Classical Music and Wine “In Wine, There’s Truth”

When Beethoven was on his deathbed, his publisher supposedly sent him a case of red wine. According to eyewitnesses, Beethoven weakly muttered, “Pity, pity, too late!” Dr. Wawruch, the physician in attendance throughout Beethoven’s final illness, opened his medical report [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 30th, 2018
Bringing Indigenous Sounds to the Symphony

In 1935-36, the Mexican composer and conductor Carlos Chávez brought out his second symphony, the Sinfonía India. Written in 1935 while he was in New York, the symphony received its premiere in a radio broadcast with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 28th, 2018
At the Center of the Musical Universe Giacomo Meyerbeer

Giacomo Meyerbeer’s five-act opera Robert le diable premiered at the Paris Opera on 21 November 1831. It was the first of four works for which Meyerbeer was to become one of the most prominent composers of opera at the time. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 26th, 2018
The Exotic Egyptian Girl

The song Misirlou first hit the airways in 1927 and went on to capture an international audience. From this recording, which found its popularity in the US in the Greek/Armenian diaspora of the 1920s, started to appear in recordings of [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 24th, 2018
Music and Nature Seasons: Autumn

Autumn is crisp, it can be cold, it can be many things, but it’s the last signal of life before winter shuts everything down. Georgy Sviridov’s Otchalivshaya Rus‘ (Russia Adrift) is a 1977 setting of the poetry of Sergey Yesenin, [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 23rd, 2018
The West’s Fascination With the East

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (1886) wasn’t the first sign of the West’s fascination with the exotic East. The Paris Exposition of 1867 brought Japanese art to the world in its first national pavilion and artists including Vincent van Gogh [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 19th, 2018
Musical Selfies and Snapshots Part II François Couperin

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known under his stage name “Molière,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language. He spent 13 years as an itinerant actor before he started to write his own plays. Combining elements [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 18th, 2018
Music and Nature: Animals

Animals in music occur in everything from children’s pieces to great serious works. Their rhythm in the world is something that a composer can take up and develop and also their aspect: fierce or calming.

by Maureen Buja | September 17th, 2018