano Concerto. Possibly because of this, the Sarasate concerto along with the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28, and the Havanaise, Op. 83, have endured as the major concertante works for violin by Saint-Saëns still heard regularly today.
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    202
    Piano Concerto in A minor

    Piano Concerto in A minor

    The Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54, is a famous Romantic concerto by Robert Schumann, completed in 1845. Schumann had begun several piano concerti before this one: In 1828, he had begun one in E-flat major; from 1829-31 he worked on one in F major, and in 1839, he wrote one movement of a concerto in D minor. None of these works were completed. In 1841, Schumann wrote a fantasy for piano and orchestra, his Phantasie. His pianist wife Clara urged him to expand this piece into a full piano concerto. In 1845 he added the intermezzo and finale to make the completed work. It turned out to be the only piano concerto that Schumann completed. The work premiered in Leipzig on 1 January 1846 with Clara playing the solo part. Ferdinand Hiller, the work's dedicatee, conducted. The work may have been used as a model by Edvard Grieg in composing his own Piano Concerto, also in A minor. Grieg's concerto, like Schumann's, employs a single powerful orchestral chord at its introduction before the piano's entrance with a similar descending flourish. Following this concerto, Schumann wrote two other pieces for piano and orchestra: the Introduction and Allegro Appassionato in G major (Op. 92), and the
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    203
    La cetra

    La cetra

    Antonio Vivaldi wrote a set of violin concertos, Op. 9, nicknamed La cetra, that was published in 1727. All of them were for violin solo, strings, and basso continuo, except No. 9 in B flat, which features two solo violins. The set was dedicated to Emperor Charles VI.
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    204
    Piano Concerto No.5

    Piano Concerto No.5

    The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil. The first performance took place on 28 November 1811 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the soloist being Friedrich Schneider. In 1812, Carl Czerny, another student of Beethoven's, gave the Vienna debut of this work. The epithet of Emperor for this concerto was not Beethoven's own but was coined by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto. Its duration is approximately forty minutes. The concerto is scored for a solo piano, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in B-flat (Clarinet I playing Clarinet in A in movement 2), two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani in E-flat and B-flat, and strings. The concerto is divided into three movements: As with Beethoven's other concertos from this time period, this work has a relatively long first movement. (At twenty-five minutes, the Violin Concerto has the longest; Piano Concerto Nos. 4 and 5 each have opening movements of about twenty minutes.) The piece begins
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    205
    Salome

    Salome

    Salome, Op. 54, is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by the composer, based on Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer. The opera is famous (at the time of its premiere, infamous) for its "Dance of the Seven Veils". It is now better known for the more shocking final scene (often a concert-piece for dramatic sopranos), where Salome declares her love to – and kisses – the severed head of John the Baptist. Oscar Wilde originally wrote his Salomé in French. Strauss saw the play in Lachmann's version and immediately set to work on the opera. The play's formal structure was well-suited to musical adaptation. Wilde himself described Salomé as containing "refrains whose recurring motifs [Wilde's emphasis] make it so like a piece of music and bind it together as a ballad". Strauss composed the opera in German, and that is the version that has become widely known. It has a long history, however, of being presented also in French, which was the language in which perhaps the world's most famous proponent of the role, Mary Garden, sang the opera in New York, Chicago,
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    206
    Sinfonietta

    Sinfonietta

    The Sinfonietta in B major, Op. 5, is the first large-scale orchestral work written by the 20th-century German composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. It was completed in 1912, when he was fifteen years old and was premiered in Vienna on 30 November 1913 with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Felix Weingartner, to whom it is dedicated. It has four movements: It is written for a large orchestra enriched with extra percussion, piano and celesta. Duchen, Jessica (1996), Erich Wolfgang Korngold, London: Phaidon Press, ISBN 0-7148-3155-7
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    207
    Top Gun

    Top Gun

    Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with the Paramount Pictures company. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., and was inspired by the article "Top Guns" written by Ehud Yonay for California magazine. The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the Navy's Fighter Weapons School. The film depicts Maverick's progress through the training, his romance with a female instructor (McGillis), his overcoming a crisis of confidence following a fatal training accident, and the shooting down of several enemy aircraft of unlisted nationality in a dogfight. Top Gun is slated for a 3D theatrical re-release in 2012. United States Naval Aviator Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) flies the F-14A Tomcat off USS Enterprise (CVN-65), with Radar Intercept Officer ("RIO") Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Nick "Goose"
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    208
    Mona Lisa

    Mona Lisa

    Mona Lisa, Op. 31 is an opera by the German composer Max von Schillings on a libretto by Beatrice von Dovsky. It was dedicated to the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Heidelberg, where the composer was awarded the title of professor. In the spring of 1913, Beatrice von Dovsky presented the libretto to the composer, who prepared a piano sketch during the following summer. He completed the opera during his eight-month military duty as a medical soldier in France and Belgium. The subject was very topical at the time, because the painting by Leonardo da Vinci had been stolen from the Louvre in 1911, and rediscovered in Florence in 1913. The opera was first performed on 26 September 1915 in the Hofoper in Stuttgart, with the composer conducting. In the same year it was also performed in Vienna (with Maria Jeritza in the title role), Berlin (Richard Strauss conducting the first two performances), Breslau, Hamburg and Budapest. The North American premiere took place at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 1 March 1923, Artur Bodanzky conducting, with Barbara Kemp, Michael Bohnen (both making their Met debut) and Curt Taucher in the principal roles. Post war revivals at the
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    209
    Concert champêtre

