In the Clutches of Madness Don Carlo Gesualdo and Eleonora d’Este

Carlo Gesualdo GESUALDO: Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday (1611) The brutal slaughter of Maria d’Avalos and her lover Don Fabrizio Carafa at the hands of Don Carlo Gesualdo was not exclusively motivated by jealousy. In fact, Italian noblemen during the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | March 14th, 2012
The makings of Insanity Carlo Gesualdo and Donna Maria d’Avalos

Carlo Gesualdo Madrigals, Book 6 (1611) The third act of William Shakespeare’s tragic play “Othello” contains the ominous words “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”. As we [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 29th, 2012
A Bird of a different feather! Richard Strauss and Pauline Maria de Ahna

Richard Strauss Guntram, Op. 25, TrV 168: Prelude ( 1893 ) 4 Lieder, Op. 27, TrV 170 (1894) No.2 Cacilie Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), Op. 40, TrV 190 (1898) Symphonia domestica, Op. 53, TrV 209 (1903) After sampling the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | February 14th, 2012
Danubian Debauchery III Analyze This Johann Strauss II, Henriette Angelika Diettrich “Lily”, Henrietta “Jetty” Treffz and Adele Deutsch

Johann Strauss II Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice) (1883) Kaiser Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437 (1889) Aufs Korn, Op. 478 (1898) Psychoanalytical models suggest that a human being, emotionally responding to the loss of a loved one, [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 30th, 2012
Danubian Debauchery II (Like Father, like Son) Johann Strauss II, Olga Smirnitskaya and Henrietta “Jetty” Treffz

Johann Strauss II Abschied von St. Petersburg (1858) An der schonen, blauen Donau (The Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314 (1867) Die Fledermaus (1874) I am not entirely sure who coined the saying “like father, like son”, but they certainly could [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 14th, 2012
Danubian Debauchery I Johann Strauss and Maria Anna Streim

Johann Strauss Täuberlin-Walzer, Op. 1 Kettenbrücken-Walzer, Op. 4 “Homage to Queen Victoria of Great Britain”, Op. 103 (1838) “Radetzky March”, Op. 228 (1848) One would be hard pressed not to agree with the assessment of a contemporary music critic, who [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 31st, 2011
Tuberculosis, Tinnitus and other Tribulations Bedřich Smetana and Kateřina Kolářová

Bedřich Smetana String Quartet no. 1 in E Minor “From My Life” (1876) Piano Trio in G minor, Op.15 (1855) By the summer of 1874, Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) was fighting an apparently minor throat infection that resulted in a blockage [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 14th, 2011
“A Match made in Heaven” Faustina Bordoni and Johann Adolph Hasse

Johann Adolph Hasse Cleofide (excerpts) (1731) After merely two years in London, Faustina Bordoni departed for Venice. Exhausted from her petty quarrels with Francesca Cuzzoni, and tired of a feuding and bickering general public and musical establishment — which of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 30th, 2011