ΜΟΥΣΙΚΟ ΗΜΕΡΟΛΟΓΙΟ ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ
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Death of Sir WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT 1875
English composer.For a brief period in the 1830s he enjoyed a high reputation in the Germany of Mendelssohn and Schumann.He was the son of the organist of Sheffield parish church but was orphaned when three years old and was brought up in Cambridge,where he was a King's chorister.In 1826 he was admitted'as a prodigy'to the RAM,studying the violin,piano,and composition.Soon his brilliance as a pianist became well known,and a piano concerto he wrote in 1832,when Cipriani Potter had become his teacher,earned him an invitation to Germany from Mendelssoh
'The Mary Queen'(1858),'The woman of Samaria(1867),and a new symphony(1864).He also edited works by Bach and Handel.
Sterndale Bennett - Symphony in G minor - Allegro Moderato
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Death of GIUSEPPE GAZZANIGA 1818 in Crema
Italian composer.He studied with Porpora and Piccinni but remained a minor member of that brilliant generation which included Paisiello and Cimarosa.After beginning his career in Naples in 1768 he went on to present comic and serious operas at various Italian theatres.He is most associated with Venice where his best-known work,'Don Giovanni',was performed as part of a 'dramatic caprice'in 1787.He became maestro di cappella in Crema in 1791 and composed several liturgical works,his theatrical activity ceasing in 1801.
In the next six years he composed five more concertos,several symphonies,and songs and piano pieces;Schumann expressed intense admiration for his work.He became professor of music at Cambridge University in 1856,instituting examinations for the music degrees,and principal of the RAM in 1866.He was knighted in 1871.He wrote the cantata
G. Gazzaniga. Don Giovanni. Aria del Catalogo. Alfredo García l Barítono
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Italian conductor.After studying the violin and composition at the Milan Conservatory he made his conducting debut at Ferrara in 1898.He soon established a repuation as a leading opera conductor and became principal conductor at La Scala,Milan,in 1909,introducing a wide range of new repertory.He was at the Metropolitan Opera,New York,from 1924 to 1934,and was artistic director of the Rome Opera from 1934 to 1943.Thereafter he was internationally sought after and revered as a master of balance,style,and ensemble precision in opera.He became a major influence in nurturing singers'careers,coaching such artists as Rosa Ponselle,Maria Callas,and Joan Sutherland.His performances were disciplined but dramatic,and in his long career he passed on his experiences from the time of Verdi to the modern world.
Rossini / Tullio Serafin, 1965: William Tell Overture - Rome Opera Orchestra, Rare Vinyl LP
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Death of FRANCISCO VALLS
1747 in BarcelonaCatalan composer and music theorist.Although he composed prodigiously and was maestro de capilla of the parish church in Mataro and the cathedrals in Gerona and Barcelona for many years,his lasting claim to fame emerged with the posthumous publication of his treatise'Mapa armonico'(1741-2,written after his retirement).His interest in theoriticalquestions was perhaps partly stimulatedby the heated debate caused by his'Missa Scala aretina'(1720),whichcontained unprepared dissonances regarded as inadmissible by some critics of the day.
Birth of FELIX MENDELSSOHN
1809 in HamburgGerman composer.For details SEE 4th november(music diary)
Birth of JOHANN GEORG ALBRECHTSBERGER
1736 in KlosterneuburgAustrian organist,conposer,theorist,and teacher.After studies in his home town,he went to the school at Melk Abbeyand subsequently studied philosophy at the Jesuit seminary in V ienna. About 1775 he became organist at Gyor in Hungary,later holding similar posts in Lower Austria and at Melk.In 1772 he became first organist in 1792.A yearlater he was appointed Kapellmeister at St Stephen's Cathedral,remaining there until his death.He was a prolific composer,of church music and instrumental works,and author of an influential treatise on composition.He taught a whole generation of Viennese musicians,including Beethoven( who, like Mozart,thought highlyof him) and Hummel.
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Death of JOSEF MYSLIVECEK 1781 in Rome
Czech composer.After studying music in Prague,he entered the family trade,becoming a master miller in 1761.Quickly abandoned this career for music,in 1763 he went to Venice where he studied composition with Pescetti.His first succees was with the opera 'Il Bellerofonte'(Naples,1867),and
until the failure of 'Armida'(Milan,1780)he remained popular throughout Italy.He was also well known in Vienna and Munich.His last three years were dogged by operatic failures,poverty,and illness resulting from a disollute life;he died alone and destitute in Rome.
His many operas,almost all written for Italy,are marked by a pleasing if ingenuous lyricism,and observe without modification the conventions of 'opera seria'.Certain features of his melodic style look back to his Bohemian origins,and in spite of the failure of his last operas Myslivecek's influence on contemporaries,not least Mozart,was significant.
Mysliveček Cello Concerto Part 1/ M. Fukačová
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Birth of OLE BULL 1810 in Bergen
Norwegian violinist and composer.A seminal figure in 19th-century Norwegian musical life,he also experimented with modifications to the shape of the bow and to the height of the bridge while developing a new manner of holding both.His performing career took him throughout Europe(he played with Liszt and Mendelssohn) and to the USA.
In his homeland he established the Norwegian Theatre,appointing the young Henrik Ibsen as resident dramatist,and later encouraged Grieg to study in Leipzig.His playing skills were comparable to Paganini's,and Schumann was struck by his beautiful tone.His compositions,which include the song'Saeterjentens Sondag,are rich in melody and harmony.
Ole Bull Sæterjentens Søndag
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Birth of CLAUDIO ARRAU
1991 in ChillanChilean pianist.He studied with Martin Krause in Berlin,made his recital debut in 1914,and in 1915 appeared as asoloist under Nikisch.He was famed for cycles of Mozart,Beethoven,and Schubert,but he also played Chopin,Liszt,Debussy,and Schoenberg.A thoughtful artist,equally at home in the recording studio and on the concertplatform,he was also renowned for giving absorbing master classes.
Death of JOHANN PHILIPP KRIEGER
1725 in WeissenfelsGerman composer and organist.After early studies at Copenhagen he entered service at the court of B ayreut.In 1677 he became organist at Halle ,and in 1680 moved to Weissenfels as Kapellmeister.His output(most of which is now lost)included 2000 cantatas,18 operas,and much chamber music.His surviving sacred works show his mastery of the mixed-text(Bible and free poetic)setting,typical of the pre-Bach'cyclic'cantata.
