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Classics For Kids
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Classics For Kids

Author: Cincinnati Public Radio

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Introduce children to classical music in a fun and entertaining way.
176 Episodes
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Depicting a thunderstorm in music was one of Rossini's specialties. Here are some more examples of musical thunderstorms.
Usually, an overture is a piece of music played at the beginning of a play, opera or ballet in order to set the mood. But there are also other kinds of overtures.
The William Tell Overture was written to open an opera by Gioachino Rossini. The opera is based on a legend about the Swiss hero William Tell. According to the legend, William Tell was an expert with a bow and arrow who shot an apple off his son's head. You can hear the political turmoil in William Tell's Switzerland in Rossini's music.
Italian composer Gioachino Rossini was born in 1792 and died in 1868, so you might think that he celebrated 76 birthdays. But Rossini was born in a leap year, on February 29th, so he only had 18 official birthdays! Rossini was the most successful opera composer of his day.
Lt. Kije is the story of an imaginary soldier, created when the Russian Tsar misread a smudged name on a list of his men.
In music, a suite is a specific collection of pieces. Here are some examples of various kinds of musical suites.
Prokofiev was not the only classical composer to paint a musical portrait of a sleigh ride on a snowy day. Listen as we take you through several other examples of this frosty form of transportation.
Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev lived and traveled around the world, but found that he was most at home in Russia. This look at his life takes you on his travels and highlights some of his music, including Peter and the Wolf, which he wrote for the Central Children's Theatre in Moscow.
In celebration of the Christmas season, some classical compositions that have Christmas carols in them.
Ralph Vaughan Williams arrived on the scene just as a definite English classical music sound was being established. His three main teachers at the Royal Academy of Music were Arthur Sullivan, Hubert Parry, and Charles Stanford. Edward Elgar and Gustav Holst also had an influence on Vaughan Williams.
Originally, a musical fantasy was a piece that instrumentalists made up as they went along. Eventually, fantasies evolved into pieces that composers built out of various melodies they liked -- like the Scottish folk tunes that Max Bruch put into his Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was one of the most important 20th century English composers. He spent years traveling the country collecting English folk songs, writing them down, and publishing them. Many of those melodies wound up in his music.
Benjamin Britten was asked to compose music for a film that explained the instruments of the orchestra to children. Britten borrowed a tune by one of his favorite composers, Henry Purcell, to create his Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. This show uses Britten's Guide to introduce the instruments of the brass and percussion families.
Benjamin Britten was asked to compose music for a film that explained the instruments of the orchestra to children. Britten borrowed a tune by one of his favorite composers, Henry Purcell, to create his Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. This show uses Britten's Guide to introduce the instruments of the woodwind and string families.
Pizzicato is the Italian word for ''plucked'' -- it tells string players how to play their instruments at a given spot in the music. A lot of musical "traffic signals" are in Italian. This show has explanations and examples of some more of them.
Benjamin Britten composed his Simple Symphony when he was twenty, but he based it on music that he'd written much earlier -- some of it when he was only 10! The ''Simple Symphony'' has four movements, each of which has a very catchy name: Boisterous Bouree, Playful Pizzicato, Sentimental Sarabande, and Frolicsome Finale.
After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in London, Benjamin Britten got a job writing film music. Then he went on to compose choral music, chamber music, songs, and quite a few operas, including some for major events in British history. In addition to being a composer, Britten was an excellent pianist and conductor.
Appropriately spooky classical music for Halloween.
To go with this month's music from Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird, some more music by composers who were playing with fire.
Igor Stravinsky based his ballet The Firebird on a Russian folk tale about an evil demon named Kashchei, who has thirteen princesses under his spell. A prince who wanders into Kashchei's garden to hunt the Firebird winds up defeating Kashchei and freeing the princesses -- with the help of the Firebird's magic feather.
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