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 remarkable musical works from the same period, by musicians young and old, at the peak of their composing careers. All three share energy and passion of youth, and the excitement of ushering in or extending 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: 1) Ludwig van Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, 2) Frederic Chopin, Ballade #1 for Piano, and 3) Professor Grossman's acclaimed finale (which he has performed all around the world!) George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.