Anecdotes

 
She’s Just a Little Mad, My Head Is on Straight Kurt Weill’s 7 Deadly Sins

In 1932, Kurt Weill was commissioned to write a ballet. But, this was a ballet with a difference. Commissioned by the Englishman Edward James for his ballerina wife, Tilly Losch, James specified that Lotte Lenya would sing it and his [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 30th, 2019
 
Stravinsky Meets Modern

We associate ragtime music with performers and composers such as Scott Joplin, confined by their poverty and marginality to the US. What we may not realize is how international this turn of the 20th century-style was and how influential it [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 16th, 2019
 
Little Impressionist Worlds – Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) started experimenting with a number of short piano works in 1915, completed them in 1917, and gave them their first public performance on 15 April 1918 in Petrograd/St. Petersburg. At a private performance some months before, the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 9th, 2019
 
Mozart’s Musical Journey 7 July 1791: “Even my work gives me no pleasure”

To prepare for the birth of her sixth child, Constanze Mozart visited a local spa in 1791. Located near Vienna, the small town of Baden had since medieval times provided relaxation and cures for Austria’s ruling families. Constanze certainly needed [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 7th, 2019
 
Mozart’s Musical Journey 3 July 1778: “Mum is dying”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could not have known that his time in Paris in 1778 was about to take a tragic turn. He reports to his father “my dearest mother is very ill.” Suffering from shivering and feverishness, diarrhea and headache, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 3rd, 2019
 
Mozart’s Musical Journey 30 June 1770: “I shall describe my unfortunate accident”

We all know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did a lot of traveling. In fact, it has been calculated that he spent over 10 years, roughly one third of his short life on the road. Mozart visited ten countries and more [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 30th, 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
 
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