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The Official Blog from | 'Classical+music'

Franz Liszt and Lisztomania

posted on 17/05/2013

Despite selling a fair amount of records, The Beatles had a rather big effect on women, and by that I mean turn them absolutely bonkers coining the term ‘Beatlemania’. Women loved the British rock band leading them to shout, cry and faint at any live performance or public appearance. Michael Jackson would later come along and cause the same mass hysteria when he would theatrically enter on stage. In fact, come to think of it… every Jacko concert I’ve seen would feature women passed out and being carried away from the crowd.

However, in a time long before terrible haircuts and ridiculous black-to-white pop stars one Hungarian born classical music composer and performer had the ladies swooning to his gigs. Franz Liszt was regarded as ‘not your average pianist’ with this long hair and reputation as a player with the ladies. Liszt started out giving piano lessons to young women in Paris before his on stage performances took him further afield and into the public arena.

Liszt took the German city of Berlin by storm, with a flock of female fans fighting over a piece of him whether for a broken piano string, a handkerchief or even tearing away bits of his clothing and hair, Liszt could certainly be considered a rock star of his time.

It doesn’t stop being weird there. Women were even known to collect his used cigar butts and store them in their cleavage as well as carrying glass phials to store dregs of his coffee. Let’s see how Justin Bieber compares to that…

Women were so infatuated and sexually gagging for a piece of Liszt ass, it was even considered a medical condition. Which, if you know your words (or have access to Wiki) the term ‘Mania’ is described as the following: “… a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels. In a sense, it is the opposite of depression.”

That’s right, Berlin was hit by Lisztomania. Rock on Franz you dark horse. Should you feel the urge to get down, we have a selection of Symphonies and Piano concertos in our Liszt Royalty Free Music collection.


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I Know That Tune - Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement

posted on 10/02/2015

You may have heard it many times before, but never knew where it was from, what it was called, or who composed it. The Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement has a distinct section that has been used again and again in popular culture. Find out the origins of this memorable piece of royalty free classical music.

The Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement was composed by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875 and revised a few times until the final piece was published in December 1888 and has become one his most popular works.

An interesting fact behind the introduction to the piece is the concerto's first theme, which follows the famous introduction, is actually based on a melody that Tchaikovsky heard performed by blind beggar-musicians at a market in Kamenka (near Kiev).

The most popular and prominent part of the piece is the first 0.50 seconds which has been hugely popularised worldwide including use, most recently by Russian energy supplier, Gazprom in their 2013 European Champions League television advert, below:

It was also widely popularised way back in the 1970s featuring in a Monty Python sketch, parodying Sviatoslav Richter, a Russian pianist whom was also famous for playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement. See the Python Sviatoslav Richter and Rita Sketch below:

This piece was also further popularized among many Americans when it was used as the theme to Orson Welles's famous radio series, The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The Concerto came to be associated with Welles throughout his career and was often played when introducing him as a guest on both radio and television:

Browse more royalty free classical music or more pieces by Tchaikovsky.

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Recommended Classical Music

Browse royalty free classical music posted on 24/05/2013

We have hundreds upon hundreds of royalty free classical music tracks, and if you don't know your Schubert from your Sherbert finding a suitable piece can be a nightmare. We've compiled our recommended selection of classical music that showcases the familiar and famous classical music pieces you've heard in cinema and television/radio.

You'll recognise Beethoven's iconic 5th Symphony, as well as the Wagner's epic Ride of the Valkyries and many more famous classical music pieces.

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Revision with a Twist - Classical Music used in Revision Guides

Browse royalty free classical music posted on 23/05/2013

We recently worked with CGP Books, the UK's leading educational book publisher with over 600 titles across a wide range of subjects. The project involved providing a selection of royalty free classical music tracks for use in their online digital revision guides.

I wish digital revision guides with interactive sections and classical music were available when I was in school. It may have held my attention for more than a few minutes...

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The Nokia Ringtone

posted on 12/07/2016

One of the most recognisable sounds in modern times, but did you know the iconic Nokia ringtone was originally part of a classical piece of music? Listen below and after 0.12 seconds it'll sound familiar:

The Nokia tune (also called Grande Valse) is a phrase from a composition for solo guitar, Gran Vals, by the Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. It has been the icon of Finnish corporation Nokia since the 1990s, becoming the first identifiable musical ringtone on a mobile phone, and has become a cult classic.

The Nokia Tune was first heard briefly for 3 seconds in a Nokia 1011 commercial in 1992, as part of the Gran Vals used in the ad.

In 1993 Anssi Vanjoki, then Executive Vice President of Nokia, brought the whole Gran Vals to Lauri Kivinen (then Head of Corporate Communications) and together they selected the excerpt that became "Nokia tune". The excerpt is taken from measures (bars) 13–16 of the piece.

The Nokia Tune first appeared on the Nokia 2110 released in 1994, under the name ringtone Type 7, showing that it was just one of the normal ringtones. The tune's original name varied in the ringtone list, being listed as Type 13 on some phones, or Type 5 on others. In December 1997 with the introduction of the Nokia 6110, ringtones were each given a specific name, and this is where the Nokia tune came, though it was originally called Grande valse. In 1999, Grande valse was renamed as Nokia tune and effectively became Nokia's flagship ringtone.

You can license this piece of music for use in your project from our library here.

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