    Concert champêtre

    Concert champêtre (Rural Concerto) is a harpsichord concerto by Francis Poulenc, which also exists in a version for piano solo with very slight changes in the solo part. It was written in 1927–28 for the harpsichordist Wanda Landowska who said she "adored" playing it as it made her "insouciant and gay!" Landowska was responsible for the composition of several other new pieces of music for the instrument, notably Manuel de Falla's harpsichord concerto and his El retablo de Maese Pedro (at the premiere of which, at the salon of Winnaretta Singer, Poulenc and Landowska met for the first time). After a private performance in which Poulenc played the orchestral parts on the piano, the piece's public premiere was on May 3, 1929 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, with Landowska playing the solo part and the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris conducted by Pierre Monteux. The work is scored for an orchestra of two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, timpani, side drums (with and without snares), tambourine, triangle, bass drum, cymbals, xylophone, and strings (the usual two sections of violins, violas, cellos and double
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    210
    Concierto de Aranjuez

    Concierto de Aranjuez

    The Concierto de Aranjuez is a composition for classical guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Written in 1939, it is far and away Rodrigo's best-known work, and its success established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the twentieth century. The Concierto de Aranjuez was inspired by the gardens at Palacio Real de Aranjuez, the spring resort palace and gardens built by Philip II in the last half of the 16th century and rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century by Ferdinand VI. The work attempts to transport the listener to another place and time through the evocation of the sounds of nature. According to the composer, the first movement is "animated by a rhythmic spirit and vigour without either of the two themes... interrupting its relentless pace"; the second movement "represents a dialogue between guitar and solo instruments (cor anglais, bassoon, oboe, horn etc.)"; and the last movement "recalls a courtly dance in which the combination of double and triple time maintains a taut tempo right to the closing bar." He described the concerto itself as capturing "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing
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    211
    Little Red Riding Hood

    Little Red Riding Hood

    Little Red Riding Hood (Красная шапочка in Russian; transliterated Krasnaja šapočka, literally meaning little red cap) is an opera-fairytale for children in two acts (three tableaux) by César Cui, composed in 1911. The libretto was written by Marina Stanislavona Pol', based on Charles Perrault's fairytale of the same name. The printed score from 1912 bears a dedication to Crown Prince Alexey of Imperial Russia. The earliest date of a performance for this opera has yet to be established. However, it is known to have been staged in 1921, in Gomel, in the Byelorussian SSR (now Belarus), by students from the People's City Conservatory and the Technical School. (Note: The plot, though nominally based on Perrault, adds a happy ending.) Act I, Tableau 1. The chorus introduces the story. The setting is the edge of a forest; the porch of Little Red Riding Hood's house is off to the side. As little Red Riding Hood goes off to take a basket of fresh cakes to her ill grandmother., her Mother warns her not to dawdle in the woods or to talk to strangers. The scenery changes without a break to -- Act I, Tableau 2. -- a spooky forest. Woodcutters can be heard chopping wood. Riding Hood comes out
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    Ondine

    Ondine

    Ondine is a ballet in three acts created by the choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton and composer Hans Werner Henze. Ashton originally produced Ondine for the Royal Ballet in 1958, with Henze commissioned to produce the original score, published as Undine, which has since been restaged by other choreographers. The ballet was adapted from a novella called Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and it tells the tale of a water nymph who is the object of desire of a young prince named Palemon. The première of the ballet took place at the Royal Opera House, London, on 27 October 1958, with the composer as guest conductor. The first major revival of this Ashton/Henze production took place in 1988. Both the music and the original choreography are held in high esteem by critics. The three act ballet of Ondine was commissioned and produced for The Royal Ballet in 1958 by the choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton. The resulting ballet was a collaboration between Ashton and the German composer Hans Werner Henze, who was commissioned to write the score. It is the only ballet that Ashton choreographed to original music, and the score is regarded as a rarity by musicians, as it is a "20th century
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    Piano Concerto No.4

    Piano Concerto No.4

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, was composed in 1805–1806, although no autograph copy survives. The work is scored for solo piano and an orchestra consisting of a flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings. As is standard for classical concertos, it is in three movements: It was premiered in March 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Symphony were premiered in that same concert. However, the public premiere was not until 22 December 1808 in Vienna at the Theater an der Wien. Beethoven again took the stage as soloist. This was part of a marathon concert which saw Beethoven's last appearance as a soloist with orchestra, as well as the premieres of the Choral Fantasy and the Fifth and Sixth symphonies. Beethoven dedicated the concerto to his friend, student, and patron, the Archduke Rudolph. A review in the May 1809 edition of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung states that "[this concerto] is the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever". However, after its first performance, the piece was neglected
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    Savannah, Immortal City: Volume One of the Civil War Savannah Series

