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Classical Era


In France, the income of working people in terms of what it buys (real wages) begins a four-decade decline
  •  Because of the Tambora eruption, 1816 will be known with the year without a summer." Amid the gloom in Britain, Mary Shelley writes a scary story: "Frankenstein"  •  The British return to the Dutch their empire in Indonesia  •  Spain's military drives Simón Bolivar from New Grenada. Bolivar flees to Jamaica and then to Haiti

Bolivar and a small force return to Venezuela and establish a base inland in the rain forest along the Orinoco River
  •  In Britain, real wages have been declining at least since the late 1790s, as Britain has been burdened by war against France. From this year on and into the next century real wages in Britain will be rising  •  The British sign a Maratha kingdom, Nagpur, into its system of alliances. Those opposed sack and burn the British residence at Poona (Pune). 27,000 attack a British force of 2,800 a few miles north of Poona – the beginning of the Third Anglo-Maratha War

The Third Anglo-Maratha War ends with the break-up of the Maratha Empire and the British in control of most of India
 •  For the Ottoman Empire, Egyptians are taking control of the Arabian Peninsula. They destroy the mud-brick town of Diriyah (thirteen miles from the center of what today is Riyadh) which had been the home base of the Saud family and Wahhabis  • Schopenhauer (Germany) - The World as Will and Idea

In England, 60,000 gather in a field and listen to a call for universal suffrage. A magistrate sends a force to arrest the main speaker, Henry Hunt. People riot. Eleven are killed and others injured. A movement for reform gathers strength 
  •   Théodore Géricault - The Raft of the Medusa

In England a group of revolutionaries chose a strategy of killing government cabinet ministers, believing it will trigger a massive uprising. It's to be known as the Cato Street Conspiracy. One of their number was a police agent. A few conservatives used the conspiracy as propaganda against parliamentary reform. The conspirators were tried in court and five of them were hanged and then decapitated – the last of England's decapitations
  •  A liberal uprising begins in Spain. It starts with soldiers and is joined by others who want a constitutional monarchy or a republic. A few who are poor and illiterate attack and set fire to churches  •  The combined area of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama has six times the number of people of European heritage that it had in 1800  •  The US has becomes the world's biggest cotton producer of raw cotton  •  Per capita world Gross Domestic Product (according to today's economic historian Angus Maddison) is $667, measured in 1990 dollars. This (according to Maddison) is up from $435 in the year 1000. Western Europe, which was lower than the world in general in the year 1000, at $400, is at $1,232.

Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), wherein he characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable metaphysical will. Proceeding from the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism, rejecting the contemporaneous post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism. 



Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 28

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No 28 in A major, Op 101
00:00 - Allegretto, ma non troppo
04:16 - Vivace alla marcia
10:29 - Adagio, ma non troppo, con affetto
13:18 - Allegro

Richard Goode, 1993

Franz SchubertLitanei auf das Fest Aller SeelenStabat Mater in F minor; String Trio in B-flat major, D 471

Franz Schubert - Stabat Mater" D 383 

Snezana Savicic Sekulic, soprano
Nikola Kitanovski, tenor
Stevica Krajinovic, baritone
Vesna Souc, conductor
RTS Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Belgrade

No. 1 Coro: 0:00 "Jesus Christus schwebt am Kreuze"
No. 2 Aria Sop.: 2:44 "Bei des Mittlers Kreuze standen"
No. 3 Coro: 5:21 "Liebend neiget er sein Antlitz"
No. 4 Duetto Sop. e Ten.: 7:10 "Engel freuten sich der Wonne"
No. 5 Coro: 10:34 "Wer wird Zähren" 
No. 6 Aria Ten.: 13:59 "Ach, was hätten wir empfunden"
No. 7 Coro: 16:10 "Erben sollen sie am Throne" 
No. 8 Aria Bass: 19:00 "Sohn des Vaters, aber leiden"
No. 9 Coro: 22:59 "O du herrlicher Vollender"
No. 10 Terzetto: 26:10 "Erdenfreuden und ihr Elend" - "Möcht ich wie auf Adlers Flügeln"
No. 11 Terzetto e Coro: 29:25 "Daß dereinst wir, wenn im Tode" 
No. 12 Coro: 33:20 "Amen"

Schubert - String Trio in B-flat major, D. 471
Elita Kang, violin, Jonathan Chu, viola, and Owen Young, cello.

Schubert - Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen
Anna Paryska

1 September​  
Louis SpohrFaust

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.
Weber conducted the first performance of Faust at the Ständetheater, Prague on 1 September 1816. Meyerbeer introduced it at Berlin.

     Louis Spohr - FAUST - Ouvertüre
Faust is torn between his love for the young Röschen and his desire for Kunigunde, the fiancée of Count Hugo. He makes a pact with the devil Mefistofeles which allows him to rescue Kunigunde from the clutches of the evil knight Gulf. Faust obtains a love potion from the witch Sycorax which he gives to Kunigunde during her wedding celebrations. Outraged at the sudden passion his bride shows for Faust, Count Hugo challenges him to a duel. Faust kills Hugo and flees. Meanwhile, Faust's first love, Röschen, drowns herself in despair. Mefistofeles seizes Faust and drags him down to Hell.

4 December
Gioachino Rossini –  La gazzetta

La gazzetta, ossia Il matrimonio per concorso (The Newspaper, or The Marriage Contest) is an opera buffa by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was by Giuseppe Palomba after Carlo Goldoni's play Il matrimonio per concorso of 1763.

Gioachino Rossini - LA GAZZETTA
Don Pomponio: GIORGIO TADEO,
Madama La Rose : TERESA  ROCCHINO,
Monsù Traversen : FRANCO FEDERICI     
Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Torino della RAI
Direttore Ferruccio Scaglia, 1977

Time: 18th century    Place: Paris
The opera tells the story of a pretentious Neapolitan, Don Pomponio Storione, who travels the world in search of a husband for his daughter, putting ads in the newspapers. He arrives in a city, and after a series of ridiculously inadequate suitors, such as the Quaker Monsù Traversen or the waiter at the hotel, who usually end up beating poor Pomponio, he finally resigns to let his daughter marry her lover, the only suitor he seems to consider inappropriate.

Giacomo MeyerbeerGli amori di Teolinda (cantata)

Giacomo Meyerbeer - Gli Amori di Teolinda 
Cantata for Soprano, Clarinet, Men's Chorus and Orchestra
Libretto by Gaetano Rossi 

Nelly Miricioiu, soprano
Emma Johnson, clarinet
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra & Radio Chorus
Julian Reynolds, conductor; Vrendenburg, Utrecht, 1998

No. 1 - Introduzione (00:00)
No. 2 - Cavatina "Deliziose piante ombrose" (03:12)
No. 3 - Recitativo "Quanto un dì" (08:51)
No. 4 - [Allegro moderato] "Ah! ch'egli è desso" (11:15)
No. 5 - Coro "Chi mai non curasi" (20:05)
No. 6 - Recitativo "Quanto liete voi siete!" (23:19)
No. 7 - [Andante von variazioni] "Diceva un giorno Clori" (26:24)
No. 8 - [Allegro molto moderato] "Qual suon perfetto" (31:08) - "Ah! d'amor" (33:28)

20 February
Rossini's opera, Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione (later better known as The Barber of Seville), receives its première at the Teatro Argentina, Rome.

Gioachino RossiniIl Barbiere di Siviglia

29 April   
Luigi Cherubini's cantata Inno alla primavera, commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, is given its première in London, a year later than scheduled and without the composer present.

Luigi CherubiniRequiem in C minor

The Requiem in C minor for mixed chorus was written by Luigi Cherubini in 1816 and premiered 21 January 1817 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution.

