Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (Resurrection): Gustav Mahler's Greatest Work
Influenced by the highly developed harmonic language inherited from Liszt and Wagner, Gustav Mahler was one of the last great figures of the Romantic Movement. Among the various aesthetics of the nineteenth century, the wave of interest in folk music developed by Brahms, Dvorak and Liszt, to name but a few, ignited a spark in Mahler's fertile imagination. Side by side to his immense symphonic structures, the composer continued as well the tradition of creating art songs which embraced the simplicity and directness of folk music.
This he did without deviating from the mode of expression of the time and fully utilizing the orchestral resources available to him. Starting in 1888, Mahler composed two-and-a-half volumes of songs with orchestra under the collective title of Des Knaben Wunderhorn ("The Youth's Magic Horn"), employing German poems in the folk style from an anthology of the same name by Ludwig Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano. In these songs Mahler captures the essence of the sounds of man and nature, especially those sounds from his childhood environs: bird songs, bugle calls, marches, songs and dances.
Mahler, in a cheerful pose.
It is with great significance that Mahler's Wunderhorn songs had an enormous impact on his symphonies. While the First Symphony quotes liberally from Mahler's own song cycle, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ("Songs of a Wayfarer"), the next three symphonies and the incomplete Tenth contain numerous thematic borrowings from the Wunderhorn collection. In fact, Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 4 - often referred to as a trilogy and collectively nicknamed the "Wunderhorn" symphonies - not only contain thematic material from the anthology but each of them incorporates actual songs from the cycle as one of their movements. And even the Fifth Symphony was not immune to "Wunderhorn" thematic germs.
Perhaps the most monumental musical work written up to that point, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, took over 6 years to write. In 1888, in addition to his first Wunderhorn songs, Mahler completed two large symphonic works. The first, which he had begun in 1885, he originally referred to as a "symphonic poem;" this work, after many revisions and the excision of an entire movement, would eventually become the Symphony No. 1 in D major. The second work, which he had entitled Totenfeier ("Funeral Rites"), took the shape of a gigantic funeral march.
Although he intended this second work to be a companion piece for the first, he soon realized that it could not stand on its own, and that it would be a fitting first movement for his next symphony. With this in mind, he immediately set himself to sketching an Andante movement, but this was not completed until five years later; in the meantime, Mahler continued to create more entries for his Wunderhorn cycle.
In the summer of 1893, he then took his newly-composed Wunderhorn song, Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt ("St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fishes"), and turned it into a purely orchestral Scherzo, which he intended to incorporate into the fledgling Symphony as its second movement. However, upon the completion of the Adagio that he had begun five years earlier, the Scherzo then took its rightful place as the third movement, following the newly-finished Adagio. Having completed that summer the orchestration of another Wunderhorn song, Urlicht ("Primeval Light"), he tentatively decided to make it the Symphony's fourth movement.
At this point, Mahler knew that he needed a massive finale to balance the gigantic first movement. The middle movements would serve as an extended intermezzo to provide the required, if only momentary, relief of tension between the first and last movements. Various sketches for a Finale were attempted that summer, but they all proved unsatisfactory and were promptly discarded.
The composer once wrote in a letter: "The last movement of my Second Symphony meant so much to me that I searched through really the whole of the world's literature, right back to the Bible, trying to find the right words of release...The manner in which I received the impulse for this has a profound bearing on the nature of artistic creation. At that time I had long carried within me the idea of introducing a chorus in the last movement, and only the fear that this would be considered a superficial imitation of Beethoven caused me to hesitate again and again."
Then in January of 1894, the famous conductor and pianist Hans von Bulow died in Cairo, and a memorial service was held for him in Hamburg two months later. During the service, a children's choir sang a resurrection hymn to a text by Friedrich Klopstock, providing Mahler with the inspiration for the symphony's as-of-yet elusive Finale. It was then that Mahler realized that "death," as the theme of the first movement, could only be followed by "resurrection" as an appropriate and logical conclusion for his symphony. Klopstock's' poem about resurrection would provide not only the inspiration and concept for the Finale, but also the words upon which the movement could finally take flight. With the end so close in sight, Mahler copiously poured his energy into the work at hand, and on July 25, 1894, the Second Symphony was completed.
The first page of Mahler's manuscript of the Symphony No. 2 in C minor
Mahler himself conducted the premiere performance of the Symphony No. 2 in C minor in Berlin, on December 13, 1895. While most of his works up to that point had met with little - if any - enthusiasm by audiences and critics alike, the Second Symphony was immediately acclaimed as a masterpiece, thus providing an unprecedented success for Mahler, and the real beginning of his career as a composer.
Mahler's symphonies are usually concerned with inner struggles arising from spiritual and philosophical problems, which generally find their solution in the work's final movement. The "problem" in the Second Symphony has been summarized by music writer Deryck Cooke as "finding some assurance in the face of human mortality; and the resolution is the reaffirmation of the Christian belief in resurrection and immortality." Although Mahler always preferred that his music be listened to as "absolute music" without the hindrance of hidden, external or literal meanings, this "problem" can clearly be found in a program that the composer reluctantly wrote for a performance of the work in 1901:
"I have named the first movement Totenfeier, and...it is the hero of my D major symphony [No. 1] whom I bear to the grave here, and whose life I catch up, from a higher standpoint, in a pure mirror. At the same time there is the great question: 'Why did you live? Why did you suffer? Is it all nothing but a huge, terrible joke?...He into whose life this call has once sounded must give an answer; and this answer I give in the final movement.
"The second [movement] is a memory - a shaft of sunlight from out of the life of this hero....there suddenly arose the image of a long-dead hour of happiness, which now enters your soul like a sunbeam that nothing can obscure - you could almost forget what has just happened.
