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Classical Era


The Emperor of Austria, Francis I, abdicates his other title: Holy Roman Emperor. The Holy Roman Empire, created in the 800s, is formally dissolved, with Napoleon reorganizing much of it into his Confederation of the Rhine  •  Jean Jacques Dessalines, leader of Haiti's revolution and self-declared emperor, is being viewed by his generals as a ridiculous figure. Dessalines announces his plan to march with troops into the south, where he is not popular, and the south explodes in rebellion. Dessalines' generals prepare a trap for him along the way. His horse is shot from under him. He is pinned under his horse, he is shot in the head and his body hacked to pieces with machetes  •  Ruling the seas, a British naval force takes control of Cape Colony in South Africa – the Dutch who had been ruling there now being ruled by Britain's enemy, Napoleon  •  
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - Napoleon on his Imperial Throne

Extending its power at sea, Britain outlaws slave trading across the Atlantic for its own ships and for ships from all countries united with Napoleon. Britain turns a presence on the coast of western Africa into a crown colony – Sierra Leone  •  The US Congress passes a law that bans the importation of slaves into the US, a law to be largely ignored in southern states  •  In Manchester, England, the largest factory complex in the world opens and the event draws spectators from across Britain and beyond. The factory uses steam acquired from burning coal. It's a change from power by river water, which is too limited a source for the coming industrial expansion. The availability of coal is helping the British surpass the Dutch industrially  •  The Geological Society of London is created, the founders expressing their desire to avoid preconceived notions and to collect facts for discussion  •  With help from the French, Muhammad Ali Pasha drives the British out of Egypt (a part of the Ottoman Empire)  • 
Napoleon moves to consolidate his position in Europe. He defeats a combined Prussian and Russian force in February. Danzig surrenders to him. He defeats the Russians in June and occupies Königsberg. Alexander of Russia is annoyed with the British and agrees to meet with Napoleon. In August, Napoleon demands that Portugal join the trade boycott against the British and declare war on Britain. Portugal hesitates. Napoleon's ally, Spain, allows French troops to pass through its territory to Portugal. The French captured Lisbon as Portugal's royal family flees to Brazil

Napoleon intervenes in a quarrel between Spain's king, Charles IV, and the son of Charles, Ferdinand. He makes the two of them prisoners in a comfortable setting and moves his brother Joseph from the Kingdom of Naples to the throne in Spain. Spaniards resent the presence of French troops and Napoleon's interventions. An unusually barbarous war begins within Spain – with Napoleon as usual caring little about hearts and minds. Resistance to the French spreads to Portugal. The British land a force there to help the resistance. It is the beginning of Napoleon's decline  •  Hegel adapted his recently published Phenomenology of Spirit for use in the classroom  •  John Dalton argues that matter consists of a range of atoms each of which has a distinct weight

Russia defeats Sweden. Sweden loses Finland, which becomes an autonomous Grand Duchy within Russia's empire. Returning to the Hawaiian Islands from California and hoping for trade, Russians build a fort at Honolulu and try to establish themselves on the island of Kauai. They ignore Hawaiian customs and are driven out  •  1809  Napoleon is spread thin. The Austrians defeat him at the Battle of Aspern-Essling, and he loses his reputation for invincibility. The Austrians fail to follow up on their victory. Napoleon organizes an assault and defeats the Austrians. The Austrians make peace with Napoleon  • 
Napoleon's economic blockade is not working. Britain's exports reach an all-time high

Allied with the Portuguese against Napoleon, the British negotiate an agreement with the Portuguese calling for the gradual abolition of the slave trade across the South Atlantic  •   People have been migrating from the United States into West Florida. These settlers rebel and declare independence from Spain. Recognizing Spain's weakened condition from occupation by Napoleon, the US President James Madison and Congress declare the region for the United States – a move not recognized internationally  •  Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), at the age of 16, starts a business transporting people and then freight across the Hudson River and New York's harbor in a small, two-masted sailboat. A revolution in transportation was about to begin and as an entrepreneur he would be a part of it  • 

The ruler of Kauai cedes his island to Kamehameha. Kamehameha is now ruler of all of the Hawaiian Islands. In accordance with Hawaiian tradition he is considered divine and commoners prostrate themselves before him. 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and the most important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide renown in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.



Carl Czerny  publishes his first composition at the age
of 15.

Johann Simon Mayr  founds a new music school at Bergamo, Italy. Gaetano Donizetti is one of its first pupils.

Ludwig van Beethoven completes Symphony No. 4; Piano Concerto No. 4; Violin Concerto; 3 String Quartets, Op. 59; 32 Variations in C minor

Beethoven - Symphony No 4 in B flat Major, op 60  

Beethoven - String Quartet op. 59/1 - String Quartet op. 59/3

Beethoven - String Quartet No. 8 Opus 59, No. 2

Beethoven 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80
Evgeny Kissin

Beethoven - Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58

1 Allegro moderato
2 Andante con moto
3 Rondo. Vivace

Krystian Zimerman, piano

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Beethoven - Violín Cocierto en Re Mayor Op. 61 Itzhak Perlman

Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Hungarian Dances

Hummel - Hungarian Dances, Op. 23

Joseph Wölfl -Piano Concerto No. 5 "Grand Concerto Militaire", Op. 43

Joseph Wölfl - Piano Concerto No. 5 "Grand Military Concerto", Op. 43 

January 27
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, "the Spanish Mozart", born.

30 January
Vicente Martín y Soler, opera and ballet composer, dies, ages 52.

17 May
Étienne MéhulUthal
Uthal is an opéra comique in one act. The libretto, by Jacques Bins de Saint-Victor is based on the Ossian poems of James Macpherson. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, Paris on 17 May 1806. 

