Friday, November 13, 2015

Classical Composers, Part Two

Check out Part One here!

I had the fortune yesterday of watching Disney's Fantasia (1940) on the big screen here in the Bay Area, which reminded me to continue this series. Who doesn't love Stravinsky's Rite of Spring explored with dinosaurs?!

Again, each name will include musical accompaniment.

Lass uns gehen!

Claude-Achille Debussy
Associated with Impressionist music, Debussy is known for his innovative compositions, including Clair de Lune - not a bad spelling of Claire if you're looking for a subtle homage! (Or how about Clair Luna?) He was also very influential on later jazz musicians, for those of you interested in music history. Claude is a little dated, the sound isn't great (like the English "clod"), and it means "lame". But Achille is a cool middle name option - it's like Achilles, pronounced Ash-EEL - and Debussy isn't far from Delaney or Destiny.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Now considered one of the greatest composers of all time, Bach was a Baroque musician in the late 17th and early 18th century. He was incredibly prolific - you've probably heard many of his compositions without realizing it. While Johann is a nice alternative to John, the star in his name is Sebastian - currently at #34. Bach is a bit short and lifeless to be a real contender. And in related names, Bach's father's middle name was Ambrosius - a really unusual find!

Franz Joseph Haydn
Wikipedia defines him as "instrumental in the development of chamber music" - a joke I don't think they've realized. Haydn was also friends with Mozart and a teacher of Beethoven - I would have loved to attend one of their social events! I think Haydn is great alternative spelling of Hayden, for any gender, to honor this great composer. And there were less than 200 Franz's born in the last decade - a relatively original choice!

Giuseppe Verdi (Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi)
A composer known for his operas, Verdi was a formidable personality. Today, productions of his work still spark controversy, so if you're looking for a passionate namesake, look no further! Giuseppe is the Italian variation of Joseph, "Jehovah increases", and fits in with current Italian trends in naming. Middle name Fortunino was also the name of an Italian WWI artist, and I haven't been able to find any information on it - very unusual! Verdi, meaning "green", has been used few times over the years - 16 in all of SSA baby name history, and would be an inspired choice.

Gustav Mahler
While his career focused more on conducting than composing, Mahler is still known in his own right for works like his Symphony No. 5. Interestingly, a ban on his music in Nazi Germany (Mahler was Jewish) increased his popularity in the Western world. His wife, Alma Mahler, had an incredibly interesting life, if you like rich biographies. Gustav, meaning "staff of the Goths", is and old-fashioned name with the cute nickname Gus. And Mahler, with its er-ending and easy pronunciation wouldn't be too out of place either!

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky
Renowned for causing near-riots at his opening of Rite of Spring, this 20th century composer has a legacy continuing to this day. Stravinsky wrote for orchestras and ballets, and is one of the composers honored in Disney's Fantasia. Unfortunately, I don't think any of his three names really fit with today's modern namers: Igor's a bit scary, Fyodorovich inaccessible, and Stravinsky too long. Maybe as middle names, if you're truly trying to honor this artist.

Tune in soon for part three of this series!

No comments:

Post a Comment