The work was greatly admired by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

Cherubini - Requiem in C minor

I. Introitus et Kyrie [0:00]
II. Graduale [7:35]
III. Sequentia: Dies irae [8:52]
IV. Domine Jesu Christe [16:46]
- Hostias [22:40]
V. Sanctus et Benedictus [29:27]
VI. Pie Jesu [30:41]
VII. Agnus Dei [34:08]

Boston Baroque - Martin Pearlman

5 June  
Giovanni Paisiello, composer, dies, aged 76

1 October
Gaetano Donizetti - Il Pigmalione

Gaetano Donizetti - Il Pigmalione
Galatea - Susanna Rigacci
Pigmalione - Paolo Pellegrini
Conductor - Fabio Maestri - Orchestra giovanile "In Canto"

Il Pigmalione (Pygmalion) is a scena lirica (lyric scene or opera) in one act by Gaetano Donizetti. The librettist is unknown, but it is known that the libretto was based on one by Antonio Simeone Sografi for Giovanni Battista Cimador (it)'s Pimmalione (1790), in turn based on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Pygmalion and ultimately based on Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Sografi's libretto was also used for an opera by Bonifacio Asioli (1796).

This was Donizetti's first opera, written in six days between 25 September and 1 October 1816 when the composer was 19 and a student at the Bologna Academy, a position acquired for him with the help of his teacher in Bergamo, Johann Simon Mayr and where his "gift for spontaneous composition flowered". It has been noted that although the comedy is "musically slender, the score, nevertheless, reveals the fledgling composer's flair for melody".

It was not performed until 13 October 1960.

Time: The classical past
Place: Cyprus

The story of the opera is based on the famous story of a king and sculptor, Pygmalion, originally taken from the tenth book of the Metamorphoses by Ovid. Pigmalione, dismayed that he may never find in real life the ideal of feminine beauty, creates a sculpture of it himself. Having fallen in love with his own creation, Pigmalione's prayer for the sculpture's (christened Galatea) animation is answered by Venus.

16 November
Étienne-Nicolas Méhul – La journée aux aventures

La journée aux aventures (The Day of Adventures) is an opera by the French composer Étienne Méhul. It takes the form of an opéra comique in three acts. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, Paris on 16 November 1816. The libretto is by Pierre-David-Augustin Chapelle and Louis Mezières-Miot.

4 December
Gioachino Rossini –  Otello

is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsi. The work is based on a French adaptation of the story, not Shakespeare's play Othello as neither Rossini nor his librettist knew the English drama.

Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo 

"Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo" is one of the five cantatas Rossini wrote in Naples to celebrate specific events in the lives of the Bourbon monarchs of Naples and Sicily. In December, 1816, Naples was restored to the Bourbon rule after its Napoleonic domination, and Ferdinando di Borbone became King of the two Sicilies under the name Ferdinando I. He immediately began to strengthen family ties with the Bourbons of France and with the house of Austria. Ferdinando's efforts culminated in the wedding of his son Leopoldo with a daughter of Francis I, Emperor of Austria, and of his niece Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luigia with the French prince Charles-Ferdinand, two marriages which are the main theme of this grand celebratory cantata, centering around the wedding of the title heroes, blessed in a succession of operatic numbers by Jove (tenor), Juno (contralto), Ceres (soprano).

Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816) - "Liete danze" - No. 1. Prelude, Chorus & Cavatina (Juan Diego Florez)

Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816) "Chi mi reca le rose ed i gigli" - No. 2. Duettino & Terzet
(Cecilia Bartoli, Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Florez, Luigi Petroni & Elisabetta Scano)

Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816)
- "Egli una tenera" 

Cecilia Bartoli - Ceres,
Daniela Barcellona - Juno,
Juan Diego Florez - Peleo,
Luigi Petroni - Jove,
Elisabetta Scano - Teti.



Frederic Chopin – Two Polonaises

Frederic Chopin - Polonaises 

Mikhail Voskresensky, piano, 1973
 no. 1 in C sharp minor op. 26 no. 1 00:07
no. 2 in E flat minor op. 26 no. 2 07:43
no. 3 in A major op. 40 no. 104 "Military" 16:17
 no. 4 in C minor op. 40 no. 2 20:31
no. 5 in F sharp minor op. 44 26:25
no. 6 in A flat major op. 53 "Heroic" 36:51
no. 7 in A flat major op. 61 "Polonaise-Fantaisie" 43:40
no. 8 in D minor op. 71 no. 1  55:59
no. 9 in B flat major op. 71 no. 1:01:36
no. 10 in F minor op. 71 no. 3 1:08:39
no. 11 in G minor op. posth 1:15:11
no. 12 in B flat major op. posth 1:18:37
no. 13 in A flat major op. posth 1:21:44
no. 14 in G sharp minor op. posth 1:25:30
no. 16 in G flat major op. posth 1:34:43

Anton Reicha – Andante for Wind Quintet no. 1 in E-flat major

Anton Reicha - Andante No. 1 in E-flat Major. Puhkpillikvintett / Woodwind Quintet ESTICA:
Anna Kelder (flööt / flute),
Heli Ernits (inglissarv / English horn),
Helena Tuuling (klarnet / clarinet),
Mari Gienow (fagott / bassoon),
Meelika Mikson (metsasarv / French horn)

Franz Schubert – String Trio in B-flat major, D. 581

Franz Schubert - String trio D.581

I. Allegro moderato 0:00
II. Andante 5:05
III. Menuetto. Allegretto 11:22
IV. Rondo. Allegretto 15:12

Oleg Kagan
Yuri Bashmet
Natalia Gutman
Live recording, Hohenems, 22.VI.1988

25 January 
Gioacchino RossiniLa Cenerentola

La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault. The opera was first performed in Rome's Teatro Valle on 25 January 1817.

22 February 
Niels Gade, composer, born. 

 1 March
Muzio ClementiGradus ad Parnassum Volume I is published simultaneously in London, Paris and Leipzig on March 1.

Muzio Clementi - Gradus ad parnassum

31 May
Gioacchino Rossini  - La Gazza Ladra

La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardini based on La pie voleuse by Théodore Baudouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.

18 October
Etienne-Nicolas Méhul, composer, dies, aged  54.

11 November
Gioacchino Rossini  - Armida

Armida is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto (dramma per musica) by Giovanni Schmidt, based on scenes from Gerusalemme liberata by Torquato Tasso. Armida was written to be performed at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, on 11 November 1817 

27 December
Gioacchino Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna

Adelaide di Borgogna, ossia Ottonere d'Italia (Adelaide of Burgundy, or Otto, King of Italy) is a two-act opera composed by Gioachino Rossini (with contributions by Michele Carafa) to a libretto by Giovanni Schmidt. It was premièred at the Teatro Argentina in Rome on 27 December 1817.


Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna - part 1
Adelaide: Mariella Devia
Ottone: Martine Dupuy
Adelberto: Ernesto Palacio
Berengario: Armando Caforio

Conductor: Alberto Zedda

Paris, Salle Pleyel - May 1988

Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna - part 2

Niels Gade

Niels Gade

Niels Gade, in full Niels Vilhelm Gade, (born February 22, 1817, Copenhagen, Denmark—died December 21, 1890, Copenhagen), Danish composer who founded the Romantic nationalist school in Danish music.


Gade studied violin and composition and became acquainted with Danish poetry and folk music. Both Mendelssohn and Schumann, who were his friends, were attracted by the Scandinavian character of his music. Schumann wrote of him in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, and in 1843 Mendelssohn conducted Gade’s first symphony in Leipzig. Gade conducted in Leipzig from 1844 to 1848 and became conductor of the Copenhagen Musical Society in 1850. In 1866 he became a director of the new Copenhagen Conservatory. Gade’s early works, reflecting the spirit of Danish folk tunes, were among the first 19th-century examples of the use of native musical idioms and nationalist themes. Under the influence of Mendelssohn, his later works show greater technical command, often at the expense of the style that had made his earlier works attractive. His compositions include the overtures Echoes from Ossian (published as Opus 1) and In the Highlands; the cantatas Zion, The Crusaders, and Psyche; eight symphonies; three ballets; a violin concerto; a string quartet; and other works.