Étienne-Nicolas Méhul - Uthal - Overture
Les Talens Lyriques - C. Rousset , cond. , 2015

10 August
Michael Haydn, composer, dies, ages 69.

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga

Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola (January 27, 1806 – January 17, 1826) was a Spanish Basque composer. He was nicknamed "the Spanish Mozart" after he died, because, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he was both a child prodigy and an accomplished composer who died young. They also shared the same first and second baptismal names; and they shared the same birthday, January 27 (fifty years apart).

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga was born in Bilbao, Biscay, on what would have been Mozart's fiftieth birthday. His father (Juan Simón de Arriaga) and the boy's older brother first taught him music. Juan Simón had some musical talent and at age seventeen was an organist at a church in Berriatúa. He worked in Guernica and in 1804 moved to Bilbao and became a merchant in wool, rice, wax, coffee, and other commodities. The income generated in this way allowed Juan Simón to think about providing his son, who had shown prodigious musical talent, a way of developing those gifts.

In September 1821 Arriaga's father, with the encouragement of composer José Sobejano y Ayala (1791–1857), sent Juan Crisóstomo to Paris, where in November of that year Arriaga began his studies. These included the violin under Pierre Baillot, counterpoint with Luigi Cherubini and harmony under François-Joseph Fétis at the Paris Conservatoire. From all evidence, Arriaga made quite an impression on his teachers. In 1823, Cherubini, who had become director at the Conservatoire the previous year, famously asked on hearing the young composer's Stabat Mater, "Who wrote this?" and learning it was Arriaga, said to him, "Amazing – you are music itself."

Arriaga soon became a teaching assistant in Fétis's class, and also became noted both among the students and other faculty at the Conservatoire for his talent. Cherubini referred to Arriaga's fugue for eight voices (also lost) based on the Credo Et Vitam Venturi simply as "a masterpiece", and Fétis was no less effusive—apparently, what impressed all his mentors was Arriaga's ability to use musically sophisticated harmonies, counterpoint, and related techniques, without having been taught. Fétis was already familiar with Arriaga's now-lost opera Los Esclavos Felices ("The Happy Slaves"), stating that "without any knowledge whatsoever of harmony, Juan Crisóstomo wrote a Spanish opera containing wonderful and completely original ideas." Arriaga was well-supported during his four years in Paris by his father, but the intensity of his commitment to his studies at the Conservatoire and the almost meteoric rise one could expect based on his teachers' compliments and assessments of his promise, may have taken a toll on his health. Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga died in Paris ten days before his twentieth birthday, of a lung ailment (possibly tuberculosis), or exhaustion, perhaps both. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Cimetière du Nord in Montmartre. 

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga - String Quartet No. 1 in D minor
I. Allegro
II. Adagio con espressione
III. Minuetto Allegro
IV. Adagio Allegretto

Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga  - String Quartet No. 2 in A Major
Rasoumovsky Quartet
Simon Standage, violin 1
Pauline Scott, violin 2
Simon Whistler, viola
Joanna Milholland, cello

Juan Crisóstomo De Arriaga -  String Quartet No.3 in E-Flat Major

1. Allegro  00:00
2. Pastorale Andantino  09:02
3. Menuetto. Allegro  15:16
4. Presto agitato  18:59

Quatuor Sine Nomine (Quartet Sine Nomine)
Patrick Genet, Violin
François Gottraux, Violin
Nicolas Pache, Viola
Marc Jaermann, Cello

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga - Symphony in D 
Symphonic Orchestra of Galicia,
conducted by Jesús López Cobos.

I - Adagio - Allegro vivace - Poco meno - Tempo I - Presto: 0:00
II - Andante: 9:52
III - Menuetto. Allegro - Trio - Tempo I: 18:09
IV - Allegro con moto: 22:23



Ludwig van Beethoven composes his Mass in C

Ludwig van Beethoven - Mass in C op. 86

Kyrie 0:00
Gloria 6:09
Credo 16:32
Sanctus 28:31
Agnus Dei 39:56

Alison Hargan, Carolyn Watkinson, Keith Lewis,
Wout Oosterkamp
Concertgebouworkests Koor
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
Sir Colin Davis - 1986

Muzio Clementi begins negotiating for British publication rights to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven

Carl Maria Von Weber composes Symphony No. 1

Weber - Symphony No. 1 In C Major
The London Classical Players - Roger Norrington, conductor

Johann Nepomuk HummelHélène and Paris (Ballet Music, Op.26)

17 February
Joseph (Joseph en Égypte) is an opéra comique in three acts by the French composer Étienne-Nicolas Méhul. The libretto, by Alexandre Duval, is based on the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. The work was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 17 February 1807 at the Théâtre Feydeau. 

Étienne Méhul - La légende de Joseph en Égypte

Overture: 00:00
06:55 Act I
26:06 Act II
48:07 Act III

The Story teller: Abbi Patrix (omitted)
Benjamin: Brigitte Lafon
Jacob: Frédéric Vassar
Joseph: Laurence Dale
Girls: Natalie Dessay
Naphtali: Antoine Normand
Ruben: Philippe Pistole
Simeon: René Massis
Utobal: Philippe Joruera

Théatre Imperial, Compiègne
Chorus: Ensemble Choral Intermezzo
Orchestra: Orchestre régional de Picardie: Le Sinfonietta
Conductor: Claude Bardon (1989)

Act 1
Many years earlier, Joseph the Israelite, the favourite son of Jacob, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. Nevertheless, he found favour with the Egyptian pharaoh and rose to become one of the leading men in the country (under the assumed name, in the opera, of Cleophas). Now famine is afflicting Israel and Joseph's brothers arrive at his palace in Memphis to beg for food. Simeon believes it is a punishment for their treatment of Joseph. The brothers do not recognise Joseph, who gives them a warm welcome.

