top of page

Romantic Era


 Britain makes New Zealand a colony
  •  The US Supreme Court decides that the Africans who had been aboard the ship Amistad are free to return to Africa, that they are not legally slaves  •  The President of the Republic of Texas sends an army into New Mexico, hoping to annex it and other territory, including California. A Mexican force drives the invaders back to Texas  •  Britain's political resident at Kabul is hacked to death and an uprising in the city leaves 300 of a British detachment dead  •   Naval guns have been firing unexploding cannonballs. A time-delay mechanism invented by the French navy now allows exploding shells to be fired safely by high-powered, flat trajectory guns. The navies of Britain, the United States and Russia will have such guns before the decade ends.

Fort Ross, in northern California

The Russians withdraw from Fort Ross in Northern California
  •  The British are forced to withdraw from Afghanistan  • Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres – Odalisque with Slave

Britain and France announce their recognition of the Hawaii Islands as an independent state
  •  England outlaws gibbeting – displaying bodies of the executed for the purpose of deterring crime – the last of this having occurred in 1832  •  In the United States, Charles Thurber advances an effort that began in the early 1700s in Britain. He invents a typewriter

In New Zealand the Maori rebel
  •  In Australia, a "Protection of Children Act" allows Church missionaries to kidnap aboriginal children in order to "civilize" them – a policy that is to last to the 1960s. (aboriginal children australia)  •  Dumas (France) - Count of Monte Christo

The Congress of the United States approves the annexation of Texas. Mexico breaks relations with the United States. President Polk sends troops to Texas
  •  The faster shipment of potatoes from the Americas across the Atlantic to Europe allows the survival of mold arriving with the potatoes. The mold creates potato crop failures across Europe and starvation in Ireland


Alexandre Dumas (24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (French for 'father'), was a French writer. His works have been translated into many languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. 



Robert Schumann writes two symphonies: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, opus 38 (also called the "Spring" symphony), and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, opus 120. 

Robert Schumann - Symphony № 1 'Spring,' Op. 38

I. Andante un poco maestoso [0:03]
II. Larghetto [11:33]
III. Scherzo. Molto vivace [19:20]
IV. Allegro animato e grazioso [25:04]
Vienna Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Robert Schumann - Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Staatskapelle Berlin

0:01 - Ziemlich langsam - Lebhaft
11:32 - Romanze: Ziemlich langsam
16:47 - Scherzo: Lebhaft
23:39 - Langsam; Lebhaft

Hector BerliozLes nuits d'été

Hector Berlioz - "Les Nuits d'été"
Anne Sofie von Otter - Mezzo-soprano
James Levine - Conductor
Berliner Philharmoniker

Felix MendelssohnVariations sérieuses

Mendelssohn - Variations Sérieuses, Op. 54
Variation 1 - 17
Alfred Brendel

18 January 
Emmanuel Chabrier
, composer, born.

11 February 
Gaetano DonizettiAdelia

Adelia, o La figlia dell'arciere (Adelia, or The Archer's Daughter)
is an opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written partly by Felice Romani (Acts 1 and 2) and by Girolamo Maria Marini (Act 3), a part-time poet who had achieved notability the previous year with Otto Nicolai's Il templario. The opera premiered at the Teatro Apollo, Rome on 11 February 1841.

Gaetano Donizetti - Adelia
Adelia - Mariella Devia - Soprano
Carlo - Stefano Antonucci - Baritono
Oliviero - Octavio Arévalo - Tenor
Arnoldo - Boris Martinovich - Bajo
Comino - Walter Omaggio - Tenor
Odetta - Anna Bonitatibus - Mezzosoprano 
Un escudero de Oliviero - Silvano Paolillo - Bajo

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
John Neschling


Gaetano DonizettiRita (Premiere Cast, 7 May 1860)

Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband) is an opéra comique in one act, composed by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz. The opera, a domestic comedy consisting of eight musical numbers connected by spoken dialogue, was completed in 1841 under its original title Deux hommes et une femme (Two Men and a Woman). Never performed in Donizetti's lifetime, Rita premiered posthumously at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 7 May 1860.

Gaetano Donizetti - Rita

Rita - Naomy Schölling
Beppe - Miguel Geraldi
Gasparo - Pedro Ometto

Conductor - Wendell Kettle
Director - Henrique Passini   2009

Time: 18th century
Place: "The action takes place at an inn on the road from Genoa to Turin."

At an inn belonging to Rita, the tyrannical and abusive wife of the timid Peppe, the couple finds that their lives are thrown into turmoil with the unexpected arrival of Gaspar, Rita's first husband, whom all believed to have drowned. In reality, Gaspar had run away to Canada. Believing that Rita has died in a fire, Gaspar has returned to obtain her death certificate so that he can remarry. When the two meet, Gaspar tries to run away. Peppe, however, sees this as an opportunity to free himself from Rita's slaps because Gaspar is her legitimate husband. The two men agree to a game such that whoever wins has to remain with Rita. Both try to lose, but ultimately the winner is Gaspar. Yet Rita, who had suffered frequently from the hand of Gaspar, refuses to return to be his wife. Gaspar, pretending he has lost the hand, induces Peppe to declare his love for Rita and his firm intention to remain as her husband. The crafty Gaspar, having achieved his purpose, takes his leave from the reconciled couple.

Gaetano Donizetti - Rita
(1962) with English subtitles

Rita: Cecilia Fusco   
Beppe: Luigi Pontiggia   
Gasparo: Federico Davia

Director: Filippo Crivelli


6 March 
Daniel AuberLes diamants de la couronne

Les diamants de la couronne (The Crown Diamonds)
is an opéra comique by the French composer Daniel Auber, first performed by the Opéra-Comique at the second Salle Favart in Paris on 6 March 1841. The libretto (in three acts) is by Auber's regular collaborator, Eugène Scribe with the help of Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges.

Auber  - Les diamants de la couronne - Act I Finale

Catarina: Ghyslaine Raphanel
Don Henrique:  Christophe Einhorn
Rebolledo: Armand Arapian
Mugnoz: Nicolas Gambotti

Choeurs Cori Spezzati
Orchestr de Picardie - 
Conductor: Edmon Colomer

The plot concerns a Portuguese princess, Catarina, who intrigues with bandits after she is forced to sell the crown diamonds of the title.

28 June ​
Adolphe AdamGiselle (ballet)

Giselle is a romantic ballet in two acts. It was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France on Monday, 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi as Giselle.

Adam - Giselle
The Dutch National Ballet, 2009
Anna Tsygankova como Giselle
Jozef Varga como Albrecht
Jan Zerer como Hilarion
Igone de Jongh como Myrtha

Act I
The ballet opens on a sunny autumnal morning in the Rhineland during the Middle Ages. The grape harvest is in progress. Duke Albrecht of Silesia, a young nobleman, has fallen in love with a shy, beautiful peasant girl, Giselle, despite being betrothed to Bathilde, the daughter of the Duke of Courtland. Albrecht disguises himself as a humble villager called "Loys" in order to court the enchanting and innocent Giselle, who knows nothing of his true identity. With the help of his squire, Albrecht hides his fine attire, hunting horn, and sword before coaxing Giselle out of her house to romance her as the harvest festivities begin.

Hilarion, a local gamekeeper, is also in love with Giselle and is highly suspicious of the newcomer who has won Giselle's affections. He tries to convince the naive Giselle that her beau cannot be trusted, but she ignores his warnings. Giselle's mother, Berthe, is very protective of her daughter, as Giselle has a weak heart that leaves her in delicate health. She discourages a relationship between Giselle and Loys, thinking Hilarion would be a better match, and disapproves of Giselle's fondness for dancing, due to the strain on her heart.

A party of noblemen seeking refreshment following the rigors of the hunt arrive in the village, Albrecht's betrothed, Bathilde, among them. Albrecht hurries away, knowing he would be recognized and greeted by Bathilde, exposing him as a nobleman. The villagers welcome the party, offer them drinks, and perform several dances. Bathilde is charmed with Giselle's sweet and demure nature, not knowing of her relationship with Albrecht. Giselle is honored when the beautiful and regal stranger offers her a necklace as a gift before the group of nobles depart.

The villagers continue the harvest festivities, and Albrecht emerges again to dance with Giselle, who is named the Harvest Queen. Hilarion interrupts the festivities. He has discovered Albrecht's finely made sword and presents it as proof that the lovesick peasant boy is really a nobleman who is promised to another woman. Using Albrecht's hunting horn, Hilarion calls back the party of noblemen. Albrecht has no time to hide and has no choice but to greet Bathilde as his betrothed. All are shocked by the revelation, but none more than Giselle, who becomes inconsolable when faced with her lover's deception. Knowing that they can never be together, Giselle flies into a mad fit of grief in which all the tender moments she shared with "Loys" flash before her eyes. She begins to dance wildly and erratically, ultimately causing her weak heart to give out. She collapses before dying in Albrecht's arms. Hilarion and Albrecht turn on each other in rage before Albrecht flees the scene in misery. The curtain closes as Berthe weeps over her daughter's body.

Act II
Late at night, Hilarion mourns at Giselle's forest grave, but is frightened away by the arrival of the Wilis, the ghostly spirits of maidens betrayed by their lovers. Many Wili were abandoned on their wedding days, and all died of broken hearts. The Wilis, led by their merciless queen Myrtha, dance and haunt the forest at night to exact their revenge on any man they encounter, regardless of who he may be, forcing their victims to dance until they die of exhaustion.

Myrtha and the Wilis rouse Giselle's spirit from her grave and induct her into their clan before disappearing into the forest. Albrecht arrives to lay flowers on Giselle's grave and he weeps with guilt over her death. Giselle's spirit appears and Albrecht begs her forgiveness. Giselle, her love undiminished unlike her vengeful sisters, gently forgives him. She disappears to join the rest of the Wilis and Albrecht desperately follows her.

Meanwhile, the Wilis have cornered a terrified Hilarion. They use their magic to force him to dance until he is nearly dead, and then drown him in a nearby lake. Then they spy Albrecht, and turn on him, sentencing him to death as well. He pleads to Myrtha for his life, but she coldly refuses. Giselle's pleas are also dismissed and Albrecht is forced to dance until sunrise. However, the power of Giselle's love counters the Wilis' magic and spares his life. The other spirits return to their graves at daybreak, but Giselle has broken through the chains of hatred and vengeance that control the Wilis, and is thus released from their powers and will haunt the forest no longer. After bidding a tender farewell to Albrecht, Giselle returns to her grave to rest in peace.

8 September  
Antonín Dvořák, composer, born.


9 November 
Giovanni PaciniL'uomo del mistero

L'uomo del mistero, opera semiseria in 2 acts. Libretto by Domenico Andreotti after Walter Scott. Premiere date 9 November 1841, Naples, Teatro Nuovo.

22 December 
Fromental HalévyLa reine de Chypre

La reine de Chypre (The Queen of Cyprus)
is an 1841 grand opera in five acts composed by Fromental Halévy to a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges.

Halevy - La Reine de Chypre - 1/2

Catérina Cornaro - Véronique Gens
Gérard de Coucy - .Sébastien Droy
Jacques de Lusignan - Etienne Dupuis
Andréa Cornaro - Christophoros Stamboglis
Mocenigo - Eric Huchet
Strozzi - Artavazd Sargsyan
Un héraut - Tomislav Lavoie
Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Choeurs de la Radio Flamande
Hervé Niquet -  2017 TCE Paris

Halevy - La Reine de Chypre - 2/2

Time: 1441         Place: Venice (Acts 1–2); Cyprus (Acts 3-5)
Act 1
In the Cornaro palace in Venice, Andrea is about to marry his daughter Catarina to Gérard. Mocenigo however announces the decision of the Council of Ten to marry her to the King of Cyprus; otherwise Andrea faces execution. He is given one hour to make up his mind. Andrea revokes his promise to Gérard, to the scandal of all present.

Act 2
Catarina's chamber in the Cornaro palace. Andrea asks Catarina to forgive him. No sooner has he left than, by a secret passage, Mocenigo appears, with a bunch of assassins, and insists that Catarina tell Gérard when she sees him that she no longer loves him otherwise Mocenigo's companions will do away with him. They retreat to the passage while Gérard enters and, to his bewilderment, hears his dismissal from his lover. When he has left Mocenigo reemerges and seizes Catarina to take her to Cyprus.

Act 3
A feast, in Cyprus, awaiting the arrival of Catarina. Mocenigo is informed that Gérard may be lurking in the vicinity. He sets his swordsmen on Gérard, who is saved by the intervention of a stranger (in fact the King of Cyprus in disguise). Each tells the other his story - as is the custom in such melodramas, without actually giving away their true identities - and they promise eternal brotherhood. The guns sound for Catarina's arrival.
Act 4
At Catarina's marriage festivities, Gérard seeks to revenge himself by slaying her husband, but recognises him at the last moment as his deliverer. The King is equally astonished but prevents Gérard from being slaughtered by the crowd and delivers him to prison.

