Our presentation here was an overview of the Strauss dynasty – Johann I, Johann II (Son of Johann I), the sons of Johann II (Edward I & Josef), Johann III (son of Edward 1) and Edward II (grandson of Edward I)
Musically our programme for this session was mostly about Johann II - we devoted the first half to his works and divided the second among works by the other members of the family. The selections chosen for our listening were mostly compositions that had some historical significance more so than plain popularity, although our morning’s programme did conclude with the time-honoured tradition of the Viennese New Years Day Concerts with the older Strauss’ “Radetzky March”.
Programme Notes for 9th November 'The Strauss Family'
Our most recent session saw us delve into the life and music of Percy Grainger. Incredibly eccentric in his behaviour, dress, and many of his views (he claimed to be the world’s ninth best composer - below Delius but above Mozart and Tchaikovsky), he was absolutely brilliant and wide ranging in musical ability, and ahead of his time in the technological side of musical presentation (he was the first to use a phonograph to record folk songs, tried unsuccessfully to develop a synthesiser, but jumped on the duo-art pianola bandwagon soon after they were invented so that he could arrange for music (his and other composers’) to be transcribed on to pianola rolls). With a lifelong aim to see himself remembered as Australia’s foremost composer Grainger established and endowed the Grainger Museum in Melbourne which is still in operation today.
Programme notes for 23rd November on Percy Grainger and his music together with the music presented 'Salute to Grainger'
NOTE: The final Music Appreciation session for this year will be on Friday 14th December at 10am