Music in the Making

Music In The Making: At Home With Homage, Part II

Thievery or thanks? The second installment of Music in the Making’s exploration of the tradition of tribute.

On this week’s episode, we continue our exploration of musical tribute, seeing how composers through the ages paid homage to one another, frequently through begging, borrowing, or stealing!

Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 4 in G Major, op. 61 “Mozartiana”
Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra
10/5/2008
Stude Concert Hall

“I don’t just like Mozart, I idolize him,” Tchaikovsky famously wrote. “It is due to Mozart that I devoted my life music,” he continued, “He gave the first impulse to my efforts, and made me love it above all else in the world.” In 1887, Tchaikovsky formalized this love, composing an orchestral suite based on four selections from Mozart’s oeuvre.

Mauro Giuliani
Mauro Giuliani
Gioachino Rossini
Gioachino Rossini

Mauro Giuliani: Rossiniani no. 1
Randall Avers (guitar)
5/30/2004
Dudley Recital Hall

In the early 19th century, Rossini was rapidly becoming one of the most famed operatic composers. This so-called “Rossini fever,” inspired many compositions, including a series of works for guitar by Mauro Giuliani. Though loosely based on melodies by Rossini, Giuliani also utilizes techniques popularized by Rossini, such as the “Rossini Crescendo,” in which a single phrase was repeated, gradually increasing in dynamic and drama.

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for Orchestra
Texas Music Festival Orchestra,
6/26/2004
Moores Opera House

We’ll hear one final example of borrowing this evening. English composer Vaughan Williams was continually inspired by the music of his forefathers, looking to early music for inspiration. Nowhere is this more apparent than in “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis,” which uses a theme from the 16th century composer. Vaughan Williams elaborates upon this Phrygian-mode melody, which he discovered while editing the newest edition of The English Hymnal in 1904.

This episode originally aired on July 23rd, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06pm. 

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