Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.



With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, it’s only fitting that we explore some of classical's romantic favorites.

Click “Read more” to find out what they are!




Starting off these romantic selections is the Flower Duet written by Clement Philibert Leo Delibes. This piece is considered among one of the more romantic classical duets for a few reasons. One being that the duet is often used in romantic scenes during movies, TV, and other forms of media. The other is that the opera it is taken from is the typical “boy meets girl” story, and this piece signifies the lead's innocence right before she meets her lover.



Second of our selections is Le Cygne (The Swan) composed by Camille Saint-Saens. This movement is part of a larger work called The Carnival of the Animals. Within this musical suite, there are pieces of various styles which all come together to form the carnival. The Swan is the most romantic of all the movements and, like the Flower Duet, is frequently used in romantic scenes in movies and television.



Third we have Elgar’s Salut D’Amour.  This piece is among our list due to its overwhelming use for weddings and its quaint background. Edward Elgar wrote this piece in 1888 as an engagement present for his fiancé, Caroline Roberts. The two were married the following year. Since then, it has been arranged for nearly every instrument – a true mark of a well-known and loved piece.



Next we have Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Although at first it seems that this bit of music seems a little ill fitting, this piece is exactly what romance is all about. This work was published in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to Giulietta Guicciardi. Some of you may know that Beethoven never married, but did fall in love with a woman only known as the “Immortal Beloved.” It is believed that Giulietta Guicciardi is that woman. Knowing that information, it is clear that this piece deserves a spot in this group of romantic classics.


Finally, we have Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. This legendary overture has been performed and used countless times as a romantic staple. At first it may not seem familiar, but if you fast forward the above YouTube video to 2:50, you’ll hear the theme that is most frequently used. Not only is the theme instantly recognizable, but we all know of the love story that occurred “in our fair Verona” and why this selection should be acknowledged as a romantic masterpiece.

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