Overture to William Tell, Gioachino Rossini
Where have you heard it before? As the theme to The Lone Ranger
By the time Rossini set to work on William Tell in 1828, he had already announced that it would be his final opera. Premiering in Paris in 1829, this four-hour spectacle proved to be a suitably monumental farewell to the stage. Based on historical fact, the plot centered on the 13th-century Swiss patriot who led his countrymen in a heroic struggle against their Austrian oppressors. Rossini introduced the opera with an expansive overture. He intended the final section to portray the daring charge of Tell’s patriotic followers, but for many listeners it will recall that masked hero of the old west, the Lone Ranger. For more info: Click Here
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, OP. 68 “Pastoral”, Ludwig Van Beethoven
Where have you heard it before? In Disney’s Fantasia, the ancient Greece story featuring the family of Pegasus, the Gods of Mount Olympus, fauns, and other mythical creatures.
Beethoven’s friends have left ample evidence of his deep love of nature; he often walked in the woods surrounding Vienna, drinking in the sights and sounds of the countryside. The main musical manifestation of this love was his Sixth Symphony, which premiered in 1808. The first movement, Awakening of Cheerful Thoughts Upon Arriving in the Countryside, proceeds at a leisurely pace. The following Scene by the Brook unfolds with aptly flowing grace. At the end, Beethoven had woodwinds imitate specific birds: flute, nightingale; oboe, quail; clarinet, cuckoo. The remaining three movements are played without pauses. For his scherzo, Merry Gathering of Country Folk, Beethoven summoned a band of rustics for a cheerful group of dances. A vivid thunderstorm intrudes violently, but serenity is restored by the final, uplifting Shepard’s Song of Thanksgiving. For more info: Click Here