    Savannah, Immortal City: Volume One of the Civil War Savannah Series

    Savannah, Immortal City is the first of a four-part series titled Civil War Savannah. It offers a pictorial and textual history of all the important antebellum and Civil War sites in the city of Savannah, Georgia, and surrounding Chatham County. This history emerged after a decade of research conducted by authors Vaughnette Goode-Walker, Barry Sheehy, and Cindy Wallace. Inspired by that research and anchored by historic photography, the Civil War Savannah Series is one of the most ambitious and revealing historical series ever written about the “Untouched City” of the Old South.
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    Stenka Razin

    Stenka Razin

    Stenka Razin, Op. 13, is a symphonic poem composed by Alexander Glazunov in 1885. Dedicated to the memory of Alexander Borodin, it is one of the few compositions written by Glazunov on a nationalist subject and is composed in a style reminiscent of Borodin and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Glazunov's composition dramatizes and romanticizes the career of the Cossack Stenka Razin. After leading raids against the Tsarist regime, Razin was captured and given amnesty in exchange of an oath of allegiance. He broke his promise, leading an army of several hundred thousand in an attempt to overthrow the government. Captured again, he was executed in 1672. The score focuses on a dramatic moment immediately preceding Razin's recapture. Razin and his mistress, a captured Persian princess, are afloat on a richly caparisoned boat on the River Volga. There, in one version of the story, the princess relates an ominous dream, warning of imminent disaster and her own death in the river. They are suddenly surrounded by tsarist soldiers. Razin casts the princess into the water, declaring, "Never in all my thirty years have I offered a sacrifice to the Volga. Today I will give it what is for me the most
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    Symphony No. 3

    Symphony No. 3

    Kaddish is Leonard Bernstein's third symphony. The 1963 symphony is a dramatic work written for a large orchestra, a full choir, a boys' choir, a soprano soloist and a narrator. The name of the piece, Kaddish, refers to the Jewish prayer that is chanted at every synagogue service for the dead but never mentions "death." The symphony is dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy who was assassinated on November 22, 1963, just weeks before the first performance of the symphony. Some see the symphony as a reaction to the Holocaust, in part because of the narration and dedication recently added by Samuel Pisar, in memory of Leonard Bernstein. The text Pisar added was about his personal experiences and how his family suffered and perished in the Holocaust. The text begins with a narrator addressing "My Father" (i.e., God). He/she states that he/she wants to pray a kaddish. After the initial approach to the Father in prayer, a chorus sings his kaddish in Aramaic. At the end, the narrator repeats the final words of the prayer: The speaker then questions why he would allow such disorder in mankind's lives, suggesting that surely he must have the power to change it. The prayer escalates
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    217
    Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Cybill Shepherd. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. The American Film Institute ranked Taxi Driver as the 52nd greatest American film on their AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list. The film was considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 1994. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, is a lonely and depressed man living in Manhattan, New York. He becomes a taxi driver in order to cope with chronic insomnia, driving passengers every night around the boroughs of New York City. He also spends time in seedy porn theaters and keeps a diary. Travis becomes infatuated with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a campaign volunteer for Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris), who is running
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    218
    Crash

    Crash

    Crash is a 2004 American drama film co-written, produced and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described "passion piece" for Haggis, Crash was inspired by a real life incident in which his Porsche was carjacked outside a video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991. Several characters' stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles: a black detective estranged from his mother; his criminal younger brother and gang associate; the white District Attorney and his irritated and pampered wife; a racist white police officer who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner; an African American Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with the officer; a Persian-immigrant father who is wary of others; and a Hispanic locksmith. The film differs from many other films about racism in its rather impartial approach to the issue. Rather than separating the characters into victims and offenders, victims of racism are often shown to be racist themselves in different contexts and situations. Also, racist remarks and actions are often shown to stem from ignorance and misconception rather than a malicious personality. Crash
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    219
    Daphne

    Daphne

    Daphne, Op. 82, is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss, his 13th opera, subtitled "A Bucolic Tragedy in One Act". The German libretto was by Joseph Gregor. The opera is based loosely on a myth from Ovid's Metamorphoses, and also includes elements taken from The Bacchae by Euripides. The opera premiered at Dresden on 15 October 1938, originally intended as a double bill with Friedenstag, but as the scale of Daphne grew, that idea was abandoned. The conductor of the first performance was Karl Böhm, to whom the opera was dedicated. The chaste girl Daphne sings a hymn of praise to nature. She loves the sunlight as trees and flowers do, but she has no interest in human romance. She cannot return the love of her childhood friend Leukippos, and she refuses to put on the ceremonial clothes for the coming festival of Dionysos, leaving Leukippos with the dress she has rejected. Daphne's father Peneios tells his friends he is certain that the gods will soon return among men. He advises preparing a feast to welcome Apollo. Just then a mysterious herdsman appears. Peneios sends for Daphne to care for the visitor. The strange herdsman tells Daphne that he has watched her from his chariot, and
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    Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale 'Ad nos ad salutarem undam'

    Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale 'Ad nos ad salutarem undam'

