Thanksgiving is nearly upon us again and we’re taking the time to be grateful for what Chamber Music has brought to our lives. Not only an appreciation for the great talent and incredible creativity present in our world, but also that the tireless work of these musicians gives us pieces of music that will transcend time and forever evoke the mood of the season.
The robust opener and crisp notes of Vivaldi’s Autumn are the perfect welcome to sunny, cool Fall days. The upbeat melody is invigorating and inspiring, giving the sense of possibility this wonderful season has to offer.
Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 Adagio
Haunting and prayerful in tone, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor was written towards the end of his life and is therefore fittingly perhaps a little retrospective in nature; the very qualities of Thanksgiving that provoke us to look back and appreciate a life well-lived.
Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)
Dvořák’s operatic Symphony No. 9 in E minor is one of his most popular symphonies, and a recording of it even accompanied Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11: man’s first moon landing. The monstrous steps of ingenuity and creativity in music and science alike meld in that beautiful anecdote.
Randall Thompson’s Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 2’s undercurrent of patriotic horns and dramatic strings play into Thompson’s American pedigree. Though we may not share the same holiday as our American neighbours, the celebratory nature of the piece suits a weekend of thanks no matter where we are.
Joseph Haydn – Autumn (from The Seasons)
Composition of The Seasons took Haydn two years to complete, in part due to his failing health and in part to Baron Gottfried van Swieten’s arduous libretto that accompanied it. The result: a theatrical, choral piece that is as pleasant as a warm Fall’s eve.
Tchaikovsky, The Seasons (September – November)
The list would not be complete without Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons (September, October, November); a delightful composition for the solo piano that is entrancing in its simplicity.
We give thanks for all of these masters, and more. Believe we missed a piece that should’ve made the list? Share with us in the comments below!