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2012/12/24

My Piano Teacher is Back!

I am so happy! Marine, my regular piano teacher is back from Moscow. It's the best Christmas present I could have hoped for!

Here's a picture of us.


2012/12/23

My First Ballet Performance!

Today I had my very first ballet performance. I was a mouse in the Nutcracker! I'm so happy. We had a lot of fun. We played games in the studio while we waited for our time to go on. We could hear the orchestra where we were. They played beautifully!

We got in our costumes and we waited backstage for a little bit. I did some deep breaths just before our part and then when we were finally onstage I got to do my part. I couldn't see the audience at all though.

I loved the music!
I loved dancing!

I loved hearing the calls from the Stage Manager.

I loved the stage!
I loved the set!

I loved the musicians!
I loved the dancers!

I loved it!
I loved everything about it!

Here is a video from the National Ballet of Canada's youtube page about what it's like backstage.


My next performance date is Saturday, December 29th at 5:30pm.
Hope to see you there!

(For more info about my performance dates click here.)

2012/12/20

Last class with my substitute piano teacher

Yesterday I might have had my last class with my substitute piano teacher. Her name is Christy and she's very nice. She really helped me prepare for my Basic Rudiments Exam. I can't wait to get my mark!

My regular teacher should be back from Russia this weekend. I can't wait to see her.

Here's a picture of me with Christy in front of her Christmas tree. It's so pretty.
Can you spot the treble clef?

2012/12/18

Dress Rehearsal

Today I had my dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker. We got to rehearse in our mice costumes on stage at the Four Seasons Centre. It wasn't with the orchestra though, we had a piano accompanist. I'm not sure who it was because I was focused on my part. The mouse costume has a little belly that hangs down to my legs. I had a little trouble coming out of the box while I was in the costume, but now I know what to do in the performance.

We spent most of the time waiting with our chaperone in the Karen Kain Studio. We played games like Connect Four, Go Fish, and Memory. We got to snack when we wanted to. We didn't get to see the rest of the rehearsal because it was really busy back stage.

The stage was all set up, and there were even paper snowflakes falling. It looked really cool!

If you'd like to see me in costume, you'll have to come to the performance!
Hope to see you there.

My performance dates are:
  • Sunday, December 23rd at 1pm
  • Saturday, December 29th at 5:30pm
  • Friday, January 4th at 1pm
(The performance schedule is 'subject to change')

You can buy tickets online on the National Ballet of Canada's website:
http://national.ballet.ca/



By the way, today was the 120th anniversary of the first performance of Pytor Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker in Russia. People didn't love it right away but people all over the world love it now.

National Ballet of Canada's Orchestra Rehearsal

Last night I had the most amazing experience!
I met David Briskin, the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the National Ballet of Canada. He let me sit in on their rehearsal for the Nutcracker. He invited me after I did a tour of the Walter Carsen Centre. :-)

When we got to the Four Seasons Centre, we sat in the Orchestra seats in the first row. During the break, we met David Briskin and he was very nice. He knows that I want to be a Conductor. He said it's good that I'm learning piano and violin and he also told me that I should listen to a lot of music.

I got to stand at the Conductor's Podium. It was amazing!

After the break, I got to sit in the Orchestra Pit! We were right by the percussion, close to the Celesta and Harp. We were behind the violins! The music was louder in the Orchestra Pit. You could even feel it through your feet.

What was cool was his instructions to the Orchestra. He could pick out when one section wasn't coming in at the same time as everyone else and he could tell if the dynamics of one part needed to change.

He also told the musicians that the tempo might need to change depending on the cast of dancers.

It was really great being there to see the rehearsal!

I'm even more excited about the Nutcracker now.
(I'll be a mouse in this year's Nutcracker. Click here for my performance dates.)

2012/12/16

Beethoven's Birthday!

Today is Beethoven's Birthday!
Here are some of my favourite pieces by Beethoven

Beethoven's Triple Concerto





I did a book report on "The Word's Greatest Composers - Ludwig van Beethoven" in October. You can read about it here.  Beethoven was a really interesting person and he was an amazing composer. I'm glad we still have his music today.

Happy Birthday Beethoven!

2012/12/14

Finished in time!

I had my Basic Rudiments Exam today. I wasn't really nervous but I took some deep breaths at the beginning. I finished early, but I'm not sure how early I finished. I was checking when they said we had 15 minutes left. I had enough time to check and double check and triple check.
I hope I did well.

