In this playlist, we immerse ourselves in music in a world that is simply epic: barbaric rituals, Homer’s battles, furious dances, horrors of massacre… Classical music has found thousands of ways to describe the life of war. Immerse yourself in the noise of battlefields, fantasy or historical, rich in orchestral explosions and wild whirlwinds of rhythms!
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^ Gustav Holst, The Planets, 1Verse mvt “Mars Messenger of War”
Repertory transcript: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, James Levine, Deutsche Grammophon
He is best known for inspiring the famous idea of star WarsAnd the Mars Gustav Holst’s Planets suite opens with a vengeful battery and terrifying brass bands, anxious foreshadowings of World War I. A highly cinematic description of the unbearable, inhumane violence of war, Mars It is constantly propelled from one fury to the next thanks to the dynamic rhythm of an asymmetrical 5-beat scale.
All tracks from our epic classic playlist!
Richard Wagner, Die Walküre, Beginning of Chapter 3: “The Ride of the Valkyries”
Release Repertory (Audio): Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, James Levine
Repertory transcript (orchestra): Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Maris Jansson
popularized by End of the world nowAnd the ride of the valkyries by Richard Wagner is actually a song of the warrior maidens picking up the battle dead to take to Valhalla. To the beat of rocket notes describing raging winds and dizzying brass intrusions, this famous piece exquisitely depicts a warrior’s enthusiasm under the fires of battle, despite the death and violence lurking around.
John Williams, soundtrack by imaginary danger“Duel of Fates”
Tenerife Film Orchestra and Chorus, Diego Navarro, live
One of the most famous battle music. To describe the hopeless clash between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn against Darth Maul, John Williams evokes the force of his relentless and frantic rhythmic ostinato, under the unsettling calls of a Sanskrit chorus that plunges the listener in a mixture of horror and ferocity. The A duel of fates It is indeed one of the absolute peaks of Star Wars, The Phantom Menace.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10, 2e mvt “Allegro”
Release Reference: Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel, live broadcast
A major financier of, among other things, war music, Dmitri Shostakovich has perhaps never been more visible in his 2e It is supposed to describe Stalin in Symphony No. 10. After 20 years of threats, censorship, and assassinations of close friends in four minutes, Shostakovich resolves his arguments with his former tormentor and begins the orchestra in a combative black game, like an unstoppable machine of death and destruction.
Sergei Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky
Repertoire: London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Deutsche Grammophon
A work of publicity to be sure, but also an imposing manifestation of Sergei Prokofiev’s genius, Eisenstein serves up one of the most impressive soundtracks in cinema history. In its musical version, Alexander Nevsky is a fiery anthem in which the composer connects patriotic hymns, funeral lamentations, fierce battles, and victory odes. As a preferred option, the famous Snowboarding battle between the Russians and the Germans.
Ottorino Respighi: Belkis, Regina di Saba and Mvt 2 “War Dance”
Repertoire: Philharmonia Orchestra, Jeffrey Simon, Chandos
The orchestra’s color expert, Ottorino Respighi, invokes all the pagan vitality of the Kingdom of Sheba to create this warrior dance. In two parts, an oriental flute melody accompanied by a clear timpani organ instead gives way to a series of irregular rhythms of explosive energy under the frantic tremor of trumpets.
Erwin Schulhoff: Ogelala “Waffentanz” (The Arms Dance)
Release reference: Earquake album, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam
The Ogilala ballet tells the story of the capture and execution of the eponymous hero during the wars of the ancestral tribes. The Weapon Dance is the pinnacle, and an example of the insane brutality that Erwin Schulhoff can unleash. In this long crescendo of orchestral barbarity that results in an unparalleled outburst of sonic violence, and aventans Listens like the acid heir to spring weather.
Pancras Royer: Book One of the Harpsichord Pieces, “La Marche des Scythes”
Release reference: Skip Sempé, French group, Paradizo
In this piece for solo harpsichord, Pancrace Royer makes a metalwork before lettering. Beyond the verse-chorus structure, one can only be amazed by it March of the Scythians. The evocation of these nomadic warriors is perfectly executed with a powerful spell of amazing dexterity. Heavy bass and rushed lines are joined together without any respite for this electric guitar-worthy solo!
Heinrich Bieber: Battaglia has 10
Edition reference: Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall, Alia Vox
A unique work of the seventeenth century, the eight short movements of Patalia has 10 For stringed instruments, it is striking with its modern influences: playing with bow wood, right pizzicato, prepared instruments, bartok pizzicato … with evocative sound images. Often lively and fun, these Battalia are full of lavish melodies. nails? Soldiers screwed up as described 2e Polygonal movement, 250 years ago by Darius Milhaud!
Malcolm Arnold, Peterloo Introduction
Release Reference: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Malcolm Arnold, Warner Classics
A reference to the massacre of British marchers by their own cavalry, Introduction to Peterloo It is rich in commemoration of the bloodshed during this authoritarian oppression. Unleashing drums and harsh dissonance, Malcolm Arnold immerses himself in the horror of the event, before closing with a hymn of hope in the face of political barbarity. An act of war to be sure, but a deeply humanitarian one.
Ludwig van Beethoven, Wellington Triumph
Repertoire: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
Unknown symphony painting by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wellington victory It doesn’t skimp on any means to describe the Battle of Victoria that saw Napoleon’s defeat: a massive orchestra, drums, muskets and even cannons (!) This battle symphony perfectly describes the sonic chaos of armies and confrontations before a succession of hymns carries the piece toward a radiant sun of victory.
Aram Khachaturian, Continuation of the Battle of Stalingrad, 2e “Invasion” move, 5e mvt “In the battle for the Motherland”
Transcript reference: Division of the USSR Ministry of Defense, Colonel Nikolai Petrovich Sergeyev
A specialist in choreography and vocal walls, Aram Khachaturian takes Prokofiev’s place and describes with his usual competence the bravery of Russians during the Siege of Stalingrad during World War II. 2 of the suite’s movements are astounding testimonies of the orchestral beats that permeate Arminian’s work. With or without the images of the movie of the same name, the effect is paralyzing.
Leonard Bernstein, Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah”, 2e mvt “desecration”
Transcript Reference: New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein
Imbued with Jewish culture, Leonard Bernstein made Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah Evoking the prophet of the Bible. in 2e A movement, all in lively rhythms and screaming instruments, unleashes the warlike madness that gripped the Jewish people when they sacked Jerusalem, in a frenzy of destruction and nihilism. The scherzo piece is strikingly dark, and despair is hidden behind the screams of the orchestra.
Clement Janiquin, The Battle of Marignan
Version reference: A Sei Voci & Ensemble Instrument Labyrinthes, Bernard Fabre-Garrus
In an original and successful tradition, Clément Janequin showed great creativity when it came to tracing the sounds and noises of his time with vocal combinations. Battle of Marignan The singers are asked to imitate military and weapon sounds in a colorful firework that uses all the resources of musical pictorial. Feast.
Heitor Villa-Lobos, Symphony No. 3 “A Guerra”, 4e MVT “The Battle”
Release reference: SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Carl St. Clair
The first part of a trilogy of symphonies, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ No. 3, crystallizes the composer’s obsessions with wars, ending his symphony with a great battle. Rough, agonizing, tormenting, and anxious, the music is as warlike as it is degrading in its violence. Its harmonies and rhythms, imbued with Brazilian culture, make the movement more authentic and energetic.
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