Act 2
Having learned that his father has come to Egypt with his sons, Joseph visits his brothers' tents by night. He catches a glimpse of Jacob sleeping and finds Simeon full of remorse for his crime. At dawn, the Israelites join in prayer. Joseph decides to reveal his identity to his family but is dissuaded by his adviser Utobal (who does not appear in the biblical story).

Act 3
Joseph goes to defend himself to the pharaoh against accusations that he has been too kind to the foreigners. Meanwhile, Simeon tells his father the truth about what he and his brothers did to Joseph. Jacob angrily denounces them but Joseph and Benjamin (the only innocent son) plead for mercy for the guilty brothers. When Jacob relents, Joseph finally reveals his true identity and tells them that the pharaoh has granted them all sanctuary in Egypt.

15 December​
Gaspare Spontini
 La Vestale (The Vestal Virgin) first performed in Paris. 

La vestale (The Vestal Virgin) is an opera composed by Gaspare Spontini to a French libretto by Étienne de Jouy. It takes the form of a tragédie lyrique in three acts. It was first performed on 15 December 1807 by the Académie Impériale de Musique (Paris Opera) at the Salle Montansier, and is regarded as Spontini's masterpiece. The musical style shows the influence of Gluck and looks forwards to the works of Berlioz, Wagner and French Grand Opera.



La Vestale - Gaspare Spontini - 1993

La Grande Vestale - Denyce Graves
Licinius - Anthony Michaels-Moore
Cinna - J Patrick Raftery
Le Souveraine Pontife - Dimitri Kavrakos
Julia - Karen Huffstodt
Le Chef des Auspices - Aldo Bramante

Conductor - Riccardo Muti
Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
Chorus - Teatro alla Scala

Place: Rome
About 269 BC
Act 1
Returning to Rome after a victorious campaign, Licinius finds his beloved Julia has become a priestess of Vesta. Although Julia attempts to avoid going to Licinius's triumph, she is delegated to present him with a wreath. He tells her that he intends to kidnap and reclaim her.

Act 2
In the temple of Vesta, Julia guards the eternal flame and prays to be freed of temptation. Licinius arrives; during their rapturous reconciliation, the flame expires. Licinius is advised by Cinna to flee. Julia is interrogated by the High Priest but refuses to name Licinius. She is sentenced to death for licentiousness.

Act 3
Despite the pleas of Licinius, Julia is to be buried alive; even when he admits his intrusion to the Temple, Julia claims not to recognise him. A thunderstorm ensues, during which lightning reignites the sacred flame. Recognising this as a sign from the Gods, the High Priest and Vestal Priestess release Julia who is then married to Licinius.

French opera singer Caroline Branchu (1780-1850) as Julia in "La Vestale" by Gaspare Spontini 



Ludwig van Beethoven"Ghost" Piano Trio; Cello Sonata No. 3, Op. 69

Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, op. 70/1 'Ghost'
I. Allegro vivace e con brio 0:16
II. Largo assai ed espressivo 10:00
III. Presto 20:54

Nicolas Costantinou, piano
Nikos PIttas, violin
Brice Catherin, cello
2014, Pallas Theatre, Lefkosia, Cyprus

Beethoven: sonata for piano and cello no. 3, op. 69 in A major
Pieter Wispelwey, cello, and Paul Komen, fortepiano

1. Allegro ma non tanto - 00:00
2. Scherzo - 13:00
3. Adagio cantabile - 17:57
4. Allegro vivace - 19:52

Bernhard Henrik Crusell - Clarinet Concerto no. 2

Bernhard Henrik Crusell - Clarinet Concerto No.2 in F-minor, Op.5 
Dedicated to tsar Alexander I of Russia.

Mov.I: Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante pastorale 11:23
Mov.III: Rondo: Allegretto 16:52

Clarinet: Per Billman

Orchestra: Uppsala Kammarorkester

Conductor: Gérard Korsten

Carl Maria von Weber – Momento capriccioso

Carl Maria Von Weber -  Momento capriccioso, Op.12  Alexander Paley, piano

20 December 
The original Covent Garden Theatre in London is destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts.

22 December  
Beethoven concert of 22 December 1808: Ludwig van Beethoven conducts and plays piano in a marathon benefit concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna consisting entirely of first public performances of works by him including the Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 (Piano Concerto No. 4  was composed in 1806) and Choral Fantasy.


Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 
1 Allegro con brio 
2 Andante con moto
3 Scherzo. Allegro
4 Allegro

Leonard Bernstein

Beethoven - Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
1 - Allegro ma non troppo
2 - Andante molto mosso
3 - Allegro
4 - Allegro
5 - Allegretto

Leonard Bernstein (conductor)
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven - Choral Fantasy
Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Leader, Matthew Truscott.  
With the BBC Singers.  
Pianist & Director, Leif Ove Andsnes.

15 May
Michael William Balfe, Irish composer, born. 

Michael William Balfe

Michael William Balfe

Michael William Balfe, (born May 15, 1808, Dublin, Ire.—died Oct. 20, 1870, near Ware, Hertfordshire, Eng.), singer and composer, best known for the facile melody and simple ballad style of his opera The Bohemian Girl.


Balfe appeared as a violinist at age nine and began composing at about the same time. In 1823 he went to London, where he studied violin with C.F. Horn and played in the orchestra at Drury Lane Theatre. In 1825 he was taken to Italy by Count Mazzara, a wealthy patron. There he studied composition, took voice lessons, and produced his first ballet, La Pérouse (1825). Between 1827 and 1833 he sang leading baritone roles in operas by Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and others in Paris and Italy. His own early operas were written on Italian librettos and produced at Palermo, Pavia, and Milan between 1829 and 1833, after which he returned to London. His first English opera, The Siege of Rochelle, was produced at Drury Lane in 1835. His popularity was established; in 1838 he sang Papageno in the first English performance of The Magic Flute, and with Le Puits d’amour (1843) he began a series of French operas.

