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Classical Era


Plantation slaves just outside New Orleans are aware of the successful slave revolt that freed the slaves of Haiti (1791-1804). On January 8, between 200 and 500 slaves near New Orleans, from more than one plantation, join together with stolen arms against their masters and oppressors. They kill for their freedom. There is a musket face-off in which the slaves lose. Most are executed and their heads displayed on pikes as a lesson for other slaves
  •  The French are driven from Portugal  •  Independence is declared in Caracas (Venezuela), La Paz (Bolivia) and New Grenada (Colombia). Fighting erupts between those favoring independence and Spanish authority in Latin America  •  In Egypt, Viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha exterminates Mamluk warlords. He invites them to a banquet and has them slaughtered  •  A 60-year-old Spanish priest, Hildago, who was influenced by the Enlightment, is executed after leading an uprising in behalf of the well being of Indians and mestizos 

For the Ottoman empire, Muhammad Ali Pasha drives the Wahhabi and Saudis out of Medina and Mecca
  •  In England, a few workers called Luddites in various cities in the spinning and cloth finishing industries have been destroying new machinery. They fear technological unemployment. Some are executed  •  Priests in Caracas claim that an earthquake is God's anger against the sins of the new government. Spain's military is able to regain control of the city  •  At sea, Britain has a counter-blockade against France. Britain's new prime minister, Lord Liverpool, instructs the British navy to treat US trading ships with new tact and to avoid clashes with Americans. This does not deter those in the US who want war, and Congress declares war against Britain on June 18, 1812  •  Napoleon's march into Russia exposes his recklessness and shallow strategic thinking. His march into Russia is not going well. His three top-ranking subordinates urged a halt to the campaign. Napoleon agrees, but the following day he changes his mind. He doesn't want to admit folly or show weakness. On September 7 at the Battle of Borodino he losses 30,000 to 35,000 more men, dead, wounded or captured. A week later he is in Moscow. In mid-October he begins a terrible march back from Russa, ending his campaign with none of the army of 600,000 with which he began 

Napoleon's move against Russia has delayed Russia's ability to protect their fellow Orthodox Christians, the Serbs, who have been rebelling against Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire moves against rebel Serb areas, and Albanian troops plunder Serb villages
  •  Napoleon has failed to win enough friends. In Spain, British and Spanish forces defeat his military. Napoleon withdraws from Germany after the Russians, Prussians, Austrians and Swedes defeat him there. His Confederation of the Rhine falls into history's trash bin  •  Laura Secord walks 20 difficult miles to warn of a surprise attack by an invading US force. She is to be a Canadian heroine

A negotiated  treaty ends the War of 1812-14 and restores "peace, friendship, and good understanding" between the United States and "His Britannic Majesty" 
•  Russian and Prussian forces enter Paris. Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba. The terms of peace between the victors and France are settled in another Treaty of Paris. The victors over Napoleon gather at Vienna – the Congress of Vienna – to create a stable Europe to their liking  •  Jane Austen (UK) - Mansfield Park  • Goya – The Third of May 1808 

In the Indonesian Archepelgo, Mount Tamobra has been inactive for thousands of years, but on April 10 it begins a week of eruptions. Its debris in the stratosphere reduces sunlight. In the Northern Hemisphere in September there are days with no sunlight. Crops fail and livestock die in much of the Northern Hemisphere, creating the worst of 19th century famines
 • Napoleon returns to France in February. He inspires men to reach again for glory, and his final military defeat comes June 18th at the Battle of Waterloo. 

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars.



Joseph Wölfl – Piano Concerto No. 6 in D major "Le coucou", Op. 49

Joseph Wölfl - Op. 49 - Piano Concerto No. 6 in D major "Le coucou"

1. Allegro moderato (0:00)
2. Andante (8:05)
3. Allegro molto (11:30)

Yorck Kronenberg, piano; SWR Rundfunkorchester conducted by Johannes Moesus.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Trio No. 7 (the "Archduke"); Die Ruinen von Athen ("The Ruins of Athens")

Ludwig van Beethoven: `Die Ruinen von Athen` op.113

Beethoven Piano Trio No.7 in B flat major Op.97 "Archduke"

1. Allegro moderato
2. Scherzo. Allegro
3. Andante cantabile, ma pero con moto-Poco piu adagio
4. Allegro moderato

Viktoria Mullova - Violin
Andre Previn - Piano
Heinrich Schiff - Violoncello

Johann Nepomuk Hummel – German Dances 

Hummel - 6 German Dances, Op.16

Giacomo MeyerbeerGott und die Natur 
Lyrische Rhapsodie, Königliches Nationaltheater, Berlin 1811

4 June 
Carl Maria von WeberAbu Hassan

Abu Hassan is a comic opera in one act by Carl Maria von Weber to a German libretto by Franz Carl Hiemer (de), based on a story in One Thousand and One Nights. It was composed between 11 August 1810 and 12 January 1811 and has set numbers with recitative and spoken dialogue.

Weber: Abu Hassan 
Katy Tompkins, James Schenck, Zach Gillerlain and Randal Dennler
Conductor Isaac Selya

Abu Hassan, a favorite of the Caliph of Baghdad, is heavily in debt. To retrieve his fortunes, he sends his wife Fatima to the Caliph's wife, Zobeide, to announce his (Hassan's) death, for which Fatima will receive 50 pieces of gold and a piece of brocade. After Fatima has set off, creditors enter Abu Hassan's house to collect money. Omar, the richest creditor, is tricked into believing that Fatima has spoken to him of love, so he agrees to pay all the other creditors.

Fatima returns with the presents from Zobeide. Abu Hassan now goes to visit the Caliph, intending to try a similar story about his wife and get money from him. While he is out, Omar reappears and demands a kiss from Fatima, but Abu Hassan returns. Omar hides in an adjoining room, and the husband and wife enjoy his fear of being discovered.

Now Mesrur, a messenger from the Caliph, arrives, to see if Fatima really is dead. Both the Caliph and his wife want to know who it was who died, and if both, who died first. Mesrur, seeing Fatima lying on the divan, her husband in apparent distress at her side, runs back to tell the Caliph. He has only just gone, when Zobeide's nurse runs in on a similar errand. This time it is Hassan who feigns death, while Fatima is all tears and lamenting.

Finally the Caliph and his wife are announced. Hassan and Fatima throw themselves on the divan, covering themselves, as if dead. The Caliph now offers 1,000 gold pieces to anyone who will tell him which of them died first. Hassan revives and throws himself at the Caliph's feet, saying "It was me - I died first!" He asks for a pardon, as well as the gold. Fatima does likewise, and the Caliph pardons them both. Omar, having paid off Hassan's debts in the hope of winning Fatima's heart, is sent away in disgrace.

5 August
Ambroise Thomas, opera composer, born.

22 October 
Franz Liszt, pianist and composer, born.

Ambroise Thomas

Ambroise Thomas

Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas (5 August 1811 – 12 February 1896) was a French composer, best known for his operas Mignon (1866) and Hamlet (1868, after Shakespeare) and as Director of the Conservatoire de Paris from 1871 until his death.


Ambroise Thomas was born in Metz, France on August 5, 1811. Thomas's parents were music teachers. By the age of 10, he was already an experienced pianist and violinist. In 1828, he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Jean-François Le Sueur (who also taught Berlioz) while at the same time taking piano lessons privately from the famous virtuoso Frédéric Kalkbrenner.

