Animals in Music: Birds and More

One of the most important modern composers to take up the ideas of birds and music was the French composer Olivier Messiaen. He had been fascinated with birds for a long time but it was only in 1952, when he [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 26th, 2016
Muses and Musings The Red Poppy Reinhold Glière and Yekaterina Geltzer

Yekaterina Vasilyevna Geltzer was a prima ballerina of the famous Bolshoi Ballet, who danced in the theatre from 1898 to 1935. Her father Vasily was an outstanding mime dance and director at the theater, but he believed that his daughter’s [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 24th, 2016
Reinhold Gliére (1875-1956): Heir to Russian Romantic Music

Considered the heir of the Russian Romantic musical tradition, Reinhold Moritzevich Gliére (1875-1956) primarily composed on a grand scale and in large forms. His music is well known for its expressive melodies and colorful orchestration inspired by Russian folklore. Gliére [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 22nd, 2016
The Sorrowful Mother

The Sorrows of Mary became the theme for the Stabat Mater, or, to give it its full name, Stabat Mater Dolorosa, or The Sorrowful Mother Stood. The sorrowful mother, Mary, standing at the foot of the cross upon which her [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 20th, 2016
Sex and Music: The English Renaissance

Although the madrigal in Italy was an occasion for setting some of the most notable poets of the age, when the madrigal got to England after 1558, it quickly succumbed to the most bawdy of texts. Composers were quick to [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 19th, 2016
Sound and Imagery: Victory at Sea

In 1951, the researcher Henry Solomon approached his classmate Robert Sarnoff, a rising executive at NBC television, about the phenomenal amount of film that each side in the Second World War had in their stocks. Solomon has been working with [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | March 17th, 2016
“If music be the food of love, play on.” Shakespeare and Music VII – Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet is one of the most quoted works in the English language and has had a pervasive influence on virtually every art form—literature, film, stage, screen, art and music. What better play to perform on a two–year [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath | March 13th, 2016
Sergei Rachmaninoff: The Bells , Op. 35

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) spent much of his childhood and youth in the Russian countryside. For the rest of his life, he would vividly remember a childhood resonating with the beautiful and exotic sounds of ringing bells. Rachmaninoff writes in 1913, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 10th, 2016