Music Appreciation

Julian Williamson

Julian Williamson

Music Appreciation*

In term 1 we will look at music from Bohemia and Eastern Europe including in the 18th century those composers who settled in Western Europe and had an influence on music generally, and in the 19th century the rise of a national style within the region, with composers such as Janacek and Smetana.

Term 2 will look at instrumental music from Italy, a country more usually associated with opera.  Progressing chronologically from Monteverdi and Vivaldi, to the 18th and 19th centuries with composers such as Albinoni , Rossini and Paganini, as well as several who are lesser known but equally interesting, and ending in the 20th century with Respighi who developed the art of scenic description through the orchestra.

The third term will look at the phenomenon of the prodigy in music.

Tutor:               Julian Williamson

Time:                Tuesdays 10.30am – 12.30pm

Dates:               Autumn term 2018: Sept 18 – Dec 11 (half term w/c Oct 22)
                           Spring term 2019: Jan 8 – April 2 (half term w/c Feb 18)
                           Summer term 2019: April 30 – May 21

Venue:                Victoria Hall

Fees:                   £124 for a 12-week term

                             £41 for a 4-week summer term

Autumn Term 2018: Music from Bohemia and Eastern Europe

The idea of this series is to look at the history of music largely, but not exclusively, from nations which now form the Czech Republic. In the 18th Century there was a large migration of musicians who moved from their homeland and settled in Western Europe and this influx would have a considerable influence on the history of music in general. Composers such as Stamitz, Vanhal, Gassmann, Krommer, and others would contribute enormously to the development of the arts. We shall follow this development and then track it through the 19th century when, in the hands of Smetana, Dvorak, and Janacek the desire to reassert their own national style became paramount. In tracing this story we shall discover the important part musicians from these countries played in the history of the wider musical world.

Spring Term 2019: Instrumental Music from Italy

When one thinks of Italy, one’s mind automatically turns to opera but that is by no means the whole story. From the days of the Gabrielis and Monteverdi, through Cavalli, Vivaldi and Corelli, instrumental music played an important part in the progress of the arts.  During the 18th century Rome, Venice and Naples became important centres in this regard through the work of Albinoni, Tartini, Locatelli and others. It was in Italy also that the piano had its beginning at the hands of Cristofori and, later in the century, Boccherini’s cello concertos displayed revolutionary moves in that genre. Then in the 19th century, the vocal and instrumental music of Rossini, Mercadante (whose flute concertos were of particular importance), and Martucci have often been unjustly neglected – the only famous figure being that of Paganini. Finally in the 20th century, Respighi brought to Italian music the skill of scenic description through the orchestra. All in all, it provides a fascinating story and one which is often neglected.

Summer Term 2019: The Prodigy Market

Throughout history there have been some extraordinary young people who have developed talents at an astonishingly early age. In terms of music, probably the two most famous names in this respect are Mozart and Mendelssohn, but there were many others who have slipped through the net of history.  The idea of this summer series is, in a fairly light-hearted way, to follow a number of these amazing geniuses – both well and little known – and have a look at some of the reasons why these phenomena arise from time to time.