This reporter is now in Vienna, Austria, which is called the capital of music. Tomorrow’s destination is Croatia, a country with the beautiful Dalmatian coast on the Adriatic Sea. The journey is to attend the Salzburg Whitsun Festival held in May.
In fact, it is difficult to say that Croatia is a country filled with the rich history of classic music. Still, Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer often referred to as the father of classical music, is known to have frequently used Croatian folk tunes in his music probably affected by his childhood spent in the suburbs where many Croatians lived. Another household name related to classical music and Croatia is Franz von Suppe (1819-1895), who was called the master of the operetta (a genre of light opera that is less serious), in the late 19th century.
Suppe wrote numerous musical plays, but it is rare to see one of his operettas on stage nowadays, except in Austria and the southern regions of Germany. Yet, a number of overtures he composed for the beginning of operettas are still widely beloved. Used in the TV commercial of herbal medicine, the trumpet solo in an operetta “Poet and Peasant” is familiar to all Koreans, and the overture of “Light Cavalry” is also a popular choice for orchestras. Other well-known overtures composed by him include those in “The Beautiful Galatea” and “Boccaccio.”
May 21 of this year marks the 123rd anniversary of Suppe’s death. In celebration of the Family Month of May, how about playing Suppe’s most-loved overtures for children? They will certainly like the music, filled with fast-paced rhythms and vitality, just like this reporter did as a child. Listening to Suppe’s cheerful overtures, children will be able to get to know early in their life how beautiful it is when each and every musical instrument of an orchestra plays its part, with their sounds all mingled with one another.