When I got home, Mom and Dad gave me a Lego set. :-)
Here's a picture

2012/12/11

My Basic Rudiments Exam

My Basic Rudiments Exam is this Friday!

I've been practicing a lot. My regular piano teacher has been away in Russia for two months now. When she found out that she wasn't coming back soon, she put us in contact with another teacher. I started working with her a couple of weeks ago. I've been getting good results on my practice tests and I think I will be able to finish the exam in time now and I'm not as worried about my spelling anymore.

I miss my regular piano teacher a lot but I like my substitute teacher too.

2012/12/10

Landfill Harmonic Movie Preview

My Mom sent me a link to this video of this most amazing orchestra in Cateura, Paraguay!
They use instruments from recycled materials and they sound AMAZING!

Here is a link to the video on youtube.

In the video you can hear clips from Bach's Suite for Violincello No. 1 in G Major, Vivaldi's Spring from the Four Seasons and the beginning of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

I can't wait for the full movie to come out!

Here is a link to their facebook page:
www.facebook.com/landfillharmonicmovie



2012/12/09

Nutcracker Rehearsal


Today we had a rehearsal at the Walter Carsen Centre for the Nutcracker.

The parents got to watch us rehearse. It was so much fun! There were lots of parents there and it was our first time doing our part in front of an audience.

Here's a picture of me climbing out of the box at the end of the bed. In the performance I'm going to be dressed up like a mouse.

Here's one where I posed for the picture.


I'll be performing on:
  • Sunday, December 23rd at 1pm
  • Saturday, December 29th at 5:30pm
  • Friday, January 4th at 1pm

You can buy tickets online on the National Ballet of Canada's website at
http://national.ballet.ca/

2012/12/07

Cee Lo Green and the Muppets!

It's so funny! I just blogged about the Muppet Show today! And I JUST found out about Cee Lo Green's  new Christmas song with the Muppets called "All I Need is Love"


The Muppets

The Muppet Show was a cool show from when my parents were kids. It's not around any more but a lot of the songs are on youtube.

Here are some of the songs I like.

Songs with Rowlf the Dog:
Minuet in G Major



Rowlf the Dog with Victor Borge

2012/12/06

Country & Western

My other grandfather loved Country & Western music. Here are some of his favourite songs. Any time Mom hears these songs she thinks of Grandpa Pops.


He'll Have to Go by Jim Reeves



I Love You Because by Jim Reeves



El Paso by Marty Robbins



Hey Good Lookin' by Hank Williams


Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash


2012/12/05

Dave Brubeck Tribute

Dave Brubeck was one of my grandfather's favourite artists. Here are some of my favourite songs of his, and I am sure that my grandfather liked them too.


Take the A Train



Take Five


Camp Town Races


Blue Rondo A La Turk


Someone To Watch Over Me



2012/11/30

Aesop's Feast

I found this work by Charles Valentin Alkan on youtube.
It's just so amazing! I want to play it when I'm older!

2012/11/25

My Nutcracker Performance Dates


I'm going to be a mouse in the National Ballet of Canada's Nutcracker.
The scene with the mice is in the first act.

We just found out my performance schedule.

I'll be performing on:

  • Sunday, December 23rd at 1pm
  • Saturday, December 29th at 5:30pm
  • Friday, January 4th at 1pm

(The performance schedule is 'subject to change')


Information on how to buy tickets is available online at the National Ballet of Canada's website:
http://national.ballet.ca/

See you at the ballet!

2012/11/22

Andrés Segovia, Father of Classical Guitar

Andrés Segovia is known as the Father of Classical Guitar. He transcribed a lot of music which were for other instruments to guitar and he developed a standard technique for guitar.

We're so lucky to have videos of him playing.

Here is one of him playing Isaac Albéniz's Asturias

There is a video where he talks about how the guitar is like an orchestra.

This is a video of Segovia playing Danza in G by Granados

This last piece is of Segovia playing Bach's Prelude BWV 1007.



Joaquín Rodrigo & the Guitar as a Concert Instrument

Joaquín Rodrigo's was born on November 22, 1901 in Spain.
He went almost completely blind when he was 3 years old. He studied music, including piano and violin. People know him best for his guitar compositions and using it as a concert instrument.