Act 5
Two years later. The King is dying, and reveals that he knows of her love for Gérard (whom he has spared from execution). He hopes she may be happy with him. Enter Gérard, as a Knight of Malta - he announces that the King is fact dying of Venetian poison and hopes that he can still be saved. Enter Mocenigo to tell them it is too late to save the King, and that Catarina must hand power over to him. Catarina and Gérard however successfully resist the Venetian invasion. Mocenigo is captured. The King with his last breath hands his crown to Catarina, to whom the people swear fealty. Gérard renounces his love.

Emmanuel Chabrier

Emmanuel Chabrier

Emmanuel Chabrier, in full Alexis-Emmanuel Chabrier, (born January 18, 1841, Ambert, Puy-de-Dôme, France—died September 13, 1894, Paris), French composer whose best works reflect the verve and wit of the Paris scene of the 1880s and who was a musical counterpart of the early Impressionist painters.

In his youth Chabrier was attracted to both music and painting. While studying law in Paris from 1858 to 1862, he also studied the piano, harmony, and counterpoint. His technical training, however, was limited, and in the art of composition he was self-taught. From 1862 to 1880, while he was employed as a lawyer at the Ministry of the Interior, he composed the operas L’Étoile (1877; “The Star”) and Une Éducation manquée (“A Deficient Education”), first performed with piano accompaniment in 1879 and with orchestra in 1913. Between 1863 and 1865, working with the poet Paul Verlaine, he sketched out but never finished two operettas. Chabrier was closely associated with the Impressionist painters, and he was the first owner of the celebrated A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) by his friend Édouard Manet.

After hearing Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at Munich in 1879, Chabrier left the Ministry of the Interior to devote himself exclusively to music. As chorus master at the Concerts Lamoureux he helped to produce a concert performance of Tristan and became associated with Vincent d’Indy, Henri Duparc, and Gabriel Fauré as one of the group known as Le Petit Bayreuth. Chabrier’s best music was written between 1881 and 1891 when, after visiting Spain (where he was inspired by the folk music), he settled in Touraine. His works during this period include the piano pieces Dix pièces pittoresques (1880), Trois valses romantiques for piano duet (1883), and Bourrée fantasque (1891); the orchestral works España (1883) and Joyeuse marche (1888); the opera Le Roi malgré lui (1887; “The King in Spite of Himself”); and six songs (1890). The last three years of his life were marked by both mental and physical collapse.

Chabrier’s music, frequently based on irregular rhythmic patterns or on rapidly repeated figures derived from the bourrée (a dance of his native Auvergne), was inspired by broad humour and a sense of caricature. His melodic gifts were honed by performances of popular songs in Paris cafés-concerts. In his piano and orchestral works he developed a sophisticated Parisian style that was a model for the 20th-century composers Francis Poulenc and Georges Auric. His orchestration was remarkable for novel instrumental combinations. In España, for example, his use of brass and percussion anticipated effects in Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1911).


Emmanuel Chabrier - Pièces Pittoresques (1881)
Paysage  00:00
Mélancolie  05:46
Tourbillon  07:59
Sous-Bois  09:23
Mauresque  14:00
Idylle  17:12
Danse villageoise  22:24
Improvisation  26:35
Menuet pompeux  31:07
Scherzo-Valse  37:51

Rena Kyriakou, piano

Chabrier - Pianoworks
0:00 : Habanera 
3:26 : Bourrée fantasque
9:17 : Joyeuse marche
13:04 : 10 Pièces pittoresques - I. Paysage (Landscape)
18:14 : Mélancolie (Melacholy)
20:43 : Tourbillon (Whirlwind)
22:10 : Sous bois (In the Woods)
26:18 : Mauresque (In Moorish Style)
28:57 : Idylle (Idyll)
31:59 : Danse villageoise (Village Dance)
36:12 : Improvisation
40:15 : Menuet pompeux (Festive Minuet)
46:11 : Scherzo-Valse
50:24 : Ballabile
51:50 : Feuillet d'album
53:43 : Aubade
57:39 : Impromptu
01:03:11 : Ronde champêtre
01:06:33  : Caprice
01:09:14 : Air de ballet
Marcelle Meyer (1955)

Emmanuel Chabrier - Suite pastorale

Chabrier - Orchestral Works
00:00 Espana
06:16 Fete polonaise
13:54 Bourrée fantasque
20:23 Menuet pompeux

Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse,
Michel Plasson, cond.



Frédéric Chopin – Polonaise for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic"

Chopin - Polonaise no. 6 op. 53 in A flat Major "Héroïque" 
José Iturbi

Robert Schumann
Three String Quartets in A minor, F and A, Op. 41;
Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44;
Piano Quartet in E flat, Op. 47;

Robert Schumann - String Quartet Op.41/1

First violin: Sylvia Huang 
Second violin: Mirelys Morgan Verdecia   
Viola: Martina Forni  
Cello: Honorine Schaeffer
GoYa Quartet 

Schumann: String Quartet no. 2 in F major, op. 41/2

Schumann String quartet Nr. 3 a-minor Op. 41/3

Quatuor Ebène :
Pierre Colombet, violin I
Gabriel Le Magadure, violin II
Mathieu Herzog, viola
Raphaël Merlin, cello

Schumann - Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
Martha Argerich (piano),
Dora Schwarzberg (violin),
Lucia Hall (violin), Nobuko Imai (viola),
Mischa Maisky (cello)

Robert Schumann: Piano Quartet Eb Major Op 47

Esbjerg Ensemble

Marianna Shirinyan (Piano)
Sini Simonen (Violin)
Michel Camille (Bratsch) 
Ursula Smith (Cello)

Franz Berwald:
Symphony No. 1 in G minor "Sinfonie sérieuse";
Symphony No. 2 in D "Sinfonie capricieuse";
Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen, for orchestra

Franz Berwald - Symphony No.1 in G-minor "Sinfonie sérieuse"

Mov.I: Allegro con energia
Mov.II: Adagio maestoso
Mov.III: Stretto
Mov.IV: Finale: Adagio - Allegro molto

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Herbert Blomstedt

Franz Berwald - Symphony No.2 in D-major "Sinfonie capricieuse" 

Mov.I: Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 11:48
Mov.III: Finale: Allegro assai 20:30

Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester - Okko Kamu

Franz Berwald - Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen - Symphonic poem

Gävle Symphony Orchestra - Petri Sakari

Felix Mendelssohn – Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 ‘’Scottish’’ (1842) a-moll ‘’Schottische Symphonie’’ 

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy  - Symphonies
1-1824, 2-1840, 3-1842, 4-1833, 5-1830


Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.11 (1824)
1.Allegro di molto (00:00)
2.Andante (07:43)
3.Menuetto - Allegro molto (14:29)
4.Allegro con fuoco (20:48)


Symphony No.2 in B flat, Op.52 ‘’Hymn of Praise’'(1840)
B-dur ‘’Lobgesang’’ 
Si bémol Majeur ‘’Chant des louanges’’ 
1.Sinfonia (29:15)
2.Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn (54:46)
Lobt den Herrn mit Saitenspiel 
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele 
3.Saget es, die ihr erlöst seid (1:01:53)
Er zählet unsre Tränen
4.Sagt es, die ihr erlöset seid (1:04:49)
5.Ich harrete des Herrn (1:06:56)
6.Stricke des Todes hatten uns umfangen (1:12:15)
7.Die Nacht ist vergangen (1:16:28)
8.Nun danket alle Gott (1:20:51)
Lob, Ehr’ und Preis sei Gott
9.Drum sing ich mit meinem Liede (1:24:49)
10.Ihr Völker! bringet her dem Herrn (1:29:26)
Alles danke dem Herrn
Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn

Sopranos : Helen Donath & Rotraud Hansmann
Tenor : Waldemar Kmentt
New Philharmonia chorus
Chorus master : Wilhelm Pitz


Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 ‘’Scottish’’ (1842)
a-moll ‘’Schottische Symphonie’’ 
la mineur ‘’Ecossaise’’ 
1.Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato (1:35:09)
Assai animato - Andante come prima
2.Vivace non troppo (1:50:33)
3.Adagio (1:54:50)
4.Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai (2:04:18)


Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90 ‘’Italian’' (1833)
A-dur ‘’Italienische Symphonie’’ 
La Majeur ‘’Italienne’'
1.Allegro Vivace (2:14:03)
2.Andante con moto (2:24:35)
3.Con moto moderato (2:31:00)
4.Saltarello (2:37:38)


Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.107 ‘’Reformation’'(1830)
d-moll ‘’reformations-Symphonie’'
Ré mineur ‘’Réformation’’ 
1.Andante - Allegro con fuoco (2:43:32)
2.Allegro vivace (2:55:11)
3.Andante (3:01:13)
4.Choral : Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott ! (3:04:43)
Andante con moto - Allegro vivace
Allegro maestoso - Più animato poco a poco

New Philharmonia Orchestra 
Wolfgang Sawallisch
Stéréo recording in 1967, at London

19 May 
Gaetano DonizettiLinda di Chamounix

Linda di Chamounix
is an operatic melodramma semiserio in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Gaetano Rossi. It premiered in Vienna, at the Kärntnertortheater, on 19 May 1842.

Gaetano Donizetti – Linda di Chamounix

Linda: Edita Gruberova
Carlo : Deon Van Der Walt
Antonio : Armando Ariostini
il Prefetto : Laszlo Polgár
Pierotto : Cornelia Kallisch
Maddalena : Nadine Asher
il Marchese : Jacob Will
l'Intendente : Miroslav Christoff

Conductor : Adam Fischer
Orchester der Oper Zürich
Chor des Opernhauses Zürich, 1996


Place: Chamonix, the French Alps          Time: 1760
Act 1
The village square in Chamounix, Savoy, France.

It is dawn, and the villagers are singing on their way to church, for this is the day the young men go to Paris for the winter, to earn money as street entertainers.

Maddalena Loustolot awaits the return of her husband Antonio from a visit to the Marchesa, who owns their farm. Antonio has been anxious that their lease on the farm be renewed, and that the mortgage — held by the Marchesa — not be called in. Antonio arrives, relieved at having been assured that the Marchesa's brother, the Marchese (Marquis of Boisfleury) will speak on their behalf. The Marchese duly arrives, greeted enthusiastically by the villagers. He asks to see Linda, the Loustolot's beautiful daughter, but she is not there. Her parents assume that she has gone early to church.

The Marchese promises Antonio and Maddalena that he will renew- the lease and improve the buildings and farmland. There is, however, a hidden agenda: he has designs on Linda, who is the god-daughter of his sister the Marchesa, and he says that she must come to the castle, where "she may complete her education".

They leave, and Linda enters. She has not been to church, but rather to keep a rendezvous with her beloved Carlo, an impoverished artist; but she arrived too late and found only some flowers from him ("O luce di quest'anima"). Some girls arrive, followed by Pierotto, who sings his latest song while playing his hurdy-gurdy.

Pierotto's song is about a young girl who leaves home for a better life, but forgets her vows to her mother, falls in love, and then is betrayed. She returns home to find her mother dead, and spends the rest of her life weeping on her mother's grave.

Pierotto and the girls leave; then Carlo arrives, and meets Linda. They express their regret at missing each other earlier, and reaffirm their love. They leave, and the Prefect arrives to see Antonio. But instead of reassuring him of the Marchese's support, he warns Antonio that the Marchese has evil intentions towards his beloved daughter. The Prefect persuades Antonio that Linda must go to Paris with the men of the village, and stay there out of danger, with the Prefect's brother. The village gathers to say farewell to those who are leaving.

Act 2
Three months later in Paris

Linda has been followed by Carlo, who has revealed that he is not after all a penniless painter, but the young Viscount of Sirval, son of the Marchesa, and nephew of the Marchese. He has provided for her an apartment in a fashionable quarter, where she now lives until their marriage. Carlo visits her daily. Linda has sent money to her parents, but has not heard from them. She hears familiar music from the street below. It is Pierotto, whom she invites in, and who explains that on arrival in Paris he was taken ill and afterwards was unable to find Linda. He expresses surprise at the luxury of her accommodation, and Linda explains about Carlo, and that their relationship is respectable. Pierotto says that he has seen the Marchese in the street below. After he leaves, the Marchese arrives and tries to persuade Linda to come and live with him. Outraged, Linda orders him out of her house. Carlo arrives having heard the terrible news that his mother has discovered his relationship, and insists that he instead marry a young titled girl immediately. He cannot, however, bring himself to tell Linda, and instead reaffirms his love for her "whatever may happen" before departing again.

Now an old man comes to the door, asking for help. It is Antonio, and he does not recognise this grand young lady as his daughter. When Linda reveals her identity, he is devastated, believing her to be living a life of sin. She tries to reassure him, but when Pierotto comes back to tell Linda that he has discovered that Carlo is to be married to another that very day, Antonio flies into a rage and disowns his daughter. At the thought of her betrayal by Carlo, Linda collapses, losing her mind.

Act 3
Spring again in Chamounix

The villagers welcome the young men returning from Paris at winter's end. Carlo arrives and explains to the Prefect that his mother has relented and that he can after all marry Linda, whom he now seeks. The Prefect says that Linda was betrayed by a lover in Paris, has not returned, and cannot be found. Carlo is broken-hearted, telling the Prefect that he was her (entirely innocent) lover.

