December 11, 2019
Claude Debussy was one of the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Viewed as a musical heretic, he jettisoned rules that had guided the composition of classical music for hundreds of years. He asked why the fundamentals of harmony and form were needed.
In the process of infuriating his tutors and many critics, he created music that many in his native France adored as something new and profoundly sensual. "Those around me persist in not understanding that I have never been able to live in a real world of people and things," he explained.
In this episode hosts Paul van Geldrop and Steve Moretti explore the life and music of Debussy and the countless musical conventions he ignored on his way to greatness.
November 4, 2019
Even though you may not know his name, you probably know his music. Edvard Grieg managed not only to establish himself as one of the leading Romantic era composers, but also to inspire a generation of 20th and 21st-century video-game players, rock and progressive music bands and filmmakers of every genre.
Grieg helped Norway establish a national identity and is regarded with the reverence of a national cultural hero, similar to Shakespeare's place in Britain. His musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Vagner and Tchaikovsky influenced and were influenced by Grieg's compositions, many of which defy easy categorization. To this day his In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt is as familiar to fans of Bugs Bunny as it is to scholars of classical music.
In Episode 3 of Musical Footprints, we explore his childhood and musical development, his passion for Norway and of course the music that continues to defy any labels we might apply to him.
October 16, 2019
For almost twenty years starting around 1807, Niccolò Paganini toured Italy as a violin virtuso, astouding audiences by playing without sheet music as he pranced about the stage. His performances were must see concerts as he tore down the conventions of classical music protocols. No one had ever seen a composer play his own music like he was possessed by the Devil himself.
In 1828, at the age of 46 he was ready to conquer the rest of Europe, which he did beginning with a performance in Vienna. In Part 2 of our look at Paganini, we trace the final chapters of his remarkable life and musical legacy.
October 10, 2019
Niccolò Paganini was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time. His talents as a composer and performer astounded audiences across Europe in the early 1800's. The near satanic qualties of his performances started rumours that he had sold his soul to the devil in return for other worldly musical talents. His music challenged and style challenged the conventions of the day and inspired many of the most prominent composers of the time.
In Part 1 of the this two-part series on Paganini, hosts Paul van Geldrop and Steve Moretti explore his early life, his first compositions and his musical influences.