Be thrilled with 10 violin virtuoso pieces to set the world alight, from Bach, Paganini, Bartok, Sarasate, Syzmanowski, Ravel, Hindemith, Ysaÿe, and Bazzini.
Does everyone like a bad boy? Well maybe, if he's a loveable rogue and there's plenty of those about. But there are those who go beyond the accepted limits. Read about Debussy, Wagner, Stockhausen, Boulez Walton, Gesualdo, and Peter Warlock.
Paganini's 24th Caprice in A minor and its 9 variations is one of the virtuosic cornerstones of the violin repertoire. Read about those who have made it their own: Rachmaninov, Brahms, Lutoslawski, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Eugène Ysayë and Nathan Milstein.
Composer's cats in different guises from devotion to catty tales. Read about Debussy, Ravel, Rossini, Chopin, Brahms, Borodin, Scarlatti, John Taverner, Peter Warlock, and Paderewski.
Every cloud has a silver lining, so the saying goes. Ours is that composers have been inspired by clouds with varying viewpoints. Read about their varying viewpoints: Debussy, Liszt, Richard Strauss, Janácek, Roussel, Edward MacDowell, and John Luther Adams.
How do you view winter? Crisp, beautiful landscapes or dark depressing days? Read how composers have been inspired by winter: Debussy, Bach, Schubert, Haydn, Glazunov, Vivaldi, Britten, Milhaud, Lully and John Luther Adams.
Passive, aggressive and everything in between, there is rarely a time when wind cannot be detected in the air. Read how composers have been influenced by wind: Chopin, Sibelius, Debussy, Szymanowski, Britten, Takemitsu, Vaughan Williams, John Luther Adams, and Michael Burritt.
The last ice age finished around 11,700 years ago and when you think of ice, what comes to mind? Read about composers who have been inspired by ice: Prokoviev, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Waldteufel, Purcell, Peter Maxwell Davies, Terje Isungset and George Fenton.
Rain is a life giver. No wonder there are so many rain gods devoted to it. Read how composers have be inspired by rain: Chopin, Debussy, Brahms, Britten, Takemitsu, Schubert, Gerard Finzi, and Hamish MacCann.
Islands can have a magical quality about them. Unsurprisingly legends have sprung up surrounding them. Read how composers have been inspired to write classical music inspired by islands: Rachmaninov, Debussy, Berlioz, Szymanowski, Philip Glass, John Ireland, and Alan Hovhaness.
From crystal clear mountain tarns to the Caspian Sea, lakes have drawn mankind to both appreciate and fear their charms. Read how these composers have been inspired to write about them: Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Lyadov, Eric Coates, Ola Gjeilo, Alan Hovhaness, Thea Musgrave and Robert Farnon.
Dogs are commonly called man's best friend. Maybe not so much wolves and foxes, but read about how composers have been inspired by these wonderful creatures - Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Janáĉek, Prokoviev, Charles Lecoq, Franz Reizenstein and George Crumb.
Many of us love Autumn's warm colours. They glow beautifully before they fall and nurture the earth. These composers have been inspired by Autumn: Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Vivaldi, Rautavaara, Massenet, Britten, Milhaud, Piazzolla, Oliver Knussen, Thea Musgrave, Edward MacDowell and John Cage.
To some gardeners, roses are indispensable. Combining exquisite flowers with gorgeous scent they can be hard to resist. And when looking for a name for a new rose, why not turn to the great composers for inspiration. Read about 8 composers and the roses that they have been named after.
Spiders are fascinating creatures and spin fantastic yarns. Read about amazing spider feats and how their silk is contributing to modern science.
Composers have found inspiration in ghostly matters and the psychological elements they inevitably throw up. Read how Stravinsky, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Schumann, Dvorak, Wagner, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Gilbert & Sullivan and Adolphe Adam have set ghostly themes to music.
Now a subject very much in vogue due to the Harry Potter books, sorcerers or wizards have been a source of inspiration for many composers. Read interpretations from Dukas, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Stravinsky, Purcell, Gilbert and Sullivan, Adolph Adam and Rimsky-Korsakov, and Andrew Thomas.
Witches have been a source of fascination for centuries. Read about how composers have been inspired by witches: Berlioz, Gounod, Mussorgsky,Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Purcell, Verdi, Engelbert Humperdinck, Arrigo Boito, and Edward MacDowell.