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Death of ANDRE CARDINAL DESTOUCHES
1749 in ParisFrench composer.He was educated by the Jesuits and visited Siam when he was 15.He joined the army,but left in 1694 to take up music.He had a 'pastorale-heroique,Isse,performed to Louis XIV's delight at Fontainebleau in 1697.Although some of his contemporaries considerede him an amateur,his operas,which include 'tragedies' and ballets of varioustypes,and noted for their keen theatrical sense,their flexible declamation and their attractive and colourful dances.He also composed'grands motets'but all are now lost.
Death of MARCOS ANTONIO PORTUGAL
1830 in Rio de JaneiroPortuguese composer.He studied at the Seminario Patriarcal in Lisbon,remaining in the city as a conductor and opera composer until 1972.That year he went to study in Italy,though he seems to have spent more time composing operas than taking lessons;the most successful of his Italian works was 'La confusione della somiglianza'(1793).In 1800 he returned to Lisbon to take up the posts of royal maestre da capela and director of opera at the S.Carlostheatre.He never returned to Europe.He wrote over 50 operas,both Portuguese and Italian,and composed over 100 sacred works.The finale of his cantata 'La speranza'(1809)served as the Portuguese national anthem until 1834.
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Birth of JOSEPH LEOPOLD EYBLER
1765 in ViennaAustrian composer.He studied with Haydn.Befriended by Mozart,he was at first entrusted with the task of completing the Requiem,but yielded this to Sussmayr.In 1792 he became choirmaster of the Carmelite Church in Vienna,and from 1794 that of the Schotten monastery,where he remained for 30 years.He was court music master and,from 1804,firstdeputy Hofkapellmeister under Salieri,whom he succeeded in 1824.He was a proficient instrumentalist and singer whosecompositions,including masses,oratorios,symphonies,chamber and piano music,and operas,were praised by both Haydnand Mozart.
Birth of JACOB PRAETORIUS
1586 in HamburgGerman composer and organist.After studying in Amsterdam with Sweelinck he worked at the Hamburg church of St Petri.He was well known for his organ music,especially for his chorale settings and for some so-called preludes;these comprised chordal preludes followed by monothematic fugues and were direct precursors of Bach's preludes and fugues.
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Birth of ALBAN BERG
1885 in ViennaAustrian composer.For details SEE 24th Dec.(music diary)
Death of ERNO DOHNANYI
1960 in New YorkHungarian composer.In 1893 he entered the Budapesr Academy to study with Istvan Thoman(piano) and Hans Koessler(composition);in not seeking his education outside Hungary he set a precedent thet was followed by his younger friend Bartok.He made his debut as a pianist in Berlin in 1897 and then enjoyed a career as a virtuoso;he also served as director of the Budapest Conservatory from 1919 In 1948 he left Hungary for political reasons and settled in the USA.His compositions include two piano concertos and the popular Variations on a nursery Song for piano and orchestra(1913),three symphonies,three operas and chamber music.
Death of FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEINSTER
1812 in ViennaAustrian composer and publisher After studying law in Vienna he turned to music,becoming well known as a composer of'Singspiele' and instrumental music.His publishing firm,founded in 1784,included some of Mozart's String Quartet in DK499 is often known as the 'Hoffmeister'Quarter At about the turn of the 18th century he foundeda'bureau de musique'withAmbrosius Kuhnel in Leipzig:this eventually became the publishing house C.F.*Peters Verlag.
Death of VINCENT LUBECK 1740
in HamburgGerman composer,organist,and teacher.His first performance at the age of 20,was at Stade,where he remained for nearly 30 years.In 1702 he became organist at St Nicolai,Hamburg,where he spent the rest of his working life.His few known compositions include three cantatas,one of which,'Willkommen susser Brautigam'('Welcome,Sweet Bridegroom'),for Christmas,remains popular in Germany and nine large works for organ of a quality to rival those of Buxtehude.
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Death of ANTONIO BAZZINI
1897 in MilanItalian violinist and composer.He spent his early life on concert tours throughout Europe.After some years in Parishhe returned to Italy,where he became professor of composition(1873),then director(1882),of the Milan Conservatory.He wrote an opera and some orchestral works but was best known for his chamber music;he also wrote the famous showpiece for violin'La Ronde des lutins'.His many pupils included Puccini.
Birth of JEAN COULTHARD
Death of VICENTE MARTIN y SOLER
1806 in PetersburgSpanish composer.Born and raised in Valencia,he composed his first opera in 1775 for the court of Madrid.By the end of 1777 he was writing operas and ballets in Naples.In 1782 he moved to Venice,also fulfilling commissions for Turin and Parma.In 1785 he went on to Vienna,where he wrote three operas to librettos by Da Ponte.Of these 'Una cosa rara'(1786) and' L'arbore di Diana'(1787) were immensely popular;Mozart quoted a tune from the former in DonGiovanni's supper music.In 1788 Martin took up the position of court composer to Catherine II,providing Russianoperas and ballets for her residence.At the end of his contract in 1794 he left for London,where he composed two operas for the 1795 season at the King's Theatre,again with Da Ponte.By early 1796 Martin was back in St Petersburg and obtained a teaching position,which he held until his death.
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Italian composer.His career began in Rome with 'Nerone'(1735),and he had operas performed in Milan,Florence,London,and other centres.He was appointed maestro di cappella in Parma towards the end of the 1740s
and collaborated with Goldoni on'La buona figliuola(1756)In 1761 he became music director of the Comedie-Italienne.
He was the first major composer of opera comique,his Italianate music delighting the public.
Egidio Duni: "Balletscene", Allegretto in G Major
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Death of ANTON STEPANOVICH ARENSKY 1906 in Zelenogorsk,Russia.
Russian composer.He studied with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatory,then taught harmony and
counterpoint at the Moscow Conservatory.Later he returned to St Petersburg as director of the imperial court chapel(1895)resigning in 1901 with a substuntial pension which allowed him the freedom to compose.He composed three operas,piano music,chamber music, and several orchestral works,including two symphonies,a Piano Concerto,and a Violin Concerto.Arensky died of consumption,having for years led a life of drinking and gambling which undermind his health and finances.