In 1832, his cantata Hermann et Ketty won the Conservatory's prestigious composition prize, the Grand Prix de Rome, which allowed him to travel to and study in that city for three years. He took with him a love for Mozart and Beethoven; but once in Rome, he became an ardent admirer of the Italian cantilena and melodic tradition. It was during his Italian sojourn that he wrote all of his chamber music: namely, a piano trio, a string quintet and a string quartet.
The first opera Thomas composed, La double échelle (1837), was produced at the Opéra Comique and subsequently received 247 performances. Le caïd (1849), did still better, and achieved over 400 performances. For the next quarter of a century Thomas's productivity was incessant, and several of his operas (he wrote 24 altogether) enjoyed a considerable, if ephemeral, popularity. The questionable quality of their libretti hampers them, but a few have been revived now and then as historic curiosities or recorded as vehicles for bel canto singers, such as Le songe d'une nuit d'été (1850; not based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, but rather an English fantasy with Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare himself, and Shakespeare's fictional character Falstaff) or Psyché (1857). The overture to Raymond (1851) has also been given the occasional modern performance.
To his theatrical successes, Thomas added administrative achievements. In 1856 he acquired a professorship at the Conservatoire, where he taught, among others, Jules Massenet, one of the few French composers of the younger generation whose music interested him. See: List of music students by teacher: T to Z#Ambroise Thomas. He succeeded Auber as director of the Conservatoire in 1871. Baffled by the musical unconventionality of César Franck, Gabriel Fauré, and certain other Conservatoire colleagues, he nevertheless was rather well liked as a man, even by those who found his output old-fashioned.

With Mignon (premiered at the Opéra Comique in 1866), Thomas achieved his first great acclaim outside, as well as within, France. Goethe's celebrated Wilhelm Meister had provided inspiration for a highly sentimentalized libretto; Célestine Galli-Marié (1840–1905), it was said, "had modelled her conception of the part upon the well-known picture by Ary Scheffer". Mignon was a success all over Europe, to audiences who had embraced Charles Gounod's indirectly Goethe-inspired Faust (1859); and in Paris Mignon received more than a thousand performances by 1894, thereby becoming one of the most successful operas in French history. It is still heard sometimes today, more often in the form of extracts for concert use, or in recordings, than in complete stagings. One of its arias, "Connais-tu le pays", was for generations among the most famous operatic excerpts by any composer.

Thomas turned to Shakespeare again for his Hamlet (Paris Opera, 1868), with a libretto by the seasoned team of Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. This opera has a strong, dramatic libretto, although it closes with a traditional (and, surprising for Hamlet) happy ending. It enjoyed a long vogue, and like Mignon it continues to have a certain following; during 2010 it was heard at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

His last opera, Françoise de Rimini (Paris Opéra, 1882) based on a passage from Dante's Inferno, failed to stay in the repertoire. Seven years later La tempête, a ballet (and yet another treatment of a Shakespeare play, this time The Tempest), was produced at the Opéra, again with little effect. He died in 1896. Massenet had hopes of succeeding him in the job of Conservatoire director, abandoning this plan only when told by the government that the post would no longer carry lifelong tenure. The man who got the job was not Massenet but, rather, organist-composer Théodore Dubois. Thomas was the first musician to ever be awarded the Grand-Croix de la Légion d'honneur (which he received in May 1894).

"There is good music, there is bad music, and then there is Ambroise Thomas." - Emmanuel Chabrier

Poster for the premiere of the opera Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1868).

Mignon is an opéra comique in three acts by Ambroise Thomas. The original French libretto was by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. The Italian version was translated by Giuseppe Zaffira. The opera is mentioned in James Joyce's "The Dead" (Dubliners) and Willa Cather's The Professor's House. Thomas's goddaughter Mignon Nevada was named after the main character.

Ambroise Thomas - Mignon Overture

Hamlet is a grand opera in five acts of 1868 by the French composer Ambroise Thomas, with a libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier based on a French adaptation by Alexandre Dumas, père, and Paul Meurice of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

HAMLET - Ambroise Thomas

Avec Thomas Hampson (Hamlet),
José van Dam (Claudius),
Natalie Dessay (Ophélie),
Michelle de Young (Gertrude)

Théâtre du Châtelet, juin 2000

Ambroise Thomas - Hamlet
Thomas Hampson -
Antonio De Almeida -
June Anderson -
London Phi

Place: Denmark at the castle of Elsinore.
Act 1
Scene 1: The Coronation Hall

The royal Danish court is celebrating the coronation of Queen Gertrude who has married Claudius, brother of the late King Hamlet. Claudius places the crown on Gertrude's head. All leave, and Prince Hamlet, son of the late King and Gertrude, enters. He is upset that his mother has remarried so soon. Ophélie enters, and they sing a love duet. Laërte, Ophélie's brother, enters. He is being sent to Norway and gives his farewells. He entrusts Ophélie to the care of Hamlet. Hamlet refuses to join Laërte and Ophélie as they leave to join the banquet, and goes off in another direction. Courtiers and soldiers, on their way to the banquet, enter the hall. Horatio and Marcellus tell the soldiers that they have seen the ghost of Hamlet's father on the ramparts of the castle the previous night and go off to tell Hamlet.

Scene 2: The Ramparts

Horatio and Marcellus meet Hamlet on the ramparts. The Ghost appears, Horatio and Marcellus leave, and the Ghost tells his son that Claudius murdered him with poison. The Ghost commands Hamlet to take vengeance on Claudius, but Gertrude must be spared. The Ghost withdraws. Hamlet draws his sword and swears to avenge his father.
Act 2
Scene 1: The Gardens

Ophélie, reading a book, is concerned at Hamlet's new indifference. Hamlet appears in the distance, but leaves without speaking. The Queen enters. Ophélie says she would like to leave the court, but the Queen insists she should stay. Ophélie leaves the garden and King Claudius enters. Gertrude suspects that Hamlet now knows about the murder of his father, but Claudius says he does not. Hamlet enters and feigns madness. He rejects all overtures of friendship from Claudius, then announces he has engaged a troupe of actors to perform a play that evening. Claudius and Gertrude leave, and the players enter. Hamlet asks them to mime the play The Murder of Gonzago and then sings a drinking song, playing the fool, so as not to arouse suspicion.

Scene 2: The Play

The King and Queen and the other guests assemble in the castle hall where the stage has been set up. The play begins, and Hamlet narrates. The play tells a story similar to the murder of Hamlet's father. After the "poison" is administered, the "assassin" places the "crown" on his head. Claudius turns pale, rises abruptly, and commands the play to stop and the actors to leave. Hamlet accuses Claudius of the murder of his father, and snatches Claudius' crown from his head. The entire assembly reacts in a grand septet with chorus.

Act 3
Closet Scene

In the Queen's chambers Hamlet delivers the monologue "To be or not to be", then hides behind a tapestry. Claudius enters and prays aloud of his remorse. Hamlet, deciding Claudius' soul may be saved, if he is killed while praying, delays yet again. Polonius enters and in his conversation with Claudius reveals his own complicity. The King and Polonius leave, Hamlet emerges, and Gertrude enters with Ophélie. The Queen tries to persuade Hamlet to marry Ophélie, but Hamlet, realizing he can no longer marry the daughter of the guilty Polonius, refuses. Ophélie returns her ring to Hamlet and leaves. Hamlet tries to force Gertrude to confront her guilt, but she resists. As Hamlet threatens her, he sees the Ghost, who reminds him he must spare his mother.

Act 4
The Mad Scene

After Hamlet's rejection, Ophélie has gone mad and drowns herself in the lake.

Act 5
Gravediggers Scene

Hamlet comes upon two gravediggers digging a new grave. He asks who has died, but they do not know. He sings of remorse for his ill treatment of Ophélie. Laërte, who has returned from Norway and learned of his sister's death and Hamlet's role in it, enters and challenges Hamlet to a duel. They fight, and Hamlet is wounded, but Ophélie's funeral procession interrupts the duel. Hamlet finally realizes she is dead. The Ghost appears again and exhorts Hamlet to kill Claudius, which Hamlet does, avenging his father's death. The Ghost affirms Claudius' guilt and Hamlet's innocence. Hamlet, still in despair, is proclaimed King to cries of "Long live Hamlet! Long live the King!".



