In essence

Up close with composers

 
Minors of the Majors Frédéric Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant

“Minors of the Majors” invites you to discover compositions by the great classical composers that for one reason or another have not reached the musical mainstream. Please enjoy, and keep listening!

by Georg Predota | August 29th, 2016
 
Ravel’s Feline Family

In 1921, Maurice Ravel moved to a tiny villa outside of Paris, close to both culture and countryside. He named his cramped cottage “Belvedere.” It was his first house, and his dream house, and the last he ever had.

by Emily E. Hogstad | August 27th, 2016
 
The Many Mountain Kings

In Act II of Edvard Grieg’s music of the play Peer Gynt, our eponymous hero enters the hall of the mountain king. As the scene’s introduction describes: “There is a great crowd of troll courtiers, gnomes and goblins. The Troll [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | August 25th, 2016
 
Minors of the Majors Franz Peter Schubert: Mass No. 1 in F Major, D.105

“Minors of the Majors” invites you to discover compositions by the great classical composers that for one reason or another have not reached the musical mainstream. Please enjoy, and keep listening!

by Georg Predota | August 22nd, 2016
 
Movers and Shakers of Music World Paul Sacher: Plutocrat and Patron

Without the extraordinary generosity of legendary conductor, patron, and impresario Paul Sacher, a myriad of masterworks by twentieth-century composers would simply not exist. An artist of unusual stature and one of the world’s richest men—he married the heiress of the [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 21st, 2016
 
“If music be the food of love, play on.” Shakespeare and Music IX – King Lear

You may be surprised how many quotes come from the 1606 play King Lear, perhaps William Shakespeare’s greatest of tragedies—a work, which continues to electrify and has stirred composers Debussy, Shostakovich, and Berlioz as well as some popular music. The [...] more >>

by Janet Horvath | August 21st, 2016
 
Music á la “Mode” Mixolydian Delight

The Mixolydian mode is somewhat of a paradox! Ancient tradition used it for lamentations, while modern authors ascribed erotic and joyous qualities to it. And to make it even more confusing, Plato entirely shunned the Mixolydian mode because he claimed [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | August 19th, 2016
 
From Children’s Tales to Scenes from Childhood

Written about children, but not written for children, the collection of short piano pieces entitled Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) by Robert Schumann was a gift to Clara Wieck in 1838, two years before they were finally married. The final 13 [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | August 18th, 2016