    The Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam", S.259, is a piece of organ music composed by Franz Liszt in the winter of 1850 when he was in Weimar. It was dedicated to Giacomo Meyerbeer, who was the composer of the chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam", which Meyerbeer first incorporated in the Act I of the opera Le prophète, and on which Liszt later based his organ composition. The Fantasy and Fugue was given its premiere on October 29, 1852. The revised version was premiered in the Merseburg Cathedral on September 26, 1855, with Alexander Winterberger performing. The whole work was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1852, and the fugue was additionally published as the 4th piece of Liszt's operatic fantasy "Illustrations du Prophète" (S.414). A piano duet version by Liszt appeared during the same time (S.624). The piece consists of three sections: The piece opens with the "Ad nos" theme and then turns quiet and contemplative. The theme returns and eventually a climax is reached. A second climactic passage follows, after which this section ends. The Adagio serves as a development section, beginning quietly, the theme moving to major keys now from the minor keys
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    Op. 111 - Bagatella su Beethoven

    Op. 111 - Bagatella su Beethoven

    Op. 111 - Bagatella su Beethoven by Lorenzo Ferrero is a composition for piano solo written in 2009, which is an ingenious blend of themes from the Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich's musical monogram DEsCH. It was first performed in Milan on September 27, 2009.
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    Symphony No.9

    Symphony No.9

    The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is almost universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. It has been adapted for use as the European Anthem. The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony (thus making it a choral symphony). The words are sung during the final movement by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer. The Philharmonic Society of London originally commissioned the symphony in 1817. The main composition work was done between autumn 1822 and the completion of the autograph in February 1824. However, both the words and notes of the symphony have sources dating from earlier in Beethoven's career. The title of Schiller's poem "An die Freude" is translated as "Ode to Joy". It was written in 1785 and first published the following year
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    The Killer

    The Killer

    The Killer (simplified Chinese: 喋血双雄; traditional Chinese: 喋血雙雄; pinyin: Diéxuè shuāngxióng Jyutping: dip6 hyut3 soeng1 hung4) is a 1989 Hong Kong action and crime film written and directed by John Woo and starring Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee and Sally Yeh. Chow plays the assassin Ah Jong, who accidentally damages the eyes of the singer Jennie (Sally Yeh) during a shootout. He later discovers that if Jennie does not have an expensive operation she will go blind. To get the money for Jennie, Ah Jong decides to perform one last hit. After the financial backing from Tsui Hark became problematic following the release of Woo's film A Better Tomorrow 2, Woo had to find backing through Chow Yun Fat and Danny Lee's financing companies. Woo went into filming The Killer with a rough draft whose plot was influenced by the films Le Samouraï, Mean Streets, and Narazumono. Woo desired to make a film about honour, friendship and the relationship of two seemingly opposite people. After finishing filming, Woo referred to The Killer as a tribute to directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Martin Scorsese. The Killer was not an immediate success in Hong Kong, but received critical acclaim in the Western world
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    1984

    1984

    Nineteen Eighty-Four, also known as 1984, is a 1984 British dystopian film written and directed by Michael Radford, based upon George Orwell's novel of the same name. The film follows the life of Winston Smith in Oceania, a country run by a totalitarian government. It stars John Hurt, Suzanna Hamilton and Richard Burton in his final film role. In a dystopian 1984, Winston Smith (John Hurt) endures a squalid existence in the totalitarian superstate of Oceania under the constant surveillance of the Thought Police. The story takes place in London, the capital city of the territory of Airstrip One (formerly Britain). Winston works in a small office cubicle at the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history in accordance with the dictates of the Party and its supreme figurehead, Big Brother (Bob Flag). A man haunted by painful memories and restless desires, Winston is an everyman who keeps a secret diary of his private thoughts, thus creating evidence of his thoughtcrime — the crime of independent thought, contrary to the dictates and aims of the Party. His life takes a fatal turn when he is accosted by a fellow Outer Party worker — a mysterious, bold-looking girl named Julia (Suzanna
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    Cello Concerto No. 1 in C

    Cello Concerto No. 1 in C

    The Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761-65 for longtime friend Joseph Franz Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterházy Orchestra. The work was presumed lost until 1961, when musicologist Oldřich Pulkert discovered a copy of the score at the Prague National Museum. Though some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the work, most experts believe that Haydn did compose this concerto. This early work, contemporaneous with symphonies 6, 7 and 8 and predating his D major cello concerto by around twenty years, already shows Haydn as a master of instrumental writing. The solo cello part is thoroughly idiomatic. The concerto reflects the ritornello form of the baroque concerto as well as the emerging structure of the sonata-allegro form. As in the baroque concerto grosso, the accompanying ensemble is small: strings, two oboes, and two horns. It is possible that Weigl was the only cellist in the Esterházy Orchestra when Haydn composed the concerto, since there is only one cello line in the score, marked alternately “solo” and “tutti.” There is also, however, a basso continuo line, that might have been played
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    Concerto for two pianos

