In essence

Up close with composers

Fritz Kreisler: King of the Violin

Violinist Fritz Kreisler was one of the great musical personalities of the early 20th century. An easy-going and charming personality combined with insightful interpretations and technical mastery to produce memorably recordings and live performances. Yet behind the immediate exterior of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 30th, 2017
Musical Rugby

The game of Rugby was developed in English public schools in the 19th century, and none withstanding a number of regional variations, it involves running with an oval ball in hand. It is a contact team sport, and each team [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 29th, 2017
Four Pieces in Search of an Opera

Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) lived a life of action, for a goldsmith, that is. His father was a Florentine musician and musical instrument maker and the young Benvenuto was, as a rarity, pushed towards music but persuaded his father to apprentice [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 28th, 2017
Looking Backward to Lament the Present

In the early 19th century, composers and performers started to look again at the music of earlier times. Choral societies around Germany started to look at the music of the Renaissance and Baroque, such as compositions by Palestrina and Carissimi [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | July 27th, 2017
Making Fun of Fluff

The composer and violinist Louis Spohr (1784-1859) is largely lost to us today but at his time, was as highly regarded a composer as Beethoven and, as a violinist, was compared to Paganini as a virtuoso.

by Maureen Buja | July 26th, 2017
In Tennis, Love means Nothing!

Wilhelm Petersen-Berger (1867-1942) was a feared and controversial music critic for a Stockholm newspaper from 1896 to 1930. He hated the music of Arnold Schoenberg and his followers, and fought tooth and nail against the increasing influence of modernism in [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 22nd, 2017
Tango Passion II Astor Piazzolla and Amelita Baltar

With his marriage to Dedé Wolff in serious trouble, Astor Piazzolla was finding solace in the arms of other women. “I am now seeing a youngish lass, divine,” he told a friend. The affair with the “youngish lass” was short-lived [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | July 20th, 2017
Walking to Paradise

Frederick Delius’ opera A Village Romeo and Juliet leaves in a puzzle with the title – is this a tragedy of young love like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, or does the addition of ‘A Village’ make it something else?

by Maureen Buja | July 19th, 2017