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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

A Gentle Stroll in the Garden of Classical Music, Part 1 of 2

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In the old times, sometimes music was composed specially for people to dance to. Dance music has special characteristics, such as steady tempos and repetitive rhythms, which make people feel like moving along with the music. As time went by, composers also wrote dance music that was for listening only, and it’s true that when people listen to a minuet or polonaise in a concert hall, they don’t dance to it but simply appreciate its beauty. Today, please join us in enjoying some dance music from the world of classical music.

We’ll start with baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s music made for gavotte, a type of dance that originated in 16th-century France. One of his gavottes is a movement from his English Suite No. 3 in G minor. The piece was written for keyboard and adapted for accordion, played here by multi-prize-winning Portuguese accordionist João Barradas.

Next, we’ll listen to Chopin’s Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44. Originating in Poland in the 15th century, the polonaise was once a kind of peasant dance accompanied by singing but later entered royal courts and became mainly instrumental. The polonaise is played at a medium tempo with a steady rhythmic pattern while the melody freely hovers above the accompaniment. Chopin, who was born in Poland, dedicated his Polonaise in F-sharp minor to Her Highness Princess Ludmilla de Beauveau. The Polonaise is in ternary form, with a deep, stormy opening section and a more romantic middle section. Let’s now enjoy Russian pianist Sergey Belyavsky’s interpretation of the piece.

What a performance! Our sincere gratitude to all the musicians who dedicate their time and effort to beautifying our world. May more people appreciate their work and support them in return.
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