"But when you awake from this wistful dream, and have to return into the confusion of life, it can easily happen that this ever-moving, never-resting, never-comprehensible bustle of existence becomes horrible to you...Life strikes you as meaningless, a frightful ghost, from which you perhaps start away with a cry of disgust. This is the third movement.
"Fourth movement: the morning voice of ingenuous faith strikes on our ears.
"Fifth movement: we are confronted once more with terrifying questions. A voice is heard crying aloud: 'The end of all living things is come - the last judgment is at hand'...The earth quakes, the graves burst open, the dead arise and stream on in endless procession....The last trumpet is heard - the trumpets of the Apocalypse ring out... A chorus of saints and heavenly beings softly breaks forth: 'Thou shalt arise, surely thou shalt arise.' Then appears the glory of God: a wondrous soft light penetrates us to the heart - all is holy calm. And behold, it is no judgment; there are no sinners, no just....There is no punishment and no reward. An overwhelming love illuminates our being. We know and we are."
The Allegro maestoso is one of the most strictly organized opening movements Mahler ever wrote, employing a gigantic sonata-allegro structure, complete with double exposition and a lengthy development, the latter of which actually begins during the "repeat" of the exposition. The motif that provides the relentless pulse of the funeral march is put into motion at the outset by unison cellos and basses. Over this motif, the somber, tortuous, main theme ascends on oboes and English horn, with the violins soon joining as the theme continues to unfold.
As if promising an eventual reward, the more lyrical second theme in E-major foreshadows the "Resurrection" theme of the finale, and is presented by the violins; but as it continues, it too becomes tortured with angst. The two themes and the numerous supplementary motifs are developed in dramatic confrontation. During the development section, a hymn-like melody for the horns plays an important part, beginning with the first four notes of the Dies irae chant from the Mass for the Dead.
After an explosive, culminating triple forte the themes receive their recapitulation. Like "a memory - a shaft of sunlight," the Andante moderato second movement begins with a momentary backward glance to Haydn as a charming melody unfolds in the strings. Set in the key of A-flat, the movement assumes the form of a wistful Ländler (an Austrian folk dance in triple time) with an A-B-A-B-A structure. Each repeat, however, is considerably different through the use of variations and evolving orchestration.
The witty and sardonic Scherzo expands and elaborates the aforementioned Wunderhorn song, Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt, from which it takes its ironic note. In the song, St. Anthony comes to a stream and assembles the fishes for a sermon on the thoughtlessness of their lives; at the end of the sermon, the fishes swim away to go on just as before. With great finesse, the relentless, sixteenth-note figuration of moto perpetuo character, portrays the aimless swimming motions of the fishes; while it provides the flowing, forward momentum of the movement, it also serves as the background for all the motivic cells of thematic material.
The gentler Trio section in the middle of the movement does not interrupt the momentum but provides a note of tenderness with a chorale melody on the trumpets. The Scherzo then resumes once more, and continues with an increasing sense of urgency. After a final climactic moment of discord, Mahler's "cry of disgust," the permeating sense of desperation suddenly abates at the end.
Without any perceptible break, the alto soloist takes us into the short hymn-like fourth movement - the Wunderhorn song, "Primeval Light" - where eternal bliss is promised as a relief from earthly suffering. With chamber-like textures in the orchestra, the musical setting is seemingly simple; alternating chorales - first for the brass, then for strings and woodwinds - provide the ideal accompaniment, as the soul sings at the gateway to heaven: "...I am from God, and to God I will return!"
The final movement links back, thematically and emotionally, with the first movement, and is essentially structured in two large sections. The tranquillity with which the fourth movement had ended is instantly shattered with a full orchestral outburst, in a discordant gesture reminiscent of the end of the Scherzo. In the long orchestral passage that follows, a number of themes are introduced, most of which will be used in one form or another in the choral finale.
Most important among these, is the one heard immediately on the flutes and clarinets followed by the horns; this theme is associated with the idea of resurrection after death, as seen in its initial descending interval ("death") followed by a short scale of ascending notes ("resurrection"). Off stage horns bring an augury of the last judgment call and falling figures on woodwinds and strings lead into a theme derived from the first movement - the one whose first four notes are those of the funereal Dies irae.
A solo trombone, followed by a solo trumpet, then introduces the theme of the Resurrection hymn. Flute and oboe present yet another theme; a theme of faith and affirmation, it will be intoned later by the soprano soloist to the words "O believe: thou wert not born in vain." A thunderous roll of timpani and drums, leads to a boisterous march where the themes are tossed frantically against each other and whose character becomes almost crude and vulgar in its desperation.
After an explosive climax the "affirmation" theme is heard in the solo trombone and the cellos against off-stage fanfares bringing the last judgment call ever nearer. Another climax is reached to subside this time to the most serene music in the movement, still building on the same themes. Against the bird-like commentary of flute and piccolo, a complex off-stage fanfare ushers in the chorus intoning the hymn of resurrection.
As the themes acquire literal meaning through Klopstock's and Mahler's words, the "problem" faced in the first movement is resolved. In answer to the questions "Why did you live? Why did you suffer?," the soloists and chorus assert that "What was created must perish, what has perished, rise again....What thou hast fought for shall lead thee to God!" In a mood of joyous, confident assertion, an orchestral coda based on the ascending "resurrection" theme brings Mahler's Second Symphony to its glorious conclusion.
