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Welcome to Anna's Music Spot!

Author Anna Harwell Celenza

I love sharing music with friends, so I’m glad you’re here.

If you’ve read one of my books from the Once Upon a Masterpiece series and you’re visiting this website, then you’re probably eager to hear the music. Below you’ll find links to my favorite recordings. Some are available for free on YouTube. Others can be found on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Because I like to download music and buy CDs, I’ve also included options for that. Enjoy!

If you have a favorite recording you’d like to tell me about, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me your recommendations.

Happy listening!

Anna Harwell Celenza 


Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition Haydn's Farewell Symphony
Bach's Goldberg Variations Beethoven's Heroic Symphony

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Mussorgsky's Pictures at an ExhibitionThere are many wonderful performances of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. I have two favorite performances of the original piano version. First is Evgeny Kissin’s, because he has so much energy and spirit. He doesn't miss a single note, and every phrase is crisp and clear. My other favorite performer is Vladimir Ashkenazy, who plays the work as I imagine Mussorgsky himself performed it. Ashkenazy also composed an orchestral version of Pictures at an Exhibition that’s close in spirit to the original piano version. That said, Maurice Ravel's orchestration is a masterpiece, too. I have included links to various performances of both the piano and orchestral versions.

To stream:

YouTube

  • Evgeny Kissin, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (original piano version)
  • National Youth Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson (orchestral version created by Maurice Ravel) 
    • I especially enjoy watching this performance on YouTube, because all the musicians are teenagers! 

Spotify

Amazon Prime

For download:

iTunes

CD Purchase:

You can always check with the closest store to you that carries CDs—many can place custom orders for you. Or you can purchase CDs online.

Amazon


Haydn's Farewell SymphonyI remember performing Haydn’s Symphony No. 45 (The Farewell Symphony) as a teenager. I played cello in the local youth orchestra. It is such a fun piece to play. Haydn had a great sense of humor! There are literally hundreds of recordings available. My favorite version of all time is the one conducted by Christopher Hogwood and performed by the Academy of Ancient Music. This is the recording I listened to when writing the book Haydn’s Farewell Symphony. But there are lots of great recordings. I also enjoy the performances of Sir Charles Mackerras conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Fritz Lehmann conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.

To stream:

YouTube

Spotify

For download:

iTunes

CD Purchase:

You can always check with the closest store to you that carries CDs—many can place custom orders for you. Or you can purchase CDs online.

Amazon

 


Bach's Goldberg VariationsOne day I heard a dear friend, John Kamitsuka, practicing Bach’s Goldberg Variations for an upcoming recital. I was mesmerized, and I wondered who Goldberg was and why Bach’s music carried his name. That’s how I came to write this book. I love John’s recording of the Goldberg Variations, so I’ve included it here. Bach wouldn’t have heard his music played on the piano, which hadn’t been invented yet. He had the harpsichord in mind. It’s a keyboard instrument that looks a bit like a piano, but as you’ll hear, sounds markedly different. Wanda Landowska was the first to record the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord. Glenn Gould made the variations an international hit when he recorded them on the piano in the 1950s. Most recently, I discovered a recording by Keith Jarrett, a jazz pianist. His recording of the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord shows that he has classical chops as well.

To stream:

YouTube

Spotify

Amazon Prime

For download:

iTunes

CD Purchase:

You can always check with the closest store to you that carries CDs—many can place custom orders for you. Or you can purchase CDs online.

Amazon

 


Beethoven's Heroic SymphonyBeethoven holds a special place in my heart. Like many musicians, I am deeply touched by his music. Of the hundreds of works Beethoven composed, his Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, called “Eroica” (the “Heroic”) has always helped me when I’m feeling down or struggling with a creative project. Beethoven broke a lot of composition rules with this symphony. Perhaps that’s why it feels so exciting and expansive. Some conductors choose a quick tempo. Others prefer a more reserved pace. I enjoy listening to various performances and comparing how each conductor makes the work his/her own. Here are a few of my favorites. Perhaps they will inspire you to seek out others.

To watch:

There is a BBC film about Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. You can watch the film on YouTube here.

To stream:

YouTube

Spotify

Amazon Prime

For download:

iTunes

  • Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Christopher Hogwood
    • On this recording the musicians are performing on historic instruments.

CD Purchase:

You can always check with the closest store to you that carries CDs—many can place custom orders for you. Or you can purchase CDs online.

Amazon

 

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