Bob Fabian's LIFE Courses

The following text has been submitted, but not yet approved for the Spring 2019 term:

The Piano Concerto

The piano has long been the musical instrument of choice for composers of classical music. From Mozart and Beethoven to Bartok and Shostakovich, piano concertos were often premiered with composers as star pianists. The piano concerto is prominent among our most important classical music compositions. This course will trace the history of the piano concerto. Each of the six sessions will feature presentation of a complete concerto. The discussion will focus on the musical and social context behind the featured concerto. We'll listen, discuss and assess some great concertos. Performances will be drawn from the vast YouTube library. Participants will be encouraged to assess, evaluate and comment on the music.

Six Sessions; [Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday]; Bob Fabian will be the course leader. In high school, Bob split his time between music (the horn) and science. During most of his working life, science held sway. Now in his 3rd Age, he has returned to his love of classical music. This will be his ninth LIFE classical music course.

Background Thoughs

In my experience, a successful LIFE music course needs a central "theme" and a good selection of relevant YouTube musical performances. Keyboard instruments and then the piano have been the preferred instruments for virtually all Western classical music composers, from Bach to Beethoven to Brahms and on to Bartok. The piano was the musical instrument during the 19th century and well into the 20th. Composers during that period were often the featured soloist in the first performance of their piano concertos. The piano concerto has a distinguished history and is featured in many current classical music concerts. There is a rich library of such concerts on YouTube. Arthur Loesser's Men, Women & Pianos (1954) will be used to inspire considerations of the social role of the piano. Aside: I remember Mr. Loesser from my high school days when I took lessens on the horn at the Cleveland Institute of Music, ... and have a signed copy of his book from back then.

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