In essence

Up close with composers

 
Ginastera: Concierto Argentino Premiered today in 1941

In the wide world of music, it is not always easy to determine what actually constitutes the premier performance. The process of introducing works to a wider audience is by definition a complicated one, and rather frequently a composition disappears [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 18th, 2018
 
Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail K. 384 Premiered today in 1782

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 16 July 1782. The Austrian Emperor Joseph II was in the audience and famously said, “Too many notes my dear [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 16th, 2018
 
At the Center of the Musical Universe Gaetano Donizetti II

Gaetano Donizetti followed the resounding success of Anna Bolena with two additional serious operas, Lucrezia Borgia of 1833, and Lucia di Lammermoor of 1835. Rossini regarded Lucia as Donizetti’s supreme operatic achievement. It epitomized the Italian Romantic spirit of the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 15th, 2018
 
Music and Nature: Trees

When we’re young and in dance class, we’re told to imitate trees – swaying in the wind, bowing down in a torrent of rain or just standing tall in the cold winter sun. Composers are equally inspired; they see trees [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 13th, 2018
 
Khachaturian: Piano Concerto in d-flat major, Op. 38 Premiered today in 1937

Aram Khachaturian might easily be considered the poster child of Soviet realism in music. Joseph Stalin decreed that a composer in Soviet society had to be “an engineer of the human soul by writing music that communicates directly with the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 12th, 2018
 
Ditters von Dittersdorf: Doktor und Apotheker (The Pharmacist and the Doctor) Premiered today in 1786

Premiered at the Vienna Burgtheater on 11 July 1786, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf’s comic opera Doktor und Apotheker (The Pharmacist and the Doctor) was a resounding success. The contemporary press declared it “the one work among all new German operas [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 11th, 2018
 
George Rochberg “No artist ever arrives”

By the late 1950’s George Rochberg was celebrated as America’s first and foremost master of composition in a serial language. One of the great leaders of the American avant-garde, Rochberg’s journey to a newly found language based on the tonal [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 10th, 2018
 
At the Center of the Musical Universe Gaetano Donizetti

One of the most prolific Italian composers in the second quarter of the 19th Century, Gaetano Donizetti’s (1797-1848) reputation invariably stands or falls with his 70 works for the operatic stage. Robert Schumann spitefully called Donizetti “a composer of music [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 8th, 2018