Piece of the Week: Allegro Moderato from Mozart Symphony No. 29

Allegro Moderato from Mozart Symphony No. 29

Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A Major is one of the earlier works in which Mozart truly found his own voice as a composer. As Maynard Solomon writes in Mozart – A Life, “at a certain point in his development, a gifted young composer… speaks in a tongue that has not previously been heard….” The principal theme of this piece is instantly familiar to even the occasional listener of classical music, and the Allegro’s blend of energetic counterpoint and memorable melodies will please the most modern teenager or jaded concertgoer.

Piece of the Week: New Winter and Holiday Music 2014 part 2

New Winter and Holiday Music Part 2

Doesn’t it always seem like you’ve barely gotten done with back to school season and Halloween events when suddenly you’ve got to pick out pieces for your Winter holiday concert? Don’t worry because we here at SmartMusic have got your back. We’re always on the lookout for new arrangements of classic holiday tunes as well as brand new Winter-themed pieces, and on the blog this week we’re featuring some of our new holiday releases for 2014.

Piece of the Week: New Winter and Holiday Music 2014 part 1

New Winter and Holiday Music Part 1

Doesn’t it always seem like you’ve barely gotten done with back to school season and Halloween events when suddenly you’ve got to pick out pieces for your Winter holiday concert? Don’t worry because we here at SmartMusic have got your back. We’re always on the lookout for new arrangements of classic holiday tunes as well as brand new Winter-themed pieces, and on the blog this week we’re featuring some of our new holiday releases for 2014.

Piece of the Week: The Rolling Stones

When the Rolling Stones began their careers as a scruffy English blues band playing gigs around London in 1962, none of them could have dreamed that the band would still be going strong fifty years later. The very idea of being a “rock star” was still a new concept in the early sixties, and most everyone at the time considered rock ‘n’ roll a flash-in-the-pan fad.

Piece of the Week: Pippin by Stephen Schwartz

Pippin

Pippin has been called “a hip, tongue-in-cheek, anachronistic fairy tale,” and this musical theater piece has captured the hearts of Broadway audiences since its debut in 1972. Loosely based around the life of King Charlemagne the Great, the show tells the rather convoluted story of the king’s son, Pippin, a young prince who longs to discover the secret of true happiness.

Piece of the Week: New Halloween Music Part 2

New Halloween Music Part 2

Fall is here, and as the leaves begin to change and the days grow shorter thoughts will turn to that most magical of Autumn holidays. Halloween is time for kids and adults alike to celebrate all things scary and strange, to build epic costumes, eat all the candy they can gather, and play spooky pieces of music.

Piece of the Week: Academic Festival Overture by Brahms

Academic Festival Overture

In 1879, the University of Breslau (in Wroclaw, Poland) awarded an honorary doctorate to composer Johannes Brahms, who was then at the height of his career. Brahms accepted the honor and agreed, after some cajoling, to write a new piece to mark the occasion (which he did during the summer of 1880) and conduct the premiere (which he did in January of 1881).

Piece of the Week: Tower of Power Greatest Hits

Tower of Power Greatest Hits

Tower of Power, the legends of soul music, have been funkifying fans across the world for more than 40 years. Known for their driving grooves, a soaring horn section, soulful vocals, and an extremely tight rhythm section, it is no surprise that the band continues to find success on the touring circuit, where they remain to this day.

Piece of the Week: Funkytown

Funkytown

Many of us on the SmartMusic team have a special fondness for “Funkytown” because the piece is a hometown success story. Steve Greenberg was a local Minneapolis songwriter, and when he got a recording contract with disco powerhouse Casablanca Records he recruited a band of Minneapolis all-stars to record under the name Lipps Inc.

Piece of the Week: Sleep by Eric Whitacre

Sleep

Eric Whitacre is best known for his groundbreaking “virtual choir” projects, which have brought together thousands of singers from countries across the globe using social media and online video sharing to perform pieces that explore themes of connectivity and transcendence. Whitacre chose “Sleep” as the piece that  his Virtual Choir 2.0 would sing; the video of this performance was released in April 2011 and has (as of this writing) earned over 1.6 million hits on YouTube alone.