Niels Wilhelm Gade - Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 5 Michael Schønwandt

Niels Gade:
1. Gade  - Violin concerto op.56
2. Gade - Echoes of Ossian
3. Gade - Sinfonia n. 4 Op. 20
4. Gade - Sinfonia n. 7 Op. 45
5. Gade - Sinfonia n. 8 Op. 47

Niels Gade - Elverskud



Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 6

Franz Schubert - Symphony No.6 in C-major, D.589 

Mov.I: Adagio - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 09:45
Mov.III: Scherzo: Presto 18:06
Mov.IV: Allegro moderato 24:34

Orchestra: Failoni Orchestra

Conductor: Michael Halász

Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonata in B flat "Hammerklavier" Op.106

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 - "Hammerklavier"
0:00 Allegro
8:56 Scherzo: Assai vivace
11:38 Adagio sostenuto
29:43 Introduzione: Largo...Prestissimo - Fuga: Allegro risoluto

Artur Schnabel

5 March
Gioacchino RossiniMosè in Egitto

Mosè in Egitto (Moses in Egypt)
 is a three-act opera written by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, which was based on a 1760 play by Francesco Ringhieri, L'Osiride. It premièred on 5 March 1818 at the recently reconstructed Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy.

10 June 
The Teatro Nuovo at Pesaro in the Papal States of Italy opens with a performance of Gioacchino Rossini's La gazza ladra (1817) conducted by the composer in the town of his birth.

17 June 
Charles Gounod
, composer, born.

14 November 
Gaetano DonizettiEnrico di Borgogna

Enrico di Borgogna (Henry of Burgundy) is an opera eroica or "heroic" opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Bartolomeo Merelli, wrote the Italian libretto based on Der Graf von Burgund by August von Kotzebue.

Enrico di Borgogna was the third opera composed by Donizetti, but the first to be performed. It premiered on 14 November 1818 at the Teatro San Luca in Venice. 

Gaetano Donizetti - Enrico di Borgogna 
Olof Boman (conductor), Vadstena Castle, 
Sweden, August 2012

Enrico: Kinga Dobay
Pietro: Markus Pettersson
Elisa: Rebecca Rasmussen
Guido: Thomas Volle
Brunone: Ludvig Lindström
Gilberto: Christian Oldenburg
Nicola: Peter Nyqvist
Geltrude: Christina Nilsson
Act I 0:00:01

Act I finale 1:15:17
Act II 1:23:58

The king has been deceived and murdered by his own brother. The king's bodyguards, Pietro and Brunone, manage to escape with Enrico, the first-born son of the king and the rightful heir to the throne. During Pietro’s escape, his wife is killed before they can get to safety. Brunone stays in the castle, becoming the new king's bodyguard.

Time: The Middle Ages
Place: Burgundy

Act 1
Nicola, the young shepherd, and his friends find the old man Pietro weeping before by his wife's grave, as he has done many times. They try to cheer him up, and, after that, carry on with their work, leaving Pietro alone.

Enrico, now a young man, is on his way home from fishing; he is tired of the simple life up in the mountains and is longing for something more exiting. He is also thinking about the girl of his dreams, Elisa, whom he has seen several times in the mountains.

Brunone arrives at Pietro's cabin and tells him that the king is dead and that his weak son Guido has taken his place. He explains that this is the time to strike if they want to see Enrico installed on the throne. When Enrico arrives and learns the truth, they give him his father's sword and he decides to accept his fate.

In the castle the new king Guido and his jester Gilberto are planning Guido's marriage with Elisa, but she has just lost her father and is still mourning; she refuses to marry Guido, but he forces her to accept his proposal, and the wedding plans begin.

Scene: Day - at the court in Arles
The jester Gilberto speaking to Guido says that truth and merit are overrated. Guido asks the jester to tell him what the people think of him becoming their king. Gilberto flatters him, but Guido is not satisfied until he learns that some of the people are complaining.

Elisa enters in the company of Guido's bodyguards who invites her to rejoice in the happiness of marriage. Elisha is unhappy. She hope to see Enrico again. When she is left alone with her lady in waiting, Geltrude, she confesses to her of her love. Guido forces Elizabeth to change her mourning clothes into the wedding attire and appeals to her to give in to his great love for her. She replies that he can force her into marriage but her heart will never change.

Scene: Evening – in the square
The wedding procession has gathered in the square. Enrico and Pietro arrive and are unaware of the wedding. Elisa faints. Pietro and Brunone furiously try to stop Enrico’s jealousy from revealing himself as her true love. A heavy storm occurs, and Guido is forced to postpone the wedding.

Act 2
Scene: Night - at the castle
Brunone and Pietro reveal to the insurgents that Enrico has returned. Enrico has slipped into the castle to see Elisa for the last time. Enrico meets jester Gilberto who at the last moment hides him from Guido. Gilberto promises to show Enrico to Elisa's room.

Elisa enters. Guido is threatening her with death if she did not keep her promise of marriage. The threat is ineffective because she would rather die than marry Guido. Guido gives the order for the wedding and leaves the room. Gilberto shows Enrico to Elisa's room with the warning that women are in the world to create disorder.

Enrico and Elisa meet. At first, he rejects her declaration that she was forced into marriage with Guido. When he learns about her promise to her father, he understands everything and the two reunite. Guido rushes into the room. At the same time Brunone, Pietro and Nicola entered the castle. The truth about Enrico's birth is revealed to Guido and Elisa. Guido orders the confused guards to arrest the four but the guards put down their weapons and Enrico wins.

Scene: Daybreak - at the castle
Guido is terrified. People storms in and want to take revenge on Guido, but Enrico admonishes his people with a message of peace.

3 December
Gioacchino RossiniRicciardo e Zoraide

Ricciardo e Zoraide (Ricciardo and Zoraide) is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa. The text is based on cantos XIV and XV of Il Ricciardetto, an epic poem by Niccolò Forteguerri.

Rossini  - Ricciardo e Zoraide

Place: the city of Dongola in ancient Nubia.
Time: The time of the Crusades

The Nubian King Agorante, who is infatuated with Zoraide, has defeated her father, Ircano and captured her. Ricciardo, a Christian knight and Zoraide's lover, accompanies an emissary to plead for her release. Agorante's jealous wife, Zomira, arranges the capture of Ricciardo as well and plots to have the young lovers executed to protect her position as Queen. The opera ends with an army of Christian knights rescuing Ricciardo and Zoraide. Ricciardo spares Agorante's life.

Charles Gounod

Charles Gounod

(b. Paris, June 17, 1818; d. Saint-Cloud, October 18, 1893)


French composer, best known for his opera Faust (1859), which became one of the most popular works in the repertoire. His father was a highly regarded painter and engraver, and his mother was an accomplished pianist; the talents of both rubbed off on Charles, who early on showed gifts for music and drawing. He studied privately with Antoine Reicha, and then at the Paris Conservatoire with Ferdinando Paer, Jean-Frangois Le Sueur, and Fromental Halevy, and won the Prix de Rome in 1839. Gounod adored Italy and immersed himself in the study of Renaissance polyphony, especially the music of Palestrina, which he echoed in a pair of early masses written in 1841 and 1843. While in Rome he met Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel; on his way back to Paris he stopped in Leipzig to visit Felix Mendelssohn, whose music and character left an indelible impression. In 1843, Gounod became music director at the Seminaire des Missions Etrangeres in Paris. In 1847 he began to study for the priesthood, a course he abandoned after a few months. He married in 1851 and played an active role in Parisian musical life during the following decade. Opera was still at the center of the compositional scene, and Gounod quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. His first effort, Sapho (1851), received only four performances in spite of having the great Pauline Viardot in its title role. This was followed by La nonne sanglante (1854) and Le medecin malgre lui (1858), whose libretto, after Moliere, was provided by the team of Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. The same partnership had already supplied Gounod with the libretto for Faust; which after a slow start met with extraordinary success, catapulting its composer to international prominence. Faust richly earned its popularity. A work of enormous accomplishment—colorful, engaging, and tuneful, if not very deep dramatically—it demonstrated a mastery of all the cliches of French grand opera and achieved a remarkable scenic splendor. Gounod never again managed
anything quite as magnificent, though his Romeo et Juliette (1867) came close.