The Marchese arrives and tells the villagers that there is to be a wedding, and that all the villagers will be invited to the celebrations. "Just wait 'till you see who the bride is!" he says, not knowing of Linda's illness.

Pierotto now arrives, with Linda; they have travelled the 600 miles from Paris, and are exhausted. Carlo sees her, and is distraught by her condition. She recognises nobody. But Pierotto sings to her, his song stirs her, and at last she seems to know her mother. Carlo sings to her of his undying love, and when he sings the words they shared when they first met, Linda's reason is restored. The whole village rejoices in anticipation of the wedding.

19 June  
Carl Zeller, Austrian composer, born.

20 October 
Richard Wagner Rienzi

Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen
(Rienzi, the last of the tribunes; WWV 49) is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel of the same name (1835). The title is commonly shortened to Rienzi. Written between July 1838 and November 1840, it was first performed at the Königliches Hoftheater, Dresden, on 20 October 1842, and was the composer's first success.

Richard Wagner - Rienzi
Original-Fassung 1842
BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra,
Dirigent: Edward Downes, 1976 

Sänger: John Mitchinson, Lorna Haywood, Michael Langdon, Raimund Herincx

Cola Rienzi, Roman Tribune    tenor   
Irene, his sister    soprano  
Steffano Colonna, a nobleman    bass 
Adriano, his son    soprano (en travesti) 
Paolo Orsini, another patrician    bass  
Raimondo, Papal Legate    bass   
Baroncelli, Roman citizen    tenor  
Cecco del Vecchio, Roman citizen    bass 
The Messenger of Peace    soprano  
Ambassadors, Nobles, Priests, Monks, Soldiers,
Messengers, Populace
The opera opens with a substantial overture which begins with a trumpet call (which in act 3 we learn is the war call of the Colonna family) and features the melody of Rienzi's prayer at the start of act 5, which became the opera's best-known aria. The overture ends with a military march.

Act 1
Outside Rienzi's house

The patrician Orsini and his cronies attempt to kidnap Rienzi's sister Irene. Stefano Colonna, also a patrician but inclined to support Rienzi, prevents them. Raimondo appeals to the parties in the name of the Church to stop their fighting; Rienzi's eventual appearance (marked by a dramatic key shift, from D to E flat) quells the riot. The Roman people support Rienzi's condemnation of the nobles. Irene and Adriano realise their mutual attraction (duet Ja, eine Welt voll Leiden (Yes, a world of sorrows)). A gathering crowd of plebeians, inspired by Rienzi's speeches, offers Rienzi the crown; he demurs, insisting that he wishes only to be a Tribune of the Roman people.

Act 2
A hall in the Capitol

The patricians plot the death of Rienzi; Adriano is horrified when he learns of this. Rienzi greets a group of ambassadors for whom an entertainment is laid on (a lengthy ballet). Orsini attempts to stab Rienzi, who however is protected by a vest of chainmail. Adriano pleads with Rienzi for mercy to the nobles, which Rienzi grants.

The act 2 ballet is noteworthy as Wagner made a clear attempt to make it relevant to the action of the opera (whereas in most Grand Operas the ballet was simply an entertaining diversion). The Rienzi ballet was intended to tell the tale of the 'Rape of Lucretia'. This storyline (in which Tarquinius, the last king of Rome, attempts to rape the virtuous Lucretia), parallels both the action of Rienzi (Orsini's attempt on Irene) and its background (patricians versus the people). In its original form the ballet lasts for over half an hour – in modern performances and recordings it is generally drastically cut.

Act 3
The Roman Forum

The patricians have recruited an army to march on Rome. The people are alarmed. Rienzi rouses the people and leads them to victory over the nobles, in the course of which Adriano's father Stefano is killed. Adriano swears revenge, but Rienzi dismisses him.

Act 4
Before the Lateran Church

Cecco and other citizens discuss the negotiations of the patricians with the Pope and with the Emperor of Germany. Adriano's intention to kill Rienzi wavers when Rienzi arrives together with Irene. Raimondo now announces that the Pope has laid a papal ban on Rienzi, and that his associates risk excommunication. Despite Adriano's urgings, Irene resolves to stay with Rienzi.

Act 5
Scene 1: A room in the Capitol

Rienzi in his prayer Allmächt’ger Vater (Almighty Father!) asserts his faith in the people of Rome. He suggests to Irene that she seeks safety with Adriano, but she demurs. An apologetic Adriano enters and tells the pair that the Capitol is to be burnt and they are at risk. 

Scene 2: The Capitol is ablaze

Rienzi's attempts to speak are met with stones and insults from the fickle crowd. Adriano, in trying to rescue Rienzi and Irene, is killed with them as the building collapses.

In the original performances, Rienzi's final words are bitter and pessimistic: "May the town be accursed and destroyed! Disintegrate and wither, Rome! Your degenerate people wish it so." However for the 1847 Berlin performance Wagner substituted a more upbeat rhetoric: "Ever while the seven hills of Rome remain, ever while the eternal city stands, you will see Rienzi's return!".

24 February
Arrigo Boito, Italian poet and composer, born.

9 March 
Giuseppe VerdiNabucco

Nabucco is an Italian-language opera in four acts composed in 1841 by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera. The libretto is based on biblical books of Jeremiah and Daniel. The opera was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 9 March 1842.

27 November 
Mikhail Ivanovich GlinkaRuslan and Lyudmila

Ruslan and Lyudmila is an opera in five acts (eight tableaux) composed by Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842. The opera is based on the 1820 poem of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. The Russian libretto was written by Valerian Shirkov, Nestor Kukolnik and N. A. Markevich. St. Petersburg premiere, 27 November(Old Style) 1842

15 March  
Luigi Cherubini, composer, dies.


12 May 
Jules Massenet
, opera composer, born.

13 May 
Arthur Sullivan, composer, born.

31 December 
Albert LortzingDer Wildschütz

Der Wildschütz oder Die Stimme der Natur (The Poacher, or The Voice of Nature) is a German Komische Oper, or comic opera, in three acts by Albert Lortzing from a libretto by the composer adapted from the comedy Der Rehbock, oder Die schuldlosen Schuldbewussten by August von Kotzebue. It had its premiere at the Stadttheater in Leipzig on 31 December 1842.

Albert Lortzing – Der Wildschütz

Count von Eberbach    baritone  
Gräfin (Countess) von Eberbach, his wife    alto   
Baron Kronthal, brother of the Countess    tenor    
Baroness von Freimann, widow, sister of the Count    soprano  
Baculus, schoolmaster    bass    
Gretchen, his fiancée    soprano   
Pancratius, the Count's major-domo    baritone   
Nanette, the Baroness's maid    mezzo-soprano
Act 1
At the village hotel, the schoolmaster Baculus is celebrating his engagement to Gretchen. A hunter from the Count von Eberbach then arrives at the festivities with a letter telling Baculus that he has been dismissed from his schoolmaster post, as Baculus had earlier gone hunting on the count's land without his permission. Baculus thinks to send Gretchen to change the count's mind, but then recalls the count's weakness for young women. The Baroness von Freimann, sister of the count and recently widowed, arrives disguised as a student to travel incognito. Her brother wants her to remarry with Baron Kronthal. The Baroness hears of Baculus' misfortune, and offers herself to plead his case in place of Gretchen. The Count then comes on the scene with his shooting party, as does Baron Kronthal. Both the Count and the baron are immediately attracted to Gretchen. The entire party is then gathered for the count's birthday celebration at his castle.

Act 2
The Countess von Eberbach has a weakness for ancient tragedies, particularly Sophocles, and she bores her servant when she expounds on them. Pancratius, the house master, advises Baculus to exploit this feature to gain favour with the countess. Baculus impresses the countess with quotations from these ancient literary works. However, the Count sees this and tries to banish Baculus from the proceedings. Baculus then tries to enlist the Baroness with the idea of her appearing as Gretchen, in disguise. A storm then arises, and this forces Baculus and Gretchen to remain locked in the castle. During a billiards party, the lights suddenly go out. The Count and the Baron take the opportunity to surprise Gretchen. However, the Countess helps Baculus and Gretchen to escape. The baron then offers a reward of 5000 Taler for delivering Gretchen to him.

Act 3
The Count's birthday celebration is continuing. The "correct" Gretchen is now brought to the castle. The Baron notices that Gretchen seems different from before. Baculus then reveals that the "previous" Gretchen was a student in disguise. After Baculus is pressed further, the Baroness reveals her true identity. The Baron demands an explanation from Baculus, and later the Count adds his voice to ask for clarification. The countess eventually arrives as well. The confusion is finally clarified. In the end, Baculus and Gretchen are reunited, and Baculus is restored to his schoolmaster position. It also turns out that Baculus had accidentally shot his own donkey initially, rather than a deer on the count's grounds.

Arrigo Boito

Arrigo Boito

Arrigo Boito, original name Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, (born Feb. 24, 1842, Padua, Lombardy-Venetia, Italy—died June 10, 1918, Milan), Italian poet and composer acclaimed for his opera Mefistofele (1868; for which he composed both libretto and music) and his librettos after William Shakespeare for Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).

The son of an Italian painter of miniatures and a Polish countess, Boito attended the Milan Conservatory and traveled to Paris on a scholarship. There he met Verdi, for whom, in 1862, he wrote the text of the Hymn of the Nations. When war broke out in 1866, he joined Giuseppe Garibaldi’s volunteers. While working on Mefistofele, Boito published articles, influenced by composer Richard Wagner, in which he vigorously attacked Italian music and musicians. Verdi was deeply offended by his remarks, and by 1868, when Mefistofele was produced at Milan, Boito’s polemics had provoked so much hostility that a near riot resulted. Consequently, the opera was withdrawn after two performances. A much-revised version, produced at Bologna in 1875, has remained in the Italian repertory. Of the several operas based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, Boito’s Mefistofele is perhaps the most faithful to the spirit of the play, and its libretto is of particularly high quality. Somewhat influenced by Ludwig van Beethoven and Wagner, the opera was unconventional for its day, both in its then-unusual harmonies and in its rejection of some of the conventions of Italian opera. Boito’s second opera, Nerone, occupied him for nearly 50 years; completed after his death by Vincenzo Tommasini and Arturo Toscanini, it was produced in Milan in 1924, but, despite its grand design and spectacle, it lacked the musical character that distinguished Mefistofele.


Arrigo Boito Mephistopheles

Mefistofele is an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera with music by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito (there are several completed operas for which he was librettist only). The opera was given its premiere on 5 March 1868 at La Scala, Milan, under the baton of the composer, despite his lack of experience and skill as a conductor.

Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) "Sinfonia", Part I
RTV Symphony Orchestra Moldavia
Alberto Martelli, conductor

Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) "Sinfonia", Part II
Symphony Orchestra Moldavia
Alberto Martelli, conductor

Jules Massenet

Jules Massenet

Jules Massenet, in full Jules-Émile-Frédéric Massenet, (born May 12, 1842, Montaud, near Saint-Étienne, France—died August 13, 1912, Paris), leading French opera composer, whose music is admired for its lyricism, sensuality, occasional sentimentality, and theatrical aptness.

The son of an ironmaster, Massenet entered the Paris Conservatoire at age 11, subsequently studying composition under the noted opera composer Ambroise Thomas. In 1863 he won the Prix de Rome with his cantata David Rizzio. With the production in 1867 of his opera La Grand’ Tante (The Great Aunt), he embarked on a career as a composer of operas and incidental music. His 24 operas are characterized by a graceful, thoroughly French melodic style. Manon (1884; after Antoine-François, Abbé Prévost d’Exiles) is considered by many to be his masterpiece. The opera, marked by sensuous melody and skilled personification, uses leitmotifs to identify and characterize the protagonists and their emotions. In the recitatives (dialogue) it employs the unusual device of spoken words over a light orchestral accompaniment. Also among his finest and most successful operas are Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (1902), Werther (1892; after J.W. von Goethe), and Thaïs (1894). The famous “Méditation” for violin and orchestra from Thaïs remains part of the standard violin repertory.

Several of Massenet’s operas reflect the succession of contemporary operatic fashions. Thus, Le Cid (1885) has the characteristics of French grand opera; Le Roi de Lahore (1877; The King of Lahore) reflects the Orientalism—a fascination with Asian exotica—that was also prevalent in the 19th-century European and American art market; Esclarmonde (1889) shows the influence of Richard Wagner; and La Navarraise (1894; The Woman of Navarre) is influenced by the end-of-the-century style of verismo, or realism. Also prominent among Massenet’s operas are Hérodiade (1881) and Don Quichotte (1910).

Of Massenet’s incidental music, particularly notable is that for Leconte de Lisle’s play Les Érinnyes (1873; The Furies), which contains the widely performed song “Élégie.” In 1873 he also produced his oratorio, Marie-Magdeleine, later performed as an opera. This work exemplifies the mingling of religious feeling and eroticism often found in Massenet’s music. Massenet also composed more than 200 songs, a piano concerto, and several orchestral suites.

