Inspiration

 
Rimsky-Korsakov Reaches for the Exotic: Antar

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844- 1908) started his career in the navy, entering the Naval Cadet College in St. Petersburg at age 14. It was a fortunate choice of city because it gave the nascent composer a chance to continue his piano [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 21st, 2017
 
Scenes from Childhood: Gubaidulina’s Musical Toys

Musical Toys is a set of 14 short pieces by the Tatar composer Sofia Gubaidulina, which she herself described as ‘pictorial miniatures’ that she would have liked to play as a child. Though this set is subtitled ‘A Collection of [...] more >>

by Nicolette Wong | June 15th, 2017
 
Three Symphonies by a Modern American Master: Adolphus Hailstork

We often think of the symphonic form as being the province of the 19th century. Yet, the contributions by modern symphonists have permitted the orchestral form to develop and resonate with the new era. Adolphus Hailstork is professor of music [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 14th, 2017
 
Game—Set—Match! Suzanne Lenglen and Jeux

Who really knows what inspires the creative mind? It might be a painting of a moonlit lake, a craggy alpine peak, or the ferocious ocean pounding the rocky shores of a remote island. Of course, there is the ever-popular poem [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 11th, 2017
 
The Maid of Orléans Arthur Honegger: Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher

The Russian dancer, actress and art patron Ida Lvovna Rubinstein was born into one of Russia’s richest families. Receiving the best musical, dancing and theatrical education money can buy Ida eventually ended up in Paris and immediately made headlines for [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | May 31st, 2017
 
Debussy: Préludes Book II

After a two-year break, Debussy continued his work on the Préludes, writing another 12 and again showing influences of all areas of popular and ancient culture and from artists, writers, and poets. Just as we had the mysterious Voiles in [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | May 26th, 2017
 
Mixing Bach and Liszt: The Unfinished Fugue and the Fantasia contrappuntistica

The regularized austerity of J.S. Bach’s music, in particular The Art of Fugue, has fascinated many composers. Bach’s work was left unfinished, with the final quadruple fugue (Contrapunctus XIV) started but not completed before Bach’s death.

by Maureen Buja | May 25th, 2017
 
Cows – 8 Different Ones

When Darius Milhaud immortalized his favorite Brazilian tavern in a brilliant ballet work, Le Boeuf sur le toit, he was joining in a long line of composers who brought the common cow into music. To take a look at the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | May 21st, 2017