Ted's Piano World *

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NOLA Felix Arndt

A gifted pianist as well as a prolific composer, Arndt wrote this piano solo in 1915, for one of some 3,000 piano rolls for which he had performed.  He died just three years later of Spanish Flu, at age 29.  (Time: 3:19)

SUMMER DREAMS Amy Beach

Beach was singing two-part harmony at age 2, composing by age 4, and made her virtuoso piano debut with the Boston Symphony in 1885 at age 18.  In July, 2000, her name was added to the prestigious wall of the Hatch Shell — home of the Boston Pops, making her the only woman so honored among 87 of the world's great composers.  This work is an unsophisticated, lighthearted piano duet.  (Time: 12:26)

EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This highly popular work — composed in 1787 for two violins, viola, and cello — has been performed using a variety of instruments.  I am confident that you will not have heard an arrangement featuring this combination — two pianos.  (Time: 25:50)

ARAGONAISE Jules Massenet

Le Cid was first heard at the Paris Opera in 1885, but since then this work rarely has been performed.  It is based upon a brief portion of the life of 11th-century Spanish knight Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar who, incidentally, also was portrayed in the movie, El Cid.  This music, transcribed for piano by the composer, is the ballet's best-known melody.  (Time: 1:47)

RITUAL FIRE DANCE Manuel de Falla

El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician), composed in 1915 and revised in 1925, is Falla's finest distillation of Andalusian gypsy music.  This section, a magic spell, dramatizes the story of the young gypsy Candela, who is haunted by the jealous spectre of her dead lover.  The work was transcribed for two pianos by Mario Braggiotti.  (Time: 4:18)

CARMINA BURANA:  IN TRUTINA MENTIS DUBIA Carl Orff

The original Carmina Burana is a collection of over 1,000 Latin poems and songs from the early 13th century, covering the topics of love, drinking, gambling, gluttony, and lust.  Although some of the songs already had been set to music, Orff composed entirely from scratch for his representative sampling.  Published in 1936, it is the most famous work composed in Nazi Germany.

This song is a female solo set to these words:

In the wavering balance of my feelings
set against each other
lascivious love and modesty.
But I choose what I see,
and submit my neck to the yoke;
I yield to the sweet yoke.

The work is transcribed for a flute-harp combination.  (Time: 1:45)

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