Fatigued by the labor he expended on the 12 operas he wrote (notwithstanding the fame and wealth they brought), Gounod felt the need to turn periodically to sacred music as a restorative. His production in that area was substantial, and included 21 masses, three oratorios, and numerous cantatas, motets, and informal settings of sentimental religious texts. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, Gounod fled to London. The English, with their strong choral tradition, loved his religious music, and he stayed in Britain for nearly four years, becoming the first conductor of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society.

In addition to works for the stage and sacred music, Gounod wrote some piano pieces, many songs, and a small amount of chamber music. One of his piano pieces, the “Funeral March of a Marionette” (1872), became well known as the theme music for television’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And while Faust is more famous, Gounod’s most widely performed creation is the little melodie religieuse “Ave Maria” that he arranged in 1859, based on Bach’s C major prelude from Book I of Das wohltem-perirte Clavier. Because of music like this, many of Gounod’s younger contemporaries looked down on him as bourgeois. But, as even the hypercritical Debussy had to admit, Gounod represented an era in French art, and the accomplishment of works such as Faust and Romeo et Juliette provided an important bulwark against the encroachments of Wagnerism.

Faust is a grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's , Part One. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859.

Mireille is an 1864 opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Michel Carré after Frédéric Mistral's poem Mireio

Charles Gounod - MIREILLE (1864)

Place: Provence
Time: 19th Century

Act 1
A mulberry grove on Midsummer night (Fête de la Saint-Jean).

Girls sing as they pick the leaves to feed to silkworms. Taven, an old woman who lives in nearby caves, joins them and comments on their jollity, but they laugh at "the witch" and Clemence voices her wish for a rich husband. Mireille however wants to marry for love, even if her husband be poor and shy, but is teased by the other girls who know that she has set her heart on a poor basket-weaver, Vincent. Taven shares her forebodings with Mireille. Vincent passes by and Mireille gets him to confess his love. As they part, they swear to meet in the church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer if anything befalls one of them. The girls are heard singing the opening chorus in the distance.
Act 2
In front of the Arles Amphitheatre the same afternoon.

The crowd is singing and dancing a farandole as it waits for the start of a race. Mireille and Vincent arrive separately but they are greeted joyfully and sing the Song of Magali. After the race, Taven takes Mireille aside and tells her that she has just seen three young men, Ourrias, Alari and Pascoul arguing who should claim Mireille's hand. Alone, Mireille swears that nothing will part her from Vincent. Ourrias enters and forces his boastful attentions on her but Mireille politely rejects his advances. Mireille's father Ramon enters, followed shortly by Ambroise, the father of Vincent. Ambroise asks for advice on what to do about his son who is in love with a rich heiress; Ramon suggests beating the boy to cure him. Shocked, Ambroise is reminded by Ramon of a father's prerogative which used to extend even to life and death over his children. At this, Mireille comes forward crying "Kill me!" - she is the one Vincent loves. Ramon is outraged, orders Mireille to go home then turns on Vincent and Ambroise.

Act 3
First Tableau: The Val d'Enfer in the country outside Arles. Night
Ourrias and some friends are in the wild spot, supposedly peopled by spirits. Ourrias wants to buy a potion from Taven. Alone, Ourrias vents his fury and jealousy and lies in wait for Vincent, who soon appears. Ourrias insults him but although Vincent tries to calm him down, Ourrias strikes him with his trident, and thinking he has killed him, runs off. Taven hears cries and curses Ourrias as he rushes off, then tends to the unconscious Vincent.

Second Tableau: The banks of the Rhône

Full of remorse, Ourrias hurries to the river bank and calls the ferryman. An echo greets his call and moans sound with ghosts floating above the water. The ferryman (Passeur) arrives and Ourrias impatiently gets aboard. The waters swell, and as the boatman reminds Ourrias of his crime, the boat sinks beneath the waves.

Act 4
First Tableau: Ramon's farm late the same night

While the harvesters celebrate, Ramon is sad and knows that by denying Mireille's love he has destroyed his dream of a happy old age. From her window Mireille sees a young shepherd singing, and envies his carefree life. Unseen, Vincenette, Vincent's sister, comes to tell her that Vincent is wounded: Mireille resolves to set off at once to Saintes-Maries.

Second Tableau: The Crau desert

Mireille, staggers in already tired, and dazzled by the sun, faints as she hears shepherd's pipes in the distance. She makes a last effort to continue her journey.

Act 5
In front of the chapel of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Midday

Pilgrims are singing. Vincent is there, looking for Mireille, and she arrives, exhausted and collapses in his arms. Ramon arrives with Vincenette, and forgives her, but Mireille dies and is called to heaven by a celestial voice.

Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It was first performed at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris on 27 April 1867. 

Charles Gounod - MORS ET VITA (1884)

Charles Gounod - REQUIEM IN C DUR (1893)



Anton Reicha – Andante for Wind Quintet no 2 in F major

Anton Reicha - Woodwind Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 88 No. 2

5 May
Stanisław Moniuszko, composer, conductor and teacher, born. 

20 June 
Jacques Offenbach
, composer, born.

Franz Schubert – Trout Quintet

Franz Schubert - Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667, "Trout"
Martin Helmchen (piano), Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola), Marie-Elisabeth Hecker (cello), Alois Posch (double bass) 
00:00 - I. Allegro vivace
13:28 - II. Andante
20:19 - III. Scherzo. Presto
24:29 - IV. Theme and Variations (on the song "Die Forelle"). Andantino
31:58 - V. Finale. Allegro giusto

27 March
Gioachino Rossini - Ermione

is a tragic opera (azione tragica) in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, based on the play Andromaque by Jean Racine.

18 April
Franz von Suppé, composer, born.

24 April 
Gioachino Rossini - Eduardo e Cristina

Eduardo e Cristina
 is an operatic 'dramma' in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto originally written by Giovanni Schmidt for Odoardo e Cristina (1810), an opera by Stefano Pavesi, and adapted for Rossini by Andrea Leone Tottola and Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini.​

Rossini - Eduardo e Cristina - "Arresta il colpo"
London 2015 St John's smith Square
Orchestra - EUYO
Conductor Ainars Rubikis

Soprano - Elsa Galasio

Carlo, King of Sweden    tenor  
Cristina, his daughter, secret wife of Eduardo    soprano  
Eduardo, general of the Swedish army    contralto 
Giacomo, royal prince of Scotland    bass 
Atlei, captain of the guard, friend of Eduardo    bass  
Gustavo, small child of Eduardo and Cristina
Place: Sweden
Time: "The distant past"

Eduardo, commander of the Swedish army, brings news of peace and is greeted triumphantly by King Carlo in Stockholm. That same day, the king announces that his daughter, Cristina, is to be married to Prince Giacomo of Scotland. Cristina, however, is already secretly Eduardo’s wife, and together they have a young son, Gustavo. Christina makes plans to escape, but during the wedding preparations little Gustavo is discovered. Cristina proclaims herself his mother, though she will not reveal the father’s name. When Eduardo appears, he reveals himself to be the boy’s father, and the illicit couple are led off to prison. Cristina continues to refuse a proposal of marriage to Giacomo, even though he has agreed to recognize Gustavo as his own son. Eventually Eduardo is freed by his friend and comrade in arms, Captain Atlei, and together they defeat a surprise attack by the Russians. After the battle, Eduardo hands his sword to King Carlo who, touched, forgives the couple and grants them his blessing.

13 September
Clara Schumann, pianist, compose, born.

24 October 
Gioachino Rossini - La donna del lago

La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) is an opera composed by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola based on the French translation of The Lady of the Lake, a narrative poem written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scot.

26 December
Gioachino Rossini - Bianca e Falliero

Bianca e Falliero, ossia Il consiglio dei tre (Bianca and Falliero, or The Counsel of Three) is a two-act operatic melodramma by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani. The libretto was based on Antoine-Vincent Arnault's play Les Vénitiens, ou Blanche et Montcassin.

