In essence

Up close with composers

Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye Premiered today in 1910

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) loved children. Although he was not married and did not have children of his own, he always seemed to spend more time with children than with adults. In fact, he never outgrew his ability to see the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 20th, 2018
Berg: Violin Concerto Premiered today in 1936

When Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto premiered at the Palau de la Música Catalana, in Barcelona on 19 April 1936, the composer was no longer alive. Shortly after he had finished the composition he was stung by an insect at the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 19th, 2018
Katharina Cibbini-Koželuch: Friends with Beethoven

When Leopold Koželuch arrived in Vienna to follow his musical calling, he immediately understood that being a capable musician and composer was not enough to really get ahead.

by Georg Predota | April 19th, 2018
Mapping the Musical Genome The Stamitz Family

When families migrate across linguistic borders, their names frequently undergo a number of significant changes. Just take the Stamitz family, an extended and highly active Bohemian group of musicians, as an example. The spelling of their family name in contemporary [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 18th, 2018
A Riddle Motet or what was Ghiselin Danckerts up to?

We have a motet by the Dutch composer Ghiselin Danckerts (ca. 1510-1567) that has caused much puzzlement over the years. Originally published in 1535, but now lost, Danckerts’ motet Ave maris stella (Hail, star of the sea), was reprinted and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | April 17th, 2018
Penderecki: Polymorphia Premiered today in 1962

I don’t know if you agree, but The Exorcist (1973) and The Shining (1980) are two of the most iconic horror movies ever to flicker across the silver screen. These are all about scary imagery, ranging from a twisting and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 16th, 2018
Musical Hunts

For most of human history, hunting meant survival! As such, it’s hardly surprising that civilizations throughout the ages held gods and goddesses associated with the hunt in particularly high regard. Artemis, the daughter of Zeus was the Greek goddess of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 16th, 2018
Handel: Serse Premiered today in 1738

There was great confusion at the premiere of Handel’s “Serse” at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket on 15 April 1738! I know you are asking yourself why that might have been the case? After all, Handel was setting the London stages [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | April 15th, 2018