Anecdotes

 
When Girls are Boys

We’ve all been to the opera when they cast young men with unchanged voices in operatic roles and, well, they may not just have, let’s say, the vocal maturity to carry this off. Time for the women to take charge!

by Maureen Buja | June 19th, 2018
 
Mozart: Symphony in D major , KV 297 (Paris) Premiered today in 1778

In the spring of 1778, the 22-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart returned to the city of Paris. This time he was chaperoned by his mother—who would tragically fall ill and die—with father Leopold staying put in Salzburg to appease their [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 18th, 2018
 
Bach Makes a Joke: The Peasant Cantata

In 1742, Bach, late in his career, took a long look back at the music of his day and made such a thorough-going parody of it that we’re still not sure if he was making a social commentary or a [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 16th, 2018
 
Bruckner: Mass Nr. 3 in F minor Premiered today in 1872

Nothing came easy for Anton Bruckner, and habitually plagued by debilitating periods of low self-esteem, he was an easy target for music critics, journalists and composers alike. A particularly vicious critic accused him of “composing like a drunkard.” Given such [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 16th, 2018
 
Casanova the Violinist

Popular culture has always been mesmerized by the exploits of the Venetian adventurer and author Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (1725-1798). Primarily remembered for his countless affairs with women and a handful of men, he was also a scam artist who made [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 13th, 2018
 
Stravinsky: Petrushka Premiered today in 1911

The appeal of Serge Diaghilev’s productions for the Ballets Russes is based on the novelty of Russian dance, and on its penchant for exotic subjects, many of them folkloric in nature. Igor Stravinsky scored a Parisian triumph for Diaghilev‘s troupe [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 13th, 2018
 
“The Pleasure of Love”

On a list of the most popular love songs in classical music, Plaisir d’amour (The pleasure of love) would undoubtedly rank supremely high. Originally composed in 1784, Hector Berlioz arranged the tune for orchestra, and various pop-music settings include the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2018
 
Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In August 1959, Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh was undergoing a complete refurbishment, and to celebrate the reopening a year later, a new opera was definitely required. Since Benjamin Britten already was the artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival at that [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2018