Franz Schubert composer his String Quartet No. 2 in C major

Franz Schubert - String Quartet No.2, D.32 in C major

I. Presto (00:00)
II. Andate (4:45)
III. Menuetto. Allegro (8:56)
IV. Allegro con spirito (11:51 - score beginning at 14:11)

Ludwig van BeethovenSymphony no. 7 (Op. 92); Symphony no. 8 (Op. 93); Violin Sonata No. 10

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No 7 in A major, Op 92

00:00 Poco sostenuto - Vivace
13:31 Allegretto
23:29 Presto
33:14 Allegro con brio

Dresden Staatskapelle - Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

Beethoven - Symphony No 8 in F major, Op 93

00:00 Allegro vivace e con brio
09:41 Allegretto scherzando
13:37 Tempo di Menuetto
19:03 Allegro vivace

New Philharmonia Orchestra
George Szell, conductor, 

Beethoven - Violin Sonata No.10, Op. 96 "The Cockcrow"
Pianist: Martha Argerich
Violinist: Gidon Kremer

Jan Ladislav Dussek – Two Duos for piano and harp

Jan Ladislav Dusík (Dussek) Duets for Harp and Fortepiano Op38 & 69

1. in E flat major with 2 Horns Op. 38  0:00
2. in B flat major, Op. 69 no 1/C 234  12:49
3. Duo concertante in E flat major Op.69 No.2  33:40
4. Duo concertante in F major, Op. 69 no 3  53:50
Edvard Witsenburg - harp
Jacgues Ogg - piano

Giovanni Paisiello : Missa defunctorum in C minor ;
Messe du Sacre de Napoléon Ier

Paisiello - Missa defunctorum in C minor 
Requiem per soli, doppio coro e orchestra

Beatriz Diaz - Soprano
Anna Malavasi - Mezzosoprano
Juan Franzisco Gatell - Tenore
Nahuel Di Pierro - Basso

Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini - La Stagione Armonica
;aestro del coro: Sergio Balestracci

Direttore: Riccardo Muti

Pierre Cochereau, organ
Mady Mesplé, soprano
Gérard Dunan, tenor
Yves Bisson, bass
Association Chorale Contrepoint (chorus master: Jean-Gabriel Gaussens)
Orchestre et Chœurs
Armand Birbaum, cond.
Recording: 1969

Antonio Salieri – Kyrie in C

Antonio Salieri  - Requiem in C-minor

Soprano: Arianna Zukermann
Mezzo-soprano: Simona Ivas
Tenor: Adam Zdunikowski
Baritone: Luís Rodrigues

Cor anglais: Alice Caplow-Sparks

Coro Gulbenkian

Orquestra Gulbenkian

Conductor: Lawrence Foster

François-Adrien BoieldieuJean de Paris

François-Adrien Boieldieu - JEAN DE PARIS 
Jean de Paris :JOSEPH PEYRON,
La Princesse de Navarre :DENISE BOURSIN,
Lorezza, fille de Pedrigo : MONIQUE STIOT,
Le Sénéchal de la Princesse: HENRI GUY,
Ensemble "Madrigal" - Orchestre lyrique de l'ORTF
Direction musicale JEAN-PAUL KREDER

14 March
Gioachino Rossini -   Ciro in Babilonia

Ciro in Babilonia, ossia La caduta di Baldassare (Cyrus in Babylon, or The Downfall of Belshazzar) is an azione sacra in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Francesco Aventi. It was first performed at the Teatro Comunale, Ferrara during Lent, 1812. The exact date of the premiere is unknown but is believed to be 14 March. During Lent it was the custom for Italian opera houses either to close or to stage works on themes from the Bible. Ciro in Babilonia is one of two Lenten operas by Rossini (along with Mosè in Egitto) and is based on the Biblical story of the overthrow of the Babylonian king Belshazzar by the Persian ruler 

Gioachino Rossini - Ciro in Babilonia

Ciro in Babilonia, ossia La caduta di Baldassare 
Time: 539 B.C.

Place: Babylon
Baldassare, King of Assyria    tenor 
Ciro, King of Persia    contralto  
Amira, wife of Ciro, imprisoned by Baldassare    soprano 
Argene, confidant of Amira    mezzo-soprano
Zambri, Babylonian prince    bass 
Arbace, captain in Baldassare's army    tenor    
Daniello, prophet     bass

20 March 
Jan Ladislav Dussek, pianist and composer, dies, ages 52

27 April 
Friedrich von Flotow
, composer, born.

9 May
RossiniLa scala di seta

La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder or Die seidene Leiter) is an operatic farsa comica in one act by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa. It was first performed in Venice, Italy, at the Teatro San Moisè on 9 May 1812. The overture has been frequently recorded and continues to be featured in the modern concert repertoire.

From 1810 to 1813, the young Rossini composed four Italian farse, beginning with La cambiale di matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage), his first opera, and ending with Il Signor Bruschino. These types of short pieces were popular in Venice at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The pieces were intimate, with a cast of five to seven singers, always including a pair of lovers, at least two comic parts, and one or two other minor roles. The style called for much visual comedy improvised by the players. As compared to many genres of opera, acting and comedic talent is more important relative to the required singing ability. Rossini’s farces also have a significant sentimental element.


Germano - Alessandro Corbelli
Giulia - Luciana Serra
Dorvil - David Kuebler
Blansac - Alberto Rinaldi
Lucilla - Jane Bunnell
Dormont - David Griffith

Conductor - Gianluigi Gelmetti
Orchestra - Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Stuttgart
Place - Schwetzingen

Time: 18th Century
Place: Paris

Dormont is the teacher and guardian of the beautiful Giulia, and he is determined that she will marry Blansac despite her continual rejection of his advances. The fact is that Giulia is already married to Blansac’s friend Dorvil, who every night is able to exercise his conjugal rights because Giulia lowers a ladder made of silk down to him from her bedroom window.

The opera opens in the morning. Owing to the attentions of Giulia’s cousin Lucilla, and the family servant, Germano, Dorvil has great difficulty making his escape by his usual method. Blansac is due to arrive at any minute in his quest to win Giulia’s love, but she has devised a scheme to divert his amorous attentions towards her cousin, who would make an excellent wife for him.

Giulia intends to bring Lucilla and Blansac together, and persuades Germano to spy on them from a secret hiding place to see how the relationship develops. Blansac arrives with his good friend Dorvil, who desperately tries to persuade him that Giulia is not looking for a husband. Unfortunately this only has the effect of making Blansac more determined, and more confident of success. He suggests that Dorvil might care to hide and see how successfully he is able to woo Giulia. Consequently, when Giulia enters, her meeting with Blansac is being overhead by both Germano and by her husband.

Giulia decides to probe Blansac to see if he would make a good and faithful husband for her cousin. Her questioning deceives all of the men listening into thinking that she is genuinely interested in Blansac. Dorvil emerges from hiding and storms off in fury, much to Germano’s surprise, who also shows himself. In the midst of all the confusion and noise Lucilla enters and Blansac suddenly notices what a fine looking young woman she is. Decidedly prettier than her cousin Giulia.

It is now late evening. Giulia is desperate for Dorvil to arrive so that she can explain the reason why she was questioning Blansac so closely about marriage. Once again the servant Germano is on hand and realizes that his mistress has an assignation. He can only assume that it is with Blansac, and decides to hide once more and see what happens. Unfortunately he is unable to keep his secret to himself and he lets Lucilla in on it. She is distressed to learn that Blansac, who she now loves dearly, is meeting Giulia and she also determines to find a hiding place in Giulia’s bedroom to observe proceedings.

There is general surprise and joyful amazement when it is Dorvil who climbs into the bedroom, followed closely by his friend who is intent on using the silken ladder to further his wooing, not of Giulia, but Lucilla. Everyone scatters when Dormont, who has been woken by all the noise, enters in his nightshirt. Seeing the way that everything has turned out for the best, he quickly forgives the couples for their underhand behavior and all ends in general rejoicing.

18 May
Gioachino RossiniDemetrio e Polibio

Demetrio e Polibio  is a two-act operatic dramma serio by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Vincenzina Viganò-Mombelli. The opera was orchestrated for strings only.

Demetrio e Polibio was Rossini's first attempt at a full-scale opera, "assembled piecemeal" during his student days at the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna in 1806. Because it was commissioned by tenor Domenico Mombelli (whose wife wrote the libretto) and was performed privately by Mombelli and his two daughters, a performance which Rossini did not attend, it was not his first fully staged opera.