The Bohemian Girl (first performed 1843) was the most successful of his operas and was produced in many countries, in French, German, Italian, and Russian. Two of the ballads from it, “When Other Lips” and “I Dreamt That I Dwelt in Marble Halls,” have been published in many arrangements.

Balfe produced several other operas in London; essayed managing and conducting with little success; and between 1849 and 1864 traveled in France, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Michael William Balfe - THE BOHEMIAN GIRL 
Arline, figlia del Conte Arnheim : Leigh Munro, Thaddeus, un fuggitivo polacco : Vinson Cole, Il Conte Arnheim : Will Roy
La Regina dei gitani : Alice Garrott, Devilshoof, capo dei gitani :
Peter Strummer, Florestein, nipote del Conte : William Martin
Buda, attendenet di Arline : Ellen Sussman : Capitano della Guardia
Gary Jordan
Orchestra and Chorus of the Central City Opera Festival
Colorado - Central City, 1978

The Bohemian Girl is a ballad opera composed by Michael William Balfe with a libretto by Alfred Bunn. The plot is loosely based on a Cervantes tale, La Gitanilla.

Act 1
A Polish noble, Thaddeus, in exile in Austria, joins a band of gypsies. He saves Arline, the infant daughter of Count Arnheim, from being killed by a deer. The count, in gratitude, invites him to a banquet, where Thaddeus refuses to toast a statue of the Austrian Emperor, instead splashing it with wine, and escapes from his enraged host with the help of his gypsy friend Devilshoof, who kidnaps Arline.

Act 2
Twelve years have elapsed. Arline can only vaguely remember her noble upbringing. She and Thaddeus are sweethearts, but the Gypsy Queen is also in love with him. Arnheim's nephew Florestein falls in love with Arline (not recognising her), but the Queen plants a medallion stolen from Florestein on Arline. Florestein recognises the medallion and has her arrested. She is tried before the Count who recognises the scar left on her arm from the deer attack.

Act 3
Arline is at a ball in her father's castle, where she feels nostalgic for her Romany upbringing and for her true love. Thaddeus breaks into the castle through a window and pleads for her hand. He eventually wins the trust of the count whom he insulted twelve years ago, and the Count gives them his blessing. The Gypsy Queen stalks Thaddeus to the castle and tries to break in through the same window to kill Arline with a musket and kidnap Thaddeus. Before she can execute her plan, however, Devilshoof tries to wrest the weapon from her hands and she is accidentally killed in the scuffle.



Ludwig van Beethoven  publishes his "Harp" Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74; 6 Songs, Op. 75; Six variations on an original theme (the Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens) in D major, Op. 76; Fantasia for Piano in G minor, Op. 77; Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp major, Op. 78; Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79; Four Ariettas and a Duet, Op. 82

Beethoven - Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74 "Harp", Arianna String Quartet

Beethoven - 6 Gesänge, Opus 75
Hermann Prey, baritone - Pamela Coburn, soprano - Leonard Hokanson, piano
1 Mignon - Kennst Du Das Land (Do You Know The Land?) 
2 Neue Liebe, neues Leben (New Love, New Life) 4:27
3 Aus Goethes Faust - Mephistos Flohgesang (Mephisto's Song Of The Flea) 7:09
4 Gretels Warnun (Gretel's Warning) 9:27
5 An den fernen Geliebten (To My Man Who is Far Away) 11:29
6 Der Zufriedene (The Contented One) 14:48

Beethoven - 6 Variations op. 76 on a Theme from "Ruins of Athens"
Sviatoslav Richter, piano

Beethoven - Fantasia in G minor, Op. 77
Alexander Panfilov

Beethoven Piano Sonata No.24 in F sharp major, op.78
Maurizio Pollini, piano

Beethoven Sonata No. 25 in G Major, Op. 79
S. Nicolosi

Beethoven: 4 Ariettas and duet for voice and piano op. 82

 François-Joseph GossecSymphonie à 17 parties

Gossec - Symphonie à 17 parties in F-major

Mov.I: Maestoso - Allegro molto 00:00
Mov.II: Larghetto 06:22
Mov.III: Menuetto 14:29
Mov.IV: Allegro molto 21:50

Orchestre Symphonique de Liège

Conductor: Jacques Houtmann

Mehul - Symphony No 1 in G Minor
Orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation -
Michel Swierczewski, conductor

Etienne Mehul – Symphony No. 1 in G minor

3 February  
Felix Mendelssohn, composer, born. 

19 March
Fredrik Pacius, conductor and composer, born.

7 March  

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, organist, composer and music teacher, dies, ages 70

31 May 
Franz Joseph Haydn, composer, dies, ages 74. 

15 June
Mozart's Requiem is performed at a memorial service for Franz Joseph Haydn at the Schottenkirche, Vienna.

This is based on the original version of 1809.

Act 1
The opera is based on the story of the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, and his invasion of Aztec Mexico. At the beginning of the opera, Cortez persuades his mutinous troops not to embark for home. His brother, Alvaro, is a prisoner of the Aztecs and Cortez is also in love with the Aztec princess, Amazily. Amazily's brother, Télasco, arrives and tells the Spaniards to leave Mexico. Cortez responds by setting fire to his own ships.

Act 2
The Spaniards advance on the Aztec temple with Télasco their prisoner. They succeed in freeing Alvaro. Télasco accuses his sister Amazily of being a traitor and the Aztecs threaten to behead her if Alvaro is not returned to them. Amazily decides to sacrifice herself and hands herself over to the Aztecs. Cortez orders his men to attack the temple.

Act 3
In the temple, the priests prepare to sacrifice Alvaro when Amazily arrives. An oracle from the god announces that he wants the blood of his enemies. News arrives that the Aztec emperor Montezuma has been captured by the Spaniards. The high priest decides to go ahead with the sacrifice of Amazily. The Spaniards arrive just in time to save her. Amazily and Cortez are united in marriage.