Anton Arensky - Etude Op. 25, no. 3
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Death of AGOSTINO STEFFANI 1728 in Frankfurt
Italian composer.He was educated at Padua.When he was 13 his voice earned him a position with Elector Ferdinand
Maria of Bavaria,who took him back to Munich.In 1672 he went to Rome to study with Ercole Bernabei.In 1688 he left Munich for Hanover,where he was Kapellmeister to the newly opened Italian opera theatre.Although he composed operas and other works,he spent much of his time travelling round Europe as a diplomat and ambassador.During a period in Rome he met Handel,who was much influenced by Steffani's attractive chamber duets to Italian texts.
He did much to popularize opera in northen Europe,combining the Venetian idiom with elements of the French style.
Agostino Steffani: NIOBE, REGINA DI TEBE
Birth of THOMAS CAMPION 1567 in London
English composer and poet.His music,all for voices,is immediately attractive.It is especially tuneful,restrained though rarely melancholic,and marked by sectional repetition and the occasional sequence.His masques are distinguished by their musical and poetic content ,especially the first,the'Lord Hayes(1607),where music and poetry not only adorn the masque but also direct the whole movement of the work.In his ayres the vocal line is all-important,the lute acting very much as an accompaniment.In his five books of ayres,and other single examples,can be found a perfect union of
music and poetry.
1804 he was Kapellmeister to Prince Ferdinand of Prussia.After his patron's death in 1806,he turned to concert promotion and teaching.Haydn played with Dussek in London,describing him as 'one of the most upright,moral,and,in
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Birth of JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK 1760 in Caslav
Bohemian pianist and composer.The son of a well-known musician,Jan Dussek(1738-1818),-he studied in Prague and in Hamburg possibly with C.P.E.Bach.He visited Germany,Russia,Lithuania,Italy,and France before settling in London in 1789.There he set up a music-publishing business with his father-in-law,Domenico Corri,and gave many concerts.By1799 the publishing business was bankrupt,and Dussek took refuge from his creditors in Hamburg;from 1804 he was Kapellmeister to Prince Ferdinand of Prussia.After his patron's death in 1806,he turned to concert promotion and teaching.Haydn played with Dussek in London,describing him as 'one of the most upright,moral,and,in music,most eminent of men'.His works,while firmly rooted in the classical style,foreshadow the Romantic period in their use of expressive chromatic harmonies.
Jan Ladislav Dusík - Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 49 - I. Allegro (PART 1/2)
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Death of WILHELM RICHARD WAGNER 1883 in Venice
THE EARLY YEARS
German composer.Whether Wagner was the son of the police actuary Friedrich Wagner or the painter,poet,and actor
Ludwig Geyer can never be determined,for by the time of Fredrich's death from typhus in 1813,Johanna Wagner was
already Geyer's mistress.On her marriage to Geyer,the family moved to Dresden,where Wagner studied at the Kreuzschule and his love for music first kindled by the example of Weber.In June 1830 Wagner enrolled at Leipzig
Hochzeit',which he partly composed,then beginning work on 'Die Feen',a romantic opera(composed 1833-4,produced
1888.Moving to Magdeburg as conductor in 1834,Wagner conducted operas by Bellini and Rossini as well as German works and the French opera comique repertory.He also married the actressWilhelmine(Minna);their stormy and erratic marriage lasted until her death in 1866,though he was not by then living with her.Partly so as to provide distraction from his unhappy private life,he began work on 'Rienzi'.From London,he and Minna went on to Paris,where he hoped to conquer the Opera,then the most influential theatre in Europe,with 'Rienzi'(1840).In Paris,where he endured considerable hardship,Wagner completed 'Rienzi',wrote his 'Faust Overture,came to know and admire Berlioz,was
introduced to the legends of 'Tannhauser'and 'Lohengrin,and wrote the text and music of 'Der fliegende Hollander
(1841)Leaving Paris in 1842,Wagner arrived in Dresden to his first triumph with 'Rienzi'.When this was followed by a more modest success for 'Der fliegende Hollander',Wagner took the work to Berlin,only to encounter his first taste of the critical hostility that was thereafter to divide musical Germany into Wagnerians and anti-Wagnerians..He had meanwhile begun work on'Tannhauser',completing it in the spring of 1845.
YEARS OF MATURITY
Wagner had meanwhile accepted a posr as conductor at Dresden in 1843,also beginning work on 'Lohengrin'(1848).
In 1850 Liszt conducted the first performance of 'Lohengrin in Weimar,and Wagner was encouraged to proceed with work on'Siegfrieds Tod'. As the idea grew in his mind,he added to the original concept texts for first'Der junge Siegfried',
then'Die Walkure'and'Das Rheingold'Thus the works that were to form'Der Ring des Nibelungen'came to be written in
reverse order.The text was completed at the end of 1852,and in spite of considerable financial difficulties Wagner
began work on 'Das Rheingold', completing it in September 1854.At the same time,under the influence of his love for the wife for a Swiss benefactor,Mathilde Wesendonk,he conceived the idea for 'Tristan und Isolde' and revived an earlier interest in the story of 'Parsifal'.Having completed'Die Walkure'and begun work on 'Siegfried'(as the third'Ring'
opera was now called),he broke off to devote himself to'Tristan' in August 1857.Forced to leave Zurich over his liaison with Mathilde Wesendonk,Wagner went first to Venice and then to Paris,where his new(1861) version of 'Tannhauser'
met with violent demonstrations but won him new admirers,among them
Wesendonk,Wagner went first to Venice and then to Paris,where his new(1861) version of 'Tannhauser'
met with violent demonstrations but won him new admirers,among them Baudelaire.At ythe moment when the financial affairs,always precarious,seemed finally about to overwhelm him,an offer came from Ludwig II of Bavaria:the outcome
was generous support and the promise of performances.Thanks to the king,'Tristan' was performed in 1865 under Hans von Bulow.with whose young wife Cosima,Liszt's daughter,Wagner had fallen in love.He left Bavaria to set up house
in Tridschen,on the Lake of Lukcerne.Here he completed'Die Meistersinger' in the autumn of 1867.Four months later
Cosima moved to Tribschen to live with Wagner.She had already borne him two daughters;the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869 prompted the 'Siegfried Idyll'on themes from the 'Ring'.