* Author's addendum:
The embedded audio file above is a complete performance of Mahler's Second Symphony. Lengthy recordings like this don't often appear on YouTube, but this is a bargain at nearly 90 minutes. The work is indeed long, but given its scope and enormous orchestration with solo singers and oversize chorus, the Second Symphony is an experience in serious study, symphonic perception or simple pleasure for anyone who enjoys Western Music. As a whole, the performance is not bad, there are weak and strong moments, but charge up your device batteries to watch the file before you settle in. These are only examples. Please support working artists by purchasing music and art legally. Thank you.
This legendary band from Liverpool, England captured the heart of many with their mop-top hair and lovely songs during the 60s. From their first single, Love Me Do to their last album Let It Be, The Beatles were simply a class of their own. Many of their songs have landed number 1 in the music chart. Young and adults have to queue in line just to get tickets for their concerts. They were regarded by music lovers as one if not the greatest band that stamped their class in music industry. The Beatles is composed of John Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals, bass guitar), George Harrison (vocals, and lead guitar) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals).
Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) was not the original drummer for the Beatles. Pete Best was the first drummer, but continually didn’t show up due to illness. Ringo Starr, a well known drummer for another band, Rory and The Hurricanes in Liverpool, would sit in with the Beatles on many occasions after initially meeting the Beatles in 1959.
On August 18, 1962, Ringo Starr officially joined the Beatles as their drummer, playing in the first gig in Hulme Hall in Birkenhead, England. The producer of the Beatles, George Martin decided at this time to replace Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
Throughout their career, The Beatles have made several albums, among them: Abbey Road, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help!, Please, Please Me, With the Beatles, , Help!, Let It Be, Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (White Album), and Yellow Submarine. Some of their compositions where McCartney/Lennon collaboration (48 songs), though each member have their fair share of original songs. John Lennon has 72 songs to his credit, Paul McCartney had composed 69 songs, George Harrison had added 22 songs, and even Ringo Starr, Richard Starkey in real life composed two songs, Don’t Pass Me By and Octopus Garden.
To credit, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the lead vocalists and George do the backup vocals. But did you know that Ringo, aside from contributing two songs and did the lead vocal on 11 songs!
For Beatles fans that may not have known this fact and to those who just wanted to reminiscence the old classics Beatles songs, here are the songs for you to enjoy.
11 songs where Ringo Starr did the lead vocals:
1. Boys –the song was written by Dixon/Ferrell and was included in the album Please, Please Me (1963)
2. I Wanna Be Your Man – written by John Lennon from the album With The Beatles (1963)
3. Matchbox – a good pick up song composed by Carl Perkins that was added in the album Long Tall Sally (1964)
4. Honey Don’t – another Carl Perkin composition from the album Beatles For Sale (1964)
5. Act Naturally – a Morrison/Russel collaboration included in the album Help! (1964)
6. What Goes On – Lennon/McCartney song from the album Rubber Soul (1965)
7. Yellow Submarine – a Paul McCartney original featured in two albums; Revolver (1966) and Yellow Submarine (1969)
8. With a Little Help From My Friends – another Paul McCartney classic composition included in the album Sgt. Pepper’ Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
9. Don’t Pass Me By – Ringo Starr original song from the album The Beatles (1968)
10. Good Night – A John Lennon original from the album The Beatles (1968)
11. Octopus Garden – Ringo Starr other original composition from the album Abbey Road (1969)
Ringo Starr continues today to be a real star in the music industry. He has just release as new album in 2017. In the 1980s, he played many times with the Traveling Wilburys, which at times featured many musicians like Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison.
Rod Stewart is best known as a solo singer who, throughout the 1970's & 80's and beyond, racked up the hits in the UK. It all started with his debut solo single 'Maggie May' in 1971 which raced to the top of the charts. Rod Stewart reached the top spot in the UK charts on 6 occasions and reached the top 10 many times more.
What is less known about Rod Stewart, to the casual music fan anyway, is that throughout the 1960's Rod Stewart was very active on the music scene (with rather limited success it has to be said). During that decade, Rod Stewart performed with no less than nine different bands. Here we will take a look at the nine bands that Rod Stewart was in before his solo career took off.
(Rod Stewart during the 1970's - Image Source)
1. The Ray Davies Quartet
In the days before the final line up of the Kinks came about, Ray Davies was trying to get a band together. In 1962, Rod Stewart joined the band but didn't last too long. The reason for Rod Stewart being kicked out by Ray Davies was that the mother of then drummer John Start had complained about Stewart's voice not being good enough.
2. The Dimensions
It was in October 1963 that Rod Stewart joined the band called 'The Dimensions', his initial role was of lead singer and harmonica player. Gigs were rather hard to come by though until Jimmy Powell joined the band as singer. Renaming themselves as Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions, Rod Stewart soon found his role in the band lessening and he soon left.
3. Cyril Davies All-Stars / The Hoochie Coochie Men
It was Long John Baldry, who after hearing Rod Stewart busk the song 'Smokestack Lightning', asked him to become part of Cyril Davies' popular R 'n' B combo. Things got off to the worst possible start when Davies died on the night that Rod Stewart made his gig debut. Baldry somehow managed to keep the rest of the band together, under the name of 'The Hoochi Coochie Men' but not for long. They did manage to release one single - Rod Stewart taking lead vocals on a renditon of 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' - on release in 1964, it failed to chart.
4. Soul Agents
Rod Stewart was a member of this band for a period of 6 months from late 1965 to early 1966. Success did not really come along for the band but they did gig quite a bit in their native city of Southampton.
Steampacket were a band that was created somewhat out of the ashes of 'The Hoochie Coochie Men'. The band featured Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger. The band became popular enough to support the Rolling Stones on tour but split up in 1966. Although no albums were released during the time that Rod Stewart featured in the band, a posthumous album was released in 1970.
