In essence

Up close with composers

Schumann: Cello Concerto Premiered today in 1860

With Robert Schumann teetering on the verge of yet another breakdown, his wife Clara sincerely welcomed her husband’s cello concerto. She confided in her diary, “I have played Robert’s violoncello concerto through again, thus giving myself a truly musical and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 9th, 2018
Brahms on the Road A Trip to Transylvania with Piano and Violin III

After their mountainous trip of over 760 km between Arad, Sighişoara, Braşov, and Sibui, Brahms and Joachim closed the tour in Cluj (now Clug-Napoca). Their final concert, in Cluj, was an outstanding success. Their arrival was attended by a distinguished [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 9th, 2018
The Roman Holiday Charles Gounod and Fanny Hensel

The most prestigious artistic scholarship in France, the “Prix de Rome,” was created in 1663. It originally was awarded in painting, sculpting and architecture, with music and engraving added in 1803 and 1804, respectively. The fortunate recipients, selected via a [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 8th, 2018
The Beautiful Cat and the Elegant Fowl

How do different composers approach the same text? In a recent review of a new biography of the poet and landscape artist Edward Lear, there was extensive discussion of the great love story Lear put into poetry. In its extensive [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 7th, 2018
Weill: Seven Deadly Sins Premiered today in 1933

The Seven Deadly Sins was the final collaboration between two of the most revolutionary artists of Weimar Germany, Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht. Premiered on 7 June 1933 in the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, Weill watched the declining German political and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 7th, 2018
Dancers in Training in 1589

In 1589, the French cleric Jehan Tabourot published a manual in the form of a dialogue between himself (in the guise of Thoinot Arbeau, an anagram of his real name) and a lawyer named Capriol. Capriol wanted to learn to [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 5th, 2018
Mikhail Glinka and the Physician’s Daughter Grand Sextet in E-flat Major

Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), often called the “Father of Russian music,” was a bit of a delicate flower. Because his older brother had died in infancy, his grandmother lavished great care on his physical wellbeing. Glinka remembers, “Soon after my birth [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | June 4th, 2018
Brahms on the Road A Trip to Transylvania with Piano and Violin II

In their September 1879 trip, Johannes Brahms, pianist, and Joseph Joachim, violinist, ventured into what was, to them, the furthest corners of civilization for these two Viennese-based musicians. The first part of their trip, Budapest to Arad to Timişoara covered [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | June 2nd, 2018