    Concerto for two pianos

    Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor, FP 61, was commissioned by and dedicated to the Princess Edmond de Polignac and composed over the period of three months in the summer of 1932. The work has three movements: Allegro ma non troppo, Larghetto, and Allegro molto. The premiere was given on September 5, 1932, at the International Society for Contemporary Music in Venice. Poulenc and his childhood friend Jacques Février were concerto soloists with the La Scala Orchestra, with Désiré Defauw (later conductor of the Chicago Symphony) conducting. Poulenc was gratified by the warm acclaim his work received, and later performed the concerto with Benjamin Britten in England in 1945. The Concerto for Two Pianos often described as the last work of Poulenc’s early period. The composer himself wrote to the Belgian musicologist Paul Collaer: "You will see for yourself what an enormous step forward it is from my previous work and that I am really entering my great period." The concerto's recurring moto perpetuo, modally inflected figurations are clearly inspired by Poulenc's encounter with a Balinese gamelan at the 1931 Exposition Coloniale de Paris. Additionally,
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    Dante Symphony

    Dante Symphony

    A Symphony to Dante's Divine Comedy, S.109, or simply the "Dante Symphony", is a program symphony composed by Franz Liszt. Written in the high romantic style, it is based on Dante Alighieri's journey through Hell and Purgatory, as depicted in The Divine Comedy. It was premiered in Dresden in November 1857, with Liszt himself conducting, and was unofficially dedicated to the composer's friend and future son-in-law Richard Wagner. The entire symphony takes approximately 45 minutes to perform. Some critics have argued that the Dante Symphony is not so much a symphony in the classical sense as it is two descriptive symphonic poems. Regardless, Dante consists of two movements, both in a loosely structured ternary form with little use of thematic transformation. Liszt had been sketching themes for the work since the early 1840s, and in 1847 he played some fragments on the piano for his Polish mistress Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. At this early stage in the composition it was Liszt's intention that performances of the work be accompanied by a slideshow depicting scenes from the Divine Comedy by the artist Bonaventura Genelli. He also planned to use an experimental wind machine
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    Die tote Stadt

    Die tote Stadt

    Die tote Stadt (German for The Dead City) is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The libretto is by a fictitious Paul Schott (actually a pseudonym for the true librettists, the composer and the composer’s father Julius Korngold), and is based on Bruges-la-Morte, a short novel by Georges Rodenbach. When Die tote Stadt had its premiere on December 4, 1920, Korngold was just 23 years old with two short one-act operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, already to his name. The success of these earlier works was so great that Die tote Stadt was subject to a fierce competition among German theaters for the right to the world premiere. In the end, an unusual double premiere was arranged and the opera opened simultaneously in Hamburg and Cologne. In Cologne the conductor was Otto Klemperer, and his wife Johanna sang Marietta. In Hamburg Korngold himself was in the theater, and the conductor was Egor Pollak. Die tote Stadt’s theme of overcoming the loss of a loved one resonated with contemporary audiences of the 1920s who had just come through the trauma and grief of World War I, and this undoubtedly fueled the opera’s popularity. Die tote Stadt was one of the greatest
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    Élisa

    Élisa

    Élisa is a French film directed by Jean Becker and starring Gérard Depardieu, Vanessa Paradis and Firmine Richard. It was released in 1995. Marie is a teenage girl living a semi-criminal life on the streets of Paris with her friends. Her mother, Élisa, suffering from a deep depression, tried to kill little Marie when she was very young and subsequently committed suicide, while her father has never been part of her life. One day she decides to take revenge on her father for not helping her when she lost her mother. But when she finds him she realises that she cannot kill her own father, at least not before he has had the chance to explain
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    230
    Enoch Arden

    Enoch Arden

    Enoch Arden, Op. 38, TrV. 181, is a melodrama for narrator and piano, written in 1897 by Richard Strauss to the words of the 1864 poem of the same name by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Richard Strauss wrote Enoch Arden for the actor Ernst von Possart, who in 1896 had assisted him in obtaining the post of Chief Conductor at the Bavarian State Opera. He wrote it while engaged in composing Don Quixote and finished it in February 1897. Strauss and Possart toured together widely with the melodrama, in a German translation by Adolf Strodtmann. It was well received by audiences and Strauss' reputation was enhanced more by it than by his symphonic poems. The following year Strauss capitalised on its success by writing Das Schloss am Meere (The Castle by the Sea) to words by Ludwig Uhland. The work has been described as falling within the genre of incidental music. It consists mainly of brief interludes indicative of changes of time and setting, as well as moments of punctuation and commentary. Each of the two parts is introduced by a prelude and concludes with a postlude. Strauss uses leitmotifs to identify each of the characters: Enoch Arden (a chordal sequence in E flat), Annie Lee (a rising
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    Finding Nemo

    Finding Nemo

    Finding Nemo is an American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film written and directed by Andrew Stanton, released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 30, 2003, and the fifth film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It tells the story of the over-protective clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who, along with a regal tang named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), searches for his abducted son Nemo (Alexander Gould) in Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and let Nemo take care of himself. It is Pixar's first film to be released in cinemas in the northern hemisphere summer. The film was re-released for the first time in 3D on September 14, 2012, and it will be released on Blu-ray for the first time on December 4, 2012. A sequel is currently in development, set to be released in 2016. The film received extremely positive reviews and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was the second highest-grossing film of the year, earning a total of $918 million worldwide. Finding Nemo is also the best-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006, and was the highest-grossing G-rated film of all time before Pixar's own Toy Story 3 overtook
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    Grande messe des morts

