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The CoffeeHouse Classical

Caution: Contents may be historical, but they’re still hot! We’re serving the classics!
Archive for the 'Contemporary' Category


Episode 28: Carl Orff and “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana

Sunday, August 13th, 2017 Gregorian Chant, Vocal, Contemporary, German | Comments

*This episode is being updated and is temporarily unavailable!*

You may have been hearing this week's piece from various sources for years, but have you ever heard of its composer, Carl Orff? We're back in Germany yet again to look at the life and times of this dramatic composer and his dramatic works!

Episode 21: Copland and the Red Pony Suite

Sunday, May 7th, 2017 classical, Contemporary, American | Comments

*This episode is being updated and is temporarily unavailable!*

You may know American composer Aaron Copland for his ballets or symphonies, but did you know he was also composed numerous film scores? The Red Pony Suite is taken from the soundtrack to a great Western film of the same name, and if full of Copland-isms!

Holiday Special: An Easter Playlist

Sunday, April 16th, 2017 Romantic, symphony, Overture, holiday, Russian, Renaissance, Vocal, Band, Contemporary | Comments

Hello CoffeeHousers! It’s an off week for a new episode, but we thought you might like some inspiration for an Easter holiday playlist for brunch, lunch, dinner, or any time in between! We have for you a selection of pieces written specifically for Easter festivities, and others just for those spring time feelings. Enjoy!

  1. Russian Easter Overture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXR0tloMmoo

This is a CoffeeHouse favorite, written by Rimsky-Korsakov. It is in the style of cantors in the Russian Orthodox Church, but this orchestration is so triumphant sounding!

  1. Symphony 2: "Resurrection" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpug1NIi2s0

This is the second symphony of Gustav Mahler, so you just can’t go wrong. The resurrection described by the subtitle refers to the musical protagonist Mahler takes with him through all of his symphonies, but it is still fitting for the holiday’s significance.

  1. St. Matthew Passion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P21qlB0K-Bs

Bach really nailed it with this oratorio. It’s been described as the finest choral work ever written!

  1. The Water Passion After St. Matthew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzR8mjxX7i8

For those listeners who like the St. Matthew Passion and modern music, the Water Passion in for you! This ingenious work by Tan Dun has the original Passion text mixed with innovative orchestration and percussionists playing with water!

  1. Cavalleria Rusticana:Overture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idquyGAKyL0 and Easter Hymn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKTWkMC8KQo

These are some excerpts from a one act opera by Mascagni that happens to take place on Easter Sunday.

  1. The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cPchmU-pB4

Another oratorio, this one by the masterful Joseph Haydn. 

  1. The Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HPtSftZ3b0

Based on colored eggs found this time of year, we suggest another Russian work, this one by Mussorgsky. This is a sweet little movement from his larger work Pictures At An Exhibition, with the rest of the movements having no relation to Easter.

  1. Irish Suite: The Rakes of Mallow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYpS3ak9erk

Leroy Anderson composed this work based on a folk song. It might remind you of marshmallow peeps found in an Easter basket.

  1. Dancing at Stonehenge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uFEbMRTC0

This is a work for wind band by Anthony Suter. It is a nod to the argument that many modern Easter symbols such as bunnies and eggs are said to have originated from pagan traditions.

  1. White as Lilies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQk_KIikKBM

A lovely English song by John Dowland, representative of the holiday as white lilies typically are the flower of choice to represent the occasion.

Episode 19: The Music of David Maslanka

Sunday, April 9th, 2017 clarinet, Band, Contemporary | Comments

*This episode is being updated and is temporarily unavailable!*

Welcome to the wonderful world of wind band music from contemporary composer David Maslanka! We'll be doing a comparative analysis of some of his epic band works. Check out his website for more music! www.davidmaslanka.com