Anecdotes

 
Is it time for nontraditional casting in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess ?

However you’d like to look at it, George Gershwin was unique! Freely mixing and combining classical and popular music styles, his works have been heralded as representing “an exciting new American musical art.” Yet when it came to Porgy and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 22nd, 2017
 
Works Disliked By Their Own Composers! Part I

Imagine you spent dozens or hundreds of hours writing a piece of music, but for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied with it. What does it take for you to repress, ignore, or even destroy your own hard work? Here are [...] more >>

by Emily E. Hogstad | September 18th, 2017
 
Mechanical Haydn

Nicholas I, Prince Eszterháza was crazy about the arts! He built a number of palaces and his taste for opera and other grand musical productions earned him the title “the Magnificent.” He certainly was extravagant in his clothing budget, and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 18th, 2017
 
From Stage to Film: The Many Lives of George Gershwin’s Work

For many people, Vincent Minnelli’s film An American in Paris, presents a number of perfections: the perfect Paris, the perfect music, and the perfect lyrics. Starting with the program music of An American in Paris, the orchestra work, Alan Jay [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 15th, 2017
 
The Dangers of being a Musical Prodigy Wolfie Mozart and Smallpox

Growing up a musical genius can be very dangerous! When Leopold Mozart realized that his son Wolfgang had a unique talent, he saw a great opportunity to make money. Shuffling his son and daughter around the courts and musical centers [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 2nd, 2017
 
Mechanical Beethoven

In a previous episode on the “Mechanical Mozart” I have introduced you to the mechanical instrument, most commonly associated with a clock, that plays music at regular time intervals. Unlike a conventional chiming clock, this device plays music selected automatically [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 31st, 2017
 
The Henri Casadesus Viola Inventions

The surname Casadesus identifies a prominent French artistic family. An integral part of the international classical music landscape, the Casadesus family remained artistically active for well over a century. Arguably, the most prominent member of the family was pianist Robert [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 21st, 2017
 
The 1749 Royal Bang!

What do you get when you mix sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate? If you have taken rudimentary classes in chemistry, you know that it is the chemical formula for gunpowder, aka black powder. Although it was first described in an [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 19th, 2017