While putting the finishing touches on the menacing finale of his Sixth Symphony in the summer of 1904, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) also drafted two central “Nachtmusiken” (Music of the Night) that would eventually become the second and fourth movements of [...] more >>
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known under his stage name “Molière,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language. He spent 13 years as an itinerant actor before he started to write his own plays. Combining elements [...] more >>
Animals in music occur in everything from children’s pieces to great serious works. Their rhythm in the world is something that a composer can take up and develop and also their aspect: fierce or calming.
Ernest Hemingway never met a drink he didn’t like! In fact, he had a rather tumultuous lifelong affair with alcohol. Given such expertise, we should probably pay close attention to what this great novelist and journalist had to say about [...] more >>
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) has been described as “the single most significant creative figure in 20th century Brazilian art music.” His quest to develop musical compositions using indigenous Brazilian elements fueled a number of ethno-musicological excursions into the northeastern states of [...] more >>
Representing his crowning achievements as a composer, Couperin published four harpsichord books, containing roughly 220 pieces. In the preface to his 1713 collection he wrote, “In composing these pieces, I have always had an object in view, furnished by various [...] more >>
For all his dislike of Italian music, Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) kept returning to Italian subjects. We only need to think of Romeo and Juliette, Harold in Italy, and the opera loosely adapted from the memoirs of the 16th century Florentine [...] more >>