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About the Class

Barbara introduces us to the joyful and magical world of music. In this ten-part series, she takes us "behind the notes" to meet her composer "friends" and shares her passion for their music. This series features great music performed and discussed by a master pianist. This is entertainment for the entire family to enjoy. Barbara is able to bring these composers to life and make their music relevant to all of us. She connects the music directly to the heart. All we have to do is listen to feel the magic. For the first-time listener or the experienced music-lover, this series is a wonderful introduction to the world of composers and the greatness of their music.

What will you learn in this course?

The first program of the series is offered as a free preview.

  • Program no. 1 The "Moonlight"
    Barbara introduces the series with Beethoven’s most popular and beloved Sonata. The first movement is familiar to most of us, and Barbara demonstrates how the entire three-movement work holds together to form Beethoven’s masterpiece.
    • (Beethoven: Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, Op. 27 No. 2)
  • Program no. 2 Frederic Chopin 
    Chopin loved the piano and Barbara discusses and performs some of Chopin’s most familiar and most beautiful compositions. Some of his melodies have even been made into popular hit tunes (without his approval.)
    • (Chopin: Nocturne in Eb, Op. 9 No. 2; Fantasy-Impromptu in C# minor, Op. 66; Revolutionary Etude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12; Polonaise in Ab, Op, 53; Nocturne in Db, Op. 27 No. 2)
  • Program no. 3 Sergei Rachmaninoff 
    Music by another true romantic. The beloved Russian composer wrote some great melodies and perfect tunes for Hollywood films. His music takes us on an emotional journey deep inside his Russian soul. We’ll hear his well-known C# minor Prelude plus two more of his Preludes, three Etudes, concluding with his brilliant and virtuosic Moment Musical No. 4. Music was written by one of the world’s greatest pianists.
    • (Rachmaninoff: Excerpt from Piano Concerto No. 2; 18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini; Prelude in C# minor Op. 3 No. 2; Prelude in G major Op. 32 No. 5: Prelude in G# minor Op. 32 No. 12; Three Etudes-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 1 in C minor; Op. 33 No. 2 in C minor; Op. 39 No. 6 in A minor; Moment musical Op. 13 No. 4 )
  • Program no. 4 Franz Liszt 
    Music by our first pop-star virtuoso, the Elvis Presley on the keyboard. This is the guy who left women fainting in the aisles. Listen to the wild and devilish Mephisto Waltz and the beautiful Db Consolation, written after the death of his good friend Chopin.
    • (Liszt: Mephisto Waltz; Consolation in Db)
  • Program no. 5 Sergei Prokofiev
    Music by the twentieth century’s “bad boy of the keyboard” features his suggestion Diabolique and concludes with his famous seventh Sonata.
    • (Prokofiev: Op. 4 suggestion Diabolique; Sonata No. 7)
  • Program no. 6 Johann Sebastian Bach
    The godfather of all the composers, Johann Sebastian Bach was the supreme master. Barbara performs his Italian Concerto written originally for harpsichord, and Liszt’s transcription of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A minor, written originally for organ.
    • (Bach: Italian Concerto; Bach/Liszt: Organ Prelude Fugue in a minor)
  • Program no. 7 Alberto Ginastera
    Music by Latin America’s leading composer, the Argentine Alberto Ginastera features his early Danzas Argentinas and his masterwork, the Sonata no. 1 written in 1952, with the beautiful Milonga offered as an encore.
    • (Ginastera: Three Argentine Dances; Sonata No. 1; Milonga)
  • Program no. 8 Franz Schubert
    Schubert spun out beautiful melodies, his poems for the keyboard. Barbara begins with Impromptus from Op. 90 and discusses and performs his virtuosic Wanderer Fantasy, the work Schubert gave up trying to play because it was so difficult.
    • (Schubert: Excerpt from Impromptu, Op. 90 in Gb; Impromptu Op. 90 No.4; Wanderer Fantasy)
  • Program no. 9 Robert Schumann
    Barbara introduces us to the Romantic composer, Robert Schumann. We hear the song “Widmung” that he wrote as a wedding present for his bride Clara and the finger-breaking Toccata that ended Schumann’s career as a pianist. His 2nd sonata in G minor is the work Clara always used to play on her concert tours, and we conclude with his touching Traumerei, a real favorite.
    • (Schumann: Widmung, Toccata Op. 7, Sonata in G minor, Traumerei)
  • Program no. 10 Johannes Brahms
    The last but not the least of the 3 B’s. The music of Johannes Brahms is explored in this program, starting with his early work, the Scherzo Op. 4, followed by his Two Rhapsodies Op. 79, and concluding with some of his later pieces from Op. 117 and Op. 118.
    • (Brahms: Scherzo Op. 4; Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79; Op. 117 No. 3 in Bb minor; Op. 118 No. 1 in A minor; Op. 118 No. 6 in Eb minor; Waltz Op. 39 in Ab)

Who should take this course?

  • These programs, suitable for all ages, are a wonderful introduction to the great music of the past, and each program serves as a guide to our listening.
  • Whether you are exploring classical music for the very first time or are a seasoned listener, this series is rich in content.
  • It connects the composer and his music directly to our hearts. The more we listen, the more we will hear. Enjoy and experience the magic of great music.

Author

Barbara Nissman

Pianist and Educator
I fell in love with the piano when I was just a child. It was always a special secret friend, and it took me to all these magical places. Actually it still does! I have been blessed to have spent my entire professional life as a performer, playing concerts all over the world, giving lectures and master classes, and sharing my passion for the...

School

Barbara Nissman's School

Requirements

No educational requirements are necessary to enjoy the series, behind the notes.

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What's Included

Language: English
Level: All levels
Skills: Rhythm and Tempo, Piano Literature, Romanticism, Listening Skills, Classical Music, Music History, Virtuosity, Piano
Age groups: All ages
Duration: 6 hours 38 minutes
10 Videos
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