6. Shotgun Express
Shotgun Express only ever released one single, 'I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round' in 1966 - it failed to chart. The band featured Rod Stewart sharing lead vocals with Beryl Marsden and also featured future Fleetwood Mac stars Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green on drums and guitars.
7. The Jeff Beck Group
The Jeff Beck Group boasted the cream of British rock, or so they were quick to say. In the latter years of the 1960's Jeff Beck was helped out by Nicky Hopkins on piano, Micky Walker on drums, Ron Wood on bass and Rod Stewart on vocal duties. Rod Stewart stayed with the group long enough to record the 1968 album 'Truth' and the 1969 album 'Beck-Ola'. It was not to be the last time that Rod Stewart and Ron Woods would appear in the same band.
8. Python Lee Jackson
Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band who were pretty much unheard of in the UK when they roped Rod Stewart in to doing the lead vocals for the song 'In A Broken Dream' in 1970. Money was quite tight for the band and they ended up paying Rod Stewart with a set of seat covers for his car. The song was released in the UK in 1973 and, because of Rod Stewart's fame by then, raced up the charts to a peak position of number 3.
9. The Faces
The Small Faces slit up in 1969 but Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones were not finished with music. They hired Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (who had played together in the Jeff Beck Group) and set about recording new material. One of the reasons given for dropping the 'small' from their name was because of how tall Ron Wood and Rod Stewart were - anyway, they band were now known as simply 'The Faces'.
Rod Stewart launched his solo career after the breakup of the band Faces with numerous top 10 hits in the 1970s. Some of Rod Stewart's hit songs include:
- Maggie May was one of his most popular songs after leaving Faces. It remained #1 on the hit charts for 5 straight weeks in 1971.
- Reason To Believe became one of the most jukebox songs of the 1970s.
- Tonight’s The Night was right up there with other so-called erotic singers of the late 1970s such as Marvin Gaye and Donna Summer. Tonight’s The Night remained #1 on the hit charts for 8 weeks in 1978.
- Da Ya Think I’m Sexy was considered as a rock / disco song and stayed on the charts at #1 for 4 weeks.
- You Wear It Well, considered a classic Rod Stewart song released in 1972.
- Hot Legs that was released in 1977 became another hit.
- Some Guys Have All the Luck released in 1984 is a cover song that was first released in 1981 by Robert Palmer.
- Young Turks is a song that shows how easily Rod Stewart evolved into the 1980’s as this song was released in 1981.
- Stay With Me
- You’re In My Heart is a song that was released in 1977 and reached #4 in 1977.
Other great Rod Stewart Songs and favorites of many of that generation include:
- Gasoline Alley was from Rod Stewart’s second solo album, released in 1970 on the album Gasoline Alley.
- (I Know) I’m Losing You, which was a cover song first recorded by the Temptations as a # hit in 1968. Rod Steward and Faces covered this song in 1970. Because of contractual agreements, the band, Faces, could not given be credit to. Even though Rod Stewart did many cover songs, this cover song is one of the best he ever did.
Today, Rod Stewart is still performing, and will be at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in June 2018.
The classical era spans roughly 80 years in music history during the 18th and 19th centuries and is often associated with the movement called the Age of Reason. It is defined by a return to symmetry and simplicity not only in music, but also in architecture and fine art. The excavation of Pompeii began in 1748, and the visible remains which were drawn and engraved became a template for the aesthetics of the time. The best known composers from the Classical period are Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.
Most musicologists mark the death of J.S. Bach in 1750 as the end of the Baroque era and the dawn of the Classical era. There is less consensus on when it ended: some consider the death of Beethoven in 1827 to be the boundary line whilst others cite 1800 as the beginning of the Romantic era. The Oxford Companion to Music marks the end of the Classical era as "sometime between 1800 and 1830". Few disagree that there was an overlapping of classical and romantic ideals by the early 19th century.
The style of music from the Classical Era is predominantly homophonic, consisting of a single melody line with accompaniment as opposed to the polyphonic style of the Baroque Era which weaves together a number of melodic lines. Composers of the Classical Era rejected the elaborate styles of the Baroque Era, which they considered self-indulgent and vulgar. They simplified harmonic structures, shortened musical phrases and applied symmetry that was often lacking in the music of their predecessors. The Classical Era also saw a shift to more instrumental genres, particularly the symphony and the string quartet.
Great emphasis was placed on developing musical forms in the Classical era, the most important and overarching being sonata form. Sonata form consists of 3 clearly defined sections: the exposition (and introduction), the development section (a contrasting section in a different but related key) and the recapitulation (a return to the introductory material but remaining in the original key). Sonata form had a direct impact on the development of instrumental music types, particularly the symphony, concerto, sonata and string quartet. All of these types are still used by contemporary composers.
The Classical period produced fewer enduring composers than any other musical period from the 1600s onwards. The Emphasis on form was to have a lasting impact on musical composition but in its infancy it had a rather stifling effect on musical substance and expression. Although there were hundreds of successful and revered composers during that time, only three of them composed music which would truly stand the test of time. They were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791), Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827). They were to rise above the confines of stylistic regulations and create music that was never forgotten and continually revered.
When it comes to songwriting, the Beatles are right up there at the top. In their time, they composed well over 200 songs - many have been covered many times by many different bands or artists. The Beatles, and especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney, drew influence for their songwriting from their personal experiences.
Considering that they all came from Liverpool, one would think that their hometown would feature quite heavily in their songwriting. The truth is though; there are not many Beatles songs about their hometown of Liverpool.
Here we will take a look at the Beatles songs that do have some kind of reference to Liverpool in the lyrics.