The opera was not professionally staged until 18 May 1812, when it premiered at Rome's Teatro Valle.

G Rossini: Demetrio e Polibio
Polibio: Mario Chiappi -
Siveno: Benedetta Pecchioli -
Lisinga: Cecilia Valdenassi -
Eumeno (Demetrio): Carlo Gaifa 
Direttore d'Orchestra: Bruno Rigacci

Time: 2nd Century, B.C.
Place: Parthia

Act 1
The good Polybius, King of Parthia, is the protector of both his own daughter Lisinga and her lover Siveno. Everyone believes Siveno to be the son of Minteus, a minister of King Demetrius of Syria, but he is actually the long estranged son of Demetrius. Demetrius, holding Minteus responsible for his son's disappearance, arrives at the court of Parthia in the guise of Eumeno, a royal messenger, and demands that Siveno be turned over to Syria. Polybius refuses. Siveno and Lisinga celebrate their marriage. Polybius confides to Siveno that he is worried about what has happened, but Siveno reassures him. Meanwhile, Eumene (Demetrius) plots to kidnap Siveno and bring him back to Syria. He bribes the servants and guards and at night manages to enter the Parthian court. However, when he arrives in the bed-chamber of the young couple, he finds Lisinga alone and kidnaps her instead. Polybius and Siveno try in vain to stop him.

Act 2
Polybius and Siveno plead for Lisinga's release. In reply, Euemeno (Demetrius) threatens to kill her unless Siveno is turned over to him. In turn, Polybius threatens to kill Siveno unless Lisinga is released. The situation starts to resolve when Eumene (Demetrius), looks at an old medallion and realizes that Siveno is actually his lost son. Meanwhile, Polybius does not want to lose Lisinga, and Eumene (Demetrius) only wants Siveno. Desperate at their impending separation, Lisinga tries to kill Eumene, but he finally reveals his true identity as King Demetrius and announces that Siveno is his son. Peace is restored, and the couple live happily ever after.

8 January
Gioachino RossiniL'inganno felice


L'inganno felice (The Fortunate Deception) is an opera in one act by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa.

Rossini called his opera a farsa, although as Richard Osborne explains: "Its designation as a farsa is misleading in the light of its semiseria status as a romantic melodrama with buffo elements."  The work has much in common with French Revolutionary operas such as Cherubini's Les deux journées.

It was first performed at the Teatro San Moisè, Venice on 8 January 1812 and was an instant success.

Rossini - L'inganno felice

Isabella    soprano
Duca Bertrando    tenor
Batone    bass (or baritone) 
Tarabotto    bass  
Ormondo    bass (or baritone)  


Before the action begins, the villainous Ormondo was in love with Isabella, who was happily married to Duke Bertrando, but, when she rejected his advances, Ormondo spread vicious rumours about her reputation and bribed Batone into casting her adrift in a boat on the sea. However, she was rescued by a local miner, Tarabotto, who then disguised her as his niece, Nisa.

Time: The distant past
Place: A seaside mining village in Italy

The opera begins ten years after her rescue. Duke Bertrando is due to visit the mines. Isabella, who is still in love with her husband, finally reveals her true identity to Tarabotto who promises to help her. The duke arrives with Ormondo and Batone. The duke is still in love with his wife even though he believes the rumours that she had been unfaithful to him. Batone catches sight of "Nisa" and realises she is Isabella in disguise. He plots with Ormondo to abduct her that night, but Tarabotto overhears their plan. Before they can kidnap Isabella, the two villains are unmasked and "Nisa"'s true story is revealed when she shows everyone her duchess' clothes and a portrait of the duke she has kept with her. Bertrando and Isabella are reunited.

21 May
Joseph Wölfl, pianist and composer, dies, ages 39

26 September
Gioachino RossiniLa pietra del paragone

La pietra del paragone
(The Touchstone) is an opera, or melodramma giocoso, in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, to an original Italian libretto by Luigi Romanelli.

Rossini - La pietra del paragone - atto primo
Daniela Dessi, Ugo Benelli.
Alessandro Corbelli e Silvano Pagliuca.
Orchestra del teatro alla Scala - diretta da Piero Bellugi

Rossini - La pietra del paragone - atto secondo

Count Asdrubale    bass 
Clarice    contralto 
Giocondo    tenor   
Pacuvio, a poet    baritone 
Donna Fulvia    mezzo-soprano  
Macrobio, a journalist    baritone  
Baroness Aspasia    soprano 
Fabrizio    bass


Place: Count Asdrubale's villa in the country.
Time: The early 19th century.

Act 1
Pacuvio is attempting to interest the other house guests in his tedious poetic verses, but everyone has other preoccupations and his endeavours are largely ignored. Asdrubale himself is deeply attracted to Clarice, but being pursued by three women at the same time, he is uncertain that he can trust any one of them. Furthermore Clarice is hotly pursued by the Count's friend Giocondo and which of the two men she prefers is far from clear.

Asdrubale enlists the help of his majordomo Fabrizio to test the genuineness of the ladies' emotions. When most of the guests happen to be together with the Count, Fabrizio produces an urgent letter which has apparently just arrived. On opening it Asdrubale reacts with a convincing show of horror and despair at its contents before hurrying away to his private rooms.

News rapidly spreads amongst the guests that the Count has been ruined. Fulvia and Aspasia cannot wait to leave, feeling that they have had a lucky escape. However, the arrival of an exotic oriental potentate is announced. He is Asdrubale's creditor, and in consequence now the owner of all of his property and possessions. Immediately most of the house guests transfer their attentions and flattery to the new arrival, failing to recognize that it is Asdrubale in heavy disguise and using a ridiculous fake accent.

Only Giocondo and Clarice demonstrate any concern for the Count. When he is finally persuaded to leave his private rooms (the "wealthy oriental creditor" having departed) they promise their continued loyalty and financial support. The other guests decline to offer any tangible help. At that moment Fabrizio bursts in and announces that Asdrubale's debts have miraculously been cleared and that he is once again a wealthy man. The general rejoicing contrasts with the consternation amongst those guests who realize that they have been tricked into revealing their falseness and base motives to the Count.

Act 2
Recriminations amongst the guests are rife. Fulvia and Aspasia urge Pacuvio and Macrobio to exact revenge on the Count and Giocondo by challenging them to a duel. Fortunately inherent cowardice prevails and by bluster and outright lying on the part of Pacuvio, confrontation is avoided.

Asdrubale invites his guests to go hunting and Pacuvio further demonstrates his cowardly nature by panicking when a storm blows up and losing his gun and other possessions in a headlong dash back to the villa. Meanwhile Giocondo is continuing his amorous pursuit of Clarice, who is flattered by the young man's attentions and, although she loves the Count, offers no objections to Giocondo continuing his flirtatious advances. This last part of the conversation is overheard by Macrobio, who takes great delight in repeating it to the Count. Naturally, Asdrubale's jealousy flares up, much to Clarice's annoyance.

Clarice decides that, as her love has been tested by the Count, she will test him in return. She informs him that her twin brother has just returned from military service and is coming to the villa to find her.

Word of the fictional duel in which they had both apparently been humiliated has now reached the Count and Giocondo, and they are determined on revenge. They corner Macrobio and force him to admit that he is a pathetic, ignorant coward. Having achieved this groveling surrender, all is forgiven and forgotten.

Clarice enters disguised as her twin, complete with a retinue of soldiers. "He" announces that he has had "his sister" taken away and the Count will never see her again. Asdrubale is distraught and once again locks himself in his private rooms, threatening suicide. As a final act he asks Fabrizio to deliver a note to the young officer for Clarice, regretting his ridiculous jealousy. Clarice realizes that she has achieved her victory and sends the note back with her signature on it. The Count recognizes the signature and comes rushing from his rooms.

To general amazement Clarice throws off her disguise and the lovers are finally reconciled. The Count orders a celebration feast and all the guests head off to toast the happy couple and enjoy the promised banquet.

23 December
Giacomo MeyerbeerJephtas Gelübde

Jephtas Gelübde (The vow of Jephtha) was the first opera composed by Giacomo Meyerbeer. The libretto, which is elaborated from the biblical story of Jephtha, was by Aloys Schreiber. The first performance was at the Hoftheater (Cuvilliés Theatre) in Munich on 23 December 1812. 

