Posts filed under ‘Classical Music’

The Moldau

This is my guitar instrumental arrangement of The Moldau, a symphonic poem by Bohemian composer Bedřich Smetana that evokes the flow of the Vltava River—or, in German, the Moldau—from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest, through the Czech countryside, to the city of Prague. A devoutly patriotic work, The Moldau captures in music Smetana’s love of his homeland. Completed in 1874 and first performed the following year, the piece is the second movement of a six-movement suite, Má vlast (My Country), which premiered in its entirety in Prague on November 5, 1882.

I was inspired to create this after hearing a 1964 guitar-rock recording of this by P.J. and the Galaxies, a surf rock band from the Los Angeles area.

February 22, 2020 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Estrellita

“Estrellita” (Little Star) was composed in 1912 by Mexican composer Manual Ponce. It is by far his best known work, and has been performed and recorded by orchestras, instrumentalists and singers ever since it was written.

Despite its appeal, I could find no versions by any instrumental guitar groups like the Ventures or the Shadows.

I decided to rectify the situation.

January 28, 2019 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

Surf Fugue

“Surf Fugue” is an original composition that combines a surf rock feel with a traditional fugue with its form and construction based on J.S. Bach.

It opens with a solo presentation of the fugue subject in the tonic key of A minor. This is followed by the subject in the dominant key of E minor, accompanied by a counter-subject. The exposition concludes with a return to the tonic, again with the counter subject. The subject is then stated in the relative major, C, without the counter-subject and harmonized in 6ths.

A brief development section follows: a sequence built from the first half of the fugue subject.

The piece concludes with a recap of the first three statements in A minor, E minor and A minor.

August 6, 2018 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Normalization

“Normalization” is an original composition in a “Classic Rock” style. This particular track is a homage to the “art-rock” style — pioneered by bands like Deep Purple, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes — that incorporated elements of classical music.

October 29, 2017 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

Kay Vee Five-Fifty

“Kay Vee Five-Fifty” is a surf-rock, Ventures-style arrangement of Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G minor, K.V. 550.

August 6, 2017 at 8:05 am Leave a comment

Nut Rocker

Nut Rocker” was an instrumental rock single recorded by  B. Bumble and the Stingers that reached number 23 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in March 1962.  It is based on of Tchaikovsky’s “March of the Toy Soldiers”, from his ballet The Nutcracker.

The first version released was by pianist H. B. Barnum, released by “Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks” on the small Del Rio label.

It was also performed live and recorded by prog-rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer, whose single was also released in 1972. In 2009, Trans-Siberian Orchestra released a version of “Nut Rocker”, featuring Greg Lake, on their album Night Castle.

Both the Ventures and the Shadows also recorded versions.

My arrangement is based on the original 1962 versions.

 

July 15, 2017 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Knight Rupert

“Knight Rupert” is from Robert Schumann’s “Album for the Young”. “Knight Rupert” is a form of “Knecht Ruprecht” — who is a companion of Saint Nicholas as described in the folklore of Germany.

He acts as a foil to the benevolent Christmas gift-bringer, threatening to thrash or abduct disobedient children. Ruprecht wears a black or brown robe with a pointed hood. He carries a long staff and a bag of ashes.

I thought Schumann’s spooky composition would lend itself to a 60’s guitar-rock instrumental setting.

June 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

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