Bianca............ Katia Ricciarelli
Falliero........... Marilyn Horne
Contareno......  Chris Merritt
Priuli............... Ambrogio Riva
Capellio........... Giorgio Surjan
Costanza......... Patrizia Orciani
Pisani.............. Ernesto Gavazzi
Ufficiale..........   Diego D’Auria 
Usciere............ Diego D’Auria

The London Sinfonietta Opera Orchestra 
Donato Renzetti  - 
August 1986

Bianca e Falliero is a tale of emotional excess and bitter strife within war-threatened Venice. Falliero, the hero, comes home after defeating the enemies of Venice only to find his beloved Bianca promised to a rival and soon to be married.

Place: Venice
Time: 17th Century

Act 1
Contareno offers his daughter Bianca in marriage to Capellio, a member of a rival clan, in an act of conciliation meant to end a long-standing family feud. Bianca, however, loves Falliero, rumoured to have recently died defending Venice from a military threat. She sings of her love for the young general in the cavatina Della rosa il bel vermiglio. When Falliero returns from the war and Bianca rebels against her father's plan for her, Contareno threatens to ruin Falliero. The wedding ceremony begins, but Bianca refuses to marry Capellio by not signing the marriage certificate. Falliero bursts onto the scene.

Act 2
Falliero is forced to run from the scene of the wedding to escape the wrath of Bianca's father. Bianca again refuses to continue the ceremony. News arrives that Falliero has been captured and must stand trial for treason, allegedly for his contacts with a foreign power because he was found hiding in the Spanish Embassy. Unfortunately for him, his judges are to be the Council of Three: Contareno, Capellio and Loredano. Although Falliero does not defend his actions, Bianca passionately argues on his behalf. Eventually, Bianca's impassioned pleas convince Capellio that the two lovers belong together. All ends happily.

Franz von Suppé

Franz von Suppé

(b. Spalato, Dalmatia, April 18, 1819; d. Vienna, May 21, 1895)


Austrian composer of Belgian descent.

As a youth he spent time in Italy, where he heard the operas of Rossini and Donizetti (who was a distant relative). In 1835, following the death of his father, he settled in Vienna. He began his career in 1840 as a conductor at the Theater in der Josefs tad t, becoming music director at the prestigious Theater an der Wien in 1845. In 1862 he moved to the Kaitheater, and from 1865 to 1882 he served as music director of the Carltheater.

Suppe was the first Viennese composer to absorb the musical influence of Offenbach, and during the 1860s, he became the founder of a new school of operetta in the Hapsburg capital. One of his greatest successes was the “military operetta” Die leichte Kavallerie (The Light Cavalry), premiered in 1866 at the Carltheater. The work is best known for its overture, a dashing and imaginative tone poem with a Hungarian accent and a jaunty cavalry march as its second subject.

Other of Suppe’s works whose overtures (at least) remain in the orchestral repertoire are Ein Morgen, Mittagund Abend in Wien (Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna,; 1844), Dichter und Bauer (Poet and Peasant, 1846), Die schone Galathee (TheBeautiful Galatea', 1865), and Boccaccio (1879).


1. Light Cavalry (0:06)
2. Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna (Emanuel Brabec, solo cello) (6:01)
3. Pique Dame (13:42)
4. Poet and Paesant (Emanuel Brabec, solo cello) (20:54)

conducted by SIR GEORG SOLTI, 

Franz von Suppé - Boccaccio (Overture)

Franz Von Suppé - Banditenstreiche Overture

Franz von Suppé - Tricoche et Cacolet Overture

Franz von Suppé - Die schöne Galathee - Overture

Stanisław Moniuszko

Stanisław Moniuszko

Stanisław Moniuszko, the composer, conductor and teacher, was born in Ubiel near Minsk on 5 May 1819 and died on 4 June 1872 in Warsaw.


Following a short spell of home education with his mother, Elżbieta, Moniuszko started to learn piano with August Freyer in Warsaw in 1827, to continue with Dominik Stefanowicz in Minsk from 1830. While staying in Vilnius in 1839, Moniuszko met his wife-to-be, Aleksandra Mueller. In 1837 Moniuszko left for Berlin, where he took private instruction in harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation and conducting with Carl Friedrich Rungenhagen, the director of the Singakademie Music Society. Meanwhile Moniuszko practised, conducted choirs, accompanied singers, studied the great operatic, oratorio and symphonic repertoires and investigated the pre-staging process as well as conducting technique, and took part in rehearsals carried out by Rungehagen and by Gaspar Spontini, who visited Berlin at the time.

Having spent three years in Berlin, Moniuszko returned to Poland in 1840 to marry Aleksandra Mueller and settle down in Vilnius, where he took the organist's position at St John's. Moniuszko contributed greatly to the local revival of music. Though short-lived, the choir which he had put together at St John's, supported by an ad hoc assembled orchestra, performed Mozart's Requiem as well as Haydn's Creation of the World, parts of Haydn's oratories and Mendelssohns's St Paul. There were also orchestral performances of works by Spontini, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. In the meantime Moniuszko travelled to St Petersburg to introduce its audiences to his own compositions. They were received with acclaim and had favourable reviews. The trips helped Moniuszko to make friends with Russia's leading composers and musicians, including Mikhail Glinka, Alexandr Dargomyzhskiy, Cesar Cui, and Alexandr Sierov.

In 1848 Vilnius saw the premiere staging of the first, two-act version of Moniuszko's opera Halka, conducted by the composer himself. Six years later, with the help of Achilles Bonoldi, Moniuszko established St Cecilia's Society, its amateur members giving two public concerts twice a year. Following the triumphant Warsaw premiere of the new, four-act version of Halka on 1st January 1858, Moniuszko embarked on a artistic trip to Germany and France to return and be appointed the first conducted of the Polish Opera at the Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre) in Warsaw on 1st August 1858. The same year Moniuszko put on his one-act opera Flis, followed by the stagings of all of his subsequent operas over his fifteen-year term. Moniuszko's conducting projects focused almost exclusively on his own compositions, the key few exceptions being HaydÉe and Le Cheval de Bronze, the operas by Daniel François Esprit Auber. From time to time he would also conduct Warsaw church choirs, such as when he staged Felix Mendelssohns's oratorio Elijah in a protestant temple, and would appear as a conductor at the annual composer concerts.

In 1862 Moniuszko went to Paris again, hoping to have one of his operas staged there, but it never happened. The difficult political situation at the time and after the 1863 January Rising was not conducive to practising art, and Moniuszko's composing pace slowed down. However, the 1865 staging of his opera Straszny dwor was received enthusiastically, its success comaparable to that of Halka's. The year before the composer launched a series of lectures in harmony, counterpoint and composition, and led a choir group at the Institute of Music of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Among Moniuszko's students were Zygmunt Noskowski and Henryk Jarecki.

Moniuszko died of a sudden heart attack and was buried at the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw, his burial ceremony becoming a national event and a demonstration of Polishness.

Stanisław Moniuszko - Songs and ballads.
singer:  Piotr Hruszwicki ( bass) / pianist:  Anna Liszewska.