The lyrics to this Beatles song were nothing more than Paul McCartney taking a look at a suburban shopping street in Liverpool; albeit with a pair of psychedelic glasses firmly on. Originally meant for the Sgt Peppers album, instead it was released as a double A side with Strawberry Fields Forever was kept off the number one spot by Please Release Me by Engelbert Humperdink. The pretty nurse selling poppies on a tray in the song lyrics was a real person; it was Beth Davidson, who had been a childhood friend of John Lennon.
Strawberry Fields Forever
There is a Strawberry Field in Liverpool, it is a Salvation Army house located near to Menlove Avenue (where Lennon used to live). This Beatles song was written by John Lennon while he was busy 'acting' in the film How I Won The War, perhaps it was a pining for home that made him write about his hometown of Liverpool.
In My Life
The original lyrics to this song, written by John Lennon, described the bus ride he would take in his youth from Menlove Avenue into Liverpool centre. John Lennon decided to change the lyrics into something a bit less specific, turning it into less of a personal story and more of a song about general nostalgia. Interestingly, the original lyrics made reference to Penny Lane, an idea that was to be later used by Paul McCartney as the title for a song.
In St. Peter's churchyard in Woolton lies the grave of Eleanor Rigby (1895-1939). Paul McCartney, responsible for the song Eleanor Rigby, had visited St. Peter's church at a memorable garden fete in 1957 - perhaps he inadvertantly remembered the name he saw on the gravestone and when the time came he had a ready made song title.
"In the town where I was born." - that's pretty much it in this Beatles song as far as a link to Liverpool.goes.
So there you have it. Eleanor Rigby could be put down as nothing more than coincidence, Yellow Submarine doesn't really count and In My Life only counts based on original lyrics - that leaves only two Beatles songs that make any sort of reference to their hometown of Liverpool in any way shape or form. Considering the Beatles often wrote about their own life and experiences, two songs about Liverpool from over 200 songs written seems very low indeed. It could be worse though, the Beatles never wrote any songs about their time in Hamburg.
The Beatles, composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, is undoubtedly the most popular and most successful rock and roll group in the history of popular music and entertainment. This British rock music group revolutionized popular music around the world in the 1960s with their stimulating songwriting and vibrant performances. Here are some entertaining and interesting facts about this magnificent and extremely famous band.
1.) The Beatles are the “best-selling band in history.
2.) All the members of The Beatles were born in Liverpool, England, in the early 1940s.
3.) Both McCartney and Starr are left-handed. They are the only two surviving members of the Beatles.
4.) James Paul McCartney, the second youngest member of the Beatles, who was born on June 18, 1942, is listed in the Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history".
5.) McCartney had 60 gold disc and sales of 100 million singles in the United Kingdom alone.
6.) He is one of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom with an estimated fortune of 475 million pounds as of 2010.
7.) McCartney was named the "greatest composer of the millennium" by BBC News online readers.
8.) His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists — more than any other song in the history of recorded music.
9.) The song “Yesterday” which was released in 1965 has been played more than 7 million times on American television and radio.
10.) McCartney is the most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history.
11.) As a performer or songwriter, he was responsible for 31 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and has sold 15.5 million RIAA certified albums in the United States alone.
12.) Musical instruments played by McCartney include bass guitar, guitar, organ, piano, keyboard, mellotron, drums, ukulele, recorder and mandolin.
13.) John Winston Lennon, the pioneering member of the Beatles, was born on October 9, 1940 and was assassinated on December 8, 1980 in New York. After marrying Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon.
14.) Musical instrument played by Lennon include guitar, piano, harmonica, harmonium, electronic organ and six-string bass.
15.) John Lennon is by nature jealous, possessive and physically violent.
16.) John Lennon and Paul McCartney met in 1957 while Lennon was performing with his band called The Quarry Men.
17.) Lennon and McCartney shared a love of American rhythm-and-blues and rock music and became the core songwriting pair.
18.) McCartney joined Lennon’s band later in 1957 and in 1958, guitarist George Harrison became a member.
19.) The Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership is regarded as one of the most influential and successful of the 20th century
20.) Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940. He is the oldest but the shortest member of the Beatles.
21.) He is the group’s drummer. He also plays several musical instruments such as guitar, keyboards, piano and percussion.
22.) Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor-Beatle, playing a central role in several Beatles films, and appearing in numerous other movies, both during and after his career with The Beatles.
23.) George Harrison was the youngest member of the Beatles. He was born on February 25, 1943. He is the band’s lead guitarist.
24.) Harrison is often referred to as "the quiet Beatle" and was an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other Beatles.
25.) He is listed at number 11 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of “100 Gratest Guitarists of All Time”.
26.) Some of his compositions which were included in the Beatles album were “Something”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Sweeps”.
27.) Harrison is the only Beatle to have published an autobiography – I Me Mine (1980). The singer/guitarist Eric Clapton was a close friend of Harrison.
28.) Harrison played different musical instrument aside from the guitar such as sitar, harmonica, ukulele, tambura, sarod, mandolin, swarmandal, keyboards and bass guitar.
29.) George Harrison is also known as Carl Harrison, L'Angelo Misterioso, Hari Georgeson, Nelson/Spike Wilbury, George Harrysong and George O'Hara-Smith.
30.) In January 1960, Stuart Sutcliffe, joined as bass player, and the band changed its name, after several variations, to the Beatles. So the original members of the band The Beatles per se were – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Best and Sutcliffe
31.) In 1960, Pete Best, a drummer, accompanied the group to Hamburg, Germany where they performed more than three months and returned four more times in the following three years.
32.) The band’s bass player, Sutcliffe, left the band in early 1961, causing McCartney to change from rhythm guitar to bass.
33.) Brian Epstein, a local businessman, became the Beatles’ manager in 1961.
34.) Rejected many times, Epstein finally secured the group a record deal with Parlophone, a subsidiary of EMI Records, in June 1962.
