Quote of The Week

“If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed and tolerance with them.”

Karl Popper


Music Workshop at Stony Brook

With David Bouchier
Co-host Fred Avril
Workshop Outline –Spring 2021
Wednesdays 12:00 – 1:15 on Zoom


Registration is required.

OLLI website


A review of early musical history

Introduction to the workshop

The natural origins of music: animals, birds, and the earliest evidence of music.

Early Church Music: the first European musical notation, dating from the 9th/10th centuries allows music from that era to be understood and reproduced in modern times.

Music selections

Plainchant (or Gregorian Chant) by the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos: Kyrie (approximately 1,000 years old). An example of monophony.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179): O’ Virdissima Virga (Song to the Mother)

Medieval Music (approximately 1200 – 1450): Beginnings of polyphony and instrumental music.

Musical selection

Guillaume de Machaut (1300 – 1377): Dame qui toute ma joie vient. (An example of polyphony).


Renaissance Music (approximately 1450 – 1600): Polyphonic church music, madrigals, songs, development of instrumental music.

Music Selections

Josquin Desprez (c. 1450 – 1621): Petite Camusette, and De Tous Biens Playne

John Dowland (1563 – 1621): Awake Sweet Love, and Fall My Tears

Thomas Weelkes (1575 – 1623): As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending

Michael Praetorius (1571 – 1621): Dance from Terpsichore

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643): Untitled madrigal, and final scene from Orfeo.

SESSION THREE – February 3, 2021

Introduction to the Baroque Era (approximately 1600 – 1750): Opera and oratorio, the first orchestras, sonatas, concertos, suites, and symphonies.

Music Selections

Archangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713)

Violin Sonata

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

Brandenburg Concertos (selection)
Mass in b
Goldberg Variations (Aria)
Anna Magdalena Notebooks (selection)
The Well-Tempered Clavier (prelude and fugue in C)
Prelude in c (organ)
Cello Suite No. 5 (excerpt)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)

Autumn from The Four Seasons
Bassoon concerto in b

SESSION FOUR – February 10, 2021

The Baroque Era (continuation and conclusion)

Georg Friderich Handel (1695 – 1759)

The Messiah (final chorus)
Water Music (example of a “French overture”)
Sonata for Two Violins and basso continuo (andante)

Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)

From Dido and Aeneas (“When I am laid in earth”)

Viennese Classical Style

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

Music Selections

String Quartet op.45 # 1 (1772) first movement
Trio on D major (1794)
Symphony No. 92 “Oxford” (1790) selections from all movements
Trio in D
Symphony No. 94 “London”
Symphony No. 45 “Farewell” (1772) final movement
String Quartet op. 76 #4 “Sunrise” (1798) third movement, minuet
String Quartet op. 76 #50
The Creation (“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”).

SESSION 5: February 17, 2021

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Music selections

Serenade No. 13 in G Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Leopold Mozart: Toy Symphony
Piano concerto No. 23 in A K488 (first movement)
Piano Concerto No. 24 in c K491 (2nd movement Larghetto)
Variations in D on a minuet by Dupont (Alfred Brendel)
Symphony No. 35 in D “Haffner” excerpt
Symphony No. 41 in C “Jupiter” K551 (First movt. allegro vivace & final molto vivace)
The Abduction from the Seraglio (overture and opening)
The Marriage of Figaro (excerpt)
The Magic Flute: Papageno’s comic aria
Don Giovanni: final scene
Cosi van Tutti – Come scoglio…Like a rock (Cecilia Bartholi)
Clarinet concerto in A
Ave Verum Corpus

SESSION SIX – February 24, 2021

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Music selections (details may change)

Haydn’s Symphony #88 and Beethoven’s 5th – openings compared
Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor – “Moonlight”
Bagatelle in A “Für Elise”
Symphony No. 3 in E flat “Eroica” (opening movement)
Symphony No. 5 in c (selection all movements)
Symphony No. 6 in F “Pastoral” (selections from movements 4 and 5)
Symphony No. 9 in d “Choral” (final movement)

SESSION SEVEN – March 3, 2021

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) continued

Music selections (details may change)

String Quartet Opus 18/6 in B flat (selections from movements 4 and 5)
String Quartet Opus 130 in B flat – late quartet – (final movement)
Violin Concerto in D (final movement)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat “Emperor” (third movement)
Overture: The Creatures of Prometheus
Egmont Overture
Overture to “Fidelio” (Leonore overture #3)

