Stephanie Lewis - Music & Education Talks expert

Musical Voyages I

Discover some exotic destinations in music

In this video, Stephanie explores some beautiful and iconic compositions taken from the classical music repertoire.

Released on July 5, 2017

Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi to you all in the Virtual Sheet Music clan. I'm Stephanie and I thought that for the next two months with the summer holidays approaching and various exotic destinations vying for our attention, that I'd look at some music that captures the essence of a variety of nations. In listening to these pieces, you may just be inspired to identify that perfect location for the summer of 2017. The links to all these pieces are in the video script below. Please do take the time to listen and enjoy these works, okay?

Rimsky-Korsakov's "Fandango Asturiano" (at 7'55")

Debussy's "Pagodes"

Mendelssohn's "The Hebrides Overture"

Right, let's go. First protocol Spain, Spain. We're going to be listening to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Fandango Asturiano" from his Spanish "Capriccio". Although Russian, Korsakov was still able to capture the essence of Spain in this work, admittedly by cribbing Spanish folk melodies, but doing so with great respect and considerable success. The orchestral contrast whether alternating between solo and orchestral passages, mix and match instrumental combinations, or using instruments differently, well, of this aligns up with today's Spain of contrasts from Gaudi's artistic Barcelona spiritual piece en route to Santiago de Compostella, to our shared beach with beer-soaked Brits. Ah, the delights of culture. Put me on hold and have a listen.

Okay, our next destination then is Indonesia, and we're going to be listening to Debussy's "Pagodes". If far distant lands are your thing, then listen to this gamelan-inspired piece. Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of Balian Java. Debussy heard this music towards the end of the 19th century and went ape, changing his approach to composition in the process. Enjoy those dreamy musical mixes, the unending musical cycles reminiscent of the East's approach to life and death, that cycle of life and death. And of course, good luck in trying to pack your holiday bag. This piece tends to leave one in an eternal trance. Stop this video and grab the link below.

And finally today we're off to Scotland, and we'll be listening to "The Hebrides Overture," otherwise know as "Fingal's Cave," written by Mendelssohn, the German. Okay, so Mendelssohn's trip to Scotland in 1829 led to this particularly evocative piece. Dark, broody, and stormy, much like Scotland's weather, I'm afraid. But for those of you planning a holiday there, remember this, it's never the weather that's bad, but rather your clothing. Enjoy the link below.

So in the next video, I'm going to offer up another three holiday destination pieces that may or may not get you down to the nearest travel agent. But if there is a must-have destination piece you feel I should know about, don't hesitate to get in touch, talk about it and share a link so we can all participate in your musical choices. See you next time. Bye.
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

paul.plak * VSM MEMBER * on August 4, 2017 @3:52 pm PST
I never made the connection between gamelan music and Debussy, but now you showed it, it makes sense. Still Debussy's music needs to be decrypted, he's not a simple melody man.
Rimsky-Korsakov may have taken some liberty with Spanish style, his orchestration is flamboyant and top notch, equalled by few, maybe Ravel comes close with his bolero in defining orchestral dynamics and progressing variety.
Stephanie Lewis - host, on August 10, 2017 @1:09 am PST
Hi Paul. Man, you are everywhere on the VSM site! Now, whilst I agree with you about using the brain when listening to music (i.e. decryption though I'm a little uncomfortable with the word) I do also feel there's a 'balance' issue whereby in the listening act you also have to 'let go'. With Debussy, I often refer to his music as an impressionistic shower - I literally bathe in sea of sound - so whilst I can appreciate the finer complexities of, say, layering the orchestra or textural contrasts, sooner or later you also have to 'float' on the music (I can't think of a better way of putting in). As for Debussy not being a simple melody man, hmmm. Opening of 'Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun' (not daring to write this in French here!!!)? 'Clair de Lune'? Golliwog's Cake Walk? Simple or complex, Debussy's so good, he can do what he wants.
Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on July 5, 2017 @6:08 pm PST
I am well overdue to a trip home, so I go with Tchaikovsky's Carpiccio Italiano !! Smiley Face
Stephanie Lewis - host, on July 6, 2017 @4:36 am PST
Or Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony? However, in your case, with Italy and your childhood inextricably connected, I think Respighi's 'Pines of Rome', is probably your best bet with its use of Italian children's songs. Buon ascolto! Steph
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.