35.) Ringo Starr, who was born Richard Starkey, replaced Best as the permanent drummer of the group in August 1962.
36.) The Beatles released their debut hit single, “Love Me Do,” in England in October 1962, and followed that with “Please Please Me” in early 1963.
37.) Other early hits of the band were “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963), “She Loves You” (1963), and “I Saw Her Standing There” (1963).
38.) After several hits in the UK, the Beatles went to the United States. Their first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9, 1964 was watched by an estimated 73 million people.
39.) By the end of March 1964, the Beatles held the top five positions in the Billboard magazine U.S. singles charts, an unprecedented feat.
40.) Most of the band's releases from March 1964 onward sold in phenomenal numbers.
41.) The Beatles made two successful feature films in the mid-1960s - A Hard Day's Night in 1964 and Help in 1965.
42.) The Beatles most popular albums in the mid 1960s were Rubber Soul (1965), The Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
43.) Other popular albums before the group finally broke up include The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969) - their final Beatles studio album.
44.) Paul McCartney formally announced the group’s breakup on April 10, 1970.
45.) After the breakup, each member pursued another chapter in their music lives either as solo artist or bandleaders.
46.) John Lennon’s most popular songs as a soloist include Imagine, Give Peace a Chance, Happy Christmas, Love, Jealous Guy, and many others.
47.) Paul McCartney established his band called “The Wings” with his wife Linda. Among their popular hits were Band on the Run, Silly Love Songs, and many more.
48.) As a solo artist, left-handed McCartney’s popular songs were “No More Lonely Nights”, and many more.
49.) McCartney also staged series of successful huge concerts in major cities of the world.
50.) The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
51.) John Lennon was murdered by an obsessed fan in 1980.
52.) George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. One of his most famous hit songs as a solo artist is “My Sweet Lord”.
53.) The “Anthology” album, which was released in 1995 – is one of the fastest-selling albums in the history of popular music.
54.) A compilation of their biggest hits, Beatles 1, became one of the most popular albums of 2000.
55.) The Beatles have had more number one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act.
56.) The band also sold more albums in the United States than any other artist.
57.) The Beatles other feature films aside from “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help” were “Magical Mystery Tour” in 1967, “Yellow Submarine” in 1968 and “Let It Be” in 1969.
58.) The group had 9 albums in all – Please, Please Me (1963); With the Beatles (1963); A Hard Day’s Night (1964); Help (1965); Rubber Soul (1965); Revolver (1966); Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967); Magical Mystery Tour (1967); The Beatles – White Album (1968); Yellow Submarine (1968) Abbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970).
59.) The Beatles have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, 24 Multi-platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States.
60.) The Beatles hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20 as of 2011.
Update on Beatles Albums
Actually, the Beatles had many more albums than just nine. There were different versions of their albums that were released in the United Kingdom and the United States. The first Beatles album in the United States was titled, “Meet The Beatles.” This was on the Capitol label. Before this, they released “Introducing The Beatles” on the VJ label.
In the United States, other albums including “The Beatles Second Album” in 1964, “Beatles VI” in 1965, and “Something New” in 1964. It is still to this day, an interesting argument as to what the last album, “The White Album” or “Let It Be.”
Even today, the Beatles and their estates continue to release different types of box sets on CD that also include different versions and lost songs.
Looking Back at the Beatles
Even today in 2017, the Beatles have still had the most number 1 hits in history a mark that is unlikely to ever be beat.
The Fifth Beatle
Who is considered the fifth Beatle? Many consider George Martin the fifth Beatle as the Beatles producer. Some also think of the band’s original drummer, Pete Best, as the fifth Beatle. And some others think of Brian Epstein as the fifth Beatle as their original manager.
Other mentions include Billy Preston, who played on many of the songs on keyboard like “I Want You”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Get Back”, and “Let It Be.” Billy Preston is credited on several songs with the Beatles.
What The Beatles Make Today
It is amazing just how much money The Beatles have made over the years and how they and their estates still make today. It is hard to get the actual figures, but from various sources, the two living Beatles along with the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison, made $71 million during the year of June 2012 through June 2013. That is pretty amazing.
Latest figures show that Paul McCartney made $56.5 million during the year of 2016, much of this because he continues to tour and do concerts.
The estate of John Lennon made $12 million in the same period due to royalties.
And they are worth every bit of it actually, as the most prolific songwriters of our time. Ringo Starr continues to tour with concerts and the estate of George Harrison also continues to make money through royalties. Their music will live forever and they all worked very hard to get where they or their estates stand today.
Here is a list of Michael Jackson’s top 10 songs (video). Just visit these links (click them and the downloading will start) and feel free to download them. Hope you enjoy them all.
Hi friends. I was just sitting and wondering the list of all the Hollywood and Hollywood singers and singers from all around the globe. Many names came into my mind from the beginning and till the end of the 20th century. And what I found was the most reputed, most talented, most famous and glamorous of all of them was the one and only….MICHAEL JACKSON THE KING OF POP. Yes this is the name of the person, who was out of this world, though of Brazilian origin. You can quite easily understand it.
But the truth is always hurting; he is no more with us. But we don’t get disheartened. Do we? Therefore to remember him always I and my friend (sumobhai) did a little hard work to find THE BEST 10 SONGS OF MICHAEL JACKSON EVER. Did you like the idea?
And one thing I wish to tell is that didn’t you all likes MJ? We can never forget him, so to remember him, please, pray for him and his extraordinary art, ask lord that his soul shall always remain with us, on this planet. Please share your views and speak something about MJ in your comments. And also let others know about this article so that they also can share their views regarding MICHAEL JACKSON – THE KING OF POP.
