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Musical Fireworks

Share with other classical music and firework lovers!

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 local 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)

  • The Music for the Royal Fireworks The fireworks were a bit of a disaster the day of Handel’s show but the music was a hit and continues to be so! (The Music for the Royal Fireworks -Wikipedia) 
  • 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 fireworks was inevitable. Click here to check out the legendary Arthur Fiedler performing the full piece in 1976!
  • 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!

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