It's hardly surprising that composers have written about the devil—according to that well-known phrase he's supposed to get the best tunes. Read about composers who found devilish inspiration: Tartini, Gounod, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Liszt, Stravinsky, Verdi, Boito and John Field.
In this third part, comparing Ravel's orchestration of "Pictures At An Exhibition" with Mussorgsky's primeval dark, stark piano solo, we examine how Mussorgsky has been eclipsed by conventional instrumentation which isn't necessarily faithful to the original.
Continuing to answer the questions of why the orchestration of "Pictures At An Exhibition," one of Ravel's most popular works, has overshadowed Mussorgsky's monumentally original suite for solo piano and why Ravel does not necessarily do it justice.
The orchestration of Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" has become one of Ravel's most popular works, yet most people are unaware of the original solo piano version's stark, brooding character, which was unadorned by the trappings of the brilliance of Ravel's indulgent instrumentation.
The Earth, home to a myriad of flora and fauna and humans who have inhabited every continent of the planet. Read how composers have been inspired by our fascinating globe: Haydn, Mahler, Milhaud, Schönberg, John Luther Adams, Andrew Christie and Austin Fray, George Fenton and Harrison Birtwistle.
Man has observed the solar system since the dawn of time. Read how composers have been inspired by the planets: Holst, Gorecki, Penderecki, Philip Glass, Mozart, Haydn, Allen Vizzutti, Alan Hovhaness, Lord Berners, and Lars Graugaard.
Man has found solace in trees, woods and forests since time immemorial. Trees are essential to life on Earth. Read about how composers have been inspired by trees: Schubert, Schumann, Verdi, Liszt, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, Johann Strauss II, Respighi, Roussel and Edward McDowell.
Some of us are sun worshippers, others like to retreat to the shade. Whichever camp you're in why not read how classical composers have been influenced by the sun in their compositions: Neilson, Haydn, Richard Strauss, Terry Riley, Janacek, Andrei Krylov, Ola Gjeilo, and Ferde Grofé.
Mirrors have played a significant part as part of man's spiritual, mystical and ceremonial heritage since the dawn of ages. Read how composers have expressed their view of reflections: Ravel, Avo Pärt, Poulenc, Henri Dutilleux, Strauss, Barber, Hendrik Andrriessen, and an unverified piece by Mozart.
Whether you prefer big blooms, heavy scents, or tiny, almost insignificant florets, there is a flower for you. Read about Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss II, Schumann, Bizet, Delibes, Puccini, Jean Françaix, and other composers who have been inspired to write about flowers.
Whether you're enjoying the summer sun, or in the depths of an icy winter wishing for longer days, why not read about the ways composers have been inspired to write about the sun - Gershwin, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Delius, Vivaldi, Frank Bridge, Webern, Eric Coates Samuel Barber and Glazunov?
For thousands of years man has been fascinated by the moon, finally landing on it in 1969. Read about inspiration taken from the moon by composers: Haydn, Beethoven, Debussy, Schonberg, Britten, Dvorak, Janacek and Vítězslav Novak.
There is an association of romanticism attached to rivers, tapped into by composers who have drawn their inspiration from them, great and small. Read about Mussorgsky, Johann Strauss II, Delius, Shostakovich, Smetena, Constant Lambert and Verdi who used rivers as their musical springboard.
Man has been able to create fire for at least a million years. Read about how composers of classical music have written music inspired by fire, including Debussy, Beethoven, Manuel de Falla, Shostakovich, Haydn, Prokoviev, Handel and Stravinsky.
Everyone has to eat and drink. It's one of life's pleasures, whether a traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings or a vegan Indian spread of many dishes. Classical music with food at its heart by Debussy, Prokofiev, Satie, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Verdi, and Schubert.
Insects are massively important to the Earth's ecology. Read about insects inspiring classical composers: Rimsky-Korsakov, Vaughan Williams, Mussorgsky, Chopin, Shostakovich, Josquin des Prez and Bartok.
I don't know anyone who doesn't dream in their sleep or have dreams they want to achieve. Read about composers who have taken inspiration from dreams: Debussy, Liszt, Berlioz, Takemitsu, Ravel and Giles Farnaby.
All of us have encountered storms of one sort or another in our lives. Unsurprisingly, composers have written music to conjure them up. Read how Haydn, Johann Strauss II, Khachaturian, Beethoven, Berlioz and Britten have found inspiration from storms in their music.
Read about composers using snow as their inspiration: Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Liszt, and the little known Sviridov. They all used snow in different guises to show off their art.