As a teacher of composition at the Paris Conservatoire from 1878, Massenet was highly influential. His autobiography was entitled Mes Souvenirs (1912; My Recollections).


Jules Massenet: "Phèdre" (1873 -1876) and (1900)

I.    Scrafice
II.   Offrande
III.  Marche des Atheniens
IV.  Hippolyte et Artheniens
V.    Imploration a Neptune

Orchestre Philharmonique de L’Etat de Rhenanie-Palatinat - Direction: Pierre Stoll

Jules Massenet  -  Marie-Magdeleine

Michèle Command (Soprano)
Carolyn Sebron (Mezzo Soprano)
Hervé Lamy (Tenor),
Jean-Phillipe Courtis (Baritone)

French Oratorio Orchestra
French Oratorio Choir
Conductor:  Jean-Pierre Loré

Angela Gheorghiu - Massenet: Elegie 
Jeff Cohen, piano

Jules Massenet - Elegie
Katja Markotic, mezzosoprano
Reinchard Armleder, violoncello
Dagmar Hartmann, piano

Arthur Sullivan

Arthur Sullivan

Sir Arthur Sullivan, in full Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, (born May 13, 1842, London, England—died November 22, 1900, London), composer who, with W.S. Gilbert, established the distinctive English form of the operetta. Gilbert’s satire and verbal ingenuity were matched so well by Sullivan’s unfailing melodiousness, resourceful musicianship, and sense of parody that the works of this unique partnership won lasting international acclaim.

Sullivan was the son of an Irish musician who became bandmaster at the Royal Military College; his mother was of Italian descent. He joined the choir of the Chapel Royal and later held the Mendelssohn Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied under Sir W. Sterndale Bennett and Sir John Goss. He continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatory.

In 1861 he became organist of St. Michael’s, London, and in the following year his music to The Tempest achieved great success at the Crystal Palace. Then followed his Kenilworth cantata (1864); a ballet, L’Île enchantée, produced at Covent Garden (where Sullivan was organist for a time); a symphony and a cello concerto; the In Memoriam and the Overtura di Ballo overtures; and numerous songs.

Sullivan’s first comic opera was his setting of Sir Francis Cowley Burnand’s Cox and Box (1867). An operetta, the Contrabandista, also on a libretto by Burnand, was produced in the same year. Thespis (1871), the first work in which Sullivan collaborated with Gilbert, met with little success when produced at the Gaiety Theatre. It was Richard D’Oyly Carte, then manager of the Royalty Theatre, who brought the two men together again in 1875; the result was Trial by Jury, which was originally put on as an afterpiece to an Offenbach operetta; it won instant popularity and ran for more than a year.

Carte thereupon formed the Comedy Opera Company, with a view to presenting full-length operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan. The first of these, The Sorcerer (1877), was followed by H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), whose eventual success was phenomenal, and The Pirates of Penzance (1879, New York City; 1880, London).

During the run of Patience (1881), Carte transferred the production to his newly built Savoy Theatre, where the later operettas were presented. These were Iolanthe (1882), Princess Ida (1884), The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu (1885), Ruddigore (1887), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), and The Gondoliers (1889). The collective works of Gilbert and Sullivan became known as the “Savoy Operas.”
The character of Nanki-Poo is pictured on a poster advertising Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, c. 1885.
From time to time, Sullivan protested against the artificial nature of Gilbert’s plots; this led to a disagreement between them that came to a head when Sullivan supported Carte in a minor business dispute. Sullivan wrote his next opera, Haddon Hall (1892), to a libretto by Sydney Grundy. Subsequent collaboration with Gilbert, in Utopia Limited (1893) and The Grand Duke (1896), did not reach their former standard. Sullivan completed three other operettas: The Chieftain (1895), largely an adaptation of Contrabandista; The Beauty Stone (1898), with a libretto by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero and J. Comyns Carr; and The Rose of Persia (1889), with Basil Hood, who also wrote the libretto for The Emerald Isle, which was left unfinished by Sullivan and completed by Edward German.

Sullivan’s more classical compositions included The Prodigal Son (1869), The Light of the World (1873), The Martyr of Antioch (1880), The Golden Legend (1886), and the “romantic opera” Ivanhoe, written for the opening of the Royal English Opera House built by Carte in 1891. They were not maintained in the repertory, though they were acclaimed in their day. He also wrote many hymn tunes, including “Onward! Christian Soldiers,” and his song “The Lost Chord” attained great popularity.

In 1876 Sullivan accepted the principalship of the National Training School for Music (later the Royal College of Music), which he held for five years; he was active as a conductor, particularly at the Leeds Festivals from 1880 to 1898. He was knighted in 1883.


Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado 

Sir Arthur Sullivan - Symphony in E Major "Irish" (1866)

Gilbert & Sullivan - Patience (Act 1)  1881

Colonel Calverley----Officers ----Donald Adams
Major Murgatroyd----The Dragoon-John Cartier
Lieut, Duke of Dunstable--Guards----Philip Potter
Reginald Bunthorne--(A Fleshly Poet)------John Reed
Archibald Grosvenor-(An Idyllic Poet)-------Kenneth Sandford
Lady Angela-------------Yvonne Newman
Lady Saphir------Rapturous-------Beti Lloyd-Jones
Lady Ella------Maidens-----------Jennifer Toye
Lady Jane-------Gillian Knight
Patience---(A Dairymaid)---------Mary Sansom

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
New Symphony Orchestra of London
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Recorded in September 1961

Gilbert & Sullivan - Patience (Act 2)  1881

 Gilbert & Sullivan - The Sorcerer (Act 1) 1877 

Sir Marmaduke  ---------Donald Adams
Alexis  ---(His Son)----------David Palmer
Dr. Daly  -------------Alan Styler
Notary ------------------Stanley Riley
John Wellington Wells  --------John Reed
Lady Sangazure ------------------Christene Palmer
Aline  ---(Her Daughter)---------Valerie Masterson
Mrs. Partlet  ------------Jean Allister
Constance  ---------------Ann Hood

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Gilbert & Sullivan - The Sorcerer (Act 2)  1877

Gilbert & Sullivan - Ruddigore (Act 1) - 1887

Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd -John Reed

Richard Dauntless -Thomas Round 

Sir Despard Murgatroyd -Kenneth Sandford

Old Adam Goodheart -Stanley Riley 

Sir Roderic Murgatroyd -Donald Adams 

Rose Maybud  (a Village maiden)   - Jean Hindmarsh

Dame Hannah  (Rose's aunt)  - Gillian Knight

Zorah  (professional bridesmaid)  - Mary Sansom

Mad Margaret   - Jean Allister

Chorus of Officers, Ancestors, Professional Bridesmaids, and Villagers--D'Oyly Carte Opera 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Gilbert & Sullivan - Ruddigore (Act 2) 1887

Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado (Act 1) 1885

The Mikado---------------John Ayldon
Nanki-Poo-----------------Colin Wright
Ko-Ko-----------------------John Reed
Pooh-Bah------------------Kenneth Sandford
Pish-Tush------------------Michael Rayner
Go-To-----------------------John Broad
Yum-Yum------------------Valerie Masterson
Pitti-Sing-------------------Peggy Ann Jones
Peep-Bo--------------------Pauline Wales
Katisha----------------------Lyndsie Holland

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Royston Nash

Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado (Act 2)

Carl Zeller

Carl Zeller

Carl Adam Johann Nepomuk Zeller (19 June 1842 – 17 August 1898) was an Austrian composer of operettas.


Zeller was born in Sankt Peter in der Au, the only child of physician Johann Zeller and Maria Anna Elizabeth. Zeller's father died before his first birthday, after which his mother remarried Ernest Friedinger. In 1875, Zeller married Anna Maria Schwetz.

Zeller had a fine soprano voice, and sang in the Vienna Boys' Choir before studying and composition in the University of Vienna. He worked as a civil servant at the Imperial Ministry of Education while composing choral works and a number of operettas, the best-known of which is Der Vogelhändler. All of his librettos were written (or co-written) by Moritz West (de), often together with Ludwig Held (de).

Legal troubles, including a perjury conviction, ended Zeller's career at the ministry and led to prison and public disgrace in the mid-1890s (although his prison sentence was later repealed).[3] After an injury in 1895 from falling on the ice, he spent his last years physically and then mentally ill. Zeller died of pneumonia in Baden bei Wien at the age of 56.


Carl Zeller - Der Vogelhändler 

Der Vogelhändler (The Bird Seller) is an operetta in three acts by Carl Zeller with a libretto by Moritz West (de) and Ludwig Held (de) based on Victor Varin's and de Biéville's Ce que deviennent les roses (1857).

The Mine Foreman (Der Obersteiger) is an operetta composed by Carl Zeller with a libretto by Ludwig Held (de) and Moritz West (de). It premiered on 5 January 1894 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. In 1952 the libretto served as the basis for a film The Mine Foreman.

Carl Zeller "Der Obersteiger"



Frédéric Chopin:
Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat major, opus 51;
Ballade No. 4 in F minor, opus 52

Frédéric Chopin - Impromptu no.3 in G flat major op.51
Dmitry Shishkin 

Frédéric Chopin - Ballade N°4 in F minor Op.52
Piano - Bella Davidovich

Niels Gade – Symphony No. 2

Niels W. Gade - Symphony no. 2 in E major op. 10 

Andantino quasi allegretto - Molto allegro
Andante con moto
Scherzo: Molto allegro
Finale: Allegro energico

Collegium Musicum Copenhagen.
Michael Schønwandt, dirigent.

Felix Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 58

Mendelssohn - Sonata no. 2 op. 58 in D Major
Hannah Moses, cello
Pin-hsuan Huang, piano

Johann StraussLorelei Rhein Klänge op. 154 ("Echoes of the Rhine Loreley")

Johann Strauss - Loreley-Rhein-Klänge, Waltz 
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Zubin Mehta

2 January 
Richard WagnerThe Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer),
WWV 63, is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner.

3 January 
Gaetano DonizettiDon Pasquale

Don Pasquale 
is an opera buffa, or comic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti with an Italian libretto completed largely by Giovanni Ruffini as well as the composer.

11 February ​
Giuseppe VerdiI Lombardi

I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata (The Lombards on the First Crusade)
is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an epic poem by Tommaso Grossi, which was "very much a child of its age; a grand historical novel with a patriotic slant". Its first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 11 February 1843. 

Verdi - I Lombardi alla prima crociata 

Roberto de Biasio - Arvino
Michele Pertusi - Pagano
Cristina Giannelli - Viclinda
Dimitra Theodossiou - Giselda
Roberto Tagliavini - Pirro
Gregory Bonfatti - Un priore
Valdis Jansons - Acciano
Francesco Meli - Oronte
Daniela Pini - Sofia

Parma Teatro Regio Chorus and Orchestra
Daniele Callegari, conductor

Live recording. Parma, 2009

Time: 1096 - 1097
Place: Milan, in and around Antioch, and near Jerusalem

Act 1: La Vendetta
Scene 1: A square outside the church of Sant' Ambrogio in Milan

The two sons of Lord Folco, Pagano and Arvino, are reconciled, having previously feuded over which man would win the hand of Viclinda. Pagano, who once threatened the life of his brother, has returned from exile. A throng gathers in front of the church of Sant'Ambrogio to celebrate. Viclinda, now Arvino's wife, and their daughter Giselda are on hand to witness the reconciliation. A crusade to the Holy Land is announced and Arvino is to lead it. Pagano secretly vents his enduring frustration to Pirro, Arvino's squire: he still desires Viclinda (Sciagurata! hai tu creduto / "Wretched woman! Did you believe that I could forget you..."). As nuns sing in the background, Pirro and a gang of cut-throats agree to help Pagano take Viclinda for himself.

Scene 2: The Folco palace

Viclinda and Giselda are concerned about Pagano and his supposed reformation. Arvino asks them to watch his elderly father, Lord Folco, who is spending the night in Arvino's chambers. Giselda prays (Aria: Salve Maria / "Hail Mary!"). Pirro and Pagano and their assassins storm the palace. Pagano draws his sword and enters Arvino's chambers. He emerges with a bloody sword and with Viclinda in his custody. Arvino suddenly appears and Pagano is shocked to learn that in the darkness he has killed his father, not his brother (Orror! / "Horror! Dreadful monster of Hell..."). A throng calls for Pagano's death, but Giselda protests against more bloodshed. So Pagano is once again sent into exile.

Act 2: L'uomo della Caverna
Scene 1: Acciano's palace in Antioch

Acciano and representatives from surrounding territories plot their continued resistance to the marauding crusaders. They have captured Giselda, who is now held captive within Acciano's harem. Sofia, Acciano's head wife and a secret Christian, enters with her son Oronte. Oronte has fallen in love with the captive Giselda (Aria: La mia letizia infondere / "Would that I could instill my gladness into her dear heart"). As Oronte sings of his love, Sofia sees Giselda as a means of converting her son to Christianity (Come poteva un angelo / "How could Heaven create an angel so pure").

