My soul is full of longing For the secret of the sea, And the heart of the great ocean Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Let's explore some key pieces inspired by water, through the ages.
Water Music - Handel
Intended for outdoor performance on a barge on the River Thames, Handel wrote this as entertainment for a royal cruise hosted by King George I in 1717.
An der schönen blauen Donau (The Blue Danube) - Johann Strauss II
Composed in 1866, it was written just after Austria's defeat by Prussia in the Unification War. It is now Austria's Unofficial National Anthem, so great is its enduring popularity.
Danube so blue, so bright and blue, through vale and field you flow so calm, our Vienna greets you, your silver stream through all the lands you merry the heart with your beautiful shores.
The Hebrides - Mendelssohn
Inspired by one of Mendelssohn's trips to a basalt sea cave known as Fingal's Cave in the British Isles in 1829, the composer reported immediately jotted down the opening theme.
La Mer - Debussy
Debussy completed La Mer in 1905 at the on the English Channel, describing it to his publisher as "a charming peaceful spot: the sea unfurls itself with an utterly British correctness." This piece is written in three sketches, translated:
Beautiful Mother in the Sanguinaires Islands
Set of waves
The wind makes the sea dance
Une Barque sur l'ocean (A Boat on the Ocean) - Ravel
Barques were the powerhouses of ships in the mid-19th century (The Golden Age of Sail), and Maurice Ravel composed this musical description of a perilous ocean voyage for one such small boat.
Other Notable Pieces of the Time Include:
Stanford's Songs of the Sea
Elgar's Sea Pictures
Frank's Bridge The Sea
Smetana's Die Moldau
Rubinstein’s Ocean Symphony
Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin
Sail on Sailor - The Beach Boys
Octopus's Garden - The Beatles
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
The perfect song list for your get-together is crucial in creating that one-of-a-kind affair to remember! Whether you're planning a beach-side cookout, a lake-side wedding, or a sailor's reunion, we're excited to work with you on your unique event, to customize an amazing performance you'll never forget!
Christie Becker is a professional violinist and owner of Christie Becker Violin, where she specializes in creating her client's perfect memories through custom live music. For more information, or to work with Christie on your unique event, visit www.christiebeckerviolin.com.