Anne Hunter: Haydn’s English Muse

When Joseph Haydn arrived in England in January 1791, he found lodgings with the impresario Salomon in Great Pulteney Street, opposite the pianoforte shop of John Broadwood. At that time, Haydn was the most famous composer in Europe, and London [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 24th, 2018
Casanova – A Life in Music

Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) is still known to this day for his ‘complicated and elaborate affairs with women’ – not bad for someone nearly 300 years old. He ran in the highest social circles in Europe, and in addition to the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 23rd, 2018
“Musical ideas sprang to my mind like Butterflies” Charles Gounod (1818-1893)

The historiography of music primarily remembers Charles Gounod as the composer of Faust, Mireille and Roméo et Juliette. However, in his 12 total works for the operatic stage Gounod engages with the entire range of operatic types available in the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 22nd, 2018
The Sapho Affair! Charles Gounod and Pauline Viardot

Charles Gounod unabashedly referred to Pauline Viardot as “The godmother of my career.” He first met her around a rather difficult time in his life. His brother Urbain had unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a two-year-old child and a widow [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 15th, 2018
Queen and Writer: Elisabeth of Wied and Carmen Sylva

Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise zu Wied (1843– 1916), the Queen of Romania as the wife of King Carol I of Romania, led her literary life as the author Carmen Sylva. She wrote across a wide number of genres, including poems, [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 14th, 2018
The Beautiful Cat and the Elegant Fowl

How do different composers approach the same text? In a recent review of a new biography of the poet and landscape artist Edward Lear, there was extensive discussion of the great love story Lear put into poetry. In its extensive [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 7th, 2018
Mikhail Glinka and the Physician’s Daughter Grand Sextet in E-flat Major

Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), often called the “Father of Russian music,” was a bit of a delicate flower. Because his older brother had died in infancy, his grandmother lavished great care on his physical wellbeing. Glinka remembers, “Soon after my birth [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 4th, 2018
Simple and Plain

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) started composing as a child and, unlike most children, kept careful track of his writings. His early works are the expected piano pieces and songs but also chamber and orchestral attempts. His first major work took those [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | May 29th, 2018