1.(00:07)  Gałązka rówienniczka  (słowa nieznanego autora)
2. (01:47) Dąbrowa (Jan Czeczot)
3. (04:45) Latem brzózka mała z liściem rozmawiała (Jan Czeczot)
4.  (06:28) Złota rybka (Jan Zachariasiewicz)
5.  (08:49) Trzech Budrysów (Adam Mickiewicz)
6.  (16:30) Dumka (opracowanie na fortepian solo: Jan Łusakowski)
7.  (19:03) Prząśniczka (Jan Czeczot)
8.  (20:30) Niedźwiadek (Jan Czeczot)
9.  (22:22) Kozak (Jan Czeczot)
10. (26:35) Walc (es-moll, fort. solo)
11. (30:45) Chochlik (Antoni Edward Odyniec)
12. (33:34) Święty  Piotr ( Pierre-Jean de Béranger, przekł. Władysław  Syrokomla)
13. (36:46) Dziad i baba (Józef Ignacy Kraszewski)
14. (42:05) Dlaczego? (autor słów nieznany)
15. (45:44) Villanella (Des-dur, fort.solo)
16. (50:14) Dwie zorze (Teofil Lenartowicz)
17. (52:30) Matko, już nie ma Cię! (Victor Hugo, przekł. Maksymilian Radziszewski)
18. (56:27) Entuzjasta (Jan Prusinowski)
19. (58:23) Dobranoc (Stanisław Jachowicz)

Halka is an opera by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko to a libretto written by Włodzimierz Wolski, a young Warsaw poet with radical social views. It is part of the canon of Polish national operas.

Stanisław Moniuszko - "Halka"
Halka - Barbara Zagórzanka
Jontek - Wieslaw Ochman
Janusz - Andrzej Hiolski
Stolnik - Jerzy Ostapiuk
Zofia - Ryszarda Racewicz
Orchestra and Chorus of the Polish National Opera Warsaw
Robert Satanowski, conductor

Act 1
Guests at an engagement party are happy to note that the wedding of Janusz, a wealthy young landowner, to Zofia, the daughter of an even wealthier landowner named Stolnik, will unite two huge estates. Zofia and Janusz celebrate a toast with Stolnik, and Stolnik calls Janusz the son he has always wanted. The party is disturbed by a plaintive wailing from outside. It seems to be a troubled young girl, crying for her lost love. The kind-hearted Zofia asks Janusz to talk to the girl, hoping he will comfort her; he reluctantly agrees.

Dziemba, the steward of Stolnik's estate, ushers in the woebegone creature. This is Halka. To the audience's surprise, she appears to know Janusz. It turns out that he himself is her lost love; he promised her marriage while in her village in the mountains but then disappeared. As soon as Halka looks into Janusz's eyes, she is convinced that his feelings for her haven't changed, despite the disquieting rumours she had heard to the contrary. Halka throws her arms around Janusz and he says that he still loves her as he did before. He tells Halka to meet him after dark at the statue of the Virgin Mary by the river; they will escape together to start a new life somewhere else. Once Halka goes out, Janusz returns to the party.

Act 2
Halka is waiting for Janusz by the river. She is disturbed by the appearance of not Janusz, but Jontek, a friend from her mountain village. Jontek has been in (unrequited) love with Halka for many years. Halka tells him happily that Janusz still loves her, but Jontek insists that she has been betrayed. Jontek can't convince Halka until he drags her to the scene of the party, where she sees that Janusz has become engaged to Zofia. Halka is devastated and compares herself to a dove who has been ripped to pieces by a falcon.

Act 3
Act 3 opens with happy scenes of normal life back in Halka's mountain village. The villagers are dismayed by the arrival of Jontek and an unrecognisable woman, who turns out to be the saddened Halka. They are angry when they hear about Janusz's engagement and even angrier when they realise that Halka is pregnant. Halka is in a world of her own, crushed by grief and fixated on the images of the dove being broken by the falcon. A black raven passes overhead, boding ill for everyone.

Act 4
Jontek is very sad about Halka. When a piper, in the village to play at the wedding of Janusz and Zofia, appears playing a happy tune, Jontek asks him what there is to be so happy about. The piper mollifies him by playing a haunting mountain song. Jontek describes his love for Halka and the many wonders of nature she reminds him of.

When Janusz and Zofia arrive in the village to celebrate their wedding, the angry villagers have to be convinced to act festive by Dziemba, the steward, who persuades them to do so out of respect for the bride. Zofia notices that Halka is terribly upset. She thinks she has seen Halka somewhere before, and even asks her what's wrong. Janusz admits that Halka is the girl who interrupted their engagement party but whisks Zofia into the church before she can ask any more questions. Halka is heartbroken to see that Janusz is going through with the marriage. She has lost her baby and feels completely alone. In a fit of rage, she decides to burn down the church. However, she decides to let Janusz live and throws herself into the river instead.

The Haunted Manor (Polish: Straszny dwór) is an opera in four acts composed by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko in 1861–1864. The libretto was written by Jan Chęciński

Stanisław Moniuszko - Straszny Dwór (1864/65)

Miecznik: Andrzej Hiolski
Hanna: Bożena Bentley-Sieradzka
Jadwiga: Wiera Baniewicz
Damazy: Zdzisław Nikodem
Stefan: Wiesław Ochman
Zbigniew: Leonard Mróz
Cześnikowa: Aleksandra Imalska
Maciej: Florian Skulski
Skołuba: Andrzej Saciuk
Marta: Anna Witkowska
Grześ: Kazimierz Dłuha
Staruszka: Anna Witkowska

conductor: Jan Krenz - Chór i Orkiestra  Krakowie

Act I
The two brothers Stefan and Zbigniew and their servant Maciej are returning home from war. While enjoying a parting drink with their comrades, the brothers swear to remain single and to live in a household free of women, in order to be ready to lay down their lives for their country when needed. "For if I married a lovely woman, how could I leave her to go to war?"

On arriving at the family home, the brothers are given the traditional welcoming offering of bread and salt, and they look forward to a life of peace and tranquillity. Their dream is soon shattered by the arrival of their aunt Czesnikowa, who immediately unveils her plans to marry them off to two girls she has chosen for them. The brothers explain their vow, and inform her that they are off to visit an old friend of their father's, Miecznik, (the “sword bearer”) to collect money due to them.

Miecznik lives in a manor at Kalinow, and he has two daughters with whom Czesnikowa is sure the brothers will fall in love, contrary to her own plans. She tries to put them off their visit by telling them that the manor is haunted.

Act II
It is New Year's Eve and, inside the “haunted” manor, Miecznik's daughters Hanna and Jadwiga are preparing for the customary fortune-telling to determine who will be their future husbands. Wax is melted, and they see the shapes of soldiers' helmets, pikes and chargers. Hanna is being courted by a foppish barrister, Damazy, who insists that he can see his wig and tail coat in the wax. Miecznik looks on indulgently and then explains to the assembled crowd that the type of husband he seeks for his daughters is brave, a soldier and a patriot, mindful of customs and traditions — a description that Damazy does not measure up to.

Czesnikowa arrives in advance of Stefan and Zbigniew, with the intention of portraying them as cowards in order to put Miecznik and his daughters off. At that moment, a hunting party led by Skoluba bursts in, and a heated debate concerning the killing of a boar ensues. Skoluba is adamant that he killed it, but it transpires that two strangers and their servant were seen at the time of the shooting and that one of the strangers actually shot the boar. Stefan and Zbigniew arrive with Maciej, and the two sisters decide to test out what Czesnikowa has told them by playing a trick on the brothers. Damazy, anxious to eliminate his rivals, has the same idea and involves Skoluba, who had hoped to take credit for killing the boar and now resents the brothers' presence, in his plan.

It is night. The visitors retire to bed, the brothers in one room and Maciej in another, where Skoluba points out two life-size portraits of fine ladies, and a clock, all of which have magic properties. In an aria with a splendid triple-time melody, he successfully manages to scare Maciej out of his wits, and then he leaves him alone.

Stefan and Zbigniew arrive and merely laugh at Maciej's superstitious fears. Zbigniew takes Maciej off to sleep, leaving Stefan alone. The clock mysteriously chimes and Stefan is reminded of his mother. Zbigniew, unable to sleep, joins him and the brothers admit to each other that they have fallen in love with Hanna and Jadwiga, despite their vows. They are completely unaware that the two girls are hiding behind the portraits, and that Damazy is in the clock. They decide to investigate the source of the strange sounds they hear. Damazy comes out from his hiding place and, to save his skin, invents a story (told to another fine tune) that the house is known as the `Haunted Manor' as a result of it having been built with the proceeds of some infamous acts. The rather moralistic brothers decide they cannot stay, and make plans to leave straight away.