Here are two of his most famous works.
Concierto de Aranjuez, 2nd Movement (Adagio)


Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre


I LOVE it when the guitar is featured with the orchestra! It's so dramatic!

2012/11/21

Francisco Tárrega and the Nokia Ring Tone

Today is Francisco Tárrega's birthday. He was born on November 21, 1852 and he died in 1909.

He had an eye infection when he was young which messed up his eyesight but he studied music and his first 2 music teachers were blind. He ran away a lot but by the time he was a teen he could play both the piano and guitar. He wrote lots of pieces for the guitar and he transcribed piano works by Beethoven and Chopin and others for the guitar.

His most known piece is a clip from "Grand Vals" which is used in the Nokia Ring Tone.
I don't think he could have guessed that his music would be used the way it is now. Telephones were just becoming popular around the time he died and they hadn't even thought of cellphones yet.


Here's another piece by Tárrega that I mentioned in an earlier blog post. It's Recuerdos de la Alhambra played by Drew Henderson.


Here's Tárrega's Lagrima played by Miloš Karadaglić 


2012/11/19

Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz on Classical Guitar

I found the coolest version of Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz from the Nutcracker. It's by a classical guitar quartet called Quatuor Obane.

Here's the link on youtube.

Can you imagine the ballet dancers dancing to classical guitar? I wonder if it would change the way they dance to it.

2012/11/18

In the Nutcracker!

I'm going to be a mouse in the Nutcracker!
We've had 2 rehearsals so far. I love it!

This is my second year dancing at Canada's National Ballet School in their Associates Program. I used to keep it a secret because I was afraid of being bullied. But, now I don't care if everybody knows. Dancing makes me feel happy!

I can't wait to see what the full ballet is like.. :-)

I'll find out which days I'll be performing in a couple weeks.
The show will run from December 19 - January 5.

Here's a link to the National Ballet of Canada's website:
http://national.ballet.ca/

2012/11/16

Yesterday by the Beatles

Today, Mom recorded me singing and playing "Yesterday" by the Beatles. It's the first time that I've sung and played at the same time.

Here it is:

I hope you like it!

TSO's Beethoven Triple Concerto

Last night, Dad and I went to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven Triple Concerto. Peter Oundjian conducted.

The first thing I noticed was that the orchestra was all dressed up. The men were wearing white bow-ties, white vests and tuxedos with tails. The women wore all black. They looked very nice.

The first piece in the concert was Triptyque by Mercure. He was from Montreal, Quebec. What was interesting was that the 1st movement and the 3rd movement were mirror images of each other. I was very lucky to be there because it doesn't seem like there are a lot of recordings of it. I can't find it on youtube and Mom can't find it on "Beethoven on Demand"


The second piece was Beethoven's Triple Concerto. They call it a triple concerto because there are three soloists.

The three soloists were:
- André Laplante, piano
- Jonathan Crow, violin
- Shauna Rolston, cello

They are all Canadian.

André Laplante was really feeling the music. He was moving his hands and head to the music even when he wasn't playing. It was fun to watch.

I was hoping to see Shauna Rolston's blue cello. All of the pictures I've seen of her, she has a blue cello, but she used a regular one for the performance. I wonder if they sound different. Maybe the regular looking one sounds better?

I really liked the First Movement. It was really dramatic!
The Triple Concerto was excellent!


The final piece in the concert was Shostakovich's Symphony # 12 "The Year 1917".  Jonathan Crow was back as First Violinist. It's not Shostakovich's most popular symphony.  People thought it was celebrating Communism because he wrote it to celebrate Lenin. But, people understand it better now. The TSO hadn't played it in twenty years!

I was really interested in what was going on with the percussionists. They were all playing at the end. I could listen to it again and again.

Here is a link to Shostakovich's Symphony #12 on youtube.


National Ballet of Canada - The Music

I found youtube clips about the music of the 3 ballets I most want to watch.
You get to hear David Briskin, the Music Director and Principal Conductor for the National Ballet of Canada's Orchestra speak about the music of these ballets.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


The Nutcracker

Romeo and Juliet



Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is on now, but I don't know if my Mom will be able to get rush tickets.

I know we'll definitely go to the Nutcracker this year! I'm so excited!

The National Ballet of Canada's website is:
http://national.ballet.ca/
You can buy tickets online.