    Grande messe des morts

    The Grande Messe des morts, Op. 5 (or Requiem) by Hector Berlioz was composed in 1837. The Grande Messe des Morts is one of Berlioz's best-known works, with a tremendous orchestration of woodwind and brass instruments, including four antiphonal offstage brass ensembles placed at the corners of the concert stage. The work derives its text from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass. It has a duration of approximately ninety minutes, although there are faster recordings of under seventy-five minutes. In 1837, Adrien de Gasparin, the Minister of the Interior of France, asked Berlioz to compose a Requiem Mass to remember soldiers who died in the Revolution of July 1830. Berlioz accepted the request, having already wanted to compose a large orchestral work. Meanwhile, the orchestra was growing in size and quality, and the use of woodwinds and brass was expanding due to the increasing ease of intonation afforded by modern instruments. Berlioz later wrote, "if I were threatened with the destruction of the whole of my works save one, I should crave mercy for the Messe des morts." The premiere was conducted by François Antoine Habeneck on December 5, 1837 in commemoration of General Damrémont
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    233
    Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott published in 1820, and set in 12th-century England. Ivanhoe is sometimes credited for increasing interest in Romanticism and Medievalism; John Henry Newman claimed Scott "had first turned men's minds in the direction of the middle ages," while Carlyle and Ruskin made similar claims to Scott's overwhelming influence over the revival based primarily on the publication of this novel. Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father for his allegiance to the Norman king, Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194, after the failure of the Third Crusade, when many of the Crusaders were still returning to Europe. King Richard, who had been captured by the Duke of Austria on his way back, was believed to still be in the arms of his captors. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his "merry men." The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a
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    Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre  /ˈɛər/ (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." The first American edition was released the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York. Writing for the Penguin edition, Stevie Davies describes it as an "influential feminist text" because of its in-depth exploration of a strong female character's feelings. Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its eponymous character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism. Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt
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    King James Version of the Bible

    King James Version of the Bible

    The Authorized Version, commonly known as the King James Version, King James Bible, AV, KJB, or KJV, is an English translation of the Christian Bible by the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third official translation into English. The first was the Great Bible commissioned by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second was the Bishop's Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James VI of Scotland and I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England. James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy. The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew text,
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    Lincoln Memorial

    Lincoln Memorial

    The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. It is one of several monuments built to honor an American president. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Like other monuments on the National Mall – including the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial – the memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. It has been listed on the
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    237
    Manfred Symphony

    Manfred Symphony

    The Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58, is a programmatic symphony composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between May and September 1885. It is based on the poem "Manfred" written by Lord Byron in 1817. It is the only one of Tchaikovsky's symphonies he completed that is not numbered (the Symphony in E flat is a conjectural work left unfinished by the composer) and was written between the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Like the fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky wrote the Manfred Symphony at the behest of nationalist composer Mily Balakirev, who provided a program written by critic Vladimir Stasov. Stasov had sent the program to Balakirev in 1868, hoping that Balakirev would write a symphony based on it. Balakirev did not feel capable of carrying out this project and sent the program to French composer Hector Berlioz, whose programmatic works had genuinely impressed him. Berlioz refused, claiming old age and ill health, and returned the program to Balakirev. Balakirev kept the program until he reestablished contact with Tchaikovsky in the early 1880s. The Manfred Symphony is the only programmatic symphonic work by Tchaikovsky in more than one movement. He initially
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    238
    Nights in the Gardens of Spain

    Nights in the Gardens of Spain

    Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Noches en los Jardines de España) is a piece of music by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876–1946). Falla was Andalusian and incorporates elements of his region's folk-music into the score. Falla began this work as a set of nocturnes for solo piano in 1909 but on the suggestion of the pianist Ricardo Viñes turned the nocturnes into a piece for piano with orchestra. Falla completed it in 1915 and dedicated it to Ricardo Viñes. However the pianist at the first performance was neither Viñes nor Falla (who was a competent pianist), but José Cubiles. The first performance was given on April 9, 1916, at Madrid's Teatro Real with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid conducted by Enrique Fernández Arbós. The work depicts three gardens: Falla referred to Nights in the Gardens of Spain as "symphonic impressions." The piano part is elaborate, brilliant, and eloquent but rarely dominant. The orchestral writing is lush. It is Falla’s most "impressionistic" score. The score calls for piano, three flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, cymbals, triangle, celesta,
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    239
    Order of Saint Michael