Act IV
Discovering the boys about to leave, Miecznik believes them to be cowards after all; but Maciej repeats Damazy's story. Miecznik is about to reveal the truth about his house when a party of revellers and dancers burst into the house, one of whom is Damazy in disguise. When confronted, Damazy explains that he is in love with Hanna, and leaves hurriedly.

Miecznik then explains that his great-grandfather had nine beautiful daughters and that every man who came to the manor would propose to one of them. Envious mothers with unmarried daughters who lived nearby grew to refer to the manor as “haunted” as it obviously had magic powers. Stefan and Zbigniew apologise for their suspicions, and declare their love for Hanna and Jadwiga. Miecznik gives his blessing to his daughters and the brothers. Everyone is happy — except for the schemers Czesnikowa, Damazy, and Skoluba.

Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach

(b. Cologne, June 20, 1819; d. Paris, October 5, 1880)


German/French composer. His father, a bookbinder, was a capable musician and served as cantor at a synagogue in Cologne. Jacob first studied violin, then took up the cello at the age of nine so he could play in a trio with his older brother and sister. In 1833 he enrolled as a cello student at the Paris Conservatoire; from then on he was known as Jacques. A year later he joined the orchestra of the Opera-Comique, spending four years in the pit while continuing his cello studies privately and receiving some lessons in composition from Fromental Halevy. During the 1840s he made his way as a virtuoso cellist, playing in Parisian salons, touring to London, and Jacques Offenbach, comic master, cancan composer triumphantly returning to his hometown to perform with Franz Liszt.

In 1855, having had little success getting his stage works accepted for performance at Parisian theaters, he went into business for himself, opening a theater called the Bouffes-Parisiens in rented space. Presenting his own works as well as those of others, he brought forth a series of hits, capped in 1858 by the triumphant premiere of his two-act comedy Orphee aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). By the 1860s his fame as a composer of light opera had spread to Vienna and London. Keeping up a furious pace, penning three or four works a year, he achieved his greatest success in the genre with La belle Helene (1864), La vie parisienne (1866), and La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein (1867).

Offenbach’s production declined during the 1870s, even as his fame grew. In 1876 he embarked on a lengthy tour of the U.S., conducting performances of La vie parisienne and giving concerts in New York and Philadelphia. He spent the final years of his life working on the “opera fantastique” Les contes d’Hoffmann. With this score Offenbach surprisingly eclipsed his own reputation as a composer of operetta. Posthumously premiered in 1881, it has become one of the most successful of all French operas, performed more frequently than any other save Carmen.

Few composers in history have fit the times in which they lived as neatly as Offenbach. Wherever there was vanity, frivolity, or immorality in the Second Empire, he found it and set it to music, with every bit as much wit and imagination as Honore Daumier and Gustave Dore showed in their art.

Orphée aux enfers, whose title translates from the French as Orpheus in the Underworld, is an opéra bouffe (a form of operetta), or opéra féerie in its revised version. Its score was composed by Jacques Offenbach to a French text written by Ludovic Halévy and later revised by Hector-Jonathan Crémieux.

La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen), is an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The operetta parodies the story of Helen's elopement with Paris, which set off the Trojan War.

The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the protagonist of the story.

La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein) is an opéra bouffe (a form of operetta), in three acts and four tableaux by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. 

Offenbach - La grande duchesse du gerolstein

Place: The fictional duchy of Gérolstein
Time: 1720

Act 1

The 20-year-old Grand Duchess, who has been brought up by her tutor and court chamberlain Baron Puck to have her own way, is charming, though a veritable tyrant. She has been betrothed to the foppish Prince Paul but does not find him to her liking and, owing to her being in an unhappy state of mind over the affair, the Baron generates a war to amuse her. She decides to review her troops. There is a roll of drums, and the cry is started that the enemy is advancing, but it turns out to be her Highness.

This visit proves fateful, for she falls desperately in love with the manly, handsome soldier Fritz, whose main passions in life are his love for the pretty Wanda and his hatred of General Boum. The Duchess immediately makes Fritz a corporal, and as she grows more and more delighted with him, he is promoted rapidly to sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Finally, to spite the General, she makes him commander-in-chief and sends him to conquer the enemy.

Act 2
Fritz wins the battle easily by making the whole opposing army drunk, his artillery consisting of 300,000 well-filled bottles. When he returns, crowned with victory, the delighted Duchess finds herself more enamored of him than ever, and hints at the possibility of his receiving other honors. However, she finds him a great blockhead in the matter, for he shows that he prefers his Wanda to such distinctions, and he incurs the Duchess's great displeasure by asking permission to marry Wanda at once. This proves the death-blow to the Duchess' devotion, and she conspires to assassinate Fritz upon his return from the wedding ceremony.

Act 3
When everything is ready for the bloody deed, however, the Duchess changes her mind, which is now busied with a new affair with the Baron Grog. Her love life seems to be forever ill-starred, however, for this latest romance is blighted by the news that her beloved has a wife and four children. The Duchess becomes philosophic and decides to marry her original betrothed, Prince Paul, after all. 

Instead of assassinating Fritz, the Duchess devises the lesser punishment of noisy serenades during his wedding night, and then hurries him off on a false alarm to fight the enemy. The enemy proves to be a jealous husband who mistakes him for another man and gives him a caning. Fritz is stripped of his military ranks, but he can now leave the army, return to Wanda, and become a village schoolmaster, albeit a rather illiterate one. General Boum is made happy by the restoration of his command; Baron Puck is reinstated to the royal favor from which he had meanwhile fallen; Baron Grog is sent home safe to his wife and four children; and Prince Paul is happily restored as the Duchess's bridegroom.

La vie parisienne (Parisian life) is an opéra bouffe, or operetta, composed by Jacques Offenbach, with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. First produced in a five-act version at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, Paris, on 31 October 1866. The work was revived in four acts on 25 September 1873, at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris.

      Offenbach - La Vie Parisienne

Act 1
The story begins at the Gare de l'Ouest, where the employees list the provenance of trains arriving from different places in France ("Nous sommes employés de la ligne de l'Ouest"). Two Parisian dandies, Bobinet and Gardefeu are waiting for the train from Rambouillet, but avoid each other while they walk around. They have fallen out over the demi-mondaine Métella. She arrives with a third man and pretends not to recognize the two previous lovers. Her rejection reunites the two friends and they vow to seek a better class of mistress ("Elles sont tristes, les marquises"). While wondering how he will achieve this Gardefeu sees his former servant Joseph, now a tourist guide. Joseph reveals that he is to meet a Swedish baron and his wife who he is to show around Paris but for a sum agrees to let Gardefeu take his place. While he goes to look for the baron, Gardefeu wonders what will happen with the baroness ("Ce que c'est pourtant que la vie !") The Baron and Baroness Gondremarck enter he promises to show them everything they want to see in the French capital ("Jamais, foi de cicérone"). The station fills with more passengers arriving for a good time in Paris, including a Brazilian returning after having spent his fortune once before in the city ("Je suis Brésilien, j'ai de l'or").

Act 2
At Gardefeu's home, his glove-maker Gabrielle and his boot-maker Frick await the master's return ("Entrez ! entrez, jeune fille à l'œil bleu !"). Gardefeu continues his pretence with the Swedes, explaining that they are in an annexe to the hotel, hoping to get the baron out of the way so that he can pay attention to the baroness; the baron already has his plans based on a letter from a friend ("Dans cette ville toute pleine"). The baron then asks to take the table d'hôte. The problem of missing hotel guests is solved by getting Gabrielle and Frick and their friends to impersonate other hotel guests. Bobinet calls by and offers to stage a party for the Swedes at his absent aunt's mansion the following night, with the baron invited. The baroness finds remnants of Gardefeu's affair with Métella in her room. Métella herself now arrives hoping for a reconciliation with Gardefeu ("Vous souvient-il, ma belle") and ends with offering to entertain the baron in a few days. The guests arrive for the table d'hôte; Frick as a major ("Pour découper adroitement") and Gabrielle as a war widow ("Je suis veuve d'un colonel") and with a tyrolienne everyone retires to supper ("On est v'nu m'inviter").