2012/11/14

Rick Mercer & Ballet


I found the clip of Rick Mercer at the National Ballet of Canada on youtube.
It's so funny, you just have to watch it!


Here is an older clip of him at the National Ballet School.
He even tried on pointe shoes!

Christmas Crafts

I've been making Christmas presents for my family and friends.
Mom helped me make some treble clefs with beads. She bent and cut the wire and I chose the beads and put them on. I think they look good.


2012/11/12

"Listen to This" on TVO

Mom found this documentary for me to watch on TVO. It's about kids from the Jane and Finch area in Toronto who are in a program called "Evolving Through the Arts" at their school.

Here is a link to the full documentary:
http://ww3.tvo.org/video/165175/listen
I don't know how long it will be online on TVO.org


Here's a preview on youtube


The kids are very talented and they make up their own songs to sing.
Mom wanted me to watch it so I could understand what other kids my age are going through.  I'm sad that they have to worry about crime a lot. My life is different from theirs because I homeschool, I have private music lessons and I don't have to worry about crime as much. But one thing we have in common is our love of music. I'm glad they got the chance to have such good music teachers.

(I didn't expect to see StokeS in the film. I know him from the Ontario Science Centre. I had no idea he was a musician! Next time I see him at the Science Centre, I'm going to tell him that I saw him in "Listen to This".)


Here are some other links:
http://www.egbofoundation.org/index.php
http://www.hotdocs.ca/resources/documents/educational/DFS_LISTENTOTHIS.pdf

2012/11/09

Studying for my Basic Rudiments Exam

I have been studying for my Basic Rudiments Exam.  I'll take it next month. I have lots of old exam papers to practice on. I've been getting good marks on the ones I've done so far.

I am kind of nervous about my spelling if I have to define the Italian terms. I won't have a spell check to help me with spelling on the exam. I'm going to keep practicing and I hope my spelling will be good.

2012/11/08

President Obama's Inauguration

I wonder what music they'll have for President Obama's inauguration?

At President Obama's inauguration in 2009 they had an arrangement of Aaron Copland's version of "Simple Gifts" by John Williams called "Air and Simple Gifts". Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill and Gabriela Montero played.

I'm excited to see what they will do for this inauguration!

2012/11/02

TSO's La Vida Breve: A Spanish Opera

Last night we went to Manuel de Falla's La Vida Breve: A Spanish Opera. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

The first thing I noticed was that the members of the orchestra were all dressed up. The men were wearing white bow-ties. They looked really nice.

They started off the program with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony Number 8 in F Major, Opus 93.
It was fun!

After the intermission the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir came out and soloists came on.

Here is a list of the soloists:
Nancy Fabiola Herrera, mezzo-soprano
Cristina Faus, mezzo-soprano
Aidan Ferguson, mezzo-soprano
Vicente Ombuena, tenor
Gustavo Peña, tenor
Alfredo García, baritone
Josep Miquel Ramón, bass-baritone
Pedro Sanz, cantaor

We got to read surtitles to help us understand what they were singing because they were singing in Spanish.

Nancy Fabiola Herrera played the part of Salud who was in love with Paco. Salud was REALLY in love with Paco. She was excellent!

My only word to describe Núria Pomares' dancing is "Wow!"
She's so amazing!

I wish that there was more guitar playing in the concert. I wanted to see more playing by Pablo Sáinz-Villegas.

I won't spoil the ending of the opera for you.
It was really good!

Tour of the National Ballet of Canada

We went on a tour of the National Ballet of Canada's Walter Carsen Centre yesterday. We got to see the Shoe Room and learn about the dancers' shoes and even saw their pointe shoes. Then we got to see some very detailed miniature sets. I think this one was from the Nutcracker. 


We also went to the Costume department and saw some of their elaborate costumes. They are hand made and they were gorgeous!

The best part of the tour was getting to see the dancers rehearse Romeo and Juliet. They will perform it in March next year. The men were so strong and the women were so graceful. It must be hard work to dance for so many hours every day. They are so talented and so wonderful to watch!

The piano accompanist was very good too. He understood exactly what the répétiteur wanted of him. They would start and stop at different points to try to get the parts better and he would know exactly where to pick up.

I wonder when they will start rehearsals with the orchestra?