So here’s enlisting the list of Michael Jackson’s top 10 songs (video). Just visit these links (click them )and feel free to download them.
Hope you would enjoy them all.
Don’t stop till you get enough
http://www.magma.ca/~wdesigns/Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop (Josh Wildfire Remix).mp3
Pump up the volume
Remember the time
The way you make me feel
Black or White
http://music.ka81.com/Artists/Michael Jackson/Black or white.mp3
I wanna be where you are
Rock with you
http://lifeinart.ru/files/audio/2609/michael jackson _ rock with you (dj rico club edit).mp3
An Article By: HappyChappy and SumoBhai
An Article By HappyChappy And SumoBhai
Special Thanks to Jeffery Cheung .
A Clockwork Orange was a novel written by Anthony Burgess in 1962. The novel has gone down in history as being one of the most popular stories of all time. It has been adapted into TV, radio and the stage but the most renowned adaptation must have been the 1971 film 'A Clockwork Orange', directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick.
The novel itself has been the basis from which many different bands have taken their name from - countless others have made reference to the novel in their song lyrics. Here we will take a brief look at ten bands who took their name from the novel 'A Clockwork Orange'. It has to be said that most of the bands named below had very limited success on the music scene; perhaps taking your band name from this novel is not the best of ideas.
1. Clockwork Orange
Taking their name from the title of the novel, Clockwork Orange were a progressive rock band that hailed from Bangalore in India.
2. The Clockwork Oranges
Another band who took their name from the title of the novel, The Clockwork Oranges were a relatively un-successful surf-rock band from the 1960's.
In the Nadsat language used by Alex and the Droogs in the novel, Devotchka transaltes as 'girl'. It is also the name of a gypsyish indie-folk group from Denver.
4. The Droogs
The Californian garage rock band, The Droogs, took their name from the collective name of Alex and his pals in the novel A Clockwork Orange.
5. Heaven 17
Seminal 1980's band Heaven 17 took their name from the fictional band Heaven Seventeen who, in the novel, Burgess describes as being at number 4 in the charts with a song called 'Inside'.
6. Korova Milk Bar
In the novel, this was the bar where the droogs often drank. In the music scene, it is the name of a French band.
In the Nadsat language used by Alex and his droogs in the novel, Malchicks is a word meaning 'boys'. The Malchicks were a short lived British teenage blues band.
In the novel, Moloko means 'milk' and, when mixed with drugs, is the droogs tipple of choice. It is also the name used by Roisin Murphy and Mark Brydon when they perform in their electric-pop duo.
9. Orange Mecanique
This French punk band took their name from the French translation of the novels' title.
In the novel, this was Alex and his droogs' favourite pastime - it also leant its name to a synth-pop band who hail from Flint, Michigan.
The piano, indeed, is one of the most popular musical instruments around the world - for its beautiful sound and the countless number of pieces one can compose with it. There are many famous pieces out there, and for the little pianists, I have selected ten most beautiful pieces (in my opinion) which sound great. The key to playing well regardless the difficulty, is practising. The more you practise, the better you will play. Hope you enjoy this list:
1. Ballade pour Adeline
Ballade pour Adeline (French for "Ballad for Adeline") was composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint as a 1976 instrumental. Paul de Senneville composed the piece as a tribute to his newborn daughter whose name was Adeline. The first recording was made by Richard Clayderman, a well-known pianist, and world-wide sales have now reached 22 million copies in 38 countries. Probably my most favourite piano piece, it sounds peaceful and soothes one's feelings; really a must-learn for all pianists.
Listen to it here:
2. Mariage d'Amour
Mariage d'Amour (French for "Wedding in a Dream") was also composed by Paul de Senneville. By the same composer, this piece has a similar style to that of "Ballade pour Adeline". It sounds really romantic and somehow sad though. A really remarkable piece I should recommend everyone to play.
Listen to it here:
3. Für Elise
Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" (English: "For Elise"), is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions. The score was not published until 1867, 40 years after the composer's death. Ludwig Nohl discovered the piece and affirmed that the original autographed manuscript dated back to 27 April 1810.
Despite being called a bagatelle, the piece is in rondo form. The first theme is not very difficult and is often taught alone for practising piano pedalling techniques. However, a much greater technique is required for the B section and the rapid rising A minor figure in the C section.
Listen to it here:
4. Canon in D Major
Pachelbel's Canon, also known as Canon in D major, is the most famous piece of music by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. It was originally scored for three violins and a bass and paired with a gigue in the same key.
The arrangment for solo piano is in fact not exactly a canon, unlike the original composition. This piece is actually quite easy to play and suitable for beginner / intermediate level pianists or as an exercise. Also sounds really great!
Listen to it here:
5. Rondo alla Turca (Turkish March)
Rondo alla Turca, also known as Turkish March, is the third movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major. It is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces. It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary Bands. This piece perhaps has a higher level of difficulty, but it can be mastered if practised sufficiently. It also sounds quite playful.
Listen to it here:
6.Waltz in D? Major
The Waltz in D? Major, popularly known as the Minute Waltz, is a waltz for solo piano composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka. Chopin wrote the piece in 1847 and it was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig the same year.
The piece is given the tempo Molto vivace; although it has been known as the "Minute Waltz", meaning a "small" waltz, Chopin did not intend for this waltz to be played in a minute, but between 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes. It is a playful piece and is more difficult to learn than an average piece, especially the fingerings and its tempo.
Listen to it here:
7. The Entertainer
The Entertainer is a classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin in 1902. Tt returned to top international prominence as part of the ragtime revival in the 1970s, when it was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting. The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its "Songs of the Century" list.
