Voices of Spring Opus 410 Johann Strauss (II)
Here's our warming playlist of the best fire-inspired classical music.
George Frideric Handel composed his Music for the Royal Fireworks food King George II for fireworks in London's Green Park. Lively and majestic, the music is the perfect accompaniment to a royal celebration.
'And did those feet in ancient time', a poem by William Blake, is now best known in its setting of the rousing hymn, 'Jerusalem'. This inspired the title of the 1981 film, 'Chariots of Fire', with its anthemic score by Greek composer Vangelis.
Spanish composer Manuel de Falla's Danza ritual del fuego (Ritual Fire Dance) is taken from his ballet El amor brujo (Love the magician), written in 1915. The repetitive trills and lively rhythms are influenced by a ceremonial dance to the fire god.
"Dies iræ! Dies illa! Solvet sæclum in favilla!" (The day of wrath! That day will dissolve the world in ashes.) This Latin text is often set in in a Requiem mass, describing the day of judgement where sinners will be cast into the eternal fire. The text has been set by composers including Mozart, Verdi, Berlioz and Stravinsky, and the 13th Century plainchant melody has been quoted in Haydn's Symphony No. 103, Liszt's Totentanz, and Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre, Symphony No. 3.
Famous for his choral music, American composer Morten Lauridsen wrote his fire songs based on the Italian madrigal style. Each of the six songs sets the words of an Italian love poem, inspired by the flames of love and passion.
The Christian mystic, Hildegard von Bingen, wrote a number of pieces inspired by the Holy Spirit, the fire of creation. Much of the imagery of her visionary texts references the four elements: air, earth, fire, and water.
The powerful 'Magic fire music' from Act III of Wagner's epic opera, Die Walkure can be heard as Wotan kisses his beloved Brünnhilde and sends her into an enchanted sleep. He summons the Norse demigod of fire to ignite a protective circle of flames and departs, as the curtain falls.
Holst's opera, The Perfect Fool, isn't all that famous, and after its first performance in 1923 it has rarely been revived. The introductory ballet music is performed more frequently as a suite in its own right, including dances from the spirits of Water, Air, and Fire.
Walton wrote the score to the 1944 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V. The prologue opens with the text: "O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend / The brightest heaven of invention."
Feu d'artifice (Firework) is a spirited piece of orchestral music, written by Stravinsky in 1908. Debussy also wrote a piece fireworks-inspired piano music, the 12th movement of his second book of Preludes.
Haydn didn't come up with the nickname for this symphony. Some people think it's so-called because of the spirited nature of the music, but it's more likely the music was performed alongside a fiery play - 'Der Feuersbrunst' by Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann.
A magical glowing bird that's a blessing and a curse to its captor inspired Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird of the same name that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor. The ballet was first performed on 25 June 1910.