Here is a link to the National Ballet of Canada's website
http://national.ballet.ca/

Here is a link to information about their tours
http://national.ballet.ca/education/programmes/for_teachers/Tours/#Overview-tab

2012/10/31

Christian Lane's "Organ Spooktakular"

I hope you're having a good Halloween!
Today Mom and I went to Christian Lane's "Organ Spooktakular" at Roy Thomson Hall for a lunch hour concert.

Christian Lane opened the concert with Tocatta in D Minor by J.S. Bach. I think everybody knows this piece. He played it really well. I wasn't expecting the extra trills that he played so it surprised me.
Carillion de Westminister, Opus 54, Number 6 by Louis Vierne wasn't really scary but he was very skillful with it. It must take a long time to be able to play with both of your hands and feet the way he does.

I really liked Prelude and Fugue in E minor by Bach. I think some of the kids in the audience were a little bored but I really liked it. I think Bach was really talented with the way he wrote for organ. He makes the player do acrobatics on the keys! Duo et Grand Choeur from Journal d'orgue by Jean-Jacques Beauvarlet-Charpentier was cool too!

Fantasmagorie by Jehan Alain was spooky and kind of creepy. It was perfect for Halloween.

I think my favourite pieces from this concert were the Choral Introduction and Toccata from Suite Gothique, Opus 25 by Leon Boellmann. They're both really dramatic and powerful. I could just picture myself listening to them inside Notre Dame in Paris.

Here's a link to a recording of Boellmann's Suite Gothique, Opus 25: Introduction-Choral, Menuet and Toccata on youtube (not by Christian Lane).

2012/10/30

Happy Halloween!

Hi Everybody!
Happy Halloween!

Here's a recording of Hedwig's Theme written by John Williams.
It has been a long time since I've recorded anything on violin but I really like this piece.
I hope you like it!

The Weather

Last night we had wind and rain from Superstorm Sandy. We're safe.

During the storm Mom, Dad & I started reading Rob Kapilow's "What Makes it Great?" together. We read the first chapter. Dad had to explain what 78s are. It turns out that they were vinyl records that look kind of like CDs but they're bigger and they're black. We have a record player here but it's not for 78s. Mom played the clips  and Dad read and we had lots of fun reading all about Antonio Vivaldi's Spring (Movement 1). Here's a clip of it on youtube.


We also listened to Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland. It's so different from Vivaldi's Spring but you can feel the Spring in both of them.

It was nice listening to these songs especially in the not nice weather.

2012/10/26

TSO & Rob Kapilow's What Makes it Great?

Last night I went to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's performance of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. They were conducted by Rob Kapilow. It was my second time going to one of his "What Makes it Great?" performances. (Last year I got to see them do "Spring" and "Summer" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons with Jennifer Koh.)

Rob Kapilow breaks the music down so that even my Mom can understand the music!

For Mozart's Jupiter Symphony he showed us how simple isn't always simple and how doing things slightly different can make a big difference.

We bought his book "What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers"
He talks about masterpieces by composers like Bach, Handel, Schumann and Tchaikovsky. There is a website that has clips of what he's talking about in the book. We already downloaded the clips and I can't wait to read it and learn more about some of my favourite pieces of music.



The best part of the night was getting to meet him. He doesn't know it, but he's one of my musical heroes!

If you can't make it to one of Rob Kapilow's concerts you can hear him talk about "Summertime" by George Gershwin on NPR
http://www.npr.org/2008/10/23/95761927/a-languid-look-back-to-gershwins-summertime
There are links to other pieces as well, but Summertime is one of my favourites.

Here's a link to his website:
http://www.robkapilow.com/index.shtml

2012/10/25

Classical Guitar - Drew Henderson

Here is a great piece by J.S. Bach played on guitar by Drew Henderson. It was written for the cello and Drew did the arrangement for guitar.
http://youtu.be/oFSG7ViivHs
Pretty cool!


Here's another piece.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega played by Drew.
http://youtu.be/Db2MVldD-N4

2012/10/24

John Cage's 4'33

John Cage really did write a silent piece. I found out about it from the Horrible Histories Big Prom Party.
It's so funny! The orchestra doesn't play. They sit there quietly.
The conductor gives the downbeat and he uses a clock to time it.
You can hear all the coughs and you can see all the people looking at the orchestra.

Here's a recording of it:
http://youtu.be/zY7UK-6aaNA

I did find out that tacet means "It is silent".

I wonder how many bars each movement is?
What key signature is it written in?
Does the orchestra have to rehearse it?