Great Dates 1 - 1874 Wagner - Part 1
Great Dates 1 - 1874 Wagner - Part 1
BAYREUTH AND THE RING
Wagner now turned his attention to the foundation of the ideal opera house that had so long eluded him;and after many difficulties he opened the new Festspielhaus in Beyreuth,supported by Ludwig and an army of subscribers and loyal workers,in 1876 with the completed 'Ring',now consisting of 'Das Rheingold','Die Walkure','Siegfried',and
'Gottrdammerung'.The festival was attended by an array of luminaries from all over Europe:Wagner was by now the most famous artist of the day.The'Ring' is essentially a myth of power,love,and renunciation,expressed in a dramatic conflict fought out between gods,giants,humans,dwarfts,and
orher beings.The success of the festival by no means assured the future of Bayreuth,not least since the king had lost some faith in Wagner over his elopement with Cosima and eventual marriage to her in 1870.But the festival which he attended,helped to reconcile him to Wagner,and further
support was forthcoming while Wagner turned his attention to what he intended to be his last work,'Parsifal'.
Ageing and tired,he paid frequent visits to Italy for his health(he suffered from erysipelas and from angina pectoris)He completed the score in Palermo early in 1882.The first performance took place in Bayreuth.In Septemer 1882 Wagner
travelled with his family to Venice.He planned now only to write some one-movement symphonies making use of the
motivic techniques he had evolved.On 13 February 1883 he had a fatal heart attack.His body was conveyed back to Bayreuth and buried in the garden of Wahnfried.Cosima survived him,at first reluctantly,to become the dominating figure at Bayreuth festivals until her death,shortly before that of her son Siegfried,in 1930.
A Richard Wagner Sampler: His Greatest Hits!
Richard Wagner - Die Feen, Ouvertüre 1/2
Death of JOHANN KASPAR KERLL 1693 in Munich
German organist and composer.His first employer,Archduke Leopold William at Vienna,sent him to Rome to study with Carissimi.In 1656 he was appointed Kapellmeister at the Bavarian court in Munich,and there he wrote a number of operas(including''L'Oronte''fo
r the openingof the opera house) and ballets,apparently with some success.In 1673 he moved to Vienna,becoming court organist at St Stephen'sCathedral in 1674 and at the imperial court in 1677.His works
include masses and keyboard pieces.Handel appears to have thought enough of Kerll's music to borrow from it:the
choruses'Egypt was glad'from Israel in Egypt and 'Let all the angels'from Messiah,for example,both had their origins in keyboard canzonas by Kerll.
Johann Kaspar Kerll (1627-1693) - Cuckoo Capriccio
French-born American soprano.She studied the piano at the Paris Conservatoire,then had singing lessons in New
York with Giovanni Zenatello.She made her stage debut in Mulhouse in 1928 as Lakme,for which her high,delicate,and agile coloratura voice was well suited.She caused a sensation in1931 when she took the title role of 'Lucia di Lammermoor'at the Metropolitan Opera,New York,where she went on to sing for 28 seasons.Her greatest successes
were in lyrical and colourful roles;she was an admired Gilda.She made many recordings and some films.
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Death of EDMUND RUBBRA
1986 in Gerrards CrossEnglish composer and teacher.He went to Reading University and the RCM where he studied composition with Holstand counterpoint with R.O.Morris.During World War II he worked as a pianist,after which he settled inOxford andtaught composition at the Guildhall School of Music.His first four symphonies appeared in quick succession between 1937 and 1941,establishing his reputation as a leading composer of his generation.His Fifth Symphony(1947-8),arguably his finest essay in the genre,marked the beginning of a further cycle of seven,the last of which was completed in 1979.He also wrote the Violin Sonata no.2 and Quartet no.1,the Piano Trio no.1,and the Quartet no.2 as well as works for voices with and without orchestra.
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1857 in BerlinRussian composer.Like many Russian gentlemen of his generation he began to compose romances as a dignified pastime,but he soon came to see composition as his vocation.After a few lessons with John Field he travelled to Italy in 1830 to study vocal composition During his Italian sojourn,though he had written a number of Italian arias and had been received warmly by Bellini and Donizetti,he decided that he did not want a career as an Italian opera composer,however promising his prospects.He returned to St Petersburg to plan the composition of a Russian opera.'A Life for the Tsar(also known as 'Ivan Susanin' in its Soviet adaptation)was given a lavish premiere,the inauguralperformance marking the opening of a new opera house in the presence of Tsar Nicholas I.His second opera followed in 1842:'Ruslan and Lyudmila',based on a Pushkin's narrative poem,was less explicitly Russian in its musical detail;its more complex idiom,slow pace,and great loenght pleased neither the court nor the public.
Embittered,he left Russia and spent most of his remaining years abroad,first in Paris,where he enjoyed the companyof Berlioz,and then in Spain where he wrote two Spanish overtures.In 1848 he returned to Russia.Only in the lastyear of his life did he resume his ambition of forging a Russian national music:taking Palestrina as his model,he set out toremould Russian churchmusic into a contrapuntal art,hoping that Russian music history could follow the course the 3West had taken earlier.He therefore returned to Berlin to resume his studies with Dehn,but died there shortly afterwards.
Birth of MICHAEL PRAETORIUS
1571 in Creuzburg an der WerraGerman composer and theorist.In 1595,after three year's service as organist,he was appointed court organist,and later Kapellmeister,at Wolfenbutell.In 1613,on the death of his employer,he joined the electoral court at Dresden.He visited Leipzig,Nuremberg,and Bayreuth,constantly studying the latesr musicalstyles and customs of his period.As a composer Praetorius ranged over a wide variety of styles and forms.In 'Terpsichore(1612),instrumental dances are based on tunes by Parisian dancing mastersand,in 'Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica'(1619),grand concertato settings of Lutheran texts,modelled on the leading Venetian styles of the day.