    Order of Saint Michael

    The Order of Saint Michael (French: Ordre de Saint-Michel) was a French chivalric order, founded by Louis XI of France on 1 August 1469, in competitive response to the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece founded by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, Louis' chief competitor for the allegiance of the great houses of France, the Dukes of Orléans, Berry, and Brittany. As a chivalric order, its goal was to confirm the loyalty of its knights to the king. Originally, there were a limited number of knights, at first thirty-one, then increased to thirty-six including the king. An office of Provost was established in 1476. The Order of St Michael was the highest Order in France until it was superseded by the Order of the Holy Spirit. As would be expected, the first knights were among the most powerful nobles in France, close relatives of the king and a few from other royal houses in Europe. Originally, the number of members (called companions) was limited to thirty-five. In 1565, during the Wars of Religion, when loyalties were strained and essential, Charles IX increased the membership to fifty but there may have been as many as seven hundred knights under Henry III in 1574. The Order of
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    240
    Order of St. Andrew

    Order of St. Andrew

    The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called (Russian: Орден Святого апостола Андрея Первозванного) was the first and the highest order of chivalry of the Russian Empire. Abolished under the USSR, it was re established as the top Russian Order in 1998. The Order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia. It was bestowed in a single class and was only awarded for the most outstanding civilian or military merit. Peter learned this from his travels in the West during the Great Embassy. In the past, service to the Russian state was rewarded with money or large estates. He witnessed first hand the awards ceremonies for England's Order of the Garter and Austria's Order of the Golden Fleece and noticed the loyalty and pride of the awardees. It also saved the state land and money. Count Fyodor Golovin was the first recipient of the order. Until its abolition following the Russian Revolution of 1917, just over one thousand awards had been made. During the monarchy, recipients of the Order of St. Andrew also automatically received the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle,
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    241
    Passacaglia

    Passacaglia

    Passacaglia is a composition for flute, clarinet and string quartet by Lorenzo Ferrero, written in 1986 and first performed in Bolzano on October 1, 1986.
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    242
    Piano Sonata No.21

    Piano Sonata No.21

    The Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, also known as the Waldstein, is considered to be one of Beethoven's greatest piano sonatas, as well as one of the three particularly notable sonatas of his middle period (the other two being the Appassionata sonata, Op. 57, and Les Adieux, Op. 81a). The sonata was completed in the summer of 1804. The work has a scope that surpasses Beethoven's previous piano sonatas, and is notably one of his most technically challenging compositions. The most difficult being the section involving a continuous trill plus melody line on the right, with scales on the left matching the trill speed. It is a key work early in his 'Heroic' decade (1803-1812) and set the stage for piano compositions in the grand manner both in Beethoven's later work and all future composers. The Waldstein receives its name from Beethoven's dedication to Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein of Vienna, a patron as well as a close personal friend of Beethoven. Like the Archduke Trio (one of many pieces dedicated to Archduke Rudolph), this one bears Waldstein's name though there are other works dedicated to him. This sonata is also known as 'L'Aurora' (The Dawn) in Italian,
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    243
    Piano Sonata No.26

    Piano Sonata No.26

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Op. 81a, known as the Les Adieux sonata, was written during the years 1809 and 1810. The title Les Adieux implies a programmatic nature. The French attack on Vienna, led by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1809, forced Beethoven's patron, Archduke Rudolph, to leave the city. Yet, there is some uncertainty about this nature of the piece — or at least, about the degree to which Beethoven wished this programmatic nature would be known. He titled the three movements "Lebewohl," "Abwesenheit," and "Wiedersehen," and reportedly regarded the French "Adieux" (said to whole assemblies or cities) as a poor translation of the feeling of the German "Lebewohl" (said heartfully to a single person) (Kolodin, 1975). Indeed, Beethoven had written the syllables "Le-be-wohl" over the first three chords. On the first 1811 publication, a dedication was added reading "On the departure of his Imperial Highness, for the Archduke Rudolph in admiration". An average performance of the piece lasts about 17 minutes. The sonata is one of Beethoven's most challenging sonatas because of the mature emotions that must be conveyed throughout it. It is also the bridge
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    244
    Piano Sonata No.27

    Piano Sonata No.27

    Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90 was written in the summer of 1814 —Beethoven's late Middle period— and was dedicated to Count Moritz von Lichnowsky. Unlike a typical sonata, this piece consists of two highly contrasting movements: The first movement is written in a 3/4 tempo, sounding mysteriously agitated and restless, described by Beethoven as 'a contest between the head and heart', based on the situation of the Count deciding whether he should marry a young Viennese dancer. It starts out with powerful chords, responded by more subdued material. The falling semitone, particularly the G-F sharp, dominates the first and second subject groups, and most of the episodic work between. The second movement, a rondo in the tonic major, however, quiets down into a beautiful melody with a 2/4 rhythm. The two contrasting movements suggest an agitated situation calmed by restful contentness. Notably, Beethoven uses German tempo marks for both movements. English composer Bramwell Tovey characterized the movement as one 'full of passionate and lonely energy'. This contrasting gesticulation of emotion is especially evident in the piece's discernible dialogical form,
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    245
    Scarface