28 November
Gaspare SpontiniFernand Cortez

Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique (Hernán Cortés, or The Conquest of Mexico) is an opera in three acts by Gaspare Spontini with a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Joseph-Alphonse Esménard. It was first performed on 28 November 1809 by the Académie Impériale de Musique (Paris Opera) at the Salle Montansier.

Spontini - Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique

1.Officer: François Soulet
2.Officer: Lucas Debevec Mayer
Alvaro: Martial Defontaine
Amazily: Cécile Perrin
Fernand Cortez: Melena Marras
Gran Sacerdote: Jean-Marie Lenaerts
Montezuma: Thierry Félix
Morales: André Duchesne
Spanish prisoners: François Soulet, Lucas Debevec Mayer
Telasco: Jean-Philippe Marliere 

Chorus: Slovak National Philharmonic Choir

Orchestra: Slovak National Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Jean-Paul Penin

Fredrik Pacius

Fredrik Pacius

Fredrik Pacius (born Friedrich Pacius) (March 19, 1809 – January 8, 1891) was a German composer and conductor who lived most of his life in Finland. He has been called the "Father of Finnish music".


Pacius was born in Hamburg. He was appointed music teacher at the University of Helsinki in 1834. In Helsinki he founded a musical society, the student choir Akademiska Sångföreningen and an orchestra. In 1848 Pacius wrote the music to the poem "Vårt land" by Johan Ludvig Runeberg, which was to become Finland's national anthem. Pacius’s music was also used for the Estonian national anthem "Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm" and the Livonian national anthem Min izāmō, min sindimō.

In 1852 he composed Kung Karls jakt (The Hunt of King Charles) which was the first Finnish opera, with a libretto in the style of Romantic nationalism, like the national anthem designed to convince Finland's grand duke (i.e. the Russian Emperor Nicholas I) of the total loyalty of his subjects in Finland. The libretto was written by the author and historian Zacharias Topelius in close collaboration with the composer.

His compositions also include a violin concerto, a symphony, a string quartet and several other operas.

Pacius died in Helsinki, aged 81.

Fredrik Pacius - Symphony in D-minor (1850)

Orchestra: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Anna-Maria Helsing

Jani Lehtonen - Jean Sibelius - Fredrik Pacius

1. 00:00:00 Jani Lehtonen Allegro moderato (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor) (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor)
2. 00:15:54 Jani Lehtonen Adagio di molto (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor) (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor)
3. 00:25:15 Jani Lehtonen Allegro ma non tanto (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor) (Violin concerto Op. 47 d minor)
4. 00:33:29 Jani Lehtonen Violin concerto f sharp minor



Friedrich Kuhlau – Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 7

Friedrich Kuhlau - Piano Concerto Op. 7 (1810)

Felicja Blumental, piano and the Salzburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Theodore Guschlbauer

Etienne Mehul - Symphony No. 4 in E major

Méhul - SYMPHONY NO. 4 in E major
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Carl Maria von Weber – Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 11

Weber - Piano Concerto No.1 in C-major, Op.11, J 98 

Pianist: Peter Rösel

Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden

Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt

Johann Nepomuk HummelMathilde von Guise

Johann Hummel - Mathilde von Guise - Overtüre

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for piano, "Für Elise"Egmont, op. 84, overture and incidental music; 3 Lieder, Op. 8; String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, "Serioso", op. 95

Beethoven - Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for piano, "Für Elise"
Conductor: Grigor Palikarov
Soloist: Georgii Cherkin - piano

Beethoven - EGMONT Op. 84 Incidental Music

Music to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragedy

Klärchen - Cheryl Studer; Sprecher - Bruno Ganz
Berliner Philharmoniker - Claudio Abbado

1. Overtüre: Sostenuto, ma non troppo - Allegro
2. Lied: “Die Trommel gerühret”
3. Zwischenaktmusik I: Andante
4. Lied: “Freudvoll und leidvoll”
5. Zwischenaktmusik III: Allegro
6. Zwischenaktmusik IV: Poco sostenuto e risoluto
7. Klärchens Tod bezeichnend: Larghetto
8. Melodram: “Süßer Schlaf”: Poco sostenuto
9. Siegessymphonie: Allegro con brio

Beethoven : Serenade for String Trio in D Major, Op.8-1
Hyuk Joo Kwun Violin - Hanna Lee Viola -
Joon Ho Shim Celleo

Beethoven: Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso"
Steven Song, violin; Jessica Cao, violin; Margaret O'Malley, viola; Noah Koh, cello

20 January
Ferdinand David, violinist and composer, born. 

22 February 
Frédéric Chopin, composer, pianist, born.

8 June  
Robert Schumann, composer, born.

9 June 
Otto Nicolai, composer and conductor, born.

Weber: "Silvana"  - - Teil I (1./2. Akt, Berlin 1994)
Dirigent: Hartmut Haenchen
Graf Adelhart: Siegfried Lorenz
Mechthilde: Helen Bickers
Graf Rudolph von Helfenstein: Johann Botha
Krips, sein Knappe: René Pape
Albert von Cleeburg: Reiner Goldberg
Kurt, Cleeburgs Knappe: Gerd Wolf
Clara, Mechthildes Zofe: Dorothea Röschmann

Weber: "Silvana"  - Teil II (2./3. Akt, Berlin 1994)
Dirigent: Hartmut Haenchen
Graf Adelhart: Siegfried Lorenz
Mechthilde: Helen Bickers
Graf Rudolph von Helfenstein: Johann Botha
Albert von Cleeburg: Reiner Goldberg
Fust von Grimmbach, Rudolphs Lehnsmann: Andreas Kohn

16 September
Carl Maria von WeberSilvana

Silvana, J. 87, is an opera by Carl Maria von Weber, first performed in Frankfurt am Main on 16 September 1810. The libretto, by Franz Carl Hiemer (de), is a reworking of an earlier, unsuccessful opera by Weber, Das Waldmädchen. Weber also reused music from the same piece in Silvana.