Scene 2: A cave in the desert outside Antioch

A hermit waits for the arrival of the crusaders. A man appears at the cave and asks the hermit how he may receive forgiveness for his past sins. The man is Pirro, who has become a confidante of Acciano and now controls the gates of Antioch. The hermit counsels Pirro that he will achieve forgiveness if he opens the gates to the approaching crusaders. Thereafter, the crusaders, led by Arvino, appear at the cave. The hermit learns that Arvino's daughter has been captured by Acciano. The hermit assures them that they will succeed in taking Antioch.

Scene 3: Acciano's harem

The members of the harem sing of Giselda's luck in attracting the attentions of Oronte. As Giselda prays (Aria: Oh madre, dal cielo / "O mother, from heaven hear my lament") sudden shouts warn that the crusaders have invaded Antioch. Sofia rushes in to say that both Acciano and Oronte have been killed. Arvino enters with the hermit. Sofia identifies Arvino as the murderer of her husband and son. Giselda is horrified and recoils at her father's attempted embrace. She declares that this crusade was not the will of God. Arvino draws his sword and threatens to kill her for her blasphemy, but he is stopped by the hermit and Sofia. Arvino declares that his daughter has gone mad.

Act 3: La Conversione
Scene 1: The valley of Jehoshaphat; Jerusalem is in the distance

The crusaders, joined by Christian pilgrims, sing of the beauty of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Giselda has wandered away from her father's camp. Suddenly, Oronte appears! He was merely wounded, not killed, by Arvino's sword. Giselda and Oronte decide to flee together (Duet: Oh belle, a questa misera / "O Lombard tents, fair to this unhappy girl, farewell!").

Scene 2: Arvino's tent

Arvino rages against his daughter's betrayal. Soldiers arrive to tell him that Pagano has been seen in camp and they call for his capture and death. Arvino agrees.

Scene 3: A grotto near the River Jordan

After a violin prelude, Giselda and Oronte appear. Oronte has been wounded and Giselda bitterly laments God's cruelty. The hermit appears. He tells Giselda and Oronte that their love is sinful but may be purified by Oronte's conversion and baptism. The hermit completes the baptism, and Giselda laments as Oronte dies from his wounds, promising to see her in heaven (Trio: Qual voluttà trascorrere / "What wondrous pleasure I feel").

Act 4: Il Santo Sepolcro
Scene 1: A cave, near Jersulam

As Giselda dreams, Oronte appears to her in a vision and tells her that God has granted his prayer: the crusaders will find strength in the waters of the fountain of Siloam (Aria: In cielo benedetto / "Through you, Giselda, I am blessed in heaven"). Giselda wakes and sings of her miraculous vision (Aria: Qual prodigio . . . Non fu sogno! / "A miracle!... It was not a dream").

Scene 2: The Lombards' tents

The crusaders and pilgrims are despairing that God has abandoned them in the desert (O signore, dal tetto natio / "O Lord, Thou dids't call us"). Giselda rushes in, announcing the discovery of a spring of water. As all rejoice, Arvino assures his crusaders of his confidence that they will now take Jerusalem.

Scene 3: Arvino's tent Dying from wounds, the hermit is brought in by Giselda and Arvino. The hermit reveals that he is really Pagano. In his dying moments, he confesses to Arvino his penitence for their father's murder and begs forgiveness. Arvino embraces his brother, and Pagano asks for a final view of the Holy City. As Jerusalem appears in the distance, Pagano dies, and the crusaders praise heaven (Te lodiamo, gran Dio di vittoria / "We praise Thee, great God of Victory").

15 March
Fromental Halévy Charles VI

Charles VI
 is an 1843 French grand opera in five acts with music composed by Fromental Halevy and a libretto by Casimir Delavigne and his brother Germain Delavigne.

Fromental Halévy – Charles VI 
Charles VI (baritone) : Armand Arapian
Isabelle de Bavière (soprano) : Isabelle Philippe
Le Dauphin (tenor) : Bruno Comparetti
Raymond (bass) : Matthieu Lecroart
Odette, fille de Raymond / Raymond’s daughter (mezzo-soprano): Anne-Sophie Schmidt
Le Duc de Bedford (tenor): Armando Noguera
L’Homme de la Forêt du Mans ; Ludger ; Dunois (baritone): Eric Salha
Tanguy Duchatel ; Eric d’Orléans (bass): Pierrick Boisseau
Saintrailles ; Clisson (tenor): Stéphane Malbec Garcia
Lahire ; Marcel ; l’étudiant ; Jean sans Peur (tenor): Jean-Loup Pagesy
Lionel, officier Anglais ; Gontran (tenor): Mathias Vidal

Conductor : Miquel Ortega - Orchestre Français Albéric Magnard - Chœur Orfeon Pamplones , 2005

Place: France      Time: Several years after the battle of Agincourt
The opera centres on King Charles VI of France, who amid episodes of madness, is attempting to defeat the English invaders. The final scene takes place in the Abbey of Saint-Denis. Odette, a fictional predecessor of Joan of Arc, thwarts a plot by Queen Isabelle and the English nobleman Bedfort to displace the Dauphin with Bedfort's son Lancastre, and helps restore the Dauphin to his rightful place as heir to the throne of France. The King is dying as he and the assembled French swear to the Dauphin: Guerre aux tyrans! jamais en France, Jamais l'Anglais ne régnera ("War on the tyrants! never in France, Never shall the English reign")

5 June 
Gaetano DonizettiMaria di Rohan

Maria di Rohan is a melodramma tragico, or tragic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Salvadore Cammarano. Premiere Cast, 5 June 1843

Gaetano Donizetti - Maria di Rohan 

Maria di Rohan - Annick Massis
Riccardo - Octavio Arrevalo
Enrico - Stephen Salters
Armando - Ruben Amoretti
De Fiesque - Alexandre Vassilliev
Visconte di Suze - Nicolas Carre
Aubry - Jose Pazos
Familiare - Slobodan Atankovic

Conductor - Evelino Pido
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Choeurs du Grand Theatre

The story of Maria Di Rohan is both simple (the classic love triangle) and complicated. Chalais loves Maria, who has been forced to secretly marry Chevreuse. Chevreuse is in deep trouble, because he has killed a nephew of Richelieu.

Time: Early 17th century
Place: Paris

Act 1
Maria seeks Chalais’ help. Chalais offers it, hoping that Maria will join him, obviously not knowing that she is already married to Chevreuse. Chalais succeeds and Chevreuse is pardoned. Gondi appears on the scene and insults Maria. Chalais challenges him to a duel, and Chevreuse offers to be the second. Richelieu is suddenly ousted from the court, and Chalais is offered his post. Everything looks great for him, but Maria is terribly worried. Richelieu’s demise means that Chevreuse can disclose his marriage without fear. When he points to Maria, Chalais’ world begins to collapse.

Act 2
Chalais writes a love letter to Maria and encloses her portrait. Both are hidden in his desk, to be given to Maria should he perish. He’s suddenly visited by Maria who tells him that Richelieu has regained power. She tells Chalais to flee or he will be executed. Chevreuse is heard approaching and Maria hides in an adjoining chamber. Chevreuse tells Chalais that they must leave for the Gondi duel and Chalais says he will follow. Of course he doesn’t follow, but stays to profess his love for Maria and she also admits that she has always and continues to love him. When he finally leaves for the duel, it is too late. Chevreuse has taken his place and is wounded.

Act 3
Chevreuse’s residence

He tells Maria and Chalais that he will arrange to have Chalais escape from the city. Chalais leaves, and again, everything looks good at first, but disaster strikes. Chalais’ letter and Maria’s portrait are discovered by one of the courtiers in Chalais’ desk. Chalais tells Maria about the letters and she says all is lost. Once again she tells him to flee through a secret passage, and he does, but tells her he will return if she does not follow him within an hour. Maria sings a prayer, Havvi un Dio che in sua clemenza.

The courtier gives the letter and portrait to Chevreuse and he is alternatively nostalgic and enraged. He confronts Maria and vows revenge. Suddenly Chalais returns for Maria through the secret passage. In a final trio Maria pleads for Chevreuse to kill her, Chalais says he doesn’t fear death, and Chevreuse thunders that Chalais’ death is imminent. He gives Chalais a dueling pistol and the two race out. A shot is heard. Chevreuse is furious because Chalais has committed suicide. He throws the letter and portrait to the floor before Maria and cries out La vita coll’infamia A te, donna infidel / "Life with infamy to you, faithless woman".

15 June 
Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer, born.


13 November 
Gaetano DonizettiDom Sebastien

Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal (Don Sebastian, King of Portugal) is a French grand opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe, based on Paul Foucher's play Don Sébastien de Portugal which premiered at the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin on 9 November 1838

It is a historic-fiction about King Sebastian of Portugal (1554-1578) and his ill-fated 1578 expedition to Morocco. The opera premiered on 13 November 1843 at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra. 

Gaetano Donizetti: Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal

Dom Sébastien: Richard Leech
Zaïda: Klara Takacs 
Camoëns: Lajos Miller
Dom Juan de Silva: Sergej Koptchak
Abayaldos: Darren Nimnicht
Dom Antonio: Neil Wilson
Dom Henrique de Sandoval: Greg Ryerson
Ben Selim: Kevin Maynor

Opera Orchestra of New York
Carnegie Hall - New York, 1984

Time: 16th century
Place: Lisbon and Morocco

Act 1

The Christian king, Dom Sébastian, leaves his uncle Dom Antonio to rule Portugal while he goes on a crusade against the Moors of Africa. Sébastian's entourage includes the idealistic poet Camoëns and the Moor princess Zayda, whom he had rescued from being burnt at stake for trying to escape the monastery she had resided in since her conversion to Christianity (O mon Dieu, sur la terre). He intends to return her to her father Ben-Selim.

Act 2
Fez, Morocco

The reunion between Zayda and Ben-Selim is dampened by her refusal to marry the Moorish chief Abayaldos.

A battlefield in Morocco

Abayaldos has led the Moors to battle against Sébastian's forces and mostly wiped them out. The wounded Sébastian's life is saved only when his lieutenant Dom Henrique presents himself to Abayaldos as Sébastian, before expiring from his own wounds, and Zayda pleads for "the Christian's" life (the real Sébastian) in return for her consent to marry Abayaldos, reasoning that her life was saved by a Christian during her captivity in Portugal and that the favor must be returned. Sébastian is left on the battlefield a broken man (Seul sur la terre).
Act 3
A public square, Lisbon

Camoëns has survived the battle and returned to Lisbon (O Lisbonne, o ma patrie!) where he learns that Antonio has aligned himself with the Spanish Grand Inquisitor Dom Juan de Sylva and usurped the throne. He runs into Sébastian, just as the funeral procession for the supposedly dead king passes by. Camoëns causes a commotion in his outrage, and Sébastian is recognized by the people when he intervenes. Abayaldos, for his part, recognizes the lowly "Christian" whose life he had spared. Sébastian is jailed as an imposter.

Act 4
A court of law, Lisbon

At Sébastian's trial, Zayda proves her love for him by testifying to his true identity and how he escaped death. Abayaldos accuses her of infidelity, and now both Sébastian and Zayda are jailed, she for treason.

Act 5
The Lisbon Court

Eager to legitimize his deal with Spain, Antonio offers to spare Sébastian's life if Zayda can convince Sébastian to sign the official instrument selling Portugal to Spain. After first refusing, Sébastian signs. Free but distraught, Zayda runs out to drown herself.

A tower guarding the entrance to Lisbon Harbor (anachronistically the Belém Tower, symbol of Portuguese independence)

Sébastian catches up with Zayda at the top of the tower. They see Camoëns in a boat attempting to rescue them. Sébastian and Zayda climb down a rope to the boat but are discovered halfway down; they plunge to their deaths when the rope is slashed. Camoëns is killed by gunfire and, at curtain, the Spanish fleet emerges on the horizon. Portugal has lost her independence.

27 November
Michael William Balfe's The Bohemian Girl

The Bohemian Girl is a ballad opera composed by Michael William Balfe with a libretto by Alfred Bunn. Debuts in London at the Theatre Royal. 27 November 1843.

Michael William Balfe - The Bohemian Girl
Arline, figlia del Conte Arnheim : Leigh Munro,
Thaddeus, un fuggitivo polacco : Vinson Cole,
Il Conte Arnheim : Will Roy
La Regina dei gitani : Alice Garrott,
Devilshoof, capo dei gitani : Peter Strummer,
Florestein, nipote del Conte : William Martin
Buda, attendenet di Arline : Ellen Sussman 
Capitano della Guardia : Gary Jordan
Orchestra and Chorus of the Central City Opera Festival
Direttore Paul Polivnick
Colorado - Central City, 22 July 1978

Act 1

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

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

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

28 November​ 
Giovanni PaciniMedea

is an opera in three acts composed by Giovanni Pacini to a libretto by Benedetto Castiglia. It premiered on 28 November 1843 at the Teatro Carolino in Palermo, conducted by the composer with Geltrude Bortolotti in the title role. The libretto is based on the plays Medea by Euripides and Médée by Pierre Corneille.