    Scarface

    Scarface is a 1983 American epic crime film directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone, produced by Martin Bregman and starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana. A contemporary remake of the 1932 film of the same name, the film tells the story of a Cuban refugee who comes to Miami in 1980 with the Mariel Boatlift, and becomes a drug cartel kingpin during the cocaine boom of the 1980s. The film is dedicated to Howard Hawks and Ben Hecht, the director and principal screenwriter, respectively, of the original film. The initial critical response to Scarface was mixed, garnering criticism for excessive violence and graphic language. The Cuban community in Miami objected to the film's portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers. In 1980, Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) arrives in Miami during the Mariel boatlift. He, along with his best friend Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer), and their associates Angel (Pepe Serna) and Chi-Chi (Ángel Salazar), are sent to "Freedomtown", a refugee camp. In exchange for killing a former Cuban government official at the request of wealthy drug dealer Frank Lopez, the group are released from Freedomtown and given green cards. On the outside,
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    246
    Sequenza X

    Sequenza X

    Sequenza X is a composition for trumpet and piano by Luciano Berio, the tenth in his series of pieces with this title. The work was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Thomas Stevens, and premiered by him on November 19, 1984. The piece is dedicated to Ernest Fleischmann, managing director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1969 to 1997, who convinced Berio to write a Sequenza for trumpet, despite years of resistance to the idea. Stevens received the music only nine days before the premiere. Sequenza X is for trumpet and piano, however the piano is only used as a resonator. Berio requires the pianist to depress the keys on the piano without sounding the instrument. By playing the trumpet into the piano, the strings are made to sympathetically resonate. The effect is so subtle that the piano must be amplified for it to be heard in the auditorium. Berio prescribes a contact microphone solution in his score, whereby the microphones are secured to the underside of the sound board. Sequenza X requires the trumpeter to employ a variety of extended techniques, including flutter tonguing, pedal tones, and valve tremolos. Much of the musical material focuses on transmuting
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    247
    Sinfonietta

    Sinfonietta

    Sinfonietta in A major is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev. Sergei Prokofiev wrote his Sinfonietta in A major, Op. 5, in 1909 and dedicated it to Nikolai Tcherepnin, his conducting professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Prokofiev subsequently modified it twice, once in 1914 and finally in 1929, publishing the final revision as Op. 5/48. The premiere of the final revision was under Konstantin Saradzhev on 18 November 1930. The Sinfonietta is rather similar to the better-known Classical Symphony, being light in character, while infusing Prokofiev's typical twists of harmony. However, it is rarely performed. Prokofiev himself was surprised by this, commenting: "I cannot understand why the fate of these two pieces should be so different". The piece is in 5 movements, lasting around 25 minutes. The music is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets and strings.
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    248
    Symphony No. 8

    Symphony No. 8

    Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor is the last Symphony the composer completed. It exists in two major versions of 1887 and 1890. It was premiered under conductor Hans Richter in 1892 in Vienna. It is dedicated to the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. This symphony is sometimes nicknamed The Apocalyptic, but – as with the nicknames The Tragic (for the Fifth Symphony), The Philosophic (for the Sixth), and The Lyric (for the Seventh) – this was not a name Bruckner gave to the work himself. Bruckner began work on the Eighth Symphony in July 1884. Working mainly during the summer vacations from his duties at the University of Vienna and the Vienna Conservatory, the composer had all four movements completed in draft form by August 1885. The orchestration of the work took Bruckner until April 1887 to complete: during this stage of composition the order of the inner movements was reversed, leaving the scherzo second and the Adagio as the third movement. In September 1887 Bruckner had the score copied and sent to conductor Hermann Levi. Levi was one of Bruckner's closest collaborators, having given a performance of the Seventh Symphony in Munich that was "the greatest triumph
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    249
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the concluding film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002). As Sauron launches the final stages of his conquest of Middle-earth, Gandalf the Wizard, and Théoden King of Rohan rally their forces to help defend Gondor's capital Minas Tirith from the looming threat. Aragorn finally claims the throne of Gondor and summons an army of ghosts to help him defeat Sauron. Ultimately, even with full strength of arms, they realise they cannot win; so it comes down to the Hobbits, Frodo and Sam, to bear the burden of the Ring and deal with the treachery of Gollum. After a long journey they finally arrive in the dangerous lands of Mordor, seeking to destroy the One Ring in the place it was created, the volcanic fires of Mount Doom. Released on 17 December 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received rave reviews and became one of the greatest critical and box-office successes of all time, being only the second film to
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    250
    The Rock

    The Rock

    The Rock, Op. 7 (or The Crag) (Russian: Утёс) (Utyos) is a fantasia or symphonic poem for orchestra written by Sergei Rachmaninoff in the summer of 1893. It is dedicated to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. As an epigraph for the composition, Rachmaninoff chose a couplet from a poem by Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov: The golden cloud slept through the night Upon the breast of the giant-rock He later admitted, however, to a second musical programme, drawn from a story by Anton Chekhov titled Along the Way, in which a young girl meets an older man during a stormy, overnight stop at a roadside inn on Christmas Eve. The man shares with her the story of his life, beliefs, and past failures, as a blizzard rages on through the night. Rachmaninoff highly respected the older and accomplished composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and in a meeting between the two at the home of Rachmaninoff's former teacher Sergei Taneyev, the younger composer was given the opportunity to perform his just completed piece at the piano. The Rock had a positive effect on Tchaikovsky, who had been discontented with an earlier performance of a four-hand piano arrangement of his latest symphony (the sixth) by another young
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