This lecture series focuses on the very best of Western music, and as we progress through these lectures, the following are two important questions that we will seek to answer as we examine the various musical selections: What makes these works masterpieces? Why highlight these works?
• These works share, for the most part, a common language, and were all composed to be listened to in the concert hall.
• The works have stood the test of time—they remain popular and can be found annually on concert programs.
• These works are loved not only by audiences, but have served as quintessential models for other composers as well.
• These works stand up to repeated listenings—in fact, the more we study them, the more they seem to yield. In addition, the course highlights relevant details of the lives of the great composers and aids in developing a knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Western music.
Jeffrey Lependorf has been teaching the Masterpieces of Western Music course at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in music composition. Dr. Lependorf's musical works, which include operas, chamber music, film scores, and a new repertoire of music for the shakuhachi (an ancient Japanese bamboo flute on which he is a certified master), have been performed in the United States, Italy, Ireland, Japan, and even in outer space, when a recording of his work "Night Pond" was played aboard the Russian space station Mir.
Lecture 1 The Red Priest and His All-Girl Orchestra
Lecture 2 The Case of the Runaway Soloist
Lecture 3 All Rise and Sing Hallelujah!
Lecture 4 More Than Just a Little Night Music
Lecture 5 Magnificent Obsession: The World in Four Notes
Lecture 6 Romanticism with a Capital “R,” or Be Careful What You Wish For
Lecture 7 How to Make a Piano Sing
Lecture 8 Going Forward by Looking Back
Lecture 9 A Tale of Love and Death
Lecture 10 It Takes Two, Baby
Lecture 11 A Quiet Revolution
Lecture 12 Modernism with a Bang!
Lecture 13 Kid Stuff
Lecture 14 The Prairies of Brooklyn