Giovanni Pacini - Medea
Medea Jolantha Omilian
Creonte Marcello Lippi
Giasone Sergio Panajia
Cassandra Maria Cristina Zanni
Calcante Giorgio Giuseppini
Licisca Enrica Bassano
Festival dell’Opera Giocosa Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona Coro Schola Cantorum San Gregorio Magno – Trecate Conductor Richard Bonyinge
Teatro Comunale Chiabrera, Savona

Setting: Corinth in Ancient Greece
The heroic warrior Giasone plans to abandon his wife Medea to marry Glauce the daughter of Creonte the king of Corinth. In revenge Medea murders their two children and then commits suicide.


Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys: Medea (1868)



Felix Mendelssohn:
Spring Song;
A Midsummer Night's Dream incidental music (including the Wedding March);
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Felix Mendelssohn - Without Words, Book 5, Op.62, Spring Song
Budapest Strings Ensemble
Bela Banfalvi, Violin
Karoly Botvay, Cello

Felix Mendelssohn -  "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
00:00  1. Overture 
12:28  2. Scherzo
17:05  3. Intermezzo
20:38  4. Nocturne
27:20  5. Wedding March
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in e minor op 64
Isaac Stern: violin-Philadelphia Orchestra-Eugene Ormandy: conductor - 1958
1.Allegro molto appassionato
3.Allegretto non troppo-Allegro molto vivace

Johann Strauss II - Sinngedichte op. 1 (Epigramms). 
Conductor: Alfred Walter & Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.

Johann Strauss, jr. - Gunstwerber, Walzer, op. 4
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice)
Alfred Walter, Conductor

Johann Strauss, jr. - Herzenslust, Polka, op. 3

Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice)
Alfred Walter, Conductor

Johann Strauss Jr.:

21 February  
Charles-Marie Widor
, organist and composer, born.

9 March 
Giuseppe VerdiErnani

is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Hernani by Victor Hugo.


10 March 
Pablo de Sarasate
, violinist and composer, born.

18 March 
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, composer, born.


3 November 
Giuseppe VerdiI due Foscari

I due Foscari (The Two Foscari)
is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on a historical play, The Two Foscari by Lord Byron.

Verdi - I due Foscari
Francesco Foscari: Plácido Domingo
Jacopo Foscari :Francesco Meli
Lucrezia Contarini: Anna Pirozzi
Jacopo Loredano: Andrea Concetti
Barbarigo:Edoardo Milletti
Pisana:Chiara Isotton

Place: Venice       Time: 1457
Act 1
Scene 1: Outside the Council Chamber of the Doge's Palace

Members of the Council of Ten are waiting to enter the Council Chamber to try the case of Jacopo Foscari, the son of the Doge, who has been accused of murder. Upon the arrival of Loredano (Jacopo's sworn enemy) and his friend Barbarigo, they announce that the Doge has already entered the Chamber. They all enter the Chamber.

Having recently returned from exile, Jacopo is brought from the prison and expresses his love at seeing Venice again: Dal più remoto esilio / "From the most distant place of exile". When summoned to enter the Chamber and told that he can expect the Council to be merciful, Jacopo explodes in rage: Odio solo ed odio atroce / "Only hatred, cruel hatred, is locked within their breasts". He enters the Chamber.

Scene 2: A hall in the palace

Lucrezia Contarini, Jacopo's wife, learns from her ladies in waiting that the trial is proceeding in the Council Chamber. She quickly demands to see the Doge, Jacopo's father, but is told that she should pray for Jacopo's freedom. Angrily, she implores heaven to be merciful: Tu al cui sguardo onnipossente / "Thou beneath whose almighty glance all men rejoice or weep". Her friend Pisana enters in tears; she relays the news that Jacopo has been sentenced to further exile and this provokes another furious outburst from Lucrezia: La clemenza! s'aggiunge lo scherno! / "Their mercy? Now they add insult!". Pisana and the ladies beg her to trust in the mercy of God.

Scene 3: Outside the Council Chamber

The Council of Ten leaves the Chamber proclaiming that the evidence was clearly sufficient to convict Jacopo and that their actions will be seen as just and fair.

Scene 4: The Doge's private room

The Doge, Francesco Foscari, enters and wearily sits down. He expresses anguish at what has happened to his son but, as his father, feels there is nothing he can do to save him: O vecchio cor che batte / "Oh ancient heart that beats in my breast...". In tears, Lucrezia comes in and, when she tries to decry the actions of the Council, Francesco reminds her of his position as upholder of the law of Venice. Angrily, she denounces the law as being filled only with hatred and vengeance and demands that he return her husband to her: Tu pur lo sai che giudice / "You know it all too well". The scene ends with the Doge lamenting the limits of his power and the conflicts between being both ruler and father, while Lucrezia continues to demand his help. The sight of his tears gives her some hope.

Act 2
Scene 1: The state prison

Jacopo is alone in prison and laments his fate. He imagines that he is being attacked by Carmagnola, a famous condottiere (soldier) who was executed in Venice (Non maledirmi o prode / "Mighty warrior, do not curse me", and he faints. Still delirious, he finds Lucrezia is with him; she tells him of the Council's decision and the punishment of further exile. However, she tries to keep some hope alive and promises to join him in exile if need be.

The Doge arrives and declares that in spite of the fact that he was forced to act severely, he loves his son. Jacopo is comforted – Nel tuo paterno amplesso / "In a father's embrace my sorrow is stilled" – but is further disturbed by the Doge's claim that his duty must override his love of his son.

Loredano arrives to announce the official verdict and to prepare Jacopo for his departure. He is contemptuous of the pleas of the Foscari and orders his men to remove Jacopo from his cell. In a final trio, Jacopo, the Doge, and Lucrezia express their conflicting emotions and, as Jacopo is taken away, father and daughter-in-law leave together.

Scene 2: The Council Chamber

Loredano is adamant: there shall be no mercy and Lucrezia and her children will not be allowed to accompany Jacopo on his banishment. The Doge laments his inability to help, acting, as he must, in the role of Doge before that of father. Lucrezia enters with her two children. Jacopo embraces them while Lucrezia pleads with the councilors to no avail. Jacopo is taken away.

Act 3
Scene 1: The Piazetta of San Marco

While the people who have gathered express their joy at being together, Loredano and Barbarigo wait for the galley that will take Jacopo away to exile. He is led out, followed by his wife and Pisana, and expresses his feelings for Lucrezia: All'infelice veglio / "Unhappy woman, unhappy through me alone". Together, in a huge choral number, Jacopo, Lucrezia, Pisano, Barbarigo, Loredano, and the people of Venice each express their feelings. Jacopo begins: O padre, figli, sposa / "Father, children, wife, I bid you a last farewell", and the scene ends with Jacopo escorted onto the galley while Lucrezia faints in Pisana's arms.

Scene 2: The Doge's Palace

The grief-stricken Doge expresses his feelings – Egli ora parte! ("Now he is going!") – and pictures himself alone in his old age. Barbarigo brings him proof that his son was in fact innocent, while Lucrezia comes in to announce Jacopo's death: Più non vive... l'innocente / "He is no more... the innocent". As she leaves, a servant announces that the Council of Ten wish to meet with the Doge.

The Council, through its spokesman Loredano, announces that it has decided that Francesco, due to age, should give up his position as Doge. Angrily, he denounces their decision: Questa dunque è l'iniqua mercede / "This then is the unjust reward...". He asks for his daughter-in-law to be brought in and gradually lays down the trappings of his office. When Lucrezia enters and addresses him with the familiar title "Prince", he declares "Prince! That I was; now I am no longer." Just then, the bell of San Marco is heard announcing that a successor has been chosen. As it tolls a second time, Francesco recognizes that the end has come: Quel bronzo feral / "What fatal knell". As the bell tolls again, he dies; Loredano notes that "I am paid."

30 December​ 
Friedrich FlotowAlessandro Stradella 

Alessandro Stradella
is a romantic opera in three acts composed by Friedrich von Flotow to a German libretto by "Wilhelm Friedrich" (Friedrich Wilhelm Riese). Set in Venice and the countryside near Rome, it is loosely based on the colourful life of the 17th-century Italian composer and singer Alessandro Stradella. It was first performed in its full version on 30 December 1844 at the Stadttheater in Hamburg.

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

Alessandro Stradella, a composer and music-teacher    tenor    
Bassi, a wealthy Venetian    bass    
Leonore, his ward    soprano    
Malvolio, a bandit    bass   
Barbarino, a bandit    baritone    
Pupils of Stradella, masks, villagers, pilgrims, distinguished citizens, patricians
Place: Italy        Time: The 17th century
Act 1
In and around the Piazza San Marco, Venice

Stradella and his music students hymn the city of Venice. They then serenade Leonore, Stradella's beloved. She is held against her will in the house of her guardian, Bassi, who is planning to marry her on the following day, and, when she appears on her balcony, Stradella proposes that they elope. A noisy carnival procession enables them to slip away together, while Bassi's attempts to pursue them are impeded by the masked revellers.

Act 2
Outside Stradella's country house near Rome

Leonore rejoices at her impending marriage to Stradella. The couple leave for the ceremony. The bandits Malvolio and Barbarino appear separately, and discover that each has been engaged by Bassi to assassinate Stradella. Claiming to be pilgrims, they introduce themselves to the happy couple, and Stradella welcomes them to the celebrations. He sings of the compassion that lurks in the hearts of even the lowest members of society, and the bandits, moved, abandon their mission.

Act 3
In and around Stradella's country house.

Stradella and Leonore, joined by the bandits, sing of the beauties of Italy. The happy couple join a group of pilgrims. Bassi arrives and discovers that his instructions have not been carried out, but, when he offers the bandits more money, they agree again to murder Stradella. Bassi joins them. As they advance to do the deed, Stradella rehearses, with the pilgrims, a hymn in praise of the Virgin Mary, whose festival is on the following day. Its message is that she will forgive evil-doers who turn to the paths of righteousness, and the three conspirators, still clutching their daggers, are overwhelmed with emotion and, kneeling, join in the hymn. Leonore enters, and Bassi confesses. She and Stradella forgive him and his henchmen, and the opera ends with Stradella's arrival on a hillside in front of a picture of the Madonna, where the pilgrims rejoice in the power of his music and of divine grace.

Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor (21 February 1844 – 12 March 1937) was a French organist, composer and teacher, most notable for his ten organ symphonies.

Widor was born in Lyon, to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music there with his father, François-Charles Widor, titular organist of Saint-François-de-Sales from 1838 to 1889. The French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, reviver of the art of organ building, was a friend of the Widor family; he arranged for the talented young organist to study in Brussels in 1863 with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens for organ technique and with the elderly François-Joseph Fétis, director of the Brussels Conservatoire, for composition. After this term of study Widor moved to Paris, where he resided for the rest of his life. At the age of 24 he was appointed assistant to Camille Saint-Saëns at Église de la Madeleine.

In January 1870, with the combined lobbying of Cavaillé-Coll, Saint-Saëns, and Charles Gounod, the 25-year-old Widor was appointed as "provisional" organist of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the most prominent position for a French organist. The organ at St-Sulpice was Cavaillé-Coll's masterwork; the instrument's spectacular capabilities proved an inspiration to Widor. Despite his job's ostensibly "provisional" nature, Widor remained as organist at St-Sulpice for nearly 64 years, until the end of 1933. He was succeeded in 1934 by his former student and assistant, Marcel Dupré.

In 1890, upon the death of César Franck, Widor succeeded him as organ professor at the Paris Conservatoire. The class he inherited was initially stunned by this new teacher, who suddenly demanded a formidable technique and a knowledge of J.S. Bach's organ works as prerequisites to effective improvisation. Later (1896), he gave up this post to become composition professor at the same institution. Widor had several students in Paris who were to become famous composers and organists in their own right, most notably the aforementioned Dupré, Louis Vierne, Charles Tournemire, Darius Milhaud, Alexander Schreiner, Edgard Varèse, and the Canadian Henri Gagnon. Albert Schweitzer also studied with Widor, mainly from 1899; master and pupil later collaborated on an annotated edition of J. S. Bach's organ works published in 1912–1914. Widor, whose own master Lemmens was an important Bach exponent, encouraged Schweitzer's theological exploration of Bach's music.

Among the leading organ recitalists of his time, Widor visited many different nations in this capacity, including Russia, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Switzerland. In addition he participated in the inaugural concerts of many of Cavaillé-Coll's greatest instruments, notably Notre-Dame de Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Près, the Trocadéro and Saint-Ouen de Rouen.

Well known as a man of great culture and learning, Widor was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1892, and reached the rank of a Grand-Officier de la Legion d'honneur in 1933. He was named to the Institut de France in 1910, and was elected "Secrétaire perpetuel" (permanent secretary) of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1914, succeeding Henry Roujon.

In 1921, Widor founded the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau with Francis-Louis Casadesus. He was the Director until 1934, when he was succeeded by Maurice Ravel. His close friend, Isidor Philipp gave piano lessons there, and Nadia Boulanger taught an entire generation of new composers.

