Three Musical Masterpieces Every Music Lover Should Listen To

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Duration 00:51:14

Fairfield University

Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, taught Performing Arts for many years at Fairfield University, and has served as the University’s Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor’s Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.




Musical Masterpieces

Ezra Pound famously wrote, “Literature is news that stays news.” We might say the same for the great masterpieces of music. There are works from the great composers who speak to us with the freshness and excitement of anything seemingly more contemporary and relevant. As long as we bring an open mind, or open ears, we can discover beauty, meaning, and emotional depth undimmed by the passage of time.

The Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music

In this class, Professor Grossman will present three remarkable musical works from the same period, by musicians young and old, at the peak of their composing careers. All three share energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in or extending a new musical era. And yet these compositions could not be more different than if they had been written hundreds of years apart. Individually, they each speak to us about the power of musical expression; together they illustrate how many ways music can excite the imagination. The three compositions are: 1) Ludwig van Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 2) Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for Piano, and 3) Professor Grossman’s acclaimed finale (which he has performed all around the world!) George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.

Learn More About Classical Masterpieces

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Edina Petroczki

Informative and funny

Prof. Grossman has a light, relatable, humorous speaking style which makes the lecture easily consumable and entertaining. He also plays the piano a little to demonstrate things (besides commenting recordings), which is very helpful.
He gives a little intro to the 3 music pieces discussed. Mainly so the audience can better understand the significance of these works in the context of the historical time and social structure (romantic era and the rise of the middle class).
Then, the 3 music pieces are explained, including a short character info about their composers (to understand the differences and similarities between these works). Felix Mendelssohn’s Midnight Summer Dream is the first, then Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 comes next (with Grossman playing parts of it on an upright), and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique closes the lecture.
Very good presentation, not just about the songs, but – indirectly – about how one should try to listen to classical music.

6 months ago
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