Round of 16

World Cup of Classical Music

As we head into the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup, learn about notable compositions from each of the countries in our World Cup of Classical Music. The first games begin Saturday, June 28 with Brazil vs. Chile and go through Tuesday, July 1 with Belgium vs. The United States. The round features composers of great international fame, and others of lesser notoriety. Just like the teams themselves, however, the composers are the pride  of their respective countries. Take a look and see the composer and composition of each Round of 16 country:

Saturday, June 28, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. ET

BrazilHeitor Villa-Lobos
Bachianas brasileiras
Bachianas brasileiras is a set of nine pieces for various instrumental and vocal groups, in which a contrapuntal technique in the manner of Bach is applied to themes of Brazilian origin. Each of his twelve symphonies alludes to a historic event or place.


ChilePedro Humberto Allende
La Voz de las Calles
La Voz de las Calles is a symphonic poem inspired by local merchants’ yells throughout the streets. The work is considered a national exaltation of Chile through music and it premiered at El Teatro Unión Central de Santiago.

Saturday, June 28, 2014 | 5:00 p.m ET

ColombiaGuillermo Uribe Holguín 
Tres Danzas (Three Dances)
Born in Bogotá in 1880, Holguín is perhaps one of Colombia’s most important cultural figures of his time. He composed in many genres and founded the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. His Tres Danzas represents one of his finest orchestral works.


UruguayPedro Ipuche Riva
Concierto para piano y orquesta
This concierto for piano and orchestra is one of Riva’s most well-known works. Perhaps one of the most famous Uruguayan composers, Riva became instrumental in establishment of classical music in Uruguay throughout the twentieth century.

Sunday, June 29, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. ET

NetherlandsLouis Andriessen
De Staat
De Staat is a large choral work based on Plato’s Republic, sung in the original Greek.


MexicoCarlos Chávez 
Sinfonia No. 2, “Sinfonía india” 
“Chávez’s music is unmistakably Mexican in its melodic patterns and rhythmic inflections. From indigenous Mexican music he took the uses of percussion, straightforward rhythms, and old forms of harmony and melody.” (Britannica Online)

Sunday, June 29, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. ET
Costa Rica

Costa RicaLuis Diego Herra
Pieza para Teclado
Luis Diego Herra, a modern Costa Rican composer, represents the recent revitalization of classical music in Costa Rica. His “Pieza para Teclado” is a piano composition.


GreeceManolis Kalomiris 
Greek Folk Dance
Manolis Kalomiris founded the Greek National School of Music and was one of the most prominent Greek composers of his time. He admired the likes of Richard Wagner and Rimsky-Korsakoff, and he used Greek fold rhythms throughout his compositions. His “Greek Folk Dance” is an example of this trend.

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. ET

FranceGabriel Faure
The best known of Fauré’s large works, the Requiem contains the famous soprano aria Pie Jesu. Most of the text is in Latin and the composer follows a French Baroque tradition. While only slightly altering the texts of the Introit, Kyrie, Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei, and In Paradisum, Faure dramatically changed the text of the Offertory.


NigeriaFela Sowande 
Considered the “father of modern Nigerian art music,” Sowande is the most famous African composer of works in the classical genre. His “Akinla” is a work for chamber orchestra and shows his prowess in composition.

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. ET

GermanyRichard Wagner 
Die Walküre 
An opera in three acts, Die Walküre is the second of the four operas that form Wagner’s cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. The opera is based on Norse mythology and it’s most popular excerpt is the famous “Ride of the Vakyries.”


AlgeriaEl Hadj M’Hamed El Anka
Lahmam Li Rabito
Perhaps the most popular Algerian composers and musicians of classical music, El Hadj became known as “The Grand Master of Andalusian classical music.” “Lahmam Li Rabito” is one of his most popular works and clearly shows Andalusian influences.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. ET

ArgentinaAlberto Ginastera 
Don Rodrigo 
Don Rodrigo is an opera in three acts to an original Spanish libretto by Alejandro Casona. Plácido Domingo had his international breakthrough by singing the title role at the US premiere of the opera by the New York City Opera.


SwitzerlandFrank Martin
Le Vin herbe
Le Vin herbe is an oratorio based on transcendent erotic themes. Finished in 1940, Frank Martin relates in music the Tristan and Isolde story as told in Joseph Bedier’s novel.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. ET

BelgiumCésar Franck 
Symphony in D minor
The most famous orchestral work composed by the 19th century Belgian César Franck, the work took two years to complete and premiered at the Paris Conservatory in 1889, just a year before the composer’s death.

United States

USAAaron Copland
Billy the Kid
Aaron Copeland composed the music for this ballet based on the legend of Billy the Kid. The music evokes the image of the American West and prairie life. The ballet was so popular when it debuted that Copland extracted a concert suite from the larger work. This is the form most frequently heard today.

Stay tuned for the next round of the 2014 World Cup of Classical Music and see who moves on!