Greg Mitchell on media, politics, film, music, satire, TV. "Not here, not here the darkness, in this twittering world." -- T.S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"
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Many people with some acquaintance with "classical" music may not be aware that composers 0of symphonies, chamber music and opera also wrote songs. Beethoven composed nuerous individual songs and a few sets of songs. Late in life, at the height of his powers when works of epic magnificence flowed from him in great profusion, his Opus 98 was what is typically called a song-cycle called "An Die Ferne Geliebte" ("To the Distant Beloved"). Most song-cycles consist of individual songs (if in German, lieder) that can be performed separately. But "An Die Ferne Geliebte" contains songs that flow uninterruptedly, like the last three movements of the "Pastoral" Symphony. One of my major pet peeves is the announcement by many radio stations that on Valentine's Day, they're playing "the greatest love songs of all time." With the possible exception of WQXR in New York and a few others, I don't think they're including "An Die Ferne Geliebte" or other songs of this nature by Schubert and Tchaikovsky.
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