Series 10 – Six Seminal Compositions

Throughout musical history there have been compositions written that changed the face of music making. These seminal pieces allowed subsequent composers to break new ground and explore different ways of communicating with their audience. This series delves into 6 of these pieces and looks at the impact they made on both composers and audiences.

Dedicated to Richard Gill

1. Machaut – Messe de nostra dame (Mass of Our Lady) c1365.haut

This Mass composed by French poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut is considered a masterpiece of both medieval music and of all religious music. It is thought to be the earliest complete setting of the Ordinary of the Mass written by a single composer.

2. Monteverdi – L’Orfeo 1607

Although actually the third opera ever written L’Orfeo is usually considered the first ‘real’ opera. With the librettist Stringgio, Monteverdi’s musical drama is as awe inspiring today as it was 400 years ago.

3. Mozart - Sinfonia Concertante in Eb for Violin and Viola 1779

Though we know nothing about the origins of this work and Mozart never mentions it, we do know it is the greatest music he wrote while in Salzburg. It is considered the most successful combination of both the symphony and the concerto.

4. Beethoven- Symphony No 3.1803/4

The Eroica, as it its known, marks the beginning of Beethoven’s creative middle period. This historically significant landmark piece is the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras.

5. Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun 1894

This symphonic poem is regarded as a turning point in the history of music with the score being seen as the beginning of modern music. Although often referred to as an impressionistic work, Debussy was actually inspired by another movement; the symbolists.

6. Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring 1913

This Ballet written for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in Paris with original choreography by Nijinsky caused a rear riot when first performed. It boldly rejected the harmonies and rhythms of traditional compositions and led the way for many other movements throughout the 20 th century.

  • Classes must be taken as a series of 6.
  • Each class runs for 1 and a half hours starting with coffee and cake. Please see website or call Andy for course times and dates.
  • All classes are held once a month and last for 1 and a half hours.
  • Minimum of 5 per class.
  • Locations are the Eastern suburbs or North Shore. They are easily accessable by public transport.
  • Address will be supplied upon enrollment.
  • Classes may be conducted elsewhere and can be customised to fit your specific group.