More resources on Beethoven

Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces by Laura Tunbridge (2020)
Beethoven: the Universal Composer by Edmund Morris (2005) – a good brief introduction
Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford (2014)
In Search of Beethoven (documentary by Phil Grabsky – DVD in Suffolk Libraries)

SESSION EIGHT – March 10, 2021

The Romantic Composers of the nineteenth century

Music selections (details may change)

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (selections from all movements)
Franz Schubert: Musical Moment #3
Franz Schubert: The Trout Quintet
Franz Schubert: Erlkőnig (The Elf King)
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in b “The Unfinished”
Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 (second movement)
Frédéric Chopin: Mazurka, op. 7 #1
Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne No. 5 in E-Sharp
Felix Mendelssohn: Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A “The Italian” (first/last movements)
Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in e
Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
Felix Mendelssohn: Spring Song


SESSION NINE – March 24, 2021

The Romantic Composers of the nineteenth century continued

Music selections (details may change)

Franz Lizst: Apres une lecture du Dante
Franz Lizst: Transcendental Etude #1
Franz Lizst: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 8
Robert Schumann: Adagio and Allegro for piano and cello (adagio only)
Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat
Gioachino Rossini: Overture to Cinderella
Richard Wagner: Lohengrin – prelude to Act III
Richard Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Richard Wagner: excerpt from Gotterdamerung
Giuseppe Verdi: Libiamo from La Traviata
Giuseppe Verdi: Bella figlia dell’ Amor from Rigoletto

SESSION TEN – March 31, 2021

The Romantic Composers of the nineteenth century continued

Music selections (details may change)

Johannes Brahms: Violin concerto
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e (first movement)
Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet (opening movement)
Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn (theme and first variation)
Bedrich Smetana: The Bartered Bride (excerpt)
Bedrich Smetana: from Ma Vlast
Antonin Dvorak: Slavonic Dance No. 1
Antonin Dvorak: Cello Concerto in b
Antonin Dvorak: “Dumky” trio
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in e “From the New World” (3rd mvt.)

SESSION ELEVEN – April 7, 2021

Russian composers in the romantic tradition – part 1

Mikhail Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla overture (1842)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in f (1877) selection from all movements
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e op. 64 (1888)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b (“Pathétique”)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1 in b flat op. 23 (1875) opening movement
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin concerto in D op. 35 (1876)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture (1880)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien (1880)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty (1890) ballet excerpt
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (1892) (ballet – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy)

SESSION TWELVE – April 14, 2021

Russian composers in the romantic tradition – part 2

Modest Mussorgsky (1839 – 1881)

Pictures at an Exhibition (three movements)
Night on the Bare Mountain

Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887)

In the Steppes of Central Asia
Prince Igor

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908)

Scheherazade (The young prince and princess)

Alexander Glazunov (1865 – 1936)

Autumn from The Four Seasons

Six Scandinavian Romantics

Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907):

Piano Concerto in a
Solvieg’s Song from Peer Gynt
The Holberg Suite.

Johan Halvorsen (1864 – 1935):

Suite Ancienne

Hugo Alfven (1872 – 1960):

Swedish Rhapsody

Lars Erik Larsson (1908 – 1986):

Pastoral Symphony (excerpt)

Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957):

The Swan of Tuonela
Valse Triste

Carl Nielsen (1865 – 1931):


SESSION THIRTEEN – April 21, 2021

French composers in the romantic tradition

Jacques Offenbach: Can Can, from Orpheus in the Underworld
César Franck : Sonata for Violin and Piano in a
César Franck: Symphony in D (closing moments)
Camille Saint Saens: Symphony No. 3 in c (“Organ symphony”) Final Mvt.
Camille Saint Saens: Cello Concerto No. 1 in a
Camille Saint Saens: The Carnival of the Animals (excerpt)
Leo Delibes : The Flower Duet from Lakmé
Georges Bizet : Intermezzo from Carmen
Georges Bizet : Duet from The Pearl Fishers
Gabriel Fauré: Piano Quartet No. 1 in c
Gabriel Fauré: In Paradisium

British composers in the romantic tradition

Sir Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
Sir Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations – Nimrod
Sir Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in e (final movement)
Frederic Delius: Summer Evening
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Lark Ascending (tone poem – excerpt)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Gustav Holst: The Planets (excerpt)
George Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow
Gerald Finzi: Eclogue