Act 1
The opera opens to horns and a huntsmen's chorus as Count Rudolph von Helfenstein and his followers are enjoying a bear hunt. Krips, Rudolf's squire, offers some comic relief as he stumbles on the scene and thinks he has killed the dead bear singing the first of his several comic songs. This is followed by another huntsmen's chorus which would not be out of place in Der Freischütz. Count Rudolph now sings an melancholy aria about seeking solitude in the wilderness and seeking the love of a woman. Count Adelhart's daughter, Mechthilde, is promised to him, but he knows she does not love him. The aria concludes with the idea that he will seek the trumpets of battle to find rest from his lack of love. Musically the aria is similar to that of Huon's in Oberon. Krips tries to cheer him up with another comic aria, where Krips advocates a fear of the supernatural and Rudolf proposes courage at all times. Krips thinks he has seen a wood-spirit or devil in a cave nearby. As Krips hides, his aria describes his feelings and the action as Rudolf goes into the cave and then leads a girl, Silvana, out. She is mute and dressed only in skins and leaves. Rudolf falls in love with her. Rudolf sings to Silvana and she shyly reciprocates his advances, the orchestra acting very cleverly as the partner to her mute duet with Rudolf. She does not wish to leave the cave and her forest home. The huntsmen return and sing of the joys brought by the Rhine and the wine it produces. Silvana falls asleep and Rudolf has his men quietly carry her to Count Adelhart's castle nearby where he is staying as a guest.

Act 2
In the opening duet Count Adelhart is quarreling with his daughter about the arranged marriage with Count Rudolf that he demands of her. Count Adelhart believes that Hanns von Cleeburg robbed him of his second daughter Ottilie, and Mechthilde as the only surviving child of the family and must make a suitable marriage. After he leaves Mechthilde sings an aria about her love for Albert von Cleeburg, son of her father's enemy. Her maid Klärchen manages to arrange a secret meeting between the couple, she plans on going along since she is loved by Albert's squire, Kurt. In a quartet the four lovers express their common desire for happiness together. Albert hopes that Count Rudolf will be a noble-hearted man and stand aside for true love.

After an orchestral interlude the scene opens as Silvana awakens in the castle to Rudolf's pleas for her to stay with someone who loves her. He learns that she has left her father behind and he sends Krips to ask Sir Fust to seek him out, and bring him to the castle. In another aria he sings again about how much he loves her. This is followed by another comic aria where Krips extolls the virtues of wine over women.

The final to the act takes place in the grand ceremonial hall after a tournament has taken place. An unknown knight has won all three contests and is awarded prizes of a sword and golden spurs by the lovely Mechthilde. Count Adelhart and the other beg him to raise his visor to reveal the noble knight. When they see he is Albert von Cleeburg, Count Adelhart is enraged and seeks revenge. Only Rudolf's sword prevents Albert's imprisonment and allows him to escape as the act ends.

Act 3
Albert and his followers have gathered in the forest, where there is a terrific thunder storm. It is here that they come upon Ulrich, once in Count Adelhart's service. He is in despair, seeking for his foster daughter Silvana whom he had found in the forest, suckled by wolves. Silvana is in fact Adelhart‘s lost daughter Ottilie, driven out and exposed in the forest by her jealous father. Her mother had died young and Count Adelhart suspected that she was in love with Count von Cleeburg and that because of a slight resemblance, she was his daughter. He drove her out of the castle and Ulrich became her foster father, hoping for an eventual reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Count Adelhart plots revenge on both sets of lovers. Rudolph only has eyes for the mute Silvana, but if she died maybe he would marry his daughter. Adelhart's plan to murder Silvana is prevented at the last moment by Rudolph and Mechthilde. Albert appears and brings the happy news: Silvana is Ottilie, Adelhart's daughter and sister of Mechthilde. A diamond cross that once belonged to Ottilie's mother and her birthmark convince the angry Count Adelhart. Ulrich frees the girl from his command of silence. Adelhart now gives his daughters permission to marry: Ottilie/Silvana, will be united with Rudolph, Mechthilde with Albert, The old family feud is at an end and celebration is sung by a final chorus followed by three orchestral numbers: a torch dance, a dance of the Pages and a quick dance, then a choral finale that ends the opera.

3 November
Gioacchino Rossini
La Cambiale di Matrimonio


La cambiale di matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage or The Marriage Contract) is a one-act operatic farsa comica by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. The opera debuted on 3 November 1810 at the Teatro San Moisè in Venice.

Gioachino Rossini  - La cambiale di matrimonio

Sir Tobia Mill, negoziante: Rolando Panerai
Fannì, di lui figlia: Renata Scotto
Edoardo Milfort: Nicola Monti
Slook, negoziante americano: Renato Capecchi
Norton, cassiere di Mill: Mario Petri 
Clarina, cameriera di Fannì: Giovanna Fioroni

Renato Fasano, I Virtuosi di Roma, 1959

Place: London, the chambers of Tobia Mill, 18th Century
The servants Norton and Clarina discuss a letter which has arrived for their master, Tobias Mill, regarding an impending marriage contract from a Canadian businessman, Slook, who is due to arrive later that day. Mill enters, flustered from calculating the distance from the Americas to Europe, and orders the household to prepare for Slook's arrival, including the readying of his daughter, Fanny, whom he intends to marry off to the foreigner. After everyone leaves, Fanny arrives with her lover, Eduardo Milfort; their love has been kept a secret from Mill due to Eduardo's poor financial status. Norton enters and informs the lovers of the impending marriage contract, but their conversation is interrupted by Mill's entrance as the carriage arrives bearing the Canadian.

