What is the fascination with fireworks? From young to old, we can be mesmerized by the sparkle… maybe it goes back millions of years, the obsession with fire… the benefits, the danger.
Gunpowder goes back a couple thousand years! Initially fireworks and fire crackers were celebratory, though soon the destructive power of gunpowder would change the course of history.
Fireworks became popular entertainment in Europe in the 1700s and show up often in classical music. History of Fireworks
So if you want to pass on your loac fireworks this year (I cant tolerate the traffic!), I hope you will enjoy these selections. Have I missed some? (Click the name of the piece for a YouTube clip)
At the end of Mozart’s beloved comedy The Marriage of Figaro they shout “light the fireworks”! However, this is not always shown as part of the production...
Fireworks are the culprit in Ariadne auf Naxos. The comedy
and the opera must be performed simultaneously because there is no rescheduling
the timing of the fireworks. The young composer is distraught at this desecration of his work.
While not related to the happenings in the US in 1812, we often hear the 1812 Overture on the 4th of July. It may be about Russia, but we embrace its celebration of freedom, resistance and endurance. Designed to include cannon fire, the addition of fire works was inevitable.
Nothing says “America” like Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever accompanied by fireworks. So many memories from child hood to present!
Hope you’ve enjoyed these musical booms!