Baroque Period – Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538, is an organ piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. Like the better-known BWV 565, BWV 538 also bears the titleToccata and Fugue in D Minor, although it is often referred to by the nickname Dorian — a reference to the fact that the piece is written without a key signature — a notation that is uncommon today and leads one to assume the Dorian mode. However, the two pieces are quite different musically, it is nearly monothematic (only one theme). It opens with a motoric sixteenth-note motif that continues almost uninterrupted to the end of the piece, and includes unusually elaborate concertato effects. Bach even notates manual changes for the organist, an unusual practice in the day as well as in Bach's organ output. they both use chromaticism, harmonic suspensions, and uninterrupted succession of subjects and answers.
Classical Period – Beethoven Piano Sonata No.8 Pathetique Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Although commonly thought to be one of the few works to be named by the composer himself, it was actually named Grande sonate pathétique (to Beethoven's liking) by the publisher, who was impressed by the sonata's tragic sonorities.
Romantic Period – Camille Saint-Saens Danse Macabre
Danse Macabre (first performed in 1875) is the name of opus 40 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The composition is based upon a poem by Henri Cazalis, on an old French superstition: Zig, zig, zig, Death in a cadence.The piece opens with a harp playing a single note, D, twelve times to signify the clock striking midnight, accompanied by soft chords from the string section. This then leads to the eerie...
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