In essence

Up close with composers

The Fun of Variations

One of the most interesting of the small forms is the variation. Typically, a theme is presented so that the audience is on the same footing at the composer. Then, the composer shows off by taking the original theme and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 25th, 2019
Frédéric Chopin and Maria Wodzińska Funeral March for the Heart

Frédéric Chopin had turned twenty-five when he fell passionately and hopelessly in love with sixteen-year old Maria Wodzińska. He had known her as a child, and “used to chase her through the rooms at Pszenny.” She in turn greatly “annoyed [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 24th, 2019
Music and Nature Seasons: Summer

What kind of summer do you have? The burning summer of the Middle East? The humid summers of the Far East and the American Midwest? The ideal summers of sunny days and picnics, tennis and a hike? Or just the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 21st, 2019
Mozart’s Musical Journey 18 June 1783: “Congratulations, you are a grandpapa!”

Between June 1783 and July 1791, Wolfgang and Constanze Mozart had six children, but only two survived infancy. Their first child was conceived shortly after their wedding on 4 August 1782, and Raimund Leopold was born and baptized on 17 [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 18th, 2019
“Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum” (Wine of Kings, King of Wines)

I am sure you are all familiar with the gothic tale Dracula. Written by the Irish author Bram Stoker in 1897, the novel tells the story of Count Dracula’s move from Transylvania to England to spread the undead curse, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 17th, 2019
Mozart’s Musical Journey 12 June 1784: “Menzl is, and always will be, an ass”

When Mozart returned to Vienna in late November 1783, he entered into the busiest and most successful years of his life. He performed and conducted a substantial number of his own compositions, and in addition to public performances he was [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 12th, 2019
“Hérminie was right again” Jacques Offenbach and Hérminie d’Alcain

After Jacques Offenbach abruptly discontinued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire he gradually built a reputation composing for and performing in the fashionable salons of Paris. And at one of these cultured gatherings, his eyes fell upon a young Spanish [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2019
Film Music and Concertos – Eleven Eleven by Danny Elfman

Composer Danny Elfman is best known for his film music – having produced music for well over a hundred films, he’s the modern film composer best known to most. His collaboration with Tim Burton is his longest-standing one, including writing [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 10th, 2019