Slook enters harassed by the servants who are trying to take his coat: he is clearly unaccustomed to European greetings. Mill encourages Slook to talk to Fanny and to get to know her, but she remains quite hostile, trying to express her disinterest in marrying him with many "but's". However, she is soon joined by Eduardo, and they both threaten to cut out Slook's eyes and puncture his veins. Slook departs to the safety of his room, Fanny and Eduardo to other quarters, as Clarina and Norton return. Before Slook comes back, Clarina expresses her experiences with love and, then upon his return, Norton informs him that the goods he is interested in acquiring are already mortgaged.

Infuriated by this contractual double-crossing, Slook refuses to buy Fanny and tells Mill this. However, he refuses to give a reason fearing retribution from the lovers. Mill then threatens Slook with the prospect of a duel for refusing to carry through with the contract he has incurred. Having encountered three people who wish him dead within hours of his arrival in London, Slook prepares to leave and, when he returns from packing his belongings, he sees Fanny and Eduardo embracing, catching them red-handed, but they tell him about Mill's business-managerial sentiments toward marriage and of Eduardo's poor financial status; Slook responds by promising to make Eduardo his heir so that Fanny may be his.

Mill returns and prepares for his duel, although he fears that, if he dies, it may reflect poorly upon his reputation in the market. Slook reveals himself and clandestinely replaces a pistol with a peace pipe which Mill grabs, not realizing what it is. As they head to the field of battle (Slook armed with a pistol, Mill with a pipe), the ensemble rushes in and tries to convince Mill to give up the financial pretensions. Finally Slook convinces Mill to allow the couple to marry and all ends happily.

7 November 
Ferenc Erkel
, opera composer, born.

Ferdinand David

Ferdinand David

Ferdinand David (19 June 1810 – 18 July 1873) was a German virtuoso violinist and composer.

Born in the same house in Hamburg where Felix Mendelssohn had been born the previous year, David was raised Jewish but later converted to Protestant Christianity. David was a pupil of Louis Spohr and Moritz Hauptmann from 1823 to 1824 and in 1826 became a violinist at Königstädtischen Theater in Berlin. In 1829 he was the first violinist of Baron Carl Gotthard von Liphardt's (father of Karl Eduard von Liphart) string quartet in Dorpat and he undertook concert tours in Riga, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. In 1835 he became concertmaster (Konzertmeister) at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig working with Mendelssohn. David returned to Dorpat to marry Liphart's daughter Sophie. In 1843 David became the first professor of violin (Violinlehrer) at the newly founded Leipziger Konservatorium für Musik. David worked closely with Mendelssohn, providing technical advice during the preparation of the latter's Violin Concerto in E minor. He was also the soloist in the premiere of the work in 1845. He also played the official premiere of Schumann's first violin sonata with Clara Schumann in Leipzig in March 1852. He died suddenly in 1873, aged 63, while on a mountain excursion with his children, near Klosters in the Graubünden (Grisons) area of Switzerland.

Ferdinand David - Concertino for Trombone
Trombone : Joseph Alessi 
Chuncheon Philharmonic Orchestra

Ferdinand David - "Introduction et Variations" 

Federico Palacios, clarinette

Célia Schmitt, piano

Ferdinand David - Concertino for Bassoon op. 12
Andrius Puplauskis - bassoon
Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Conductor - Ričardas Šumila

Otto Nicolai

Otto Nicolai

(b. Konigsberg, June 9, 1810; d. Berlin, May 11, 1849)


German composer and conductor. A peripatetic childhood and adolescence, during which his father tried, unsuccessfully, to turn him into a prodigy, was followed by a peripatetic professional life as organist at the chapel of the German embassy in Rome, Kapellmeister at the Karntnertortheater in Vienna, freelance opera composer in Italy, principal conductor at the Vienna Court Opera, and, finally, Kapellmeister at the Berlin Court Opera. His fame as a composer rests on a single extremely popular work, the opera Die lustigen Weibervon Windsor {TheMerry Wives of Windsor), which received its first performance at the Court Opera House in Berlin on March 9, 1849.

Nicolai’s legacy as a conductor is also defined by a single but very important endeavor. On March 28,1842, he gathered 64 players from his orchestra at the Vienna Court Opera to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Thus was born the Vienna Philharmonic, which to this day honors its founder with an annual “Nicolai Concert.” Nicolai’s accounts of Beethoven’s symphonies in Vienna during the next five years, especially his renditions of the Ninth in 1843, set the highest standard for the performance of “classical” music, which the orchestra he founded continues to uphold

Otto Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor

Otto Nicolai - Te Deum (c.1839)

Soprano I: Bozena Betley
Soprano II: Zofie Kilanowicz
Alto: Katarzyna Suska
Tenor: Henryk Grychnik
Baritone: Czeslaw Galka
Bass: Jerzy Gruszcynski

Solo violin: Miesczlyslaw Szlezer

Chorus: Cracow Philharmonic Chorus

Orchestra: Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Roland Bader

Otto Nicolai - Symphony No 2 in D major, WoO 99

Ferenc Erkel

Ferenc Erkel

Ferenc Erkel, Hungarian form Erkel Ferenc, (born Nov. 7, 1810, Gyula, Hung.—died June 15, 1893, Budapest), founding father of Hungary’s national opera in the 19th century and composer of the “Hymnusz,” the Hungarian national anthem.


Erkel’s family was of German descent but regarded itself as Hungarian and lived in Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slvk.). His ancestors included many musicians and music teachers. Erkel first studied music with his father, and then from 1822 to 1825 he studied with composer Henrik Klein in Pozsony. From 1828 to 1834 he lived in Kolozsvár (now Cluj, Rom.), and in 1835 he moved to Pest. Until 1841 he performed regularly as a soloist and accompanying pianist. In 1835 he was the conductor at the National Stage at the Buda Castle Theatre, and in 1836–37 he led the German Theatre of Pest.