Read about classical music composers depicting morningtime, Ravel, Debussy, Haydn, Elgar, Roussel, Grieg and Delius all taking inspiration in different ways, from Greek classical literature and a painted ceiling to time spent on an orange plantation.
Read through the night with John Field, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Manuel de Falla, Britten, Rossini and Mozart and Schönberg. On the way visit gardens, sirens and lovers working out a painful relationship, tolling bells and evening sunsets and a bit of light entertainment fit for a soirée.
Read about composers' visions of travel. Ravel, Mahler, Honegger, Offenbach, Vaughan Willliams , Jan Sandström and John Adams all composed pieces based on a form of transport, boats, bikes, locomotives and aeroplanes, and of course, feet.
Read about what tragedies befell some of our most treasured composers - Purcell, Dvorak, Alban Berg, Weber, Bizet, Arriaga and Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn.
Have you heard of the ondes Martenot, the lira organizzata, theramin, barytone, arpeggione, musical saw, musical clock or glass harmonica? Unusual instruments great composers have written for.
Read about great female pianists, Kathryn Stott, Mitsuko Uchida, Angela Hewitt, Maria Joao Pires, Marta Argerich, Alicia de Larrocha and some wonderful pianists from a bygone age like Lili Kraus.
Here are some heart shaped facts, from a newly discovered heart problem to humming birds, playing cards to swimming pools and the night sky's heart nebula.
The Himalayas are rare, wonderful and dangerous. Meet the highest freshwater lake, highest living snake & spider, red panda, bar-headed goose, alpine meadows and the vascular cushion plant.
Birds and man have a long history of weaving intricate objects, materials, and patterns. Read about these fascinating facts woven into this article.
We think of birds as our feathered friends. Here are some unusual and fascinating facts you probably don't know about these intelligent creatures from singing feathers to barn owls that aren't deaf, fragments of the dodo and the world's highest flyer.
Ancient folk needed explanations for supposed supernatural events. How better than to view extraordinary people with suspicion and/or wonder?
How much do you know about giants and what's the reality behind those fairy tales, legends and myths? What are the causes of giantism and why did David beat Goliath so easily? Read the article to find out.
Read about 10 of the best female cellists spanning the last 100 years, including the legendary Jacqueline du Pre, eccentric Angela East, and the astounding young musician, Laura van der Heijden.
Classical Musical Mishaps, sometimes hilarious, sometimes fatal, wry, others where the problem or accident has been fixed. Misfortunes and slip-ups from which musicians have learnt some lessons.
Facts about Stradivarius not generally known. Making decorated violins. Made violas, cellos, mandolins, guitars and harps. Thefts and mishaps—all contribute to Stradivari's fascinating life.
Composers inspired by the sea. Britten, Wagner, Debussy, Elgar, Delius, Ravel, Alkan and Mendelssohn all wrote with the sea in mind amid storms, calm seas, the waves and from the sea shore.
Many composers love the outdoors and the sound of birds. Article on birdsong in classical music. Cuckoo, hen, lark, bobolink, red cardinal, quail, nightingale, oriole and exotic species all here.
There are as many female violinists performing today as men, but lists of them tend to favour male violinists. here is a list of 15 of some of the best female virtuoso violinists.
If you were to take 8 discs onto a desert island when shipwrecked, which would you choose? Which disc would you most want to save from the waves?
Beethoven's fifth symphony is one of the most famous in the world, but its opening 5 bars are notoriously difficult for conductors to beat. What techniques do conductors use to overcome this start?
Madame Butterfly is one of the most popular operas of all time. But the ending has a twist—the final chord is unusual. So why did Puccini choose to end his own favourite opera this way?
A psychological interpretation of The Godfather Waltz. The trumpet is The Godfather. Analysing why The Godfather Waltz is the most dangerous of dances.
Beethovn's Fifth is the arguably most famous symphony of all time. But do you really know how it starts? And how much of the symphony do you know?
The bow is as important as a violin, viola or cello, but how often does it get a special mention?
Read about our Siamese cat with psychotic tendencies and the antics he performed.
Red and green should never be seen? Why these two colours should be be put together.
Teaching a child the recorder? Use a Red Priest video to inspire them to improve beyond squeaks.
Do you care about how you hang out your washing? Do you have different sorts of pegs for different types of clothes? Read about hanging out washing with more than a hint of obsession. This is a peek in the peg bag with fresh eyes.
Launching into HubPages with my maiden hub, writing in between house renovation projects and musical interests.