"The Entertainer" was described as "the best and most euphonious" of Joplin's compositions. "It is a jingling work of a very original character, embracing various strains of a retentive character which set the foot in spontaneous action and leave an indelible imprint on the tympanum."
Listen to it here:
8. Fantasie Impromptu
Fantasie Impromptu is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1834 and probably one of his best-known pieces. It was dedicated to Julian Fontana, who publised this piece despite Chopin's request not do to so, as some aspects of it are similar to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
This piece is much more difficult than other pieces mentioned here, mainly because of the running notes and the cross-rhythms. It concludes in an ambiguous fantasy-like ending, in a quiet and mysterious way. A wonderful piece, although requires much skill to master.
Listen to it here:
9. If We Hold On Together: Land Before Time
"If We Hold On Together" was the first song used in The Land Before Time film series, and the only lyrical song used in the original film. The song was written and originally performed by singer/songwriter Diana Ross. It was later arranged for piano solo.
A very touching song, and quite easy to learn. Hope everyone likes this piece!
Listen to it here:
10. Love of A Lifetime
A piano piece from the album "Rock on Piano" (Singapore) arranged by Chester Tan. Calm and peaceful, sounds great. I like it very much!
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any comments, feel free to write them :)
ABBA was one of the most successful singing bands of the early 70s to the early 80s composed mainly of two Swedish singing couples, whose given names make up the acronym name for the group; Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. I suppose everyone from ages 40 up could very well recall their past listening to ABBA songs and for those aged below 40, couldn’t help but appreciate the great song classics left by ABBA.
1. The fusion of two singers-songwriters which was considered the vital part of ABBA happened on a crossroad, at the countryside. The bus with Benny’s group, the Hep Stars and the Hootenanny Singers with Bjorn met up on the way to a concert/party.
2. Agnetha was a self-confessed Connie Francis fan and used to sing and imitate her moves.
3. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was Norwegian by birth fathered by a German soldier who was on assignment at Norway when he met Anni’s mother which sprouted a relationship.
4. Ring Ring was ABBA’s first debut album released in 1973 but their phenomenal song which introduced them to the world was the song Waterloo which they performed in 6 April 1974 at Eurovision held in Brighton, a city on the southern coast of England towards the east.
5. Winning the 1974 Eurovision could have been Agnetha’s best birthday gift which arrived a day late. She was born on 5th April (1950).
6. Eurovision just made things happen faster for ABBA considering certain parts of the world were less interested in it (US and Australia). Note that their first debut album Ring Ring released a year before Eurovision initially met success.
7. Agnetha turned away from the public as an after effect of fame after the ABBA split up causing her to be treated badly by journalists. Staying away from fans and declining interviews earned her the title, “the new Greta Garbo”.
8. The distinguishing feature of ABBA’s music was made possible through the genius of audio engineer Michael Tretow who experimented with various recording techniques.
9. "The Day Before You Came" was the last ABBA song as attested by ABBA’s audio engineer Michael Tretow.
10. ABBA’s second reunion in public after their split up happened after 22 years at the Swedish premier of the film “Mamma Mia” in 4 July 2008.
11. As it was expressed in Bjorn’s very own words; “ ABBA never officially broke up. In 1982, we just said we were going to have a rest and that was it.”
12. “Mamma Mia!”, the musical project Bjorn and Benny had in mind was the very cause of the break from ABBA which eventually led to it’s end. The origin of the phrase is Italian which means “my mother” oftentimes an exclamation or cry of distress owing to danger or being shocked. For ABBA, the shock from the parting came quite a bit late.
ABBA The Book by Jean-Marie Potiez
U2 have been ‘doing it’ since the late 1970's and are still performing today, they really are one of the hardest working bands ever. Throughout their career, and what a long career it has been, U2 have kept their fans rocking with their music. Here we will take a look at 20 facts about U2.
(U2 - Image via Wikipedia)
- U2 released their album 'War' in 1983, later on that year, the band War included a medley called U2 on their 1983 record 'Life (Is So Strange)'.
- U2 have never performed the song, from the Joshua Tree album, 'Red Hill Mining Town' live.
- Bono may be one for 'saving the world' but he thought nothing of having his favourite hat flown from London to Italy before performing at a charity concert with Luciano Pavarotti in 2003.
- During U2's first dates outside Ireland, they played a gig at the Islington's Hope and anchor to a crowd of only 9 people.
- U2 was only the fourth music group to appear on the front cover of Time magazine, after the Beatles, the Band and the Who.
- Bonos' real middle name is David.
- Bono was awarded an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 2007.
- Bono is taken from the Latin 'bono vox' which translates as good voice, it was a nickname given to him by a group of friends.
- The band came about after Larry Mullen had posted a notice on his school notice board seeking other musicians to start a band.
- The first name the band was going to use, before they became U2 was the Larry Mullen Band.
- At one stage, U2 toyed with the idea of calling themselves 'Feedback' or 'the Hype' before settling on U2.
- Bono and the Edge are co-owners of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin.
- A suitcase that had been stolen in 1981 was returned to Bono in 2004 which contained the original lyrics for U2's October album.
- Members of U2, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton provided the theme tune for the 1996 movie Mission Impossible.
- The previous year, U2 had given their song 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me' to the Batman Forever movie.
- In the early 1990's U2 was the biggest export from Ireland.
- U2 won a talent contest on Saint Patrick's Day in 1978, winning £500 and, more importantly, studio time to record a demo.
- Bono sang as a guest vocalist on the 2001 Mick Jagger album Goddess in the Doorway.
- The U2 song 'Beautiful Day' was used s the official song of the German team at the 2000 Olympics.
- U2 have won a total of 20 Grammy Awards.