At the age of 76, Widor married Mathilde de Montesquiou-Fézensac on 26 April 1920 at Charchigné. The 36-year-old Mathilde was a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Europe. She died in 1960: there were no children from this union.

On 31 December 1933, at age 89, Widor retired from his position at Saint-Sulpice. Three years later he suffered a stroke which paralysed the right side of his body, although he remained mentally alert to the last. He died at his home in Paris on 12 March 1937 at the age of 93, and his remains were interred in the crypt of Saint-Sulpice four days later.


Charles Marie Widor: Symphonie op. 13 No. 1 (Schallplattenaufnahme 1976 aus St. Viktor Damme)

Charles-Marie Widor - Symphony  No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42, No. 1

Allegro vivace - Allegro cantabile
Andantino quasi allegretto
Adagio - Toccata
Wolfgang Rubsam

Charles Marie Widor  - Organ Symphony No 6 in G minor, op 42 No 2
1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Intermezzo (Allegro)
4. Cantabile
5. Finale (Vivace) 
Ben van Oosten, organ.

Charles-Marie Widor - Op.83 Symphonie Antique For Solo Voices, Chorus, Organ And Orchestra (1911)

Widor - Piano Concerto No. 1 In F Minor
Martin Roscoe, piano - BBC Concert Orchestra,  Martin Yates conductor
I. Allegro con fuoco
2. Andante religioso 11:50

Widor - Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor
Martin Roscoe, piano - BBC Concert Orchestra,  Martin Yates conductor

Widor - Organ Symphony #10, op. 73 "Romane"
Recorded on the Newberry Memorial Organ in Woolsey Hall, Yale University, 2018 by David Simon.

Pablo de Sarasate

Pablo de Sarasate

(b. Pamplona, March 10, 1844; d. Biarritz, September 20, 1908)


Spanish violinist and composer. He began his study of the violin with his father, an artillery bandmaster, at the age of five and gave his first concert when he was eight. In 1856, after further study in Madrid, Sarasate and his mother set out for Paris in hopes of his gaining a spot in the class of Jean Alard at the Conservatoire; along the way, Sarasate’s mother suffered a fatal heart attack and he became infected with cholera. The Spanish consul in Bayonne took the lad into his home until he recovered and financed the continuation of his journey to Paris. After hearing the youngster play, Alard became his teacher. The following year Sarasate won first prize in violin and solfege, and in 1859 he took a prize in harmony.

In the years that followed, Sarasate enjoyed a thriving career as a touring virtuoso and became one of the most famous musicians of his era. With his assured technique (which made his playing of even the most difficult pieces seemingly effortless) and a tone that was pure and sweet, if not particularly powerful, he represented a new breed of virtuoso. Many of the 19th century’s most dashing works for the violin were composed for or dedicated to him, including Saint-Saens’s Violin Concertos Nos. 1 (1859) and 3 (1880), as well as his Introduction and Rondo capriccioso (1863), Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole (1874), Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (1878) and Scottish Fantasy (1880), and Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (1862). Sarasate’s own accomplishments as a composer included numerous works for violin and piano, though no concertos. His best-known work is Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Ways), originally written for violin and piano, later orchestrated and published as his Op. 20 in Leipzig in 1878 (hence the German title). The brief rhapsody, one of the cornerstones of the virtuoso repertoire, is in three broad sections: a smoldering introduction in the best Hungarian cafe style; a slow, lyrical interlude; and a fulminant final dance that brings the piece to a brilliant conclusion. In 1884 the violinist’s sultry elegance was immortalized by James McNeill Whistler in the portrait Arrangement in Black: Pablo de Sarasate.


Sarasate - Zigeunerweisen
Francesca Dego, violin
Yoel Levi, conductor
JuniOrchestra Santa Cecilia

27 January 2014
Roma, Auditorium Parco della Musica

Pablo Sarasate "Airs espagnols"

Pablo de Sarasate - Navarra Op. 33
Aleksander Smakosz - violin
Dobromir Lesiak - violin
Marta Kluczyńska - conductor
The Karol Szymanowski School of Music Orchestra in Warsaw, Poland

Sarasate - Capricho vasco, Op. 24 (Caprice basque)
Vengerov - violin

Sarasate - Introduction et Tarantelle 
Maxim Vengerov 



Robert Schumann – Piano Concerto in A minor

Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor Op.54
00:00 1st  Allegro affettuoso
15:42 2nd   (Intermezzo): Andantino grazioso
20:50 3rd  (Finale): Allegro vivace
Piano: Murray Perahia, conductor: Bernard Johan Herman Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, 2009

Louis Moreau GottschalkBamboula: A Fantasy for solo piano.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk -  Bamboula, Op. 2
Leonard Pennario

15 February​ 
Giuseppe Verdi - Giovanna d'Arco (Joan of Arc) 

Giovanna d'Arco (Joan of Arc) is an operatic dramma lirico with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, who had prepared the libretti for Nabucco and I Lombardi. It is Verdi's seventh opera.

The work partly reflects the story of Joan of Arc and appears to be loosely based on the play Die Jungfrau von Orleans by Friedrich von Schiller. Verdi wrote the music during the autumn and winter of 1844/45 and the opera had its first performance at Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 15 February 1845.

Verdi - Giovanna d'Arco 

Evan Bowers - Carlo VII
Renato Bruson - Giacomo
Svetla Vassileva - Giovanna
Luigi Petroni - Delil
Maurizio Lo Piccolo - Talbot

Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio di Parma
Bruno Bartoletti, conductor

Parma, October 2008

Giovanna    soprano
Carlo VII, King of France    tenor 
Giacomo, shepherd and father of Giovanna    baritone  
Talbot, an English Commander    bass i
Delil, a French officer    tenor  
French and English soldiers, French courtiers, villagers, nobles, angels, demons – Chorus

Time: 1429        Place: Domrémy, Reims and near Rouen, France
Scene 1: The French village of Domrémy

Charles (the not-yet-crowned King of France) describes to his officers and the villagers his vision of the Virgin Mary commanding him to surrender to the invading English army and laying down his weapons at the foot of a giant oak tree. (Aria: Sotto una quercia parvemi – "Beneath an oak she appeared to me"). Later, he expresses his frustration with the limitations of being a ruler. (Aria: Pondo è letal, martirio – "A deadly burden, a torment").

Scene 2: A forest

By a giant oak tree, Giacomo prays for the safety of his daughter Giovanna, who before she falls asleep by a nearby shrine offers prayers to be chosen to lead the French forces. (Aria: Sempre all'alba ed alla sera – "always at dawn and in the evening"). Suddenly, Charles arrives, prepared to lay down his arms at the base of the tree. Meanwhile, the sleeping Giovanna has visions in which angels ask her to become a soldier and lead France to victory (Tu sei bella, the Demons' Waltz). She cries out that she is ready to do so. Charles overhears her and thrills at her courage. Her father Giacomo weeps, believing that his daughter has given her soul to the Devil out of her devotion to the future King.

Act 1
Scene 1: Near Reims

Commander Talbot of the English army tries to convince his discouraged soldiers that their imminent surrender to the French is not due to forces of evil. Giacomo arrives and offers up his daughter, believing her to be under the influence of the Devil: Franco son io – "I am French, but in my heart ..." and So che per via dei triboli – "I know that original sin ...".

Scene 2: The French court at Reims

Preparations are under way for Charles' coronation. Giovanna longs for her simple life back home. (Aria: O fatidica foresta – "O prophetic forest ..."). Charles confesses his love for Giovanna. She withdraws despite her feelings toward the King, because her voices have warned her against earthly love. Charles is taken to the Cathedral at Reims for his coronation.

Act 2
The Cathedral square

The villagers of Reims have gathered in the Cathedral square to celebrate Giovanna's victory over the English army. The French soldiers lead Charles into the Cathedral. Giacomo has decided he must repudiate his daughter who, he believes, has entered a pact with the Devil. (Aria: Speme al vecchio era una figlia – "An old man's hope was a daughter"). He denounces her to the villagers (Aria: Comparire il ciel m'ha stretto – "Heaven has forced me to appear") and they are persuaded, although the King refuses to listen. Charles pleads with Giovanna to defend herself, but she refuses.

Act 3
At the stake

Giovanna has been captured by the English army and is awaiting her death at the stake. She has visions of battlefield victories and begs God to stand by her, explaining how she has shown her obedience by forsaking her worldly love for the King as the voices had commanded. Giacomo overhears her pleas and recognizes his error. He loosens his daughter's bonds and she escapes. She rushes to the battlefield to turn French defeat into victory once more.

Giacomo pleads with the King, first for punishment and then for forgiveness, which Charles grants. Charles learns of the French victory on the battlefield but also of Giovanna's death. (Aria: Quale al più fido amico – "Which of my truest friends"). As her body is carried in, Giovanna suddenly revives. Giacomo reclaims his daughter, and the King professes his love. The angels sing of salvation and victory, as Giovanna dies and ascends into heaven.


Joan at the Coronation of Charles VII
by Jean-Auguste Ingres, 1855 

21 April 
Albert LortzingUndine

is an opera in four acts by Albert Lortzing. The German libretto was by the composer after Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's story of the same name.

Lortzing: Undine
Bertalda: Ruth-Margret Pütz
Ritter Hugo von Ringstetten: Nicolai Gedda
Kühleborn: Hermann Prey
Tobias: Hans-Günther Grimm
Marthe: Sieglinde Wagner
Undine: Anneliese Rothenberger
Veit: Peter Shreier
Hans: Gottlob Frick
Peter Heilmann: Gottlob Frick

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester - Robert Heger

Act 1

The knight Hugo von Ringstetten, having won a tournament, has been given a quest by Bertalda, the daughter of the Duke. She wants him to explore the enchanted forest. Hugo and his squire Veit have been forced by bad weather and floods to take refuge in a fishing village, and have been living there for some months. Hugo has fallen in love with the beautiful Undine, the foster daughter of the fisherman Tobias and his wife Marthe, and plans to marry her. He tells his bride of his previous life and that he had once loved Bertalda, but now has forgotten her. They are astonished at Undine's remark that she has no soul.

As farmers and fishermen follow the knight and Undine into the Chapel, Kühleborn, the Prince of the water spirits, suddenly appears, disguised as a farmer, and talks to Veit. He remarks that this Undine is probably only a creation of his Lord and will not be permanent. Kühleborn had once kidnapped the real daughter of the fishermen, Bertalda, and entrusted her to the Duke. Undine was left for Tobias and Marthe to raise instead. He wanted to test whether the people who have a soul, are better off than the soulless spirits that live in the waters. He decides to watch over Undine and accompanies the young couple and Veit to the imperial capital, disguised as a priest.

Act 2
The winemaker Hans is happy to welcome back his drinking friend Veit, who tells him about his adventures, and that he has married Undine, a mermaid without a soul. Bertalda learns that Hugo is married, and her love turns to hate. Kühleborn joins the celebration disguised as a count from Naples. As she reviles Undine because of her lowly origin, Kühleborn claims that Bertalda is actually the child of fisher people, who she contemptuously rejects. To prove that she is of noble blood, she displays a box belonging to her father the Duke. But a letter inside the box attests Kühleborn's claim. Horrified Bertalda collapses. Kühleborn declares that he is the Prince of the water and disappears before their eyes into the waters of the fountain in the Hall.

Act 3
Bertalda seduces Hugo. Hugo tells Undine that he will no longer live with a water goblin. Undine warns him of Kühleborn's revenge and anger, but he determines to make Bertalda his wife anyway. Kühleborn brings Undine back into the water depths. He explains that beings with a soul are no better than the spirits without them.

Act 4
Hugo cannot forget Undine and his bad dreams haunt him. Veit and Hans, who has entered into Hugo's service, celebrate the wedding of their Lord with Bertalda, which will take place that day. Intoxicated, they remove the stones blocking the castle fountain. Slowly arising from the water in a white mask, Undine goes weeping into the castle. During the marriage celebration in the castle hall, Hugo, in vain, seeks to dispel ill forebodings. At midnight, the lights go out. Undine appears, surrounded by a mysterious blue light. Hugo throws himself at her feet. A flood of water destroys the castle. The palace of Kühleborn appears with Undine and Hugo kneeling before him. Hugo is forgiven but must remain forever in the realm of the water spirits.

12 May  
Gabriel Fauré
, composer, born.

112 August​
Giuseppe Verdi - Alzira

Alzira is an opera in a prologue and two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, based on the 1736 play Alzire, ou les Américains by Voltaire.

The first performance was at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples.

Giuseppe Verdi - Alzira
- Alzira: Cristina Deutekom
- Zamoro: Adriaan van Limpt
- Alvaro: Guus Hoekman
- Gusmano: Henk Smit
- Ovando: Hein Meens
- Ataliba: Lieuwe Visser
- Zuma: Thea Vermeulen
- Otumbo: Hein Meens

Groot Omroepkoor and Omroeporkest, conductor Kees Bakels - Amsterdam, 1980

Place: Peru          Time: 16th century
Prologue: The Prisoner
Peruvian Indians drag the Spanish governor, Alvaro, into the square and are about to execute him. Suddenly Zamoro, an Inca, appears and asks them to release the man; they do so.

