In essence

Up close with composers

Rock-A-Bye Baby I The Lullaby in Western Art Music

Medical research has clearly shown that infants are active listeners! Their attention is selectively drawn to particular musical genres, and to particular performing styles associated with maternal singing. Regardless of culture and living environment, infants reveal a clear preference for [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 10th, 2017
A Prophetic Cantata: Bartók’s Cantata Profana

We are most familiar with a ‘cantata’ as a sacred work, usually on a subject from the Bible, that’s written for vocalists. For Béla Bartók to write a work entitled ‘Cantata Profana’ is to write an oxymoron. Yet, if we [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | November 8th, 2017
At the Center of the Musical Universe Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart II

When Frédéric Chopin graduated from High School his final report stated, “Chopin F., third year student, exceptional talent, musical genius.” His hometown of Warsaw, however, had long known about this gifted musical prodigy, who was dubbed “a second Mozart.” In [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 6th, 2017
Princesse Edmond de Polignac The Queen of Paris’s Lesbian Community!

On her wedding night, the heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune climbed atop an armoire armed with an umbrella and told the groom “I am going to kill you if you come near me!” Winnaretta Singer had married Prince [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 4th, 2017
The Bells of Zlonice

The market town of Zlonice in the Central Bohemian Region is currently home to a population of roughly 3000 people. And between 1853 and 1856 it was home to Antonín Dvořák. He arrived during the early autumn of 1853 to [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | November 3rd, 2017
At the Center of the Musical Universe Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Albert Einstein once famously remarked “Mozart’s music is so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master.” In the end, both Einstein and Mozart were successful in untangling the complexities [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 30th, 2017
Princesse de Polignac: Maurice Ravel’s most passionate Patron

The initial meeting between Winnaretta Singer aka Princesse de Polignac and Maurice Ravel was described as “an audacious feat of social climbing” in 1899. The Prince and Princess de Polignac had established a salon in Paris, and the music room [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 28th, 2017
Franz Liszt: The Forgotten Romance

Arnold Simon of Hamburg published a composition by Franz Liszt in 1881 with the title Romance oubliée. Interestingly, this little gem was published in four versions simultaneously, for piano solo, for violin and piano, for viola and piano, and for [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | October 27th, 2017