Here's what John Cage says about 'silence'
http://youtu.be/pcHnL7aS64Y

2012/10/19

The MILOŠ concert

I went to the MILOŠ  concert at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music last night.
I am so happy I got to go!

Miloš Karadaglić is a classical guitarist and he's a great performer and entertainer. He seemed comfortable talking in front of everybody. He played songs that were slightly different from what was in the program but I was happy because he played one of my favourite songs in the world!

This is the song I'm talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWZUbp8jSyI&feature=relmfu
It's Albeniz's Asturias (Leyenda) - No.5 from Suite espanola op. 47
He said that if it weren't for this song he would have been a lawyer. 
The first time I heard it on the radio, I bugged my Mom to buy the CD on itunes. 

He played Batucata by Isias Savio. I really liked it. 


He also played Carlo Domeniconi's Koyunbaba. He tuned the guitar to C# minor instead of E.  I liked that he talked about it. We pictured ourselves on a cliff above the sea when we were listening to it. 

After the concert, Miloš signed CDs and we got the chance to meet him! He thinks I look like Jaden Smith. 


Here is a picture of the ceiling in Koerner Hall. It's different from any other ceiling I've seen. I wonder if it helps the sound?

2012/10/15

Violincello da Spalla

This instrument is new to me but it is pretty old.
It's like a little cello that's held up. 
It must be heavy.

Here is a concerto written for the Violincello da Spalla by Antonio Vivaldi.

2012/10/13

Get Well Uncle J.

This post is for my Uncle J.

Uncle J,
I hope you feel better soon!
I played these two songs for you. I hope you like them.


Minuet in D Minor by J.S. Bach

Play it Again by Christopher Norton

2012/10/12

Horrible Histories Big Prom Party 2011

I love "Horrible Histories". It comes on on BBC Kids here. I got to see the Proms special on youtube.
http://youtu.be/mWn9jJ9ptvY


It was great!
Nick Collon conducted the Aurora Orchestra and the cast of Horrible Histories performed with them.

They talked about Beethoven and Mozart and they argued over who was the greatest composer of all time. They also talked about Lully's 'stupid death' and gave a brief history of the orchestra! They even played some historical instruments like the lyre, serpent, rackett, crumhorn and the sackbutt.

I knew most of the songs but I looked up some. 
They played: 
  • Overture from "The Marriage of Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss
  • Danse Macabre Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saens
  • Romeo avenging Mercutio's death from Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev
  • March to the Scaffold by Hector Berlioz
  • Royal Fireworks Music by George Frideric Handel
  • Marche pour la ceremonie des Turcs by Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn
  • Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner

They also had some really cool songs by the cast of Horrible Histories like:
  • The 4 Georges
  • Richard III
  • Charles II
  • George IV 
  • Cleopatra
My favourite HH song is Henry VIII's song about his wives. "Divorced, beheaded and died. Divorced, beheaded, survived". I still can't believe three of his wives were named Catherine. 

(One interesting thing is that Jean-Baptiste Lully was Louis XIV's composer. Louis XIV built the Chateau de Versailles. I visited Versailles when I was in France in May.) 

2012/10/08

Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers - Beethoven

Mom asked me to do a book report for English class but I really don't want to do it.
I am going to do it here (online) instead because I can give links to some music.

Title: Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers - Ludwig van Beethoven
Author: Mike Venezia


The book is a biography of Ludwig van Beethoven who was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. 

Beethoven was a composer and his music was different from the cheerful, classical music that people listened to at the time. He grew up in Europe when things were changing. Everybody now thought that they were equally important even if they weren't born rich. It was the time of the French Revolution.

He wrote the Revolutionary Symphony in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Here is a link to the first movement on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBABTZuL44


Beethoven was 4 years old when he started learning music but he had to stand on a stool to reach the keys. His Dad would work him very hard. He would hit his knuckles when he made a mistake.


I think the most  interesting fact about Beethoven is that he was deaf and still composed when he was older. He was deaf when he composed the Ninth Symphony.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3217H8JppI


Beethoven was crabby and unfriendly. But I think it's because he couldn't hear people very well. He needed an 'ear trumpet' to hear sounds.



I would recommend this book to any young person interested in Beethoven's life. I liked the comics inside which made the book more interesting. I would also recommend listening to the songs that they mention in the book. You can find a lot of them on youtube.