1899 in Lodeve,HeraultFrench composer.He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and the Schola Cantorum,but his career was determined much more by his association with Cocteau,Poulenc,and others as a member of Les *Six.His early works exude the carefreespirit of the group,and he aways shared Poulenc's delight in incongruity,remaining at the same time open to new ideas,even to those of the French avant-garde of the 1950s and 60s.His large output included an opera,ballets,scores for films by Rene Clair and Cocteau and for several Ealing comedies,chamber music,songs,and piano pieces.He also served as a music critic,and was director of the Paris opera houses(1962-8).
1740 in Aroslen. German bassoonist and composer.Amember of the orchestra at Zweibrucken in 1762,he became its Konzertmeister in 1769.In1770 he travelled to Paris with Duke Christian IV ofZweibrucken,but two years laterhe left the duke's service and made an extended tour to London,where he played the bassoon in J.C.Bach's subscription concerts.According to Burney,Eichner wasw an excellent bassoonist;he was also a composer of merit,writing several symphonies and concertos.
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Birth of CHARLES AVISON 1709 in Newcastle upon TyneEnglish composer and writer on music.He received instruction from Geminiani in London.In 1736 he was appointed organist at St Nicholas's,the principal church in Newcastle,and in 1738 he became musical director of an annual series of subscription concerts in the city;later he organised a similar series in Durham.As well as composing many concerti grossi he arranged 12 of Domenico Scarlatti's harpsichord sonatas for string orchestra.He was also a notable composer of accompanied keyboard sonatas.
Birth of ARCANGELO CORELLI 1653 in Fusignano,nr Faenza
Italian violinist and composer.For details SEE Jan.8th(music diary)
Corelli (Arcangelo ) - Sarabande,Giga and Badinerie
Birth of HENRI VIEUXTEMPS 1820 in Verviers
Belgian violinist and composer.One of the great 19th-century virtuoso violinists,he studied with Charles-Auguste de
Beriot in Paris.His playing career,during which he revived Beethoven's Concerto,took him throughout Europe and three times to America between 1843 and 1871.Among the admirers were Schumann and Berlioz,and his pupils included Eugene Ysaye.Of his 59 published works virtually all are for the violin,including five concertos,the most frequently played being the Fourth.
Vieuxtemps, Henry Fantasia Appassionata (begin) opus 35
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Death of GUSTAVE CHARPENTIER 1956 in Paris
French composer.Although he entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1879 and soon developed a love of Montmartre
and bohemian life, his career did not really blossom until in 1884 he joined the composition class of the sympathetic Massenet,who taught him'the love of loving and the love ofbeing loved'.His other main influences were Wagner,from whom he adopted the use of the picturesque and the unexpected'.He was awarded the coveted Prix de Rome for his latterday equivelant of Berlioz's 'Lelio),and the overall plan and first act of his opera ''Louise''.Perhapsout of gratitude,in 1902 Charpentier founded the Conservatoire Populaire Mimi Pinson,which successfully gave free musical tuition to poor working girls until World War II,supported by the income from Charpentier's popular festivals of his own compositions.
During the next three unusually prolific years at the Villa Medici in Rome,Charpentier composed the nucleus of his life's work:the orchestral suite 'Impressions d'Italie(189-90),the symphonic drama'La Vie du poete'(1888-89,rev.1890-2,a latterday equivelant of Berlioz's 'Lelio),and the overall plan and first act of his opera ''Louise''.Perhapsout of gratitude,in 1902 Charpentier founded the Conservatoire Populaire Mimi Pinson,which successfully gave free musical tuition to poor working girls until World War II,supported by the income from Charpentier's popular festivals of his own compositions.cantata'Didon'in 1887. .Communication rather than composition dominated the rest of his long life,and after the long-lived success of his last opera,'Julien(1913),none of his many projects seems to have reached fruition.Perhaps the phenomenal triumph of Louise,whose real heroine is Paris herself,overwhelmed Sharpentier's creative talents.Certainly he became increasingly self-critical and given to self-borrowing,and it was on Louise that the reputation of this social idealist(and ideal socialist)ws to rest.
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Birth of JOHN PARRY 1776 IN Denbigh
Welsh instrumentalist,composer,and conductor.He settled in London in 1807.Between 1809 and 1829 he wrote and arranged music for entertainment at Vauxhall gardens,Covent Garden,and Drury Lane.He often sang his own
compositions in public.Proud of his Welsh ties,he conducted various 'eisteddfodau'and'cymrodorion' ,promoted the Cambrian Society,and published six collections of traditional Welsh melodies.He was treasurer of the Royal Society of Musicians(1831-49) and music critic of 'The Morning Post'(1834-48).
Italian composer and cellist.His father,a double-bass player,sent him to study in Rome at an early age,then went with him to Vienna,where they played in the orchestra of the imperial court theatre for several seasons.In 1764 he was appointed a cellist in a leading musical establishment in Lucca,the Cappella Palatina,but in 1766 he set off on a concert tour with a friend,Filippo Manfredi,arriving in Paris in 1767.They next went to Spain,where they played in opera performances and concerts.From 1770 Boccherini was composer and performer to the infante,Don Luis,at Aranjuez,a
position he held until Don Luis died in 1785.During those years he composed many string quintets requiring two cellos.
Boccherini's works include about 30 symphonies,some concertos(most for cello),and,most important,over 300 chamber works.His quintets are his most successful music:in them the first violin and the 'alto violoncello'are given the more elaborate melodies,while the other instruments are used for little more than filling in.
Luigi Boccherini: Minuetto (classical)
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Death of ORAZIO VECCHI 1605 in Modena
Italian composer.The third of six children,he became a priest early in life before taking up music as a profession.He was
maestro di cappella at Salo Cathedral from 1581 to 1584,and then at Modena Cathedral.Vecchi composed some excellent church music,but his fame rests on his light madrigals and canzonettas,written in an eminently singable and attractive style.
Orazio Vecchi, So Ben, Mi C'ha Bon Tempo
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Belgian violinist and composer.A pupil of Pierre Baillot,he toured Europe from 1829,at first with the singer Maria
Malibran,whom he married in 1836.He directed the violin faculty of the Brussels Conservatory from 1843,but later became blind. His technique combined brilliant virtuosity with the classical Parisian style established by Viotti to create a new,Romantic Franco-Belgian school.Among his compositions are ten violin concertos and many 'Duos brillants'for violin and piano;his methods as a teacher are documented in several instruction books.
