Farewell Symphonyby Anna Harwell Celenza, Joann E. Kitchel (Illustrator)
The blustering, bellowing prince entertained hundreds of guests
Anna Harwell Celenza's engaging fictionalized telling of the story behind Franz Joseph Haydn's famous symphony is a perfect introduction to classical music and its power. THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY brings to life a long summer spent at Esterháza, the summer palace of Prince Nicholas of Esterházy.
The blustering, bellowing prince entertained hundreds of guests at his rural retreat and demanded music for every occasion. As the months passed, Haydn was kept very busy writing and performing music for parties, balls, dinners, and even walks in the gardens. His orchestra members became homesick and missed their families. The anger, frustration, and longing of the musicians is expressed beautifully in the symphony born of the clever mind of Joseph Haydn who used it to convince Prince Nicholas that it was time to go home.
Wonderfully expressive illustrations by JoAnn E. Kitchel capture all the comedy and pathos of this unique symphony. Beautifully interpretive motifs and borders convey the setting and emotion of the story mirroring the structure of the symphony with the repetitive use of sets of four. Making classical music and history come alive with color and character, THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY ensures a place for the arts in the hearts and minds of children.
Papa Haydn, as he was known, was responsible not just for composing operas, symphonies, dances, and sacred music, but also for managing all the instruments and the musicians of the court orchestra. When the musicians are called to the summer palace, the pace of performances at first keeps them too busy to be homesick. Summer drags into November and they begin to miss their families. They plead with Haydn to convince the Prince to return to Austria. He answers their plea with The Farewell Symphony, allowing each movement to relate the plight of the orchestra to the Prince.
Although the descriptions of how the Prince reacted to each movement are fictionalized, the resulting immediate return to Austria is fact. Children and adults are often interested in the story behind great works of art, and this one is doubly enhanced.
First, the watercolor and ink illustrations by Kitchel are three-quarter page spreads, with additional border designs on many pages. They have a stained-glass quality, and adeptly depict the wigs and ruffles of the time as well as the emotions of the music. Secondly, the book comes with a compact disc of not only The Farewell Symphony (no. 45), but alsoThe Hornsignal Symphony. How delightful to be able to read this story and listen to the music as the same time. There is additional information about the distinctiveness of the eighteenth century symphony and an author's note.
- Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- BOOK & CD
- Product dimensions:
- 10.47(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.35(d)
- Age Range:
- 6 - 9 Years
Meet the Author
Anna Harwell Celenza is a musicologist and the author of several books for adults and children regarding music history and the history of art. Her children’s books include THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY, PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, GERSHWIN'S RHAPSODY IN BLUE, and VIVALDI'S FOUR SEASONS. Anna lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Hello, I am a high school student and I am lucky enough to have been introduced today to this splended book and the going along cd. I am a senior and I throughly enjoyed this book and the going along symphony! The ages for this book are 5-8, but I really belive that EVERYONE would love this book!!!
"The Farewell Symphony" is the first children's book offering from Anna Celenza, a professor of music at Michigan State University. Within the book, the reader will find eloquent and appropriate text for young readers accompanied by marvelous, whimsical, and colorful illustrations. I have found my students thoroughly enjoy this book and the history contained therein in conjuntion with the CD of the Farewell Symphony itself. Invaluable in helping children understand classical music and highly recommended for educators.