In essence

Up close with composers

Music and Nature Seasons: Autumn

Autumn is crisp, it can be cold, it can be many things, but it’s the last signal of life before winter shuts everything down. Georgy Sviridov’s Otchalivshaya Rus‘ (Russia Adrift) is a 1977 setting of the poetry of Sergey Yesenin, [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 23rd, 2018
William Crotch: The Spoiled Wunderkind

It might well be that William Crotch (1775-1847) was the most precocious musical talent of all times. Son of a humble carpenter, young William showed great enjoyment of music, and before his 2nd birthday was able to play a number [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 21st, 2018
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 2 Premiered Today in 1837

By all accounts, March of 1837 was a great month for Felix Mendelssohn! His oratorio St. Paul received enormously successful performances in Leipzig and Boston, and on the 28th of the month he married Cécile Jeanrenaud in the French Reformed [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 21st, 2018
The West’s Fascination With the East

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (1886) wasn’t the first sign of the West’s fascination with the exotic East. The Paris Exposition of 1867 brought Japanese art to the world in its first national pavilion and artists including Vincent van Gogh [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | September 19th, 2018
Mahler: Symphony 7 Premiered Today in 1908

While putting the finishing touches on the menacing finale of his Sixth Symphony in the summer of 1904, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) also drafted two central “Nachtmusiken” (Music of the Night) that would eventually become the second and fourth movements of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 19th, 2018
Musical Selfies and Snapshots Part II François Couperin

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known under his stage name “Molière,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language. He spent 13 years as an itinerant actor before he started to write his own plays. Combining elements [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 18th, 2018
Music and Nature: Animals

Animals in music occur in everything from children’s pieces to great serious works. Their rhythm in the world is something that a composer can take up and develop and also their aspect: fierce or calming.

by Maureen Buja | September 17th, 2018
Classical Music and Wine “Where There Is No Wine There Is No Love”

Ernest Hemingway never met a drink he didn’t like! In fact, he had a rather tumultuous lifelong affair with alcohol. Given such expertise, we should probably pay close attention to what this great novelist and journalist had to say about [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | September 16th, 2018