Charles-Auguste De Beriot: Scene De Ballet for Violin
Australian-born American composer,pianist,writer ,and ethnomusicologist.Best known for much of his life as a pianist.
With his mother,he emigrated to Europe in 1895;until1899 he studied composition with Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory,Frankfurt,where he became associated with the Frankfurt Group.In 1901 he moved to London.After taking piano lessons with Busoni in Berlin in 1903 he immediately established a reputation as a concert pianist.In 1914
Grainger went to New York primarily as a virtuoso pianist.He took American citizenship in 1918 after serving in the
US Army.After his mother's suicide in 1922 he became restless and travelled widely in Scandinavia,collecting folksongs
in Jutland and meeting Grieg;the two men became close friends,and Grainger championed Grieg's Piano Concerto.On one of his return journeys to the USA he met the Swedish painter and poet Ella Strom,whom he married in 1928.He
taught at the Chicago Musical College,1919-28,and in 1932-3 was chairman of New York University music department;in 1934-5 he returned to Melbourne,where in 1938 he inaugutated an ethnomusicological research centre at the university and built the Grainger Museum,to which he was to leave his skeleton.
Percy Grainger plays Grieg Peer Gynt "Morning Mood"
Birth of Carl Czerny (1791-1857)
(20 Φεβρουαρίου 1791)
Vladimir Horowitz plays Czerny: Rode Variations
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Birth of CARL CZERNY 1791 in Vienna.Austrian piano teacher,composer,and performer.He was Beethoven's most
celebrated pupil.His musical talents were discovered early,and by the age of ten,when he became a pupil of
Beethoven,he could perform the Pathetique Sonata.Later,he was famously capable of playing all the master's solo piano music from memory,and gave the first performance of the 'Emperor'Concerto in 1812.
Czerny was a prolific composer,writing over 1000 works in most gernes apart from opera,and transcribed for the piano many pieces by Handel,Haydn,Mozart,and Beethoven.The example of his dedication and sincerity proved crucial in channelling the talents of many more successful pianists-among them the young Liszt.
Czerny - Piano Concerto in A minor Op.214 (1/5)
French composer and organist.His father,an organ builder,gave him his first lessons;he then went on to Lemmens in Brussels,and also studied composition with Fetis.He was appointed organist of St Sulpice in Paris(1870-1934).A man
of great ambition,Widor prodused a large quantity of music in all forms,including three operas and three orchestral symphonies.Best known ,however,are the ten symhonies for solo organ(1872-1900)No.5 contains the famous showpiece'Toccata'as its logically satisfying finale,whereas the more inward-looking ''Gothique''(no.9) and 'Romane' (no.10) are based on traditional Gregorian themes.
Charles Marie Widor - Symphony for Organ & Orchestra op. 42
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Death of HUGO WOLF 1903 in Vienna
for disciplinary reasons in 1877 and,after a short visit home,attempted to make a living in Vienna as a teacher.He was always subject to bouts of deep depression and melancholia,unable to compose for long periods,then suddenly overtaken by a hectic flood of inspiration.The late 1880s were a particularly productive period for his songwriting,but by
1897 his mental health had severely deteriorated(the ouycome of an earlier syphilitic infection)aqnd he was admitted to a sanstorium.He was discharged as cured in 1898,but later that year had to enter an asylum,where he spent the last few unhappy years of his life.In a comparatively short career,Wolf made an individual and significant contribution to the lied repertory,in which he proved a natural successor to Schubert and Schuuuumann.In addition to his output of some 300 songsWolf struggled doggedly with instrumental composition A desire to explore larger forms and his obsession with Wagner caused him to labour long with opera.The only one he completed,''DerCorreidor'(1895),on a Spanish theme,contains some beautiful numbers but lacks dramatic
Hugo Wolf - "Der Rattenfänger" (Goethe) - Fischer-Dieskau
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Birth of GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL
1685 in HalleEnglish composer of German birth.HALLE,HAMBURG,and ITALYThe son of a 63-year-old barber-surgeon and his much younger wife(the daughter of a pastor),Handel was found to have musical talent at an early age.He studied with a local organist,who taught him keyboard and composition.Visitimg Berlin,where he met his future colleagues Attillio Ariosti and Giovanni Bononcini,he made such an impression that the elector offered to send him to study in Italy,an offer not taken up by his family.He studied at the grammar school and university in Halle,but was appointed organist at the cathedral in 1702:the following year he decided to seek hisfortune in Hamburg.Hamburg's main attraction was the opera,directed by Reinhart Keiser.Handel played second violin in the orchestra before becoming maestro al cembalo.He also had the opportunity to write his first operas,of which 'Almira',though a strange mixture of German and Italian,was evidently successful at its performance in 1705.Before his third opera was ready he had decided to learn his craft in Italy.He first visited Florence.He composed many secular cantatas and some fine church music.He also wrote his first oratorio,'Il triomfo del Tempo e del Disinganno''(1707)He became acquainted with Corelli,Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti.He visited Naples and Venicewhere he met Cardinal Grimani(who provited the libretto for the opera'Agrippina') and the composers Vivaldi and Albinoni.The production of'Agrippina'in Venice in the winter of 1709-10 was a great success.In Venice Handel alsomet Prince Ernst August of Hanover,whose brother the elector was looking for a new Kapellmeister,Handel travelled to Hanover and accepted the post on condition that he be allowed first to visit England.
HANOVER and EARLY LONDON YEARS
Handel arrived in London in autumn 1710 and discovered a city ripe for Italian opera.He was employed at the Queen'sTheatre in the Haymarket and wrote 'Rinaldo',which was prodused in February 1711.For three years Handel lived in Piccadilly at the home of Lord Burlington.For the 1712-13 season he wrote'Il pastor fido',which was a failure:but'Teseo',based on the plot of Lully's' Thesee',was more successful.When Queen Anne died in 1714 Handel's employer,George of Hanover,succeeded as king.There seems to be no truth in the legent that Handel,having exceeded hisleave from Hanover,provided the 'Water Music' to make his peace with him.In fact George doubled his pension,and a further amount was added later when Handel became music master to the royal children.Handel may have visited Germany briefly in 1716,but at any rate was presumably back in London in January 1717 for revivals of 'Rinaldo' and'Amadigi.There followed a gap in Handel's operatic career..He composed nothing fresh in the genre until 1720,and during this time stayed at Cannons,near Edgware.There he composed the Chandos anthems,revealing a flair for creating splendid sonorities with small resources,and two English masques,'Acis and Galatea'(1718) and the first version of 'Esther'(1718).
