The symphonic poems are a series of 13 orchestral works by Hungarian
composer Franz Liszt. The first 12 were composed between 1848 and 1858;
the last, Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (From the Cradle to the Grave),
followed in 1882. These works helped establish the genre of orchestral
program music—compositions written to illustrate an extra-musical plan
derived from a play, poem, painting or work of nature. They inspired
the symphonic poems of Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Richard Strauss
and others. Liszt's intent, according to musicologist Hugh Macdonald,
was for these single-movement works "to display the traditional logic
of symphonic thought." In other words, Liszt wanted these works to
display a complexity in their interplay of themes similar to that
usually reserved for the opening movement of the classical symphony.
The composition of the symphonic poems proved daunting. They underwent
a continual process of creative experimentation that included many
stages of composition, rehearsal and revision to reach a balance of
musical form. Aware that the public appreciated instrumental music with
context, Liszt provided written prefaces for nine of his symphonic
poems. However, Liszt's view of the symphonic poem tended to be
evocative, using music to create a general mood or atmosphere rather
than illustrate a narrative or describe something literally.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Constantine I was proclaimed Roman Emperor by his troops after the
death of Constantius Chlorus.
Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar founded Santiago de Cali
in present-day western Colombia while on his search for the mythical
city of El Dorado.
French Revolutionary Wars: Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick
issued the Brunswick Manifesto to the population of Paris, promising
vengeance if King Louis XVI and other members of the French Royal
Family were harmed.
French aviator Louis Blériot crossed the English Channel in a
heavier-than-air flying machine, flying from near Calais, France, to
Two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists were killed by police at
Cerro Maravilla in Villalba, Puerto Rico, sparking a series of
political controversies where the police officers were eventually
convicted of murder and several high-ranking local government officials
were accused of covering up the incident.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
bat an eyelid (v):
(idiomatic) To react in any slight way; to respond
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious.
The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting
and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether
we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should
know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.
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