Ezra Pound famously wrote, “Literature is news that stays news.” We might say the same for the great masterpieces of music. There are works from the great composers who speak to us with the freshness and excitement of anything seemingly more contemporary and “relevant.” As long as we bring an open mind, or open ears, we can discover beauty, meaning, and emotional depth undimmed by the passage of time.
In this class, Professor Grossman will present three musical works from the same period—the early Romantic era in music—by three young musicians each beginning their composing careers. They share the energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in a new musical era. And yet these compositions could not be more different than if they had been written hundreds of years apart. Individually they each speak to us about the power of musical expression; together they illustrate how many ways music can excite the imagination. The three compositions are Hector Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique; Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for piano; and Felix Mendelssohn, Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Orin Grossman / Fairfield University
Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, he teaches Performing Arts at Fairfield University, and has served as the University's Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor's Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.