OPERA and ORATORIO
In 1718 Handel was appointed musical director of the Royal Academy of Music His first work and later works such as 'Giulio Cesare,was,'Radamisto'(1720)and later works such as Giulio Cesare','Tamerlano' and'Rodelinda were written for a stanning cast.Handel set up a new company at the King's Theatre in 1729 with JohannHeidegger,the erstwhile manager of the Royal Academy.His first operas for the new venture,'Lotario' and 'Partenope',were not successful.Handel moved to the theatre at Covent Garden and produced several operas,including two masterpieces,'Ariodante'and 'Alcina'(both 1735) In April1737 Handel suffered a stroke and he retired to take the waters at Aix-la-Chapellein September.After his return to London in October,apparently recovered,he was employed at the King's Theatre,and prodused the operas'Faramondo,Alessandro Severo'and'Serse'.Although he persisted with opera,the public reception in opera he found further outlet in oratorio,a genre new to England that was created almost by accident.Handel's masque'Esther'had been given private performancesin London in 1732 and it was such a success that it was presented in public at the King's Theatre in May that year.In 1738 Handel wrote'Saul',a dramatically piece with a massive opera. and this was followed by'Israel in Egypt'.He composed 'Messiah' before leaving London ,and in Dublin he gave a successful series of concerts,including the premiere of 'Messiah' which made large sums of money for local charities.I 1749 Handel composed the 'Music for the Royal Fireworks'for the celebrations of the Peace of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.In 1751 he embarked on 'Jephtha,his final masterpiece with suberb dranatic arias and recitatives.But in the middle of its composition he began to suffer from eye trouble and,although he evidently still managed to play his organ concertos,he was totally blind by January 1753.'Jephtha'effectively marks the end of his creative career.Handel died a national figure and was buried at Westminster Abbey in the presence of about 3000 people.
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French composer.Following a Jesuit education in Paris,he ventured to Rome at some time in 1666 to study at the Collegio Germanico,mastering counterpoint.Returning to Paris in 1670,he entered the service of Mademoiselle de Guise,the cousin of Louis XIV and an ardent admirer of Italian sacred music.He composed his cantata 'Orfee and the sonata for eight instruments as well as sacred music.Charpentier's''Medea'' was staged by the Academie Royale de
Musique in 1693,but in common with other new operas of the post-Lully era,it was not well received by Parisian audiences owing to the 'cabals of the envious and ignorant'In 1698,with the intercession of the powerful Duce of Orleans,he was made maitre de musique of the Sainte Chapelle on the Il de la Cite,where he remained until his death.
Charpentier Te deum (1)
Death of MATTHIAS WECKMANN 1619
German composer.He was a choirboy at the Dresden chapel under Schutz,then a pupil of Pretorius at Hamburg.About 1642 he went to Denmark to join Schutz,remaining an organist until 1647.Eight years later he became organist at St Jacobi in Hamburg,where he founded a 'collegium musicum'.About 13 sacred works have survived.His instrumental works include eight sets of chorale variations for organ,keyboard pieces,and some four-or five-part ensemble sonatas for cornetts,violin,trombone,and bassoon,which bear a strong resemblance to Giovanni Gabrieli's instrumental canzonas.
Birth of ARRIGO BOITO 1842 in Padua
Italian composer.He was granted a government subsidy for having written a patriotic cantata 'Le sorelle d'Italia'(1861)
and went to Paris for a time,travelling also in Poland,Germany,and England.He returned to Milan(1862)and earned a living by journalism and achieved a reputation as a leading figure in Italy's nascent bohemian movement,the 'scapigliatura':he offended Verdi by a particularly nasty remark concerning the current state of Italian opera.It was this reputation,rathyer than the music,which caused an uproar at the premiere of his opera''Mefistofele''(1668).tha
t failure depressed Boito to the extent of deflecting him from composition.But the
publisher Ricordi had noted his gifts and encouraged him to translate opera librettos,including that of Ponchielli's'La Gioconda'.The successful revival of ''Mefistofele''in a revised version at Bologna in 1875 finally established his reputation as a composer and assured his prosperity.He became a senator in the Italian parliament in 1912 and was highly honoured and liked.He died after suffering from heart disease for some years.
Son lo spirito (Mefistofele - Arrigo Boito) Samuel Ramey
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Italian composer.He spent some time in Bologna in his youth,but no evidence associates him with the city's musicians.
He had moved to Rome with his mother by 1653,establishing himself as a leading composer after 1667 and attracting the attention of such wealthy patrons as ex-Queen Christina of Sweden.Stradella was a prolific composer of operas,church music,oratorios,madrigals,and instrumental music,but by far his largest contribution was in the realm of the chamber cantata,of which he wrote no fewer than 125 for solo voice and continuo.He was assasinated by a powerful Genoese family,the Lomellini,over the honour of a woman.
Alessandro Stradella (1644-1682) Sonata di viole (Mvts. 1 - 4)
Death of MARCO da GAGLIANO 1642 in Florence
Italian composer.A pupil of Luca Bati,the maestro di cappella of Florence Cathedral and S.Lorenzo,he succeeded his
master in 1608,and spenthis life in church service.His real achievements,however,lay in his secular music.He was a fine composer of madrigals in a modern style.One of the first Italian opera composers,he is remembered today mainly for his opera ''La Dafne'',which was a great success at its first performance in Mantua in 1608.