Friedrich von Flotow

Friedrich von Flotow

Friedrich von Flotow, (born April 26, 1812, Teutendorf, near Lübeck, French Empire [now in Germany]—died Jan. 24, 1883, Darmstadt, Ger.), German composer, active mainly in France, who was best known for his opera Martha (1847).


Originally intended for a diplomatic career, from age 16 Flotow studied music in Paris with Anton Reicha. Forced to leave Paris during the July Revolution of 1830, he went home but returned to Paris in 1831. In 1837 he produced a first, brief version of the opera Alessandro Stradella, which later, in its complete form, enjoyed great success. In 1839 he collaborated with Albert Grisar and Auguste Pilati on Le Naufrage de la Méduse (“The Wreck of the Medusa”). Between 1840 and 1878 he produced 19 light operas. Martha, composed to a German libretto and first performed in Vienna, was subsequently heard in translation in many European cities. One of its numbers, in the English version, is “The Last Rose of Summer.” Appealing in its melodic charm, Martha won a lasting place in the operatic repertory. Flotow also wrote ballets for the court theatre at Schwerin, of which he was director from 1855 to 1862, and incidental music for William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Friedrich von Flotow - Alessandro Stradella - Ouverture
Orchestra: WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln
Conductor: Helmuth Froschauer

Flotow : Piano Concerto No. 2 in A minor (1831)
Pianist : Carl Petersson
Dir : Hans Peter Wieshev - Pilsen Philharmonic

Flotow - Martha Flotow - Romantic-comic Opera in 4 Acts - Overture



Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 1 in D major, D. 82

Franz Schubert - Symphony No 1 in D major, D 82

00:00 Adagio - Allegro vivace
10:15 Andante
18:57 Menuetto. Allegro
25:06 Allegro vivace

Staatskapelle Dresden - Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

6 January
Giacomo Meyerbeer -Die beiden Kalifen

Die beiden Kalifen (The Two Caliphs) is an 1813 opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, to a libretto by Johann Gottfried Wöhlbruch, based on a tale from the Arabian Nights. The opera, Meyerbeer's second attempt at this genre, was originally titled Wirt und Gast, oder Aus Scherz Ernst (Landlord and Guest, or The Joke which Became Serious). Under this name it was premiered at the Stuttgart Court Theatre on 6 January 1813, conducted by Conradin Kreutzer.

Harun Al-Rashid, the Caliph    bass  
Irene, his niece    soprano 
Alimelek (Irene's lover)    tenor

10 August  
William Henry Fry
, composer, born.

Louis Spohr  - Faust

Faust is an opera by the German composer Louis Spohr. The libretto, by Josef Karl Bernard, is based on the legend of Faust; it is not influenced by Goethe's Faust, though Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy had been published in 1808. Instead, Carl Bernard's libretto draws mainly on Faust plays and poems by Maximilian Klinger and Heinrich von Kleist. Spohr's Faust is an important work in the history of German Romantic opera.Spohr composed the opera in less than four months, May to September 1813, but had difficulties with count Palffy that interfered with getting it staged in Vienna. In its original form, the opera was a Singspiel in two acts. In 1851, Spohr turned the piece into a grand opera in three acts, replacing the spoken dialogue with recitative. 

Louis Spohr - FAUST - Ouvertüre
Christian Fröhlich conducts the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.

6 February
Gioacchino RossiniTancredi

Tancredi is a melodramma eroico (opera seria or 'heroic' opera) in two acts by composer Gioachino Rossini and librettist Gaetano Rossi (who was also to write Semiramide ten years later), based on Voltaire's play Tancrède (1760). The opera made its first appearance at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice on 6 February 1813.

14 February  
Alexander Dargomyzhsky
, composer, born.

10 October
Giuseppe Verdi, composer, born.

17 October 
Giovanni Pacini  Annetta e Lucindofarsa, farsa in 1 act, libretto by Francesco Marconi​, Milan, Teatro San Radegonda

Giovanni Pacini - Annetta e Lucindo - Quartetto - Fra l'orror di notte oscura

22 May
Richard Wagner, composer, born.

30 November 
Charles-Valentin Alkan
, pianist and composer, born.

22 May
Gioacchino RossiniL'Italiana in Algeri

L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, based on his earlier text set by Luigi Mosca. 

29 June
François-Adrien BoieldieuLe nouveau Seigneur de village, opéra comique 1 act, libretto by Auguste-François Creuzé de Lesser and Edmond-Guillaume-François de Favières

8 December
Two new works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wellington's Victory (originally written for panharmonicon) and Symphony No. 7 are premiered in a benefit concert held in Vienna for Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded at the Battle of Hanau. The orchestra, conducted by Beethoven himself, is led by his friend, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and includes some of the finest musicians of the day, such as violinist Louis SpohrJohann Nepomuk Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Antonio Salieri, Anton Romberg, and the Italian double bass virtuoso, Domenico Dragonetti.

Beethoven: "Wellington's Victory or the Battle of Vitoria" Op.91
Orchester Wiener Akademie, Martin Haselböck

I.Battle [00:00]
II. Victory Symphony [08:26]

26 December
Gioachino RossiniAureliano in Palmira

Aureliano in Palmira is an operatic dramma serio in two acts written by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto in which the librettist was credited only by the initials "G. F. R." 

Rossini - Aureliano in Palmira 
Genova 1980 - Luciana Serra, Helga Müller Molinari, Paolo Barbacini - Giacomo Zan

Place: in and around the city of Palmyra
Time: 271-272 A.D.

Act 1
Queen Zenobia, her lover Arsace, and the priests offer sacrifices in the Temple of Isis and pray for their deliverance from the approaching Roman army. General Oraspe enters to the strains of martial music and announces that Aureliano's Roman army is at the gates of Palmyra. Arsace pledges his Persian troops to defend the city. After a dramatic battle scene on the plains outside the city, the Persians are defeated. The Roman soldiers celebrate their victory. Aureliano arrives and addresses Arsace, now a prisoner. He responds to the Emperor with dignity and affirms his love for Zenobia, saying that he is prepared to die for her.

Inside Palmyra's walls, Zenobia has hidden the kingdom's treasures in the vaults beneath the palace. She decides to make a last stand with her troops to save the city. She asks Aureliano for a truce so that she can speak with him and obtain the liberty of the prisoners, including Arsace. On Aureliano's refusal to free the prisoners, she asks to at least see Arsace for a last time. Zenobia and Arsace weep over their fate. Aureliano enters and promises to free Arsace on condition that he abandons Zenobia. Arsace refuses and is sentenced to death. The Roman and Palmyran armies prepare for a last battle.

Act 2
Palmyra has now been conquered by the Romans. Aureliano enters Zenobia's palace and offers his love to her, which she refuses. Meanwhile, Oraspe frees Arsace who then flees to the hills by the Euphrates river where he is sheltered by a group of shepherds. Arsace's soldiers join him and tell him that Zenobia has been taken prisoner. Arsace sets off to free her and launch a new attack against the Romans with the Palmyran troops.

In the palace, Aureliano proposes to Zenobia that they reign together over Palmyra. Once again Zenobia refuses. Later that night, Arsace and Zenobia meet again in the moonlight and embrace. When they are discovered by the Roman troops, they ask to die. Although he secretly admires their courage and devotion to each other, Aureliano decrees that they will end their days in separate cells. Publia, the daughter of Roman general and secretly in love with Arsace, begs Aureliano to take pity on him.

The final scene takes place in a large chamber of Zenobia's palace. The leaders and priests of the defeated Palmyrans are gathered in supplication before Aureliano. Oraspe, Arsace and Zenobia are led into the chamber in chains. Aureliano, has a change of heart and frees Zenobia and Arsace to reign together over Palmyra provided they both swear fealty to the Roman Empire. This they do, and praise Aureliano for his generous heart. The chorus sings joyfully, "Torni sereno a splendere all'Asia afflitta il dì." ("May the day dawn serene and shining for suffering Asia.")

Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky

Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky

Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, in full Aleksandr Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, (born Feb. 2 [Feb. 14, New Style], 1813, near Tula, Russia—died Jan. 5 [Jan. 17], 1869, St. Petersburg), Russian composer of songs and operas whose works are now seldom performed.


Dargomyzhsky grew up in St. Petersburg as a talented amateur musician, playing the violin and piano and dabbling in composition. His acquaintance with the composer Mikhail Glinka (1833) turned his thoughts more seriously toward composition, and in 1839 he completed his first opera, Esmeralda (after Victor Hugo; performed 1847). Two other operas followed: The Triumph of Bacchus (1845; performed 1867) and Rusalka (after Aleksandr Pushkin; produced 1856). In his songs Dargomyzhsky developed an individual vein of humour and satire. His orchestral pieces (e.g., Finnish Fantasia, Cossack Dance, and Baba-Yaga) were notable for their harmonic experiments.

After 1866 he became interested in developing a Russian national music of great dramatic realism and began to set Pushkin’s play Kamennygost (The Stone Guest) to a species of melodically heightened recitative, with entire passages composed in the whole-tone mode. This work aroused the interest of Mily Balakirev and his circle, particularly Modest Mussorgsky; when Dargomyzhsky died, the score was completed by César Cui and orchestrated by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

Alexander Dargomyzhsky: The stone guest 
1977, Mark Ermler (conductor), Bolshoy Theatre Orchestra and Chorus, Vladimir Atlantov (Don Juan), Aleksandr Vedernikov (Leporello), Tamara Sinyavskaya (Laura), Vladimir Valaitis (Don Carlos), Vitaliy Vlasov, Vitaliy Nartov (Guests), Tamara Milashkina (Doña Anna), Lev Vernigora (Monk), Vladimir Filippov (Commander)

Dargomyzhsky - Rusalka 

The Miller-             Alexander Vedernikov, bs
Natasha-               Natalia Mikhailova, s
The Prince-           Konstantin Pluzhnikov, t
The Princess-        Nina Terentieva, ms
Olga-                     Galina Pisarenko, s
Matchmaker-         Oleg Klenov, b
Hunter-                  Oleg Klenov, b
Rusalochka-          Vasilisa Byelova, child actor
Lead Peasant-       Unspecified, t

Grand Chorus of All-Russian Radio and Television
Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio
Vladimir Fedoseyev, c.

Galina Vishnevskaya: Songs of Alexander Dargomyzhsky
I. Sierra-Nevada byla obmotana tumanov 00:00
II. Noch' Zephir meshayet vozdukh 03:02
III. Molitva 06:53
IV. Chto moye imya dlya vas? 09:34
V. Nebesnyye oblaka 12:22
VI. Devushka i yunosha 17:58
VII. Vy ne opravdalis' 19:10
VIII. V tverdi nebesnoy 22:15
IX. Ya s pechal'yu 24:55

Galina Vishnevskaya -soprano
Mstislav Rostropovich -piano

William Henry Fry

William Henry Fry

William Henry Fry (August 10, 1813 – December 21, 1864) was a pioneering American composer, music critic, and journalist. Fry was the first person born in the United States to write for a large symphony orchestra, and the first to compose a publicly performed opera.

William Henry Fry was born on August 10, 1813 in Philadelphia. 

Fry's operatic compositions include Aurelia the Vestal, Leonora (based on the 1838 play The Lady of Lyons), and Notre-Dame of Paris (based on the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo). Leonora was a very successful production at its premiere in 1845 and second run the following year. Leonora is also significant as it was the first grand opera written by an American composer. The opera was written for Ann Childe Seguin who took the title role when it opened.

After a six-year sojourn in Europe (1846–52), where he served as foreign correspondent to the Philadelphia Public Ledger, Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, and The Message Bird (later known as the New York Musical World and Times), Fry gave a series of eleven widely publicized lectures in New York's Metropolitan Hall. These dealt with subjects such as the history and theory of music as well as the state of American classical music.

In addition to his operas, Fry wrote seven symphonies that have extra-musical themes. His Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony of 1853, which was very well received by audiences but derided by many of Fry's rival critics, may be the first orchestral use of the saxophone, invented barely a decade before. His 1854 Niagara Symphony, written for Louis Jullien's orchestra, uses eleven timpani to create the roar of the waters, snare drums to reproduce the hiss of the spray, and a remarkable series of discordant, chromatic descending scales to reproduce the chaos of the falling waters as they crash onto the rocks.

Fry's other works, including Leonora (New York debut in 1858) and Notre-Dame of Paris (1864, Philadelphia), received mixed reviews along partisan lines: conservatives tended to dislike Fry's music, whereas political progressives highly enjoyed it. His other musical works included the Overture to Macbeth, the Breaking Heart, string quartets and sacred choral music.
William Henry Fry died at age 51 on December 21, 1864, in Santa Cruz (Saint Croix) in the Virgin Islands. 

William Henry Fry - Niagara Symphony
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Conducted by Tony Rowe

William Henry Fry - Macbeth Ouverture (1864)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Conductor: Tony Rowe

William Henry Fry - Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony 

William Henry Fry - Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony 

William Henry Fry - "The Breaking Heart", Symphonic poem
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Tony Rowe, conductor

Charles-Valentin Alkan

Charles-Valentin Alkan (30 November 1813 – 29 March 1888) was a French-Jewish composer and virtuoso pianist. At the height of his fame in the 1830s and 1840s he was, alongside his friends and colleagues Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, among the leading pianists in Paris, a city in which he spent virtually his entire life.


French pianist and composer. A brilliant virtuoso, he wrote some of the most dazzlingly difficult piano music of the 19th century, including a set of 12 Etudes in the Minor Keys. He was a friend and professional associate of both Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin, but owing to his eccentric, reclusive nature he shunned the concert stage from the age of 25 onward, preferring to concentrate on composition. His best works make tremendous technical demands and show a remarkable originality. He was also a master of the sentimental style popular in Parisian salons of his day.

Raised as an Orthodox Jew, Alkan remained a lifelong student of the Old Testament and the Talmud. This probably accounts for the oft-repeated but apocryphal story regarding the manner of his death—that in reaching for his Talmud, which he kept on top of a large bookcase, he accidentally pulled the bookcase over and was crushed by its weight.


Charles-Valentin Alkan

Alkan - Concerto For Solo Piano
Ronald Smith, piano
1. Allegro assai
2. Adagio 29:47
3. Allegretto alla barbaresca 41:52

Alkan - 25 Preludes, Opus 31
Olli Mustonen, piano

Alkan - Trois Morceaux Dans le Genre Pathétique, Opus 15
Vincenzo Maltempo, piano
1) Aime-moi
2) Le vent 10:15
3) Morte 18:24

Alkan: 12 Études dans les tons mineurs, Op. 39
00:00:00 No. 1. Comme le vent
00:04:40 No. 2. En rythme molossique
00:13:07 No. 3. Scherzo diabolico
00:17:52 No. 4. Symphonie I
00:28:42 No. 5. Symphonie II
00:36:28 No. 6. Symphonie III
00:42:04 No. 7. Symphonie IV
Alkan: 3 Morceaux dans le genre pathétique, Op. 15
00:46:40 No. 1. Aime-moi
00:56:42 No. 2. Le vent
01:04:48 No. 3. Morte
12 Études dans les tons mineurs, Op. 39
01:17:40 No. 8. Concerto I
01:46:56 No. 9. Concerto II
01:59:00 No. 10. Concerto III
02:08:56 No. 11. Ouverture
02:23:45 No. 12. Le festin d'Esope
Alkan: Grande sonate, Op. 33, "Les quatre ages" (The four ages)
02:33:19 I. 20 ans: Tres vite
02:39:53 II. 30 ans: Quasi-Faust: Assez vite
02:52:35 III. 40 ans: Un heureux menage (A happy household): Lentement
03:05:50 IV. 50 ans: Promethee enchaine (Prometheus enchained): Extremement lent
Alkan: Sonatine, Op. 61
03:14:32 I. Allegro vivace
03:20:04 II. Allegramente
03:24:09 III. Scherzo-Minuet
03:28:19 IV. Coda: Tempo giusto
Alkan: 3 Grandes etudes, Op. 76
03:33:29 3 Grandes études, Op. 76: No. 3. Étude a mouvement semblable et perpetuel



Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90
Der glorreiche Augenblick, Op. 136 (Cantata)

Beethoven Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor Op.90
Daniel Barenboim

Beethoven - DER GLORREICHE AUGENBLICK - Op. 136 - The glorious moment

John Field  - Nocturnes Nos. 1, 2, and 3 for piano

John Field - Complete Nocturnes (1812-1836)

No.1 in E flat major, H.24
No.2 in C minor, H.25
No.3 in A flat major, H.26
No.4 in A major, H.36
No.5 in B flat major, H.37
No.6 in F major, Cradle Song, H.40
No.7 in A major, H.14
No.8 in E flat major, H.30
No.9 in E minor, H.46
No.10 in E major, Nocturne Pastorale, H.54
No.11 in E flat major, H.56
No.12 in E major, Nocturne Caractéristique: Noontide, H.13
No.13 in C major, Rêverie-Nocturne, H.45
No.14 in G major, H.58
No.15 in D minor, Song without Words, H.59
No.16 in C major, H.60
No.17 in C major, H.61
No.18 in F major, H.62

Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano

Hummel - 6 Polonaises  for Piano, Op.70
Mikio Tao

Johann Nepomuk Hummel – 6 Polonaises for piano

Louis Spohr - Violin Concerto No. 7 in E minor, Op. 38;

Louis Spohr: Violin Concerto No. 7 in E minor, Op. 38, movement 1. Allegro.  

Libor Pesek - Bratislava Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

Louis Spohr: Violin Concerto No. 7 in E minor, Op. 38, movement 2. Adagio.  

Libor Pesek - Bratislava Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. 

27 February
Première of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony in Vienna

Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 'Choral' 
London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Josef Krips
Soloists: Jennifer Vyvyan, Soprano
Shirley Verret, Mezzo-Soprano
Rudolph Petrak, Tenor
Donaldson Bell, Bass

6 May 
Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, violinist and composer, born.

6 May  
Georg Joseph Vogler, organist, composer and music theorist, dies, ages 65.

23 May​
Ludwig van BeethovenFidelio

Fidelio (originally titled Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe; English: Leonore, or The Triumph of Marital Love), Op. 72, is Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto was originally prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, with the work premiering at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 20 November 1805. The following year, Stephan von Breuning (de) helped shorten the work from three acts to two. After further work on the libretto by Georg Friedrich Treitschke, a final version was performed at the Kärntnertortheater on 23 May 1814. 

14 August 
Gioacchino RossiniIl Turco in Italia

Il turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy) is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The Italian-language libretto was written by Felice Romani. It was a re-working of a libretto by Caterino Mazzolà set as an opera (with the same title) by the German composer Franz Seydelmann (de) in 1788.

14 September 
Francis Scott Key 
(August 1, 1779 – January 11, 1843), inspired by the sight of the American flag over Fort McHenry, writes the lyrics of
"The Star-Spangled Banner". 

Whitney Houston - Star Spangled Banner

Franz SchubertGretchen am Spinnrade

"Gretchen am Spinnrade" (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel), Op. 2, D 118, is a Lied composed by Franz Schubert using the text from Part One, Scene 18 of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust

Schubert: Gretchen am spinnrade", op.2, D.118 
Te Kanawa

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (8 June 1812 – 8 October 1865) was a Moravian-Jewish violinist, violist and composer. He was widely seen as the outstanding violinist of his time and one of Niccolò Paganini's greatest successors.


He was a highly esteemed artist in his day. Many saw him as the superior violinist of his time and Paganini's greatest successor. Not only did he contribute to polyphonic playing, but he also discovered new idiomatic ways to compose polyphonically conceived violin music. His friends included Hector Berlioz and Felix Mendelssohn.

Ernst was born in Brno, Moravia on 8 June 1812.[1][n 1] At the age of 9, he began to study violin. Ernst was a child prodigy, educated at the Vienna Conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, studying violin under Joseph Böhm, starting in 1825, and Joseph Mayseder, and composition under Ignaz von Seyfried.

In 1828, Niccolò Paganini visited Vienna. Ernst heard him and was deeply impressed by his violin playing. It's said that Ernst then played for Paganini who predicted a brilliant career for him. 

Perhaps out of respect for Paganini, Ernst later composed his own set of variations on the theme Carnaval de Venise, which he often played at the end of his concert. He also used scordatura in the same manner as Paganini did in his variations. This piece was most popular among Ernst's audience everywhere where he played, and it became his signature. All his professional life, he was on tour around Europe playing concerts and also composed many violin pieces and formed his own style. One piece, Elegie, Opus 10, is mentioned in Chapter 23 of the Leo Tolstoy novella, "The Kreutzer Sonata," where it follows Beethoven's sonata in the crucial concert at the Pozdnyshev home.

Ernst also played the viola. He performed the solo viola part of Berlioz's Harold en Italie multiple times, the first in September 1842 in Brussels under the direction of the composer. After 1844 he lived chiefly in England. He joined the Beethoven Quartet Society in London, where he chiefly played Beethoven String quartets with Joseph Joachim, Henryk Wieniawski and Carlo Alfredo Piatti.

In 1862, his health failed from neuralgia of a most severe kind, which made him unable to play. He spent the last seven years of his life in retirement, chiefly in Nice, where he spent time composing, e.g., the Polyphonic Studies, Othello-Fantasie and Concerto pathétique in F-sharp minor, Op. 23.

Ernst died in Nice on 8 October 1865.

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst - Concertino in D major Op.12
Ilya Grubert Violin
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Dmitry Yablonsky Conductor

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst - Concerto Pathetique in F sharp minor Op.23
Ilya Grubert Violin
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Dmitry Yablonsky Conductor

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst: The last rose of summer
Sandor Javorkai - violin

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst: Elegie Op. 10

Thomas Christian, Violine
Cornelia Weiß, Klavier

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst: Othello Fantasy
Antal Zalai, violin
József Balog, piano



Franz SchubertPiano Sonata in E major, D. 157

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in E Major D157
Mvt.I: Allegro ma non troppo 00:00
Mvt.II: Andante 07:05
Mvt.III: Menuetto (Allegro vivace) 14:48

Wilhelm Kempff: piano

Franz SchubertDer Erlkönig

Erlkönig, also called Erl-King or Elf-King, song setting by Franz Schubert, written in 1815 and based on a 1782 poem of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. “Erlkönig” is considered by many to be one of the greatest ballads ever penned. The song was written for two performers, a singer and a pianist, and it packs a remarkable amount of tension and drama into a mere four minutes. Its effectiveness is doubly impressive because Schubert was only 18 years old when he composed it.

Inspired in part by his friendship with a number of talented singers, Schubert produced some 600 art songs during the course of his brief career (he died at age 31). “Erlkönig” is by far the best known of these. The poem that provides its text, like many of the supernatural tales that dominated literature in the Romantic era, has its roots in a Scandinavian folktale. Goethe’s poem tells the story of a boy riding home on horseback in his father’s arms. He is frightened when he is courted by the Erl-King, a powerful and creepy supernatural being. The boy’s father, however, cannot see or hear the creature and tells the boy that his imagination is playing tricks on him. The boy grows increasingly terrified by what he hears from the Erl-King, but his father tells him that the things he thinks he sees and hears are only the sights and sounds of nature on a dark and stormy night. When the Erl-King eventually seizes the boy, the father spurs on his horse, but when he arrives home his son is dead.

Goethe’s poem, which is reproduced below, contains a conversation that includes a father, his child, and the evil Erl-King. So as to distinguish among the speakers, the father’s words are in bold and the son’s in double quotation marks, while the Erl-King’s words are in single quotes.

Schubert - Der Erlkönig 
Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.