Act 3
At a party the next evening hosted by Bobinet his servants dress up as the crowd of aristocrats ("Donc, je puis me fier à vous !"). Gondremarck arrives and is taken by Pauline 'Madame l'amirale' (in fact a chambermaid). Gabrielle arrives ("On va courir, on va sortir") and Bobinet as a Swiss admiral ("Votre habit a craqué dans le dos !").

Bobinet rises to greet the crowd with a drinking song ("En endossant mon uniforme") and the champagne flows ("Soupons, soupons, c'est le moment"), the baron and everyone else gets drunk.

Act 4
The Brazilian millionaire is offering a masquerade ball at the Café Anglais. The head waiter tells his staff to be discreet during about the guests ("Avant toute chose, il faut être... Fermez les yeux"). The baron arrives for his assignation with Métella, while growing increasingly suspicious of the goings-on. Métella tells the baron to be patient ("C'est ici l'endroit redouté des mères") but she will not be his entertainment: she is in love with someone else but has brought a friend for him. The baron is furious when he discovers that her lover is Gardefeu. The Brazilian arrives, then Bobinet and Gardefeu. After showing Métella the letter ("Vous souvient-il, ma belle") she and Gardefeu are reconciled, and the baron's fury only stops when baroness intervenes. All toast Paris ("Par nos chansons et par nos cris, célébrons Paris.").

Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann

Schumann, Clara [nee Wieck] (b. Leipzig; September 13, 1819; d. Frankfurt, May 20, 1896)


German pianist and composer, wife of Robert Schumann. She was the daughter of Marianne and Friedrich Wieck, both pianists; following their divorce in 1824, Friedrich, one of the great teachers of the day, was granted custody of five-year-old Clara and her brothers. Clara was taught to play the piano and quickly became a phenomenon. She made her debut at the Gewandhaus when she was 11, appeared in Paris when she was 12, and took Vienna by storm when she was 18.

In the spring of 1835, when she was 15, Clara became romantically involved with one of her father’s students, the 25-year-old Robert Schumann. For the next five years the two rode an emotional roller coaster, in and out of love with each other, but eventually united in their determination to marry against the fierce opposition of Clara’s father. Robert and Clara were married on September 12, 1840.

Over the next 14 years the couple had eight children, one of whom died in infancy. Clara took on the roles of wife, mother, and musical helpmate to her husband with exceptional purposefulness She gave the premieres of many of Robert’s works, and championed them on her concert programs. Following her husband’s death, in 1856, she ceased her own composing and resumed the life of a touring virtuoso, making the case for Schumann’s music across Europe. Johannes Brahms, whom she and Robert had befriended when he was a lad of 20, became something more than a friend to Clara after Robert’s death; the relationship remained a close one for the rest of her life.

Clara’s own music—mainly songs and piano pieces —is of high quality.

Clara Schumann - Piano Works
1. Toccatina in A minor
2. Nocturne in F major
3. Mazurka in G minor
4. Ballade in D minor
5. Mazurka in G major
6. Polonaise in A minor

7. 4 Polonaises for Piano Op. 1

8. Valses romantiques Op.4
9. Romances Op.11
10. Prelude & Fugue in F# minor
11. Romance in B minor
12. Romance in A minor

13. Piano Concerto Op. 7

Clara Schumann - Complete Songs 
TC Philharmonic Orchestra,
Maria Oldenart 



Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 30

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

I. Vivace ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo
II. Prestissimo
III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung.
Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo.

Claudio Arrau (1903-1991)

Franz Berwald – Violin Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 2

Franz Berwald - Violin concerto in C minor op.2
movement 1 Allegro moderato
movement 2 Adagio
movement 3 Rondo. Allegretto
Tobias Ringborg

Felix Mendelssohn – Violin Sonata in F major

Felix Mendelssohn - Violin Sonata in F Major 
I. Allegro
II. Andante (04:21)
III. Presto (09:54)

Nicholas Milton, violin;
Nína-Margrét Grimsdóttir, piano.

Louis Spohr:
Potpourri on Irish Themes in A major, Op. 59;
Quintet for piano and winds in C minor, Op. 52;
Symphony No. 2 in D minor, Op. 49;
Violin Concerto No. 9 in D minor, Op. 55​

Louis Spohr - Op.059 Potpourri On Irish Themes For Violin And Orchestra In A Major 

Louis Spohr - Quintet for piano and winds op.52
Nash Ensemble

Louis Spohr - Symphony 2 in D Minor Op. 49 
I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Scherzo. Presto - Trio I - Trio II
IV. Finale. Vivace

NDR Radiophilharmonie
Conducted by Howard Griffiths

Spohr - Violin Concerto Nº9 in D minor , Op.55
Slovak Radio SymphonyOrchestra

Franz Schubert - Lazarus, oratorio; Quartettsatz, D. 703

Lazarus or Die Feier der Auferstehung, D 689, is an unfinished 1820 oratorio by Franz Schubert. Intended to be in three acts, only act 1 with twenty-one numbers, and eight numbers from act 2 are extant.
Maria (soprano)
Martha (soprano)
Jemina (soprano)
Lazarus (tenor)
Nathanael (tenor)
Ein Jüngling (tenor)
Simon Peter (bass)

Schubert: String Quartet Nr.12 in c, D 703 "Quartettsatz"
Amadeus Quartet

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga Los Esclavos Felices
The genius and precocious talent of composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga was apparent from his first opera, composed when he was only 13 years old. The libretto for this opera in two acts by playwright Luciano Comella.

Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - Obertura de "Los esclavos felices" 

17 February
Henri Vieuxtemps, violinist and composer, born.

Giovanni Pacini:

Vallace, o L'eroe scozzese, melodramma serio in 2 atti, libretto di Felice Romani (successo al Teatro alla Scala, Milano, 14 febbraio 1820 con Carolina Bassi e Claudio Bonoldi)

La sacerdotessa d'Irminsul, dramma eroico in 2 atti, libretto di Felice Romani (Teatro Grande, poi Teatro Verdi (Trieste), 11 maggio 1820)

La schiava in Bagdad, ossia il papucciajo, libretto di Felice Romani e Vincenzo Pezzi (Teatro Carignano, Torino, 28 ottobre 1820)

La gioventù di Enrico V (Teatro Valle, Roma, 26 dicembre 1820)

3 December
Gioachino Rossini - Maometto secondo

Maometto II (or Maometto secondo) is an 1820 opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Cesare della Valle. 

Henry Vieuxtemps

Henry Vieuxtemps

Henri François Joseph Vieuxtemps (17 February 1820 – 6 June 1881) was a Belgian composer and violinist, who was one of the most influential figures in the development of violin playing.


As a prodigy, Vieuxtemps was taken by his father on a number of European tours, during which he studied violin with Charles de Bériot in Brussels (1829–31), harmony with Simon Sechter in Vienna (1833–34), and composition with Antonín Reicha in Paris (1835–36). He subsequently toured several times in Europe and made three tours of America (in 1843–44, 1857–58, and 1870–71). He held two conservatory positions: one in St. Petersburg (1846–51), where he exerted considerable influence on Russian violin playing, and the other in Brussels (1871–73), where he was forced to resign because of a paralytic stroke. His playing style, which combined extraordinarily precise virtuoso technique and full-bodied tone, was widely imitated. He was one of the earliest bravura 19th-century virtuosos. His compositions, too, were pathbreaking; his concerti especially contributed much to the development of that form.

Henri Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 19

Hrachya Avanesyan (violin)
Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège
Patrick Davin (conductor)

Vieuxtemps - Violin Concerto No. 3 in A Major, Op. 25

Misha Keylin, violin
Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra - Dennis Burkh, conductor

Henri Vieuxtemps - Violin concerto Nº 5  in A minor
Sarah Chang, violin

Théodore Géricault - The Raft of the Medusa

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