Marco Da Gagliano - "La Dafne" (Estratti) "Ballo" e "Prologo"
Birth of ALONSO LOBO 1555 in Osuna
Spanish composer.Having been a canon of the collegiate church at Osuna,in 1591 he became master of the choirboys and assistant to Francisco Guerrero at Seville Cathedral. He was elected maestro de capilla at Toledo Cathedral in 1593
and in 1604 returned as maestro to Seville,where his music continued to be sung long after his death.He is best known for the motet'Versa est in luctum,written on the death of Philip II,and published-with six other motets and six masses-in his only printed collection,the=Liber primus missarum'(Madrid,1602)
Versa est in luctum (Alonso Lobo)
Italian tenor.He was one of the most celebrated dramatic singers in history.In 1897 he made his debut at Palermo
in Ponchielli's''La Gioconda''.The following year he was acclaimed for his performance as Loris in the premiere of Giordano's''Fedora''in Milan.This marked the start of Caruso's international career,which took him to Buenos Aires,
Rome, Monte Carlo,London,and New York.He achieved his greatest fame at the Metropolitan Opera,New York,where he appeared every season from 1902 to 1920.It was the combination of extremely forceful projection and gentle lyricism that made him famous,as did his mastery of bel canto style and the imaginative detail he brought to nuances of music and word.
Enrico Caruso - Pagliacci No! Pagliaccio non son
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Death of WILLIAM BRADE 1630 in Hamburg
William Brade- Hamburger Ratsmusik (1)
theorist.Originally intended for the priesthood,he defied his parents to follow a musical career.After incurring the wrath of the ecclesiastical authorities there by a secret marriage in 1710,he was obliged to retire to the Minorite monastery at Assisi,where he studied music,probably with Cernohorsky.By 1714 he had joined the opera orchestra in Ancona;the following year he was pardoned,bur left his wife again soon
afterwards in order to spend four years in seclusion while perfecting his violin playing.In 1721 he was appointed first violinist at S.Antonio in Padua.After sustaining an arm injury in 1740 his concert activity declined,but he remained at S.Antonio,until 1765 and continued his teaching activities even longer.
His concertos are among the first to adopt the Vivaldian three-movement pattern.His most famous work is the 'Devil's Trill' Sonata ,supposedly written as the resuld of a dream in which the devil seized Tartini's violin and played a piece that included a particularly difficult trill.
Giuseppe Tartini - "Devil`s Trill Sonata" - Adam Kostecki
Birth of ANTOINE REICHA 1770 in Prague
Czech composer,teacher,and theorist.His earlier instructions came from his uncle,a cellist and composer.In 1785 he played the flute in the court orchestra in Bonn,meeting Beethoven and later Haydn. After a brief sojourn in Paris he moved to Vienna,where he renewed hisfriendships with both men.In 1808 he settled in Paris.While continuing to compose he produced several treatises.He was appointed professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Paris Conservatoire in 1818,and though his teaching was valued for precision and broadmindedness by his pupils he was often at longerheads with his colleagues Cherubini and Fetis.His pupils included Liszt,Berlioz,Gounod,and briefly,but significantly,Franck.In 1829 he became a French citizen and in 1831 was awarded the Legion d'Honneur.
Antoine Reicha (1770-1836): Flute Quartet in A Major, Part 1
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German-born American soprano.She studied in Berlin and in 1914 joined the Vienna State Opera,where she was discovered by Richard Strauss,who insisted she replace the soprano initially scheduled to create the role of the
Composer in the revised version of ''Ariadne auf Naxos''(1916).Strauss regarded her as'the ideal interprete
his operas.She was also an outstanding Wagner singer,remaining unsurpassed as Sieglinde(in Die Walkure) and Elsa(in Lohengrin).She refused to perform in Germany after the Nazis came to power in 1933,though she remained in Vienna until the 'Anschluss',after which she left Europe for the USA,settling in California in 1939 and not retiring until 1951.She was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century,equally at ease in lieder and on the operatic stage.
Lotte Lehmann: "Morgen!" (R. Strauss)
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Death of ALEKSANDR PORFIRYEVICH BORODIN 1887 in Petersburg
Russian composer and chemist.For details SEE:31 Oct.(Music Diary)
STRING QUARTET Nº 2 (Alexander Borodin) Notturno
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Birth of GERALDINE FARRAR 1882 in Melrose,MA
American soprano.She studied in London and Berlin,where she made her debut as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust in 1901.She then took lessons with Lilli Lehmann,while continuing to perform in Berlin.In 1906 she was engaged as a member of the Metropolitan Opera,New York.She was considered an outstanding interpreter of Madama Butterfly and Carmen. Her artistic imagination and supple voice can be heard on her many recordings. She also appeared in films.
Geraldine Farrar sings the Jewel Song from Faust
Death of FRIEDRICH WILHELM RUST 1796 in Dessau
German composer and violinist.After studyng in Germany and Italy he settled in Dessau,where in 1775 he was appointed court music director in recognition of his contribution to the musical life of the city. His large output,representative of the transition to Classicism,includes stage works,many substantial vocal works, about a hundred lieder,and keyboard music;he was also active as a teacher.
Friedrich Rust: Sonata for viola d'amore & fortepiano in D major / In Mancherley Stimmung
Birth of JOHN ALDEN CARPENTER 1876 in Park Ridge,IL
American composer.After studying with John Knowles Paine at Harvard he joined the family firm.His works include a charming Ravelian orchestral suite,'Adventures in a Perambulator(1914),two ballets,two symphonies,and the tone-poem 'Sea Drift(1933)
JOHN ALDEN CARPENTER_Symphony No 2_movement 1.wmv
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Birth of GIOACHINO ANTONIO ROSSINI 1792 in Pesaro
Italian composer.For details SEE Nov.13th (music diary)
Gioachino Rossini - La scala di seta - Ouverture
Italian composer and instrumentalist.He was the principal composer to the Medici in Florence,and also a virtuoso viol player.Duke Cosimo I used him as an emissary(and possibly a spy) to other courts,including Munich(where he met lassus) and London in 1567.He composed stage music and several volumes of madrigals,including a prototype madrigal comedy depicting chattering washerwomen,'Ilcicalamento delle donne al bucato'.His 40-part motet'Ecce beatam lucem'may be connected with Tallis's'Spem in alium'.He married the Sienese singer Virginia Vagnoli about 1570,moving back to Mantua in 1587.
Alessandro Striggio, Fuggi speme mia, fuggi (Giulia Peri, soprano).wmv