Anecdotes

 
Milhaud: David Premiered today in 1954

David, first premiered in a concert version on 1 June 1954 in Jerusalem, is Darius Milhaud’s longest and most extensive work. The opera was composed at the suggestion of conductor Sergei Koussevitzky who was organizing a Festival to mark the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 1st, 2018
 
Stockhausen: Gesang der Jünglinge Premiered today in 1956

For a number of scholars, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge (Song of the Youths) is “the first masterpiece of electronic music.” It was premiered in the large auditorium of Cologne’s Westdeutscher Rundfunk on 30 May 1956. The subject of the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 30th, 2018
 
Mapping the Musical Genome The Scarlatti Family

The Scarlatti family name—in various spellings—was common in Sicily, with several branches of additional Scarlatti families residing in Rome and northern Italy. Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) was the musical bedrock of the family, and he became the most important opera composer [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 28th, 2018
 
Rachmaninoff Resurrected

Tension was high in Philadelphia, USA, on 18 March 1927. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra had invited Sergey Rachmaninoff as the soloist in premiere of the composer’s 4th piano concerto in G minor. Rachmaninoff had come to the United [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 27th, 2018
 
Brahms on the Road A Trip to Transylvania with Piano and Violin I

In 1879, Brahms wrote to the librarian at the Gesesllschaft der Musikfreunde that he and the violinist Joseph Joachim were planning a tour to the extremes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Could he please send him, with the greatest urgency, some [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | May 26th, 2018
 
Delibes: Coppélia Premiered today in 1870

When Léo Delibes (1836-1891) was asked by the head of the Paris Opéra to compose a 90-minute ballet score, he leapt at the opportunity. For Coppélia, premiered on 25 May 1870 at the Théâtre Impérial l’Opéra in Paris, Delibes crafted [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 25th, 2018
 
Bartók: Duke Bluebeard’s Castle Premiered today in 1918

With Europe spiraling towards a massive war that would eventually devastate the continent, Béla Bartók gave voice to the general sense of anxiety and foreboding by starting work on his only opera in 1911. The libretto for the one-act Duke [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 24th, 2018
 
Strauss: Four Last Songs Premiered today in 1950

Richard Strauss had reached the ripe old age of 84 when he decided to compose his musical last will and testament. Setting poetry by Joseph von Eichendorff and Hermann Hesse, the Four Last Songs emerged individually. When Strauss died on [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 22nd, 2018