"Erlkönig" is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It depicts the death of a child assailed by a supernatural being, the Erlkönig, often half-translated as "Erlking", though the eponymous character is clearly some kind of demon or 'fairy king'. It was originally composed by Goethe as part of a 1782 Singspiel entitled Die Fischerin.
An anxious young boy is being carried at night by his father on horseback. To where is not spelled out; German Hof has a rather broad meaning of "yard", "courtyard", "farm", or (royal) "court". The lack of specificity of the father's social position, beyond owning a horse, allows the reader to imagine the details. The opening line tells that the time is unusually late and the weather unusually inclement for travel. As it becomes apparent that the boy is delirious, a possibility is that the father is rushing him to medical aid.

As the poem unfolds, the son seems to see and hear beings his father does not; the reader cannot know if the father is indeed aware of their presence, but he chooses to comfort his son, asserting reassuringly naturalistic explanations for what the child sees – a wisp of fog, rustling leaves, shimmering willows. Finally, the child shrieks that he has been attacked. The father rides faster to the Hof. There, he recognizes that the boy is dead.

The Erlking by Albert Sterner, ca. 1910

Anton Joseph Reicha – Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in G minor

Anton Reicha - Clarinet Concerto in G-minor 

Mov.I: Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 11:14
Mov.III: Rondeau: Allegretto 19:54

Clarinet: Dieter Klöcker

Orchestra: Prague Chamber Orchestra

Conductor: Milan Lajcik

Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonatas Nos. 4 and 5, Op. 102;
Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, Op. 112;
Zur Namensfeier overture, Op. 115.

Beethoven: sonatas for piano and cello nos. 4 and 5
Pieter Wispelwey, cello, and Paul Komen, fortepiano.

Op. 102 no. 1 in C major
1. Andante – Allegro vivace - 00:00
2. Adagio – Tempo d'andante – Allegro vivace - 8:16

Op. 102 no. 2 in D major
1. Allegro con brio - 16:14
2. Adagio con molto sentimento d'affetto - 23:20
3. Allegro – Allegro fugato - 33:04

Beethoven - "Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt" ("Mar calmo y próspero viaje"), Cantata para solista, coro y orquesta en Re mayor, Op. 112.
1. Meeresstille: Tiefe Stille - Sostenuto
2. Gluckliche Fahrt: Die Nebel zerreissen - Allegro vivace

Libretista: Johann Wolfgang von GoetheBeethoven 
Warsaw Boys Choir, 
Frederic Chopin University of Music Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw, Poland 
Krzysztof Kusiel Moroz - conductor

Beethoven - Ouverture "Zur Namensfeier" op.115

Franz Schubert Der Vierjahrige Posten

Der vierjährige Posten, D 190, is a one-act singspiel by Franz Schubert to a libretto by Theodor Körner written for Carl Steinacker (de)'s opera of the same title that premiered in 1813 in Vienna's Theater an der Wien. Written in 1815 when Schubert was 18 years old, it was first performed on 23 September 1896, 67 years after Schubert's death, at the Dresden Court Opera.

Schubert - Overture Der vierjährige Posten D. 190
Prague Sinfonia, conducted by Christian Benda

Gioachino Rossini
goes to Naples as musical and artistic director of the Teatro San Carlo. His first opera for this theatre, Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, premieres here on October 4.

4 October
Gioachino RossiniElisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra

Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra (Italian pronunciation: [elizaˈbɛtta reˈdʒiːna diŋɡilˈtɛrra]; Elizabeth, Queen of England) is a dramma per musica or opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to a libretto by Giovanni Schmidt, from the play Il paggio di Leicester (Leicester's Page) by Carlo Federici, which itself "was derived from a novel The Recess (1785) by Sophia Lee."

It was premiered at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on 4 October 1815 and was the first of nine operas which Rossini wrote for the San Carlo. Altogether, this was one of eighteen operas which he wrote during the time he spent in Naples.


Gioacchino Rossini - Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra

ELISABETTA: Jennifer Larmore
MATILDE: Majella Cullagh
NORFOLK: Antonino Siragusa
ENRICO: Manuela Custer

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Giuliano Carella

Atto I: 0:00
Atto II: 1:23:15

Time: Reign of Elizabeth I
Place: London
Act 1 Throne Room of Whitehall Palace,

The Earl of Leicester is celebrating his victory over the Scots. The Duke of Norfolk, who is also present, scowls with jealousy. The Queen enters: (Aria: Quant'è grato all'alma mia). Leicester is honored, and says he has brought home the sons of nobility as hostages. However, he recognizes his wife, Matilda, and her brother, Enrico, as belonging to that group.

When they are alone, Leicester reproaches his wife (Duet: Incauta, che festi?). Because she is the daughter of Mary, Queen of the Scots, she is in danger. Matilda tells Leicester that the Queen loves him as well. She mourns her ill fortune: (Aria: Sento un'interna voce). Leicester decides that, to avoid suspicion, he will speak to neither Matilda nor to her brother, Enrico.

Royal apartments

Instead, Leicester tells Norfolk of his secret marriage and Norfolk, in turn, tells the Queen: (Duet: Perché mai, destin crudele). She reacts to the news in fury.

The hostages and Leicester are sent for. The Queen offers to make him consort, and, upon his refusal, she accuses him of treason, and has both him and Matilda arrested.

Act 2 Rooms in the Palace

The Queen states that she has sentenced Matilda to death. She demands that Matilda renounce her marriage to Leicester in return for his, her brother, Enrico's, and her own safety. Leicester enters, tears the document up, and is once again arrested along with Matilda. Also, the Queen banishes Norfolk banished for behaving badly towards Leicester.

Outside the Tower of London

People lament Leicester's upcoming execution. Norfolk appears. He induces the crowd to try to free Leicester.

Leicester's prison cell

He laments his fate. Norfolk enters and convinces Leicester that he has begged the Queen to pardon him, instead of having betrayed him. The Queen enters to see Leicester prior to his death. Norfolk has hidden, and Matilda and Enrico are hiding as well. Leicester tells the Queen that Norfolk has accused him. Norfolk emerges with a dagger drawn to stab the Queen, when Matilda emerges and throws herself between them. The Queen condemns Norfolk to death, and, in the aria, Bell'alme generose, pardons Leicester and the Scottish prisoners.

Elizabeth I of England

28 November
Johann Peter Salomon
, violinist, conductor, impresario and composer, dies, ages 70.

26 December
Gioachino RossiniTorvaldo e Dorliska

Torvaldo e Dorliska (Torvaldo and Dorliska) is an operatic dramma semiserio in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by the revolutionary Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai, whose work was the source of the Lodoïska libretto set by Luigi Cherubini (1791), and Lodoiska set by Stephen Storace (1794), and Simon Mayr (1796).

Gioachino Rossini - Torvaldo e Dorliska

Duca d'Ordow - Nicola Alaimo
Dorliska - Salome Jicia
Torvaldo - Dmitry Korchak
Giorgio - Carlo Lepore
Carlotta - Raffaella Lupinacci
Ormondo - Filippo Fontana

Coro del Teatro della Fortuna M. Agostini
Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini
Conductor: Francesco Lanzillotta

Time: The Middle Ages
Place: "In and around the Castle of the Duke of Ordow"

The opera tells the story of the love between the Knight Torvaldo and his wife Dorliska, which is opposed by the terrible and violent Duke of Ordow, who is in love with Dorliska. In order to take her for himself, the Duke tries to kill Torvaldo and, after their fight, leaves him for dead. Making her way to the Duke's castle but not knowing that it is his home, Dorliska is held prisoner, comforted only by Carlotta and her brother Giorgio, the keeper of the castle. After escaping an ambush, Torvaldo enters the castle in disguise, but his identity is inadvertently revealed by Dorliska. The Duke then sentences him to death. Carlotta, Giorgio, and their friends conspire against the Duke to free the couple. Carlotta manages to steal the keys to Torvaldo's prison cell, and Dorliska embraces him again. However, the couple is discovered by the Duke, but before he can kill them, he is interrupted by the crowd entering the castle. The rebellious people capture the Duke and he is led away to prison and to his death. Torvaldo and Dorliska are freed.


Goya – The Third of May 1808 

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