In 1838 he became the first conductor of the newly opened Hungarian Theatre of Pest (from 1840 the National Theatre). There he worked to develop Hungarian-language operatic performance with the intention of creating an opera company capable of competing with the German Theatre of Pest. In addition to staging works by Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, and Carl Maria von Weber, he revived József Ruzitska’s opera Béla futása (“Béla’s Flight”), which in 1822 had been the first Hungarian opera.

After this production proved to be a failure, he began to write his own operas, synthesizing western European elements with Hungarian themes. His first original works were Bátori Mária (1840) and Hunyadi László (1844), both with librettos by Béni Egressy. Parts of the latter work, which enjoyed enormous and lasting popularity, were adapted as revolutionary songs. Also in 1844, “Hymnusz,” with lyrics taken from an 1823 poem of the same name by Ferenc Kölcsey and with music composed by Erkel, was adopted as Hungary’s national anthem.

To support his family, Erkel also wrote accompaniments and feature songs for popular plays (including those by prolific playwright Ede Szigligeti), and he became the music teacher of the daughter of Archduke Albert. After the Hungarian struggle for independence of 1848–49, Erkel revived the opera company of the National Theatre on next to nothing. In 1853 he assembled what would become the Philharmonic Society (legally established as an association in 1867), which performed concerts at the National Museum and later in the Vigadó Theatre. He also introduced new works by Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt. His 1857 opera, Erzsébet (“Elizabeth”), was less than a success with audiences. In 1861 Erkel staged his most famous work, Bánk bán (based on a drama by József Katona, with a libretto by Egressy), which at that point probably had been ready for production for more than 10 years. However, Sarolta, his first comic opera, performed in 1862, proved to be another failure. Erkel’s 1867 opera, Dózsa György, displays Wagnerian stylistic touches in its use of leitmotifs, while Brankovics György (1874) employs Hungarian, Serbian, and Turkish musical material.

In his later operas Erkel began entrusting his sons Gyula, Sándor, and Elek with small orchestration duties and later with the writing of complete accompaniments to vocal scores and compositions. In 1871 Erkel announced his resignation as the lead conductor of the Philharmonic Society, but he stayed on for the next few years, gradually ceding the position to Hans Richter. In 1873 Erkel became director of the theatre’s operatic division, but he resigned after a year and thereafter conducted only his own works.

Erkel played a significant role in the foundation of the Academy of Music in Budapest (1875), where he served as director and teacher of piano. He remained director until 1887, and a year later he resigned from his teaching post. Composed during this period, his opera Névtelen hősök (1880; “Anonymous Heroes”) was based on Hungarian folk music. Erkel composed one of his last significant works, the Ünnepi nyitány (1887; “Festival Overture”), for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the National Theatre in Budapest.

Hunyadi László (László Hunyadi) is an opera in three acts by Ferenc Erkel. The libretto, by Béni Egressy, is based on a play by Lőrinc Tóth. The opera was first performed at the Pesti Nemzeti Magyar Szinház, Budapest on 27 January 1844. Hunyadi László is considered to be the first important Hungarian opera and Erkel's musical style draws on folk influences, particularly the dance known as the verbunkos.

Erkel Ferenc - Hunyadi Laszlo
Gara Mária: Miklósa Erika
Szilágyi Erzébet: Fodor Beatrix
Hunyádi László: Fekete Attila
V. László: Pataky P. Dániel
Cillei Ulrick: Szvétek László
Gara Nádor: Kalmándi Mihály

The opera is based on events which took place in Hungary in 1456-7. The great military leader, János Hunyadi, who defended Hungary against the attacks of the Ottoman Turks is dead and power has passed to his enemies. The new king, László V, is weak and surrounded by evil advisers, who counsel him to kill Hunyadi's son, László, a leading figure in the Hungarian army. László is warned of the plot and survives. The king pretends friendship with the young man but his mother, Erzsébet, fears for the lives of her sons. The king falls in love with László's fiancée, Mária, and persuades her father to force her to marry him instead. He has László arrested, accusing him of being in a conspiracy. Mária fails in her bid to free László from prison and he is condemned to death, the executioner only succeeding in cutting off his head at the fourth attempt.

Bánk bán is an opera in 3 Acts by composer Ferenc Erkel. The work uses a Hungarian language libretto by Béni Egressy which is based on a stage play of the same name by József Katona. (Bán is ban in English, similar to a viceroy, a duke or palatine.) The main storyline is based on the assassination of Queen Gertrúd, wife of Andrew II in 1213. The opera was first performed at the Pesti Nemzeti Magyar Szinház in Pest on 9 March 1861.

Ferenk Erkel - Bánk Bán
József Simándy (tenore: Bánk Bán) 
Karola Ágay (soprano: Melinda) 
Sándor Sólyom-Nagy (baritono: Endre II) 
Erzsébet Komlóssy (contralto: Gertrud) 
József Réti (tenore: Otto) 
András Faragó (bass-baritono: Petur bán) 
László Palócz (baritono: Biberach) 
Gyögy Melis (baritono: Tiborc) 
András Rajna (basso: Ranker) 

Coro dell'Opera di Stato Ungherese 
Philharmonic Orchestra - direttore, Amadé Németh

Bátori Mária is an 1840 Hungarian opera by Ferenc Erkel.

The opera is taken from a popular stage play in prose by András Dugonics (1793). The Hungarian Theatre signed the opera in March 1838, soon after Erkel had joined the company.

The plot of Bátori Mária is based upon the tragic story of Inês de Castro, the lover and posthumously-recognized wife of King Peter I of Portugal.

Erkel Ferenc - Bátori Mária opera (1840)


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - Napoleon on his Imperial Throne

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