Fantasia 1940 1.5 James Algar Samuel Armstrong, Fantasia (1940), Walt Disney Pictures, 120 min. -- ALS
• symphony- an extended composition of a full orchestra, with several movements that are distinct from one another. A number of classical musicians composed symphonies (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1977, p. 1287)
• melody -- a sequence of single tones to produce a rhythmic whole (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1977, p. 885). Melodies are oftentimes the most compelling elements of classical compositions.
• harmony -- the simultaneous sounding of two or more tones when pleasing to the ear (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1977, p. 638) Harmonies are integral to good melodies.
• dissonance -- an incomplete chord until it is resolved with a harmonious chord (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1977, p. 408). Oftentimes, dissonance is used in compositions of Beethoven and others.
• fanfare- a military composition of brass instruments; a loud, showy horn piece. (Virginia Tech, no date). There are fanfares in Fantasia.
• canon -- a polyphonic composition with repetitions of a part in same or different keys (Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 207). There are also canons in Fantasia.
• finale -- the last passage in a musical composition (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1977, p. 523). Every composition in this lesson has a finale.
• absolute music-music that has no program and is still expressive (Virginia Tech, no date). Some of this type of music was composed by the people studied in this lesson.
• tone poem -- a one-movement orchestral genre that develops a poetic idea (Virginia Tech, no date). These are effective in many of the passages of classical music composers.
• the four parts of the orchestra -- groupings of the instruments-Strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. All of these instruments are in most symphonies.
Ludwig von Beethoven was born in 1770 and quickly displayed his prowess at playing the piano by studying under his father, the latter of whom was also a piano player. Beethoven performed publicly for the first time at seven years of age, and soon thereafter studied under Gottlob Neefe. In 1782 he published his first work of music which was for the piano. Afterwards, he came under the patronage of Maximillian Franz who sent him to Vienna at the age of 17, where he met Mozart and studied with Hayden. He soon played regularly there, toured with his music, and started going deaf after he was 30. He would remain in Vienna most of his life, composing his famous compositions as a deaf man (No author, no date).
Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918, and first played piano when he was 10. After studying at Boston Latin School and at Harvard in the areas of music theory and counterpoint, he met Dmitri Mitropoulos and attended a week of his rehearsals. Eventually, he secured a position as the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. In 1943 and 1944 he would conduct the Philharmonic 11 times, gaining national and international prominence for doing so that saw him travel throughout the U.S. And the world leading symphonies. He composed the West Side Story score, and wrote and conducted a number of musicals and operas (No author, 2013).
Leopold Stokowski was born in 1882. His conducting career was presaged by his work as an organist in churches in New York and England; his conducting career spanned his work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This conductor is well noted for making a number of recordings. He recorded over 700 pieces of music, and introduced approximately 400 new pieces of music in domestic and international premiers. His recordings were feature in Fantasia, and he even worked on the production of a 1931 recording of Beethoven's 5th symphony -- supposedly the first LP (Stumpf II, 1995).
Mikhail Baryshnikov was one of the more famous ballet dancers of the latter portion of the 20th century. He was born in the Soviet Union and began formal training in ballet when he was 12. Soon after he would study under Aleksander Pushkin before he got his first major breakthrough, working for the Kirov Ballet as a soloist. What was unusual about this appointment is that Baryshnikov did not have to wait the traditional amount of time to be an apprentice to receive this position. He was such a good performer, due to his grace and his jubilant, arching leaps, that entire ballets were created for him to be the lead dancer in. However, the…