It was a busy summer for the Classics a Day team. In June, we marked African-American Music Appreciation Month. In July we celebrated national holidays in the U.S. and  Canada. So that just left August to have a summer theme.

For my part, I chose to choose anything except Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” In the process, I discovered some interesting music (and composers) I’ll explore further.

August 2019 began on a Thursday (making for a very short week). So here are my picks for the first nine days of #ClassicalSummer.

8/1/19 Anon. 13th C.: Sumer is icumen in

This is one of the earliest rounds preserved in music manuscript. It’s from an abbey manuscript, c.1260. and is in the Wessex dialect of Middle English.

8/2/19 Joseph Suk: A Summer’s Tale, Op. 29

This 1908 tone poem is part of a trilogy, which includes “The Ripening” and “Prague.” “Summer’s Tale” is the longest of the three and the most complex.

8/5/19 Philippe Chamouard: Madrigal d’été pour violoncelle et orchestre

Chamouard is a modern French composer who writes in a Neo-Romantic style. The 2016 Summer Madrigal is one of his most popular works.

8/6/19 Franz Joseph Haydn – The Seasons – Summer

The creation of Haydn’s 1801 oratorio was prompted by the success of “The Creation.” The tone-painting in the Summer section includes the musical depiction of croaking frogs.

8/7/19 Felix Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mendelssohn wrote the overture to Shakespeare’s play when he was 17. The rest of the incidental music (including the Wedding March) was written 18 years later.

8/8/19 Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel – “August” from Das Jahr

Fanny Mendelssohn completed her piano work, “Das Jahr” (The Year) in 1841. Each of the 12 pieces depicts a different month.

8/9/19 Sigismond Thalberg – Variations on “The Last Rose of Summer,” Op. 73

Thalberg was one of the most popular touring piano virtuosi of the mid-19th Century. He was also one of the most popular composers for the instrument. These variations on the Irish folk song were published in 1857.