Zamoro tells the Indians that he had been captured and tortured by Gusmano, the leader of the Spaniards (Un Inca, eccesso orribile / "An Inca..dreadful outrage!") to the point where everyone believed him to be dead. Otumbo tells Zamoro that Alzira, his beloved, along with her father Ataliba, are being held captive by the Spaniards, and he urges the Indian tribes to revolt: Risorto fra le tenebre / "I emerged into the darkness ...").

Act 1: A Life for a Life
Scene 1: The main square of Lima

Alvaro announces that, due to his age and infirmity, he is relinquishing the governorship and handing it over to his son, Gusmano who states that his first act will be to secure peace with the Incas. Ataliba gives him his support, but advises him that his daughter Alzira is not yet ready to marry Gusmano. He, while understanding (Eterna la memoria / "The eternal memory of a desperate love is weighing her down ..."), urges the older man to try to persuade her (Quanto un mortal può chiedere / "Whatever a mortal man can ask for..")

Scene 2: Ataliba's apartments in the governor's palace

As her father enters, Alzira wakes but is still half dreaming of Zamoro. She recounts a more disturbing dream she has had of Gusmano (Da Gusman sul fragil barca / "I was fleeing from Gusman in a frail boat") but, although he is dead, she still believes that Zamoro loves her: Nell'astro che più fulgido / "On the star that gleams most brightly ... there lives Zamoro". Ataliba continues to try to persuade Alzira to marry Gusmano, without success, until suddenly Zamoro enters. Believing that it is his ghost, Alzira is skeptical, but realizes that he is still alive. They pledge their love together: Risorge ne' tuoi lumi l'astro de' giorni miei! / "The star of my existence has risen again in your eyes!".

Gusmano enters, sees the couple together, and orders that Zamoro be arrested and immediately executed. There follows the sextet Nella polve genuflesso in which each of the characters expresses his/her feelings: "Alvaro begs his son to show mercy; Gusman remains obdurate but uneasy, Alzira. ... ., laments the passing of her short-lived happiness; Zamoro expresses his faith in her constancy; Zuma and Ataliba their despair"

As the Inca invasion of Lima is announced, Alvaro confirms that Zamoro has saved him from certain death; Gusmano orders him to be freed to go out to fight with the invading Incas: "I shall meet you in battle, hated rival".

Act 2: The Vengeance of a Savage
Scene 1: The fortifications of Lima

Zamoro has led a fresh attack against the conquistadores and has been captured. Gusmano condemns him to death, but, over Alzira's protests, forces her to agree to marry Gusmano promising that he will spare Zamoro. Reluctantly, she agrees (Gusmano: Colma di gioia ho l'anima! / "My heart is bursting with joy").

Scene 2: A cave, some distance from Lima

The defeated Incas are downcast, but they hear that Zamoro has escaped, dressed as a Spanish soldier. He soon enters but is in despair: Irne lungi ancor dovrei / " Must I drag out my days as a fugitive, bowed down with shame?". When he hears from his followers that Alzira has agreed to marry Gusmano and that preparations are being made, vows to fight: Non di codarde lagrime / "This is not the time for cowardly tears, but for blood!". He rushes out to the palace

Scene 3: Large hall in the governor's palace

As the wedding of Alzira and Gusmano is about to begin, a Spanish soldier leaps forward and fatally stabs Gusmano. To Alzira's surprise it is Zamoro. Before he dies, Gusmano tells him that Alzira only agreed to the marriage in order to secure his release. He forgives Zamoro, blesses his union with Alzira, and receives a final blessing from his father as he dies.

20 October​ 
Richard WagnerTannhäuser

 is an 1845 opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on two German legends; Tannhäuser, the legendary medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the Wartburg Song Contest.

2 December  
Simon Mayr, composer, dies.

Gabriel Fauré

Gabriel Fauré

(b. Pamiers, May 12, 1845; d. Paris, November 4, 1924)

French composer, pianist, and teacher. Though not a virtuoso, he was a genius at the keyboard, and his works in all forms show an innovative and advanced use of harmony. He was one of the great masters of French song, and with his gift for expressive understatement he excelled in the art of the vignette. But over a career that spanned seven decades, he longed to be known for larger and more widely popular works, an ambition in which he was for the most part to be disappointed.


Born into a family of the petty nobility, Faure showed a childhood love of music. At nine he was enrolled in the Ecole Louis Niedermeyer for training as a church choirmaster; he boarded there for 11 years, studying plainchant, organ, harmony, counterpoint, and piano. Camille Saint-Saens took over the piano department in 1861, and thanks to him Faure received exposure to contemporary music that was not part of the curriculum.

He finished in 1865, with first prizes in composition, counterpoint, and fugue.

The following year he became organist at the church of St. Sauveur in Rennes; he spent four years there, finding ample time to compose, and returned to Paris in 1870, just in time to help lift the siege of the city during the Franco-Prussian War. He left Paris during the Commune, and spent the summer of 1871 teaching at his alma mater, the Ecole Niedermeyer, which had taken refuge in Switzerland. Upon his return to the capital in the fall, he was appointed assistant organist at St. Sulpice, and was introduced to all of musical Paris by Saint-Saens.

Together with Vincent d’lndy, Edouard Lalo, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Henri Duparc (1848-1933), Faure founded the Societe Nationale de Musique in 1872. With its concerts as an oudet he turned his attention to chamber music, producing the exquisite, lyrical Violin Sonata No. 1 in A  and the bold, emotionally direct Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor. Faure left St. Sulpice in 1874 to assist Saint-Saens at the Madeleine, one of Paris’s leading churches, and within three years was named choirmaster. A failed romance with Marianne Viardot (daughter of the soprano Pauline Viardot) led him to seek solace in travel. In Weimar in 1877 he met Liszt, who was then premiering Saint-Saens’s Samson etDalila), and between 1879 and 1882 he attended numerous performances of Wagner operas in Germany and London. He was fascinated by this revolutionary music but unlike most of his peers did not fall under its spell.

Faure married in 1883 and was forced to teach, in addition to working his church jobs, in order to support his family. His creative work, which earned him little money in any case, was relegated to the summer months. Faure’s career peaked in 1896, when he became chief organist at the Madeleine and was named professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire.

Considered radical in his day, he now became a father figure to a whole generation of French composers, attracting a circle of students that would eventually include Maurice Ravel, Charles Koechlin, George Enescu, Nadia Boulanger, Florent Schmitt, and others. He was appointed director of the Conservatoire in 1905. A few years later, after the Societe Nationale became ossified in its resistance to modern music, he backed the renegades (including Ravel, Koechlin, and Schmitt) who left it to create the Societe Musicale Independente, and served as the new organization’s first president. By this point he had taken up journalism as well, serving as music critic for Le Figaro (1903-21). He spent World War I teaching at the Conservatoire, retired in 1920, and died four years later.

Faure’s output was relatively small, one of the occupational hazards of being not only a regular performer in churches but also a working critic, teacher, and administrator. He was most at home in songs, music for the piano, and chamber music, almost all of which includes the piano (the exception: his final work, the String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121). His works in these genres are notable for their refinement and fastidious craftsmanship; among the characteristics that betray Faure’s authorship are the dense textures, often with flowing arpeggiated piano figuration—Copland called Faure “the French Brahms”—and the rhapsodic linkage of ideas. The music is emotional yet restrained, suffused with a feeling halfway between melancholy and gentle rapture. Faure’s harmonic language is remarkably sensuous (full of perfumed ninth chords) and ardent: “intensity on a background of calm,” as Alfred Cortot put it. Taken together, these traits produce, in a worklike the Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45, the finest embodiment in music of the aesthetic so memorably proposed by Baudelaire in the lines, “La, tout n’est qu’ordre et beaute, / Luxe, calme et volupte.”

Faure wrote surprisingly little orchestral music; he appears not to have been particularly interested in the orchestra as a medium, col-oristic or otherwise. He had others do most of his scoring, though he frequently revised the final product, as was the case with his incidental music for Pelleas et Melisande.

Faure’s decades-long work as a church musician (he referred to it as his “mercenary job”) entailed the composition and performance of a sizable amount of sacred music. He might have been forgiven for not wanting to spend any more time on liturgical pieces than the job required, but “purely for the pleasure of it” he composed a setting of the Requiem, the work for which he is best known today. The score is uniquely consoling—in conscious reaction to the immensity and over-the-top emotionalism of the Berlioz Requiem—which in large part accounts for its ongoing popularity. Perhaps only Faure could have made such a riposte. “The piece,” he said, “is as gentle as 1 am myself.”


Gabriel Fauré: Cello Works  

00:00 Elégie Op. 24 
07:24 Sonate No 1 en ré mineur Op. 109: Allegro 
12:40 Sonate n°1 en ré mineur Opus 109: Andante 
20:46 Sonate n°1 en ré mineur Opus 109: Finale: Allegro (Moderato) 
27:17 Romance Op. 69 
30:52 Papillon Op. 77 
34:07 Sonate No 2 en sol mineur Op. 117: Allegro 
39:53 Sonate No 2 en sol mineur Op. 117: Andante 
46:35 Sonate No 2 en sol mineur Op. 117: Allegro vivo 
51:31 Sicilienne Op. 78 
55:17 Après un rêve 
Ophélie Gaillard & Bruno Fontaine

Fauré - 13 Nocturnes 
0:00 : Premier nocturne (en mi bémol mineur) op 33 nº 1
7:22 : Deuxième nocturne (en si majeur) opus 33 nº 2
13:53 : Troisième nocturne (en la bémol majeur) op 33 nº 3
18:48 : Quatrième nocturne (en si bémol majeur) opus 36
25:45 : Cinquième nocturne (en si bémol majeur) opus 37
34:15 : Sixième nocturne (en ré bémol majeur) opus 63
43:13 : Septième nocturne (en ut dièse mineur) opus 74
Huitième nocturne (en ré bémol majeur) opus 84
51:35 : Neuvième nocturne (en si mineur) opus 97
55:59 Dixième nocturne (en mi mineur) opus 99
01:01:20 : Onzième nocturne (en fa dièse mineur) op 104
01:05:54 : Douzième nocturne (en mi mineur) opus 107
01:12:37 : Treizième nocturne (en si mineur) opus 119
Jean Doyen (1972) 

Fauré - Valses Caprices
0:00 : Première valse-caprice en la majeur opus 30 : Ambiance de fête brillante (1882).
7:14 : Seconde valse-caprice en ré bémol majeur opus 38 : Sombre et passionnée et proche de Chopin (1884).
14:42 : Troisième valse-caprice en sol bémol majeur opus 59 : Dans un style brillant plein de charme (1893).
22:06 : Quatrième valse-caprice en la bémol majeur opus 62 : D'un grand raffinement harmonique par ses modulations (1893-1894).
Jean Doyen (1972)

Faure - Pavane Op. 50 (Choral version)
Halle Choir and Orchestra conducted by Maurice Handford, 1981

Faure - Requiem Op.48 
Robert Shaw (Conductor), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Judith Blegen (Soprano), James Morris (Baritone)

Pénélope is an opera in three acts. The libretto, by René Fauchois is based on Homer's Odyssey. It was first performed at the Salle Garnier, Monte Carlo on 4 March 1913.

Pénélope - Faure
Pénélope Anna Caterina Antonacci 
Ulysse Marc Laho
Euryclée Élodie Méchain
Cléone Sarah Laulan
Mélantho Kristina Bitenc
Phylo Rocío Pérez
Lydie Francesca Sorteni
Alkandre Lamia Beuque
Eumée Jean-Philippe Lafont 
Eurymaque Edwin Crossley-Mercer 
Antinoüs Martial Defontaine 
Léodès Mark Van Arsdale
Ctésippe Arnaud Richard 
Pisandre Camille Tresmontant

Act I

Penelope has been waiting for ten years for the return of her husband, Ulysses, King of Ithaca. In the mean time she has been besieged by suitors for her hand in marriage. She promises she will choose between them once she has finishing weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes, but every night she unpicks the day's work. Ulysses arrives at the palace disguised as a beggar and is recognised by his old nurse Euryclea.

Act II
That night, as ever, Penelope keeps watch for Ulysses' ship on a hill-top overlooking the sea. She talks nostalgically to the shepherd Eumaeus. The beggar offers to help Penelope defeat the suitors. He claims to be a fugitive Cretan king who has seen Ulysses alive at his court. After Penelope leaves, Ulysses reveals his true identity to the overjoyed shepherds.

The suitors have arranged Penelope's wedding in the palace hall. She tells them that they must decide which one will win her hand by holding a competition to see who can draw Ulysses' bow. Not one of them succeeds. The beggar steps forward and draws the bow with ease, before turning to shoot the suitors. The shepherds join in the killing with their knives. Finally, Ulysses